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Dell XPS 15 (2018) review


Our opinion

The Dell XPS 15 is mighty and close to 12 hours of active battery life in a beautiful casing.

Strong general graphics functioning
Long-lasting battery
Luminous and attractive display.
Cool running
The design is attractive if dated.
The webcam is in an awkward position.

XPS laptops from Dell are considered to be the benchmark when it concerns premium notebooks, including the newest XPS 15. With a price tag of ($999 to begin, $ 1,399 in tests), this is among the most powerful machines in the industry, because of its Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia GTX 1050 graphics. Besides, it is gorgeous, with a thin, current factory make, skinny bezels, and excellent presentation. However, the 15-inch remains the biggest challenge of XPS line- the webcam is awkwardly placed- but generally, it is among the best laptops you can have and a great competitor to the more expensive 15-inch MacBook Pro from Apple.  

The price of Dell XPS and Settings

I evaluated the $1,399 Dell XPS 15. It possesses a 2.2-GHz Intel Core i7-8750H processor with 16GB of RAM a 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q GPU with 4GB of VRAM, an Intel UHD Graphics 630 GPU and a panel of 1920 x 1080 ( this model now sells with a 512 GB storage from Dell)

The primary model costs $999; this reduces the CPU to a 2.3-GHz Intel Core i5-8300H chip having 8GB RAM, a hard drive of 1TB 5,400-rpm, an Intel UHD Graphics 630 GPU, and a 1920 x 1080 display.

Need a 4K display? Be ready to part with at least more than $2,099, which will acquire you the 3840 x 2160 touch screen, 32GB of RAM, and a 1TB M.2 PCIe SSD. If you need even more performance, the model of Dell that costs $2,449, provides an overclockable 2.9-GHz Intel Core i9-8950HK CPU.


Having a clear factory silver aluminum top and a base hiding a soft-feeling dark interior, highlighted by soft, bowed edges, the newest XPS 15 appears very similar to its predecessors. It is not a bad idea since the laptop is skinny and makes an office to be presentable. The laptop is quite not prepared for LAN use, but it remains a great machine despite the challenge. Same as the 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro, the computer only supports a single decoration- the shiny Dell symbol in the middle of the cover. It is a simple possession that I understand.

Bound in soft-touch black carbon material, the interior of the laptop has the same familiarity as the exterior, including the power switch, which also acts as a fingerprint reader at the top-right end. The almost inexistent infinity-edge covers the 15.6-inch screen, providing a way for the big bottom bezel sheltering the webcam.

With dimensions of 14.1 x 9.3 x 0.5-0.7 inches, the 4.2-pound XPS 15 is among the slimmer notebooks in its category. Additionally, the weight of the Microsoft Surface Book 2 4.2 pounds but with a heavier design of 13.5 x 9.9 x 0.9 inches, very similar to the HP Spectre x360 (4.6 pounds, 14.1 x 9.8 x 0.8 inches). At even 4 pounds, the Apple MacBook Pro (13.8 x 9.5 x 0.6 inches) is more slim and weighs less. At 2.9 pounds, 12 x 8.5 0.6 inches, the Huawei MateBook X Pro is the smallest in the class. Besides, it has the most miniature 14-inch display.   


The XPS 15 has sufficient ports to promote solid work or a battle station for gaming.

USB 3.1 Type-A port, an SD card reader, a Noble lock slot, and an indicator for battery status sits on the right flanked by five lights. The left has a different Type-A port beside a Thunderbolt 3 port, a port for HDMI, a jack for the headset, and the AC adaptor port.


We investigated the XPS 15 with both a 4K, Ultra HD touch screen, and 1080p non-touch screen. Proof from the delicate veins and the deep red hue of the flower in the wallpaper of XPS 15, the matte 1920 x 1080 display can produce vibrant, detailed color. During my watching of the support the girls’ trailer on the panel of 15.6-inch, the honey-brown skin of Regina Hall appeared radiant, despite her eye shadow being silver-frosted. There were precise details that I could view each strand of the chest-brown hairs of the actress alongside her honey-blonde lowlights.

Considering the XPS 15 panel color clarity, it was not surprising to realize that it can multiply the sRGB gamut by 115 percent. That is an excellent outcome, but if you need a good display, you will need to advance to the 4K pane, which encloses 160 percent of the sRGB spectrum. The costs of both models are over the premium laptop average of 111-percent. When it regards to color, the competition is between the 4K display and 1080p of XPS 15, with the MacBook Pro, Spectre x360, MateBook X, and Surface respectively recording 117 to 131 percent.

During the investigation, the brightness performance of XPS 15 was much better, with average nits of 371, which was sufficient to outperform the average nits of 310, including the specter x360 (340 nits) and the 354 nits of MacBook Pro. Nevertheless, the Surface Book (417 nits) and MateBook X (458 nits) had significant brightness. Sadly the XPS 15 4K panel was dimmer than my liking, with nits of 322, which only tops the average of the category but much fainter compared to its competitors.


I did not anticipate much from the speakers of XPS 15, but I was glad to have loud, quite clear sound. The bottom-mounted speakers of the laptop filled our meeting room with the gorgeous voice of Kevin Ross as he sang the “prototype,” a cappella of Andre 3000. The tunes were sweet and bright while the popping of the mouth and snapping of the fingers were accurate. The only rough areas happened when the singer chose high notes, which led to significant distortions that I attempted to smoothen with the already installed Waves Audio application, in vain.

Keyboard and Touchpad

Usually, if the travel of a keyboard were shallow like the XPS 15 (0.7 millimeters), I would be replacing it with a new one because it does not satisfy our chosen 1.5mm. But the saving grace of the island styled keys is the above-average 70 grams inclination force that gives the typing experience some much-required bounce. I achieve my usual 70 words a minute on the ten fast fingers typing without failing.

The 4 x 3.1-inch gives a lot of room to move between web sites and files and quickly and responsively booted. There was no challenge in pinch-zooming or reducing images or performing a three-finger tap to execute the Action Center.


Given that XPS 15 is such a slim machine, it has quite a punch packaging. In this review, we investigated two high-end settings. The packaging of 1080p XPS 15 with a 2.2-GHz Intel Core i7-8750H processor and a RAM of 16 GB did not have a problem in operating Windows Defender during my watching of a chapter of My Hero Academia with 20 active Google Chrome pages, with some having Twitch streams and slack functioning. Expectedly, the 4K Core i9 CPU model did not slow down in our real-world investigations.  

On Geekbench 4, the XPS 15 equally performed better, where it hit 19,775, exceeding the premium laptop average of 11,492. It surpassed the 1.9-GHz Intel Core i7-8650U of Surface Book, MateBook X (1.8-GHz Intel Core i7-8550U), and the Spectre x360 (3.1-GHz Intel Core i7-8705G), and their concurrent records of 12,505, 12,913 and 15,340. However, the MacBook Pro won with a score of 23, 138, from its overclockable 2.9-GHz Intel Core i9-8950HK.   

In our testing of  Excel productivity test, the XPS 15 equipped with Core i7 utilized 44 seconds in matching 65, 000 names and addresses, surpassing the 1:32 average in this category. The Core i9 type was, even more, faster, accomplishing the investigation in only 38 seconds. The MacBook Pro followed with 0:52, and the Spectre X360 closely following at 0:57. The Surface Book and the MateBook X respectively recorded 1:31 and 1:49.

We performed tests on the hard drive, the 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD of the XPS 15 utilized 23 seconds to copy 4.97GB of multimedia files, which implied a 221.3 megabytes per second write speed. This is similar to Spectre’s x360 (512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD) but does not meet the average 419.7 MBps. At 282.7 MBps, the MateBook X (512GB NVMe PCIe SSD) was quite faster, and the performance of the Surface Book at (1TB PCIe SSD) was even much better. Nevertheless, the But the MacBook Pro and its enormous 2TB PCIe SSD won the rivalry with a crazy 2,599.6 MBps. Our 4K XPS 15 1TB PCIe SSD beat all except the MacBook Pro, utilizing 4 seconds to copy 4.97 GB multimedia files at a speed of 1272.3 MBps    

There was a rebound of XPS 15 on the video editing investigations utilizing just 10 minutes and 12 seconds to convert a 4K video to 1080p, beating the average 21:35. The Core i9 4K model needed even little time of 9:51. The MacBook Pro followed closely at 10:16. The Spectre x360 hit 15:01, and the Surface Book and the MateBook X respectively recorded times of 23:00 and 27:18.

Playing and visuals

The entry-level to gaming lies under the silvery cover of this ordinary laptop. Fitted with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q GPU with a 4GB VRAM, the XPS 15 can solve numbers with their best and play one or two games at low-to-medium configurations. The laptop beat our Dirt 3 yardstick with a 189 fps frame rate. This exceeds the average 71-fps for premium laptops. The AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL GPU of Spectre x360 followed closely with 182 fps. The respective scores of the MateBook X (GeForce MX150 GPU) and the MacBook Pro (Radeon Pro 560X) were 117 and 83 fps.

The average match for XPS 15 was 22 fps for the Rise of the Tomb Raider (1920 x 1080 on Very High, but did not achieve our 30-fps playability benchmark. The GTX 1060 GPU of Surface Book achieved 33-fps. The performance of Dell on Hitman investigation was much better hitting 60 fps, but it could not beat the 72 fps of Surface Book.

When you are trying to save the globe from possible destruction by zombies, aliens, or demons, the XPS will perform an automatic switching to its combined Intel UHD Graphics 630 GPU through the Optimus technology of Nvidia.

Span of battery

The 1080p display XPS 15 can be very tolerant. On our battery investigation, the notebook stayed for 11 hours and 53 minutes, which included persistent web browsing over Wi-Fi at a brightness of 150 nits. It outdid the 8:26 average of the category the Spectre x360 (5:20), the MateBook X (9:55), and the MacBook Pro (10:21). The Surface Book was closer to the winner with 11:34. However, this plummeted to 3:12 when we did an individual investigation of the tablet.  

True to expectation, Core i9 CPU 4K display limits the lifespan of the battery, but even the decked-out XPS 15 maintained a decent 7:34 during the investigation.


Even though it has metallic cover and base, XPS 15 worked well to remain cool. On measuring the significant parts of the laptop after 15 minutes watching an HD video in full-screen, the temperature of the touchpad hit 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The middle of the keyboard recorded 83 degrees, while underneath temperature was 92 degrees. Every recording adhered to our zone of 95-degree.


Although I recognize the super-small bezels, Dell and various firms should position the webcam in a better place other than right over the hinge. During my launching of the camera app, “the nose cam” did not disappoint, capturing my chest and nose in the snap. I made some adjustments to have the right view. Furthermore, the integrated camera of XPS 15 was able to capture the color of my bright pink clothe excellently. There were sufficiently fine details to pick some garment pilling, including the fabric striations.

Software and surety

Dell had a pre-installation of various beneficial branded applications such as a power controller, which enables you to diagnose the battery of the system, including adjusting the speed of the fan and consumption of power by more intensive activities. Mobile Connect allows you to use your smartphone from your laptop, as well as calling a Lyft or playing Phone games such as Futurama: Games of Drones. Dell has included help & support if you want to solve a problem, this includes educative videos, shows the status of your warranty, and diagnoses the system.

Sadly, the system has various bloatware, such as cooking fever, Candy Crush Saga Royal Revolt 2: Tower Defense, and Netflix. However, more useful third party software exist, for example,  Killer Control Centre, which allows you to prioritize the bandwidth of the network. Additionally, Dell has McAfee Security and annual 20GB Dropbox cloud storage,

The Dell XPS 15 comes with a limited yearly hardware warranty. View the performance of Dell in our ranking of Tech Support Showdown and Best and Worst Brands. 


Performance, files, and even some gaming- the Dell XPS 15 does all of it- and excellently performs. At $1,399, you acquire an attractively, slim designed powerful machine, as well as an Intel Core i7 processor and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q. It has an exceptionally convenient keyboard and a lovely presentation. Add 12 span of the battery, and you have acquired a beast. This is enough to make you forget the disappointing placement of the camera. 

However, if you wish for power and your pockets are deep, you have the 15-inch MacBook Pro, starting at $2,399 and dictates an expensive $2,899 when upgrading to Core i9 CPU and Radeon Pro 560X graphics. However, if you are seeking quite a modest machine that can accomplish a bit of every task quite well, the Dell XPS 15 should be topping your list.

Buy on


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