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First impressions of the new Dell XPS 15 – powerful notebook for design work with outstanding 4K screen

When we first met the Dell XPS 13 a few months back we were impressed by the build quality, design and battery life. It had all the things you would want from a small and portable business companion. But its bigger brother – XPS 15 – is aimed for a completely different type of work. Although Dell doesn’t stress on that, the XPS 15 would be perfect for those of you who do some design work, video editing etc. Or just color-sensitive work.

You can look up all the available configurations of the new Dell XPS 15 at Amazon.com.

Design

Basically, the XPS 15 is a bigger version of the XPS 13. It has the same sturdy aluminum build paired with soft-touch matte plastic with carbon fiber plate between the aluminum top and bottom pieces. It provides sturdiness and keeps the weight low… and it looks awesome when you open the lid.


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However, the most amazing thing about this notebook is that it’s incredibly light, thin and it’s quite small for a 15-incher. Its dimensions are smaller due to the incredibly thin bezels around the screen and thus cutting on the width and depth. Moreover, the profile measures at only 17 mm at its thickest point and going down to 11 mm at the front. It also weighs just 2 kg and this just as impressive given the powerful hardware and sturdy construction.

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Unfortunately, it will be a rather difficult task to keep the notebook clean and sleek as it is. The interior uses soft-touch matte plastic that attracts a lot of fingerprints and smudges. It’s also a bit transparent so you can easily see the carbon fiber threads. Anyway, the keyboard is not full-sized and the touchpad is centered just below the keyboard. It aims to bring better comfort while typing. As for the touchpad and keyboard – both seem great, but we need more time to give you a comprehensive opinion on those.

Hardware

The notebook is configurable with three processors from Intel all of which are part of the high-performance lineup. You can go from Core i3-6100H to Core i5-6300HQ and Core i7-6700HQ while the Core i5 and Core i7 offer four cores. It can take up to 64 GB of DDR4-2133 RAM, due to the new Skylake architecture, but you will most probably need not more than 16 or 32 GB. There are only two options for the GPU – the Core i3 configuration uses the Intel HD Graphics 530 iGPU while the other variants rely on the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M GPU that can handle more graphic-intensive applications and gaming.

Screen options are only two – Full HD and Ultra HD. The first one comes in a lighter chassis – 1.78 kg while the 4K screen variants weigh 2 kg as we already mentioned above. Also, the Full HD version includes 56Wh battery while the 2160p screen is paired with the larger 84Wh battery in order to compensate for the extra power hungry pixels.

Storage options vary and the system uses one 2.5-inch drive (SSD or HDD) and one M.2 PCIe x4 SSD slot and the usual configurations from Dell’s official website go up to 256GB of SSD. Despite its thin profile, the notebook boasts a number of ports – 2x USB 3.0, HDMI, LAN, 3.5 mm audio jack, SD card reader, and USB 3.1 (Type-C connector).

Specs sheet

The specs listed below may vary depending on your region


ProcessorIntel Core i3-6100H (2-core, 2.70 GHz, 3MB cache) / Intel Core i5-6300HQ (4-core, 2.30 -3.20 GHz, 6MB cache) / Intel Core i7-6700HQ (4-core, 2.60 -3.50 GHz, 6MB cache)
RAM8GB (1x 8192MB) – DDR4, 2133MHz / 16GB (2x 8192MB) – DDR4, 2133MHz
Graphics cardNVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M (2GB GDDR5)
HDD/SSD256GB PCIe x4 SSD + 1TB HDD
Display15.6-inch (39.62 cm.) – 3840 x 2160 (UHD) touch screen, InfinityEdge IPS
Optical drive
ConnectivityLAN 10/100/1000 Mbps, Wi-Fi 802.11ac 2×2, Bluetooth 4.0
Other features
  • 2x USB 3.0
  • 1x USB 3.1
  • built-in webcam
  • вbuilt-in microphone
  • HDMI
  • 3.5 mm audio jack
  • LAN/li>
  • card reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC)
  • LED keyboard backlight
Battery3-cell 56 Wh / 6-cell 84Wh
Thickness11-17 mm (0.45-0.66″)
Weight1.78 kg (3.9 lbs) for non-touch version / 2.0 kg (4.4 lbs) for touch version