Hands on: Dell XPS 15 Review

The best just got better

First Impressions

A generous number of configurations look to make the Dell XPS 15 an extremely versatile laptop

Key Specifications

  • 15-inch FHD / 4K options
  • Intel Core i9-9980HK CPU
  • Nvidia GeForce 1650 GPU

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As well as a new-look XPS 13 2 in 1, Dell pulled the curtain back on a new Dell XPS 15 laptop at Computex 2019.

Boasting Intel 9th gen processors – current 10th gen Ice Lake chips are apparently not suitable for big laptops yet – and discrete graphics in the form of Nvidia’s GeForce 1650, up to 64MB of RAM and 2TB of storage and a good selection of ports, the new Dell XPS 15 is starting to look like a very capable workhorse, one which should power through detailed photo work and video editing with ease and handle a bit of gaming on the side for good measure.  

Dell’s also equipped the new XPS 15 with a 95W battery, so even though it doesn’t come with Intel’s Project Athena promise of ‘all day real-work battery life’, I suspect you’d still get a solid amount of power out of a battery of such capacity.

Dell XPS 15 2019

The new-look XPS 15 from Dell kind of looks like the old one – that’s because most of the perks are to be found under the hood

Dell XPS 15 2019 price – how much will the new Dell XPS 15 cost?

Dell’s not mentioned prices for the 2019 XPS 15 range just yet. The current Dell XPS 15 line-up, with 8th gen Core i9 processors ranges from £2100-£2900, while you can pick up cheaper models with Core i5 CPUs from £1300, and Core i7s from £1900-£2200.

In other words, expect the prices for the new Dell XPS 15 to vary significantly depending on the configuration. 

Dell XPS 15 2019 release date – when will the new Dell XPS 15 be available to buy?

No release dates for the new line of Dell XPS 15 laptops has been given just yet. We will update this section once we hear more.

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Dell XPS 15 2019

Not all performance laptops are quite so generous with their ports, so it’s good that Dell’s giving you Ethernet, HDMI, and Type-C USB here.

What is the Dell XPS 15 2019?

The new Dell XPS 15 2019 gives Dell’s big Windows 10 powerhouse laptops a refresh with some of the best specs you can find inside a current 15.6-inch general purpose work laptop.

It features a very similar design to last year’s Dell XPS 15 2 in 1 with the same chequered finish on the deck, and the same maglev switched keyboard, meaning you should be able to confidently and comfortably write at speed on this thing.

A full spec sheet has yet to be released, but in terms of ports, I saw Ethernet, HDMI, Type-C USB, Type-A USB, a full-sized SD card reader, and a Kensington lock slot.

Looking around in the system settings, I spotted an Intel Core i9-9980HK clocked to 2.4GHz and 32GB of RAM (31.7GB useable) on the device specifications list.

Specific models of laptops don’t always make it in to every market, and nobody at Dell’s event could confirm if this one would make it to the UK, or talk about any other kind of processor options. It seems as though Ice Lake CPUs are not ready to power 15-inch laptops just yet, presumably due to thermal management issues.

An i9-9980HK however features eight cores, 16 threads and can boost up to 5GHz, and can support 4K video at 60Hz – it’s a powerful processor. You will be able to load and run multiple applications on this thing very quickly, and Netflix should look fantastic.

Related: Best Intel processor

Dell XPS 15 2019

Down the right hand side of the Dell XPS 15, there’s an SD card slot, Type-A USB, and a lock slot.

Speaking of 4K, display options include Full HD (1920 x 1080) and 4K Ultra HD (3240 x 2800) LCDs and OLEDs.

The OLED versions apparently offer a ‘perfect’ contrast ratio of 100,000:1, which implies that they can kick out a maximum brightness of 1000 nits, and may therefore qualify for the DisplayHDR 1000 standard. Something that bright is likely to tear through any battery like a hot buzzsaw through butter.

At Computex 2019, Dell spokespeople said you’d be able to squeeze an incredible-sounding 20 hours of power from the 96W battery out on the Full HD LCD model, presumably with the brightness lowered to something around the 120-150 nits region. No word on estimated battery levels for the OLED versions yet…

Then there’s the Nvidia GeForce 1650 graphics. This is the least powerful graphics processor of Nvidia’s 16 Series. You won’t be playing Battlefield 5 with ray tracing turned on with the Dell XPS 15, but between retouching photos, you should be able to get in a bit of Apex Legends action.

The only other things to add at this point are memory and storage options. You’ll be able to pick up a Dell XPS 15 with up to 64GB of RAM and up to 2TB of onboard storage – if you want something for big photo work, you’re probably going to want as much memory and space as you can afford.

First Impressions

The new XPS 15 sees Dell’s flagship laptop get some much-needed new parts. A powerful processor, big battery, the option of up to 64GB of RAM and the choice between LCD and OLED displays mean that if you want a performance machine for writing and everyday work, you’re sorted, but if you’re after something for creative work, you might be golden here too – provided you can afford the 4K OLED option.

We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.

A ’hands on review’ is our first impression of a product only - it is not a full test and verdict. Our writer must have spent some time with the product to describe an early sense of what it’s like to use. We call these ‘hands on reviews’ to make them visible in search. However these are always unscored and don’t give recommendations. Read more about our reviews policy.

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Type Other Laptop

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