Dell XPS 15 9510 OLED Review: The Biggest Retains Getting Greater

Dell XPS 15 OLED 2021

MSRP $2,400.00

“The Dell XPS 15 is all you would possibly want in a sturdy 15-inch laptop.”

Professionals

  • Superior assemble prime quality
  • Gorgeous aesthetic
  • Fantastic creative and productiveness effectivity
  • Good keyboard and superior touchpad
  • Lovely OLED present

What do you do to make probably the greatest 15-inch laptop even larger? Properly, you don’t change what’s on the floor. It already has a killer design and an excellent OLED show.

Instead, you modify what’s on the inside as a substitute. That’s exactly what Dell did with the 2021 refresh of the XPS 15, which gives Eleventh-gen Intel H-series CPUs and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti to significantly improve effectivity.

I reviewed the XPS 15 with a Core i7-11800H CPU and the RTX 3050 Ti, which runs a cool $2,400. This is not an affordable laptop. Nonetheless as we’ll see, you get what you pay for with the XPS 15 — a laptop that does what it should do to carry on to the crown.

Design

Dell XPS 15 OLED laptop sitting on a small table. View of the backside.Mark Coppock/Digital Tendencies

My partner, who infrequently suggestions on the laptops I review, often known as the XPS 15 “beautiful.” That’s extreme reward, and it’s well-deserved for this remarkably designed laptop. It’s arduous to make simplicity stand out, nonetheless that’s what Dell has carried out. The XPS 15 doesn’t have the extravagant gem-cut aesthetic of the HP Spectre x360 15, as an example, with contrasting colors and extensively chamfered and angled edges.

Instead, the XPS 15 has squeaky clear traces, a silver aluminum lid and chassis bottom with soft-touch black carbon fiber or white glass fiber keyboard deck, and double-anodized chrome edges that resist scratches and pull the design collectively. The tiny present bezels afford an actual 92.9% screen-to-body ratio (no big chin hidden beneath the once more of the keyboard deck) that makes the taller 16:10 show seem to float throughout the air. Briefly, the XPS 15 has a cohesive look and feel that’s unmatched amongst 15-inch laptops.

And the XPS 15 doesn’t merely look good. It’s moreover steady as a rock, with no bending, flexing, or twisting anyplace throughout the lid, keyboard deck, or chassis. The machined aluminum blended with the carbon or glass fiber provides the XPS 15 a means of durability that you just obtained’t uncover in plenty of completely different laptops. The Spectre x360 15 and Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3 are as rigid, nonetheless I wrestle to consider one different 15-inch laptop that feels as steady. Even the XPS 15’s hinge works larger than most, allowing the laptop to easily open with one hand, however firmly holding the present in place. These are all traits shared with completely different XPS laptops identical to the XPS 13 and XPS 17, and it’s obvious that Dell has paid an extreme quantity of consideration to creating laptops that exude prime quality.

If the XPS 15 has one weak level in its design, it is connectivity.

The XPS 15 is usually a remarkably small laptop for such a sturdy machine, coming in at narrower than every the Spectre x360 15 and ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3. It’s barely deeper than the Spectre because of the taller 16:10 present, and it’s nonetheless shallower than the ThinkPad even supplied that laptop’s old-school 16:9 panel. The XPS 15 is on the market in at 0.71 inches thick compared with the ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3 at 0.72 inches and the Spectre x360 15 at 0.79 inches.

Lastly, the XPS 15 weighs 4.31 kilos with the OLED present and 86 watt-hour battery, compared with the Spectre at 4.23 kilos and the ThinkPad at 3.75 kilos. Complete, that makes the XPS 15 a smaller laptop that’s barely heavier and feels denser in hand, which isn’t a horrible issue at these weights — none of these laptops are notably heavy for larger machines.

Left side view of the Dell XPS 15 OLED laptop. Two Micro USB ports.
Right side view of the Dell XPS 15 OLED laptop. Micro USB port and SD card reader.

If the XPS 15 has a weak level in its design, it is connectivity. You’ll uncover merely three USB-C ports, two with Thunderbolt 4 help, a full-size SD card reader, and a 3.5mm audio jack. Dell does embody a USB-C to HDMI and USB-A adapter, which is a plus, nonetheless it’s unfortunate to want dongles the least bit. The SD card reader will in all probability be welcome to creators, though, compared with the microSD card readers you often uncover on stylish laptops. Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 current wi-fi connectivity by the Killer AX1650 chipset.

Effectivity

You probably can configure the XPS 15 with a variety of Intel Eleventh-gen H-series processors, from the Core i5-11400H to the Core i9-11900H. My review unit was equipped with the Core i7-11800H, a fast 8-core, 16-thread CPU that has carried out successfully in several machines, along with 16GB of RAM (as a lot as a whopping 64GB could also be configured) and a 512GB PCIe solid-state drive (SSD and as a lot as 4TB could also be ordered). Two SSD slots indicate that you simply would possibly arrange twin 4TB SSDs for an entire of 8TB of storage.

You’ll moreover uncover an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti discrete GPU inside, which lives near the underside of the RTX line nonetheless nonetheless beats built-in graphics by a country mile. You’d rely on this combine to hold out successfully in demanding duties like video modifying and others that enchantment to every creators and productiveness vitality prospects.

In our benchmarks, the XPS 15 was an admirable performer. We didn’t run all of the similar checks on the 2020 XPS 15, nonetheless the place now we’ve got overlap, the model new model is faster. That’s to be anticipated. The model new XPS 15 doesn’t dominate our comparability group, nonetheless it’s correct there throughout the working. It does notably successfully in direction of the XPS 17 that benefits from an even bigger chassis and even larger thermals than the very well-designed XPS 15.

Dell XPS 15 OLED laptop sitting on a small table.Mark Coppock/Digital Tendencies

Attempting on the CPU-intensive benchmarks, our Handbrake check out that encodes a 420MB video to H.265 and Cinebench R23, the XPS 15 competes strongly in direction of the XPS 17 and the Lenovo Legion 5 Skilled working the AMD Ryzen 7 5800H. The Ryzen chips are speedy at CPU-intensive duties, and so the XPS 15’s ranking proper right here is spectacular. In the event you occur to bump as a lot because the Core i9 model, you’ll most certainly exceed the Ryzen 7’s effectivity. The XPS 15 moreover did successfully throughout the PCMark 10 Full benchmark, scoring throughout the larger echelon of the laptops we’ve examined and doing notably successfully throughout the Content material materials Creation portion of the check out.

On the Pugetbench check out, which makes use of Adobe Premiere Skilled to hold out numerous brutal duties, the XPS 15 scored 507. Dell has equipped the XPS 15 with its vitality utility to tune the CPU for lower heat and fan noise whereas limiting effectivity or working flat-out in effectivity mode. In all our completely different checks, the utility made no distinction in effectivity, nonetheless in Pugetbench, effectivity mode boosted the ranking to 590. That’s successfully beneath the XPS 17’s 692 (with the faster RTX 3060) nonetheless nearer to the Legion 5 Skilled’s 622. That makes the XPS 15, which benefits from every a fast CPU and a discrete GPU which will tempo up some duties in Adobe apps, a sturdy performer for Adobe creators — although not the strongest we’ve seen.

Complete, the XPS 15’s refresh has elevated its effectivity adequate to make it undoubtedly definitely worth the effort, and it’s one among many faster 15-inch laptops you’ll uncover — significantly for such a thin and light-weight machine. Actually, it flies by productiveness duties and obtained’t decelerate it does not matter what you throw at it. As alluded to earlier, it actually works for every mobile creators and productiveness vitality prospects.

Laptop computer pc 3DMark Time Spy Cinebench R23 Geekbench 5 Handbrake
(seconds)
PCMark 10 Fortnite
(1080p Epic)
Civilization VI (1080p Extraordinarily)
Dell XPS 15 OLED 2021 (Core i7-11800H) 4540 1513 / 9979 1544 / 8299 101 6024 50 fps 73 fps
Dell XPS 15 (Core i7-10875H) 3860 n/a 1314 / 7549 122 n/a 60 fps 53 fps
Dell XPS 17 (Core i7-11800H) 7039 1525 / 10145 1568 / 8801 n/a 6209 78 fps 104 fps
LG Gram 16 (Core i7-1165G7) 1390 1394 / 4137 1573 / 5454 213 4827 13 fps n/a
Lenovo Legion 5 Skilled (Ryzen 7 5800H) 9175 1430 / 11195 1460 / 7227 99 n/a 101 fps 114 fps

The RTX 3050 Ti that Dell put in throughout the XPS 15 is proscribed to 45 watts, no matter technically being rated to run as a lot as 80 watts. Resulting from this reality, it’s not the quickest iteration of the chip you’ll uncover. Theoretically, that limits its effectivity, notably in gaming. In our testing, though, the XPS 15 was a superb performer, scoring 4540 throughout the 3DMark Time Spy check out. That’s a steady finish end result for laptops working the RTX 3050 Ti.

It managed 73 frames per second (fps) in Civilization VI at 1080p and very graphics, which beat out the Acer Swift X with the similar GPU and a Ryzen 7 5800U that hit 66 fps and the 2020 XPS 15 at 53 fps. Lastly, in Fortnite, the XPS 15 managed 50 fps at 1200p and epic graphics, oddly behind the 2020 XPS 15 nonetheless inside a few fps of various RTX 3050 Ti laptops. The XPS 15 makes for a superb entry-level gaming laptop no matter its slower-clocked GPU.

Present

Dell XPS 15 OLED screen.Mark Coppock/Digital Tendencies

Dell offers numerous 15.6-inch 16:10 exhibits for the XPS 15. You probably can choose a Full HD+ (1,920 x 1,200) non-touch present, a 3.5K (3,456 x 2,160) OLED contact present, and a UHD+ (3,840 x 2,400) IPS contact present. The latter two help Dolby Imaginative and prescient extreme dynamic fluctuate (HDR) for superb Netflix binging (although, be taught on). My review unit was equipped with the three.5K OLED present, and it’s drop-dead stunning. Colors pop, blacks are inky, and it’s vivid adequate to make use of out of doors (although maybe not in direct Southern California daylight). I’m undecided why Dell opted for the three.5K choice versus true 4K, given how superior the latter could be for watching 4K HDR media, nonetheless the present is sharp adequate for something you’ll want to use it for. Subjectively, that’s one superior present.

This can be a very good present that matches up successfully for creators with the XPS 15’s effectivity.

My colorimeter agreed with me. Colors had been in depth, at 99% of AdobeRGB and 100% of sRGB, and they also had been moreover spectacularly appropriate with a DeltaE of 0.49 (1.0 or a lot much less is taken into consideration superb). Brightness wasn’t as extreme as some OLED exhibits at 381, nonetheless that’s nothing to complain about. Distinction bought right here in at a gaudy 381,130:1, which accounts for the inky blacks. Consider this with the AMOLED present on the HP Spectre x360 15, and in addition you’ll uncover equally broad colors and extreme distinction, although the Spectre was barely brighter at 405 nits and by no means as appropriate at 1.29.

The 2020 XPS 15’s 4K IPS present was merely as vibrant and just about as appropriate at 0.65 and much brighter at 442 nits. Its distinction was 1480:1, extreme for an IPS present nonetheless not as otherworldly as a result of the XPS 15’s OLED panel.

Subjectively or objectively, this can be a very good present that matches up successfully for creators with the XPS 15’s effectivity. It’s moreover a shocking present for productiveness workers who will admire the luscious colors and the black textual content material that leaps off white backgrounds.

The XPS 15’s audio could be spectacular. 4 audio system — two upward-firing flanking the keyboard and two firing down and to the perimeters — pump out tons of amount with zero distortion. There’s further bass than widespread, and mids and highs are clear and good. That is among the finest set of Dwelling home windows 10 laptop audio system I’ve personally examined, with solely the MacBook Skilled’s audio system being larger. You don’t need to fret about carrying spherical a set of headphones till you want your privateness — this audio system will better than suffice in your Netflix binging and music listening needs.

Closeup on the Dell XPS 15 OLED laptop's right size speaker.Mark Coppock/Digital Tendencies

Keyboard and touchpad

The XPS 15’s keyboard is spacious with big keycaps and light-weight gray lettering. There’s a great deal of journey and a light-weight contact that’s fixed all through the keyboard, although I found the bottoming movement to be a lot much less snappy than I keep in mind on the ultimate XPS laptop I used, the XPS 13. There’s a trigger for that — the XPS 13 keyboard has a lot much less journey, so Dell tuned the mechanism with further of a snap.

The XPS 15 has a comfortable actually really feel that may help prolonged typing courses with out fatigue, nonetheless I did miss the precise response supplied by the XPS 13. I identical to the keyboard on HP’s Spectre line pretty a bit further — it, too, has a great deal of journey, nonetheless it’s moreover snappier and provides further solutions for each keystroke. Many people will love the XPS 15’s keyboard, so I obtained’t fault it, nonetheless it’s not my non-public favorite.

Image of the Dell XPS 15 OLED's keyboard and trackpad.Mark Coppock/Digital Tendencies

The XPS 15’s touchpad is giant by Dwelling home windows 10 necessities, because of the copious amount of palm leisure afforded by the taller present and Dell’s willpower to fill most of it with touchable flooring area. It’s a pleasure to utilize, with soft-click buttons and a simple glass flooring that feels extraordinarily expansive. Actually, the touchpad helps Microsoft’s Precision drivers, so Dwelling home windows 10’s multitouch gestures are reliable and responsive. It’s probably the greatest touchpad you’ll uncover on a Dwelling home windows 10 laptop (subsequent to the XPS 17). In addition to, the OLED present is touch-enabled, and I appreciated that as I tapped on-screen buttons and scrolled prolonged web pages with my thumb.

Dwelling home windows 10 Good day password-less login help is obtainable by a fingerprint reader embedded throughout the vitality button and an infrared camera for facial recognition. Every labored fully, logging me throughout the minute I pressed the power button if I went that route or immediately on waking up the laptop if I enabled facial recognition.

Dell doesn’t current any webcam privateness chance. That’s a shame on account of the attribute has develop to be an extraordinary on premium laptops.

Battery life

Close up on the Dell XPS 15 OLED's bezels and screen.Mark Coppock/Digital Tendencies

Dell knocked most battery functionality from 97 watt-hours proper right down to 86 watt-hours on the model new XPS 15 design, nonetheless usable battery life actually improved in some areas. In our web procuring check out, the XPS 15 managed over 9 hours, whereas the 2020 XPS 15 achieved merely seven hours on this check out, and it was equipped with a 4K IPS present. The Spectre x360 15, with its 4K OLED present and 82 watt-hours of battery, hit merely six hours. Positive, the XPS 15’s present isn’t pretty 4K, nonetheless it’s shut adequate that we shouldn’t rely on to see 50% further battery life. Throughout the video check out that loops a neighborhood Full HD Avengers trailer, the XPS 15 hit 11.15 hours. Many laptops exceed 14 hours on this check out, nonetheless they don’t have power-hungry high-resolution OLED exhibits. And the 2020 XPS 15 managed merely seven hours on the check out, making the model new mannequin’s outcomes significantly larger by comparability.

I moreover examined using the PCMark 10 Features battery benchmark, probably the greatest check out of typical productiveness battery life. The XPS 15 endured merely eight hours of this check out, decrease than I anticipated given the web procuring outcomes. We didn’t check out the 2020 XPS 15 with the benchmark, and the Spectre x360 15 bought right here in at 6.5 hours. We don’t have many various associated comparisons, that is, 15-inch laptops with H-series CPUs and OLED exhibits, nonetheless to get an idea of what’s attainable, the LG Gram 16 with a Core i7-1165G7 and WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600) IPS present lasted for a spectacular 17.8 hours throughout the check out. Throughout the PCMark 10 Gaming battery check out, which pushes the CPU and GPU, the XPS 15 made it to about 1.5 hours. That’s typical for the additional extremely efficient laptops we’ve examined and demonstrated that the XPS 15 retains up the tempo whereas on battery.

Complete, these outcomes are pretty good for a machine of the XPS 15’s caliber. It’s solely attainable to make it by an entire workday on a single value, not one factor I would have anticipated. Actually, you’ll should maintain your charger useful for many who’re doing one thing intensive, nonetheless for fundamental productiveness work, the XPS 15 is a surprisingly long-lasting laptop.

Our take

The Dell XPS 15 is among the finest 15-inch laptop you can purchase. Rather more than that, it’s among the many finest laptops accessible as we communicate, interval. It’s beautiful, evokes an instantaneous sense of top quality the minute you contact it, and performs terribly successfully. You’ll most certainly love the keyboard, you’ll undoubtedly love the touchpad, and the three.5K OLED present is superior.

You could complain regarding the worth for those who want, nonetheless that will probably be silly. Positive, the XPS 15 is costly, nonetheless Dell clearly put a ton of engineering into crafting this luxurious and extremely efficient laptop — and that’s undoubtedly definitely worth the money.

Are there any choices?

Frankly, there aren’t many 15-inch laptops that I would advocate as extreme choices. The HP Spectre x360 15 offers good effectivity and its private stunning OLED present for those who want the pliability of a convertible 2-in-1, and it’s cheaper. So there’s one chance.

You could soar as a lot because the XPS 17 and get even larger effectivity, the similar assemble prime quality, and a present that — whereas not OLED — provides superb colors, brightness, and distinction. It, too, is costly, so maintain that in ideas when choosing.

In the event you occur to truly want to keep away from losing money, you would possibly moreover ponder the HP Envy 15. It’s moreover fast and offers a superb faster GPU, along with an AMOLED present that’s merely just about nearly as good as Dell’s OLED mannequin.

How prolonged will it closing?

Endlessly. No, severely, the XPS 15 will closing you as long as you’ll want to use it, with a assemble which will stand as much as abuse and a configuration that may maintain Dwelling home windows 10 buzzing alongside for years. You may even enhance the RAM to 64GB for many who uncover the configured 16GB in our review unit too little and add a second SSD to develop storage.

The one-year assure is disappointing for such an expensive laptop, nonetheless on the very least it provides on-site service.

Should you buy it?

Positive. In the event you occur to’re looking out for a 15-inch laptop that’s as beautiful because it’s extremely efficient, look no further.

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