Dell XPS 15 (2019) assessment: The highest video-editing laptop computer
“The brand new Dell XPS 15 takes efficiency to a brand new degree.”
Glorious efficiency with Core i9
Attractive, color-accurate OLED show
Webcam placement has been fastened
Handy port choice
Glorious keyboard and touchpad
Restricted gaming efficiency
Individuals must work on the go, however laptops aren’t all the time well-equipped to deal with it. Probably the most highly effective choices are sometimes too cumbersome, whereas moveable choices don’t have the brute power wanted for some duties. It’s a basic laptop computer compromise that patrons nonetheless face.
The Dell XPS 15, now in it its fourth era, may lastly make that compromise out of date. The 2019 mannequin might be optioned with probably the most superior you’ll be able to think about on a laptop computer. A 4K OLED display screen, an eight-core Core i9 processor, and a GTX 1650 discrete graphics chip. Is that this the final word laptop computer for content material creators?
No, no — look nearer
The XPS 15 is modest. Its aluminum lid and base seem widespread, and the smooth inside plastic is a business-casual degree of inoffensive. However excellence isn’t concerning the supplies an organization makes use of. It’s about how these supplies type an pleasant expertise for the particular person utilizing it. The XPS 15 makes a critical dedication to construct high quality and executes that dedication nicely.
Regardless of that, it doesn’t really feel heavy or unwieldy. The XPS 15 undoubtedly seems to be bigger than it feels. At four.2 kilos, it’s zero.2 kilos lighter than the MacBook Professional 15. You’ll really feel the dimensions and weight in your bag, nevertheless it’s nonetheless fairly trim in comparison with giant gaming laptops or workstation PCs. I had no downside sliding it into the laptop computer pocket of my medium-sized backpack.
The show bezel is, as earlier than, slim. The unique XPS 15 launched with insanely skinny bezels, and Dell has managed to maintain these bezels with out compromising the location of the webcam. Now not a nose-cam, it’s squeezed into the tiny border above the display screen.
The XPS 15 carries over its predecessor’s wonderful keyboard and touchpad.
I can solely complain concerning the stiff show hinge. It requires two arms to open and feels reluctant to unfold. It’s a disgrace the “variable torque” hinge from the 2019 XPS 13 didn’t make it over to the XPS 15.
Additionally lacking from the XPS 15 are its little brother’s coloration choices. A “rose gold” XPS 13 was launched in 2018, and a “frost white” mannequin got here this yr. Each provide a white, textured inside that I loved as a substitute for the same old silver and black. Extra selection could be appreciated.
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In contrast to the MacBook Professional, the XPS 15 options all kinds of ports. It features a USB-A port, HDMI, USB-C (Thunderbolt three), a barrel plug, and a headphone jack. On the fitting is on extra USB-A port and, in fact, an SD card slot. That’s a function photographers and videographers will love, and sorely missed on fashionable MacBooks.
Quick, fluid, and acquainted typing
The XPS 15 carries over its predecessor’s wonderful keyboard and touchpad. The carbon-fiber texture inside is snug, and the palmrests doesn’t warmth up, in contrast to the Razer Blade. Dell additionally beats Razer on keyboard structure. Whereas the Blade makes odd choices across the arrow keys, the XPS 15 is typical. The important thing really feel isn’t particular, however simply beats a low-travel keyboard like on the MacBook Professional 15 or XPS 15 2-in-1. Typing is quick, fluid, and acquainted.
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The touchpad can be unbelievable, providing a strong, slick mechanism and exact monitoring. I wouldn’t thoughts it being bigger, however there’s loads of house, and Home windows Precision allow quite a few multi-touch gestures.
Home windows Good day is supported by way of the fingerprint scanner, which is constructed into the ability button. It’s dependable and conveniently positioned. I a lot want it over scanners constructed into the touchpad, which is widespread with rivals.
OLED? Extra like ‘Oh, wow’
This yr’s XPS 15 improve focuses on OLED. Whereas a 1080p LED display screen stays normal, our assessment unit got here with one thing particular. An OLED 4K panel. This is identical AMOLED display screen from Samsung that’d getting used throughout many OLED laptops, although Dell has clearly tuned it for optimum coloration accuracy.
Dell’s 4K are all the time stunning, however this OLED display screen takes it to a brand new degree. Although shiny, its brilliance means I not often needed to stare at my reflection. That’s an issue on different OLED laptops, just like the Razer Blade.
As widespread with OLED, the display screen has dazzling distinction. With infinitely deep black ranges, every part from net looking to HDR video seems to be unbelievable. That additionally makes a distinction in content material creation.
The show is a bit hotter than the MacBook Professional’s display screen, however in the long run, it’s a display screen you’ll be able to belief together with your edits. That’s some of the necessary issues for a photographer or video editor on the go.
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I do want the audio system confronted upwards as an alternative of downwards. There’s room alongside the keyboard, and that will assist enhance the laptop computer’s mediocre audio. That’s one place the Razer Blade and MacBook Professional 15 can simply beat Dell’s XPS 15.
A laptop computer worthy of its eight cores
I’ve all the time identified the Intel’s eight-core, Core i9 chip is a formidable cellular half, however I didn’t understand my earlier expertise with it wasn’t the chip’s full potential. Dell’s XPS 15 lets the Core i9 reside its finest life. Backed by 32GB of RAM and a very good thermal profile, the processor blew previous my expectations.
The leap isn’t as clear in artificial benchmarks, although. In Geekbench four, the XPS 15 was neck-and-neck with the MacBook Professional 15, which makes use of the identical Core i9-9980HK processor. Its four% lead in single-core efficiency, nevertheless, widens considerably in real-life checks.
The primary efficiency take a look at I attempted was video encoding in Handbrake. I transcoded a 420MB 4K file to x265, and watched the XPS 15 full the duty 15% sooner than the MacBook Professional. The truth is, it set a document within the benchmark (except for the Alienware Space-51M, which weighs eight.5 kilos and makes use of a desktop processor).
Nonetheless, I wasn’t glad. I wished to understand how the XPS 15 handles actual video modifying. Because it seems, that’s the place the XPS 15 actually shines. I pulled up a two-minute 4K video clip in Premiere Professional and, with the assistance of the Digital Traits video crew, went to work.
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The clip exported to ProRes 422 in an astounding four minutes and 55 seconds. That very same export took 10 and a half minutes on the MacBook Professional, and 9 and a half on the Razer Blade. The MacBook would undoubtedly carry out higher in Last Reduce, however contemplating how ubiquitous Premiere has grow to be, I believe it is a honest comparability. The XPS 15 is the video-editing king.
The Core i9 OLED mannequin additionally got here with a speedy storage answer: The Toshiba XG6. Its learn pace was quick at a median of 1,450 MB/s. Its write speeds weren’t as quick as some rivals at 456 MB/s, however that’s not one thing I observed in each day utilization. The SSD and RAM might be swapped out or upgraded.
Gaming? Positive, I assume
The Dell XPS 15 just isn’t a gaming laptop computer. It’s an necessary assertion which may require some repeating. It has an honest discrete GPU in Nvidia’s GTX 1650, and it’s actually an improve over final yr’s GTX 1050 Ti. But it’s nonetheless not quick sufficient to fulfill demanding players.
Let’s begin with 3DMark. The XPS 15 is a strong improve over the GTX 1050 Ti, represented in our comparability by the HP Spectre x360 15. Nevertheless, it doesn’t come near the Razer Blade. That laptop computer’s Nvidia RTX 2070 is a strong 37% sooner in Time Spy, a lead that solely grows in actual gaming.
I examined the XPS 15 in 4 video games: Fortnite, Civilization VI, Battlefield V, and Murderer’s Creed Odyssey. These video games play nicely at Medium settings and 1080p. You gained’t see 60 FPS in each recreation, however lighter fare like Fortnite cruises alongside even at Epic settings. Nonetheless, in comparison with a gaming laptop computer just like the Razer Blade, it will possibly’t sustain.
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The XPS 15 carried out finest in Civilization VI, the place it was 45% sooner than the HP Spectre x360 15 and 32% slower than the Razer Blade. Posting 53 FPS at Extremely (in 1080p), Civilization VI felt easy.
You shouldn’t anticipate to play on the display screen’s native 4K decision. OLED makes all video games pop up somewhat extra, however you’ll want a extra highly effective GPU to energy video games at 4K.
The Dell XPS 15’s thermal profile favors quiet operation and funky floor temperatures. The XPS 15 stays cool no matter what it’s doing, even when that comes on the expense of efficiency.
Good battery life for a 4K laptop computer
Previous XPS 15 fashions did nicely in our battery checks, particularly the 1080p LED mannequin. Once I reviewed it final yr, it lasted over 14 and a half hours in native video playback. The brand new 4K OLED mannequin doesn’t final that lengthy, however nonetheless posts respectable outcomes.
The XPS 15 lasted round 7 and a half hours in gentle net looking, and round an hour extra in native video playback. That’s an hour worse than the HP Spectre x360 15, which additionally makes use of a 4K display screen. It’s additionally a bit behind the MacBook Professional 15.
In the event you’re modifying video or operating any heavy utility, you’re nearer to 2 hours, simulated by our Basemark benchmark.
All in all, it gained’t final you a full workday away from the wall, however its posts robust outcomes contemplating its high-resolution display screen and quick Core i9 processor. Need most endurance? Search for the mid-range mannequin that has a 1080p display screen. The entry-level mannequin may do nicely due to its much less demanding , however be warned; it additionally has a smaller battery.
The brand new Dell XPS 15 with Core i9 processor is the perfect video-editing laptop computer I’ve ever examined. It’s not even shut. The mix of a ravishing OLED display screen and eight cores of processing energy make it a delight for content material creators. Many laptops declare to deal with creators however fall quick. Dell has delivered on its promise.
Is there a greater various?
Just a few laptops have Intel’s cellular Core i9. Apple’s MacBook Professional 15 is amongst them. Whereas highly effective, the dimensions and thermal restraints of Apple’s design restrict its capabilities as a content material creation machine. For the same top-end configuration, you’ll an additional $1,000 Apple’s MacBook in comparison with the XPS 15.
Another choice is the ZenBook Professional Duo, a novel two-screen laptop computer that additionally contains the highly effective Core i9 chip. We haven’t examined it but, however at practically an inch thick and nearly 5 kilos, it’s much less moveable than the XPS 15.
The Razer Blade is clearly higher for players. It doesn’t provide the Core i9, nevertheless, which places it behind the quickest rivals in processor efficiency.
How lengthy will it final?
The XPS 15 is a sturdy, future-proofed laptop computer. It’s insanely highly effective with its up to date elements, and the RAM and SSD may even be swapped out. This laptop computer is prone to final 5 years or extra.
Do you have to purchase it?
Sure. In the event you’re searching for a 15-inch laptop computer, you gained’t discover a higher possibility than the XPS 15. The extra reasonably priced configurations provide a steadiness of worth and efficiency. In the event you’re a content material creator, although, this OLED Core i9 mannequin is the supercharged machine you’ve been ready for.