Dell XPS 15 (2020) – The best all-round laptop of the moment

The Dell XPS line has been one of the better high-end laptop series for years, but had hardly changed besides the annual hardware upgrades. Until Dell came up with a serious makeover this year that pushes the excellent laptop one step further. Here you can read the Dell XPS 15 (2020) review.

Dell XPS 15

Price € 2575,-

Processor Intel Core i7 10750H

video card Nvidia GTX 1650 Ti

Memory 32GB DDR4

Screen 14 15.6-inch 3840x2400 touchscreen

Storage 1TB NVMe SSD

Weight 2.05kg

Connections 3x USB-C (2x Thunderbolt 3), 3.5mm headset and an SD card reader

9 Score 90

  • Pros
  • Build quality
  • Display
  • Sound quality
  • Performance
  • Negatives
  • Price
  • Only usb-c

We got a pretty neatly decorated version from Dell with a 1TB NVMe SSD, 32 GB DDR4 and a smooth Intel i7. To display the pictures, the laptop is equipped with an Nvidia GTX 1650 Ti and a beautiful 4K+ touchscreen. The price is a bit of a shock, because a thick 2500 euros is quite hefty for this hardware.

design

As mentioned, the XPS series has not only received a hardware upgrade this year, but the appearance has also been given a facelift. Although Dell still uses a nice combination of carbon fiber and aluminum, the look is just a bit more modern this year. The aluminum parts are no longer simple plates, but now form the basis of the laptop. When the laptop is closed, you don't see any of the carbon fiber anymore and it looks like you're holding a beautifully milled block of aluminum in your hands.

On the inside we find the carbon fiber material that Dell has used for their XPS laptops for years. This material keeps the laptop light (2.05 kg), but still provides a premium look and is very durable. In addition, it insulates your hands from the heat produced by the processor and video card. Unfortunately, after a few weeks you can already see clear greasy spots, but luckily you can wipe that off in no time.

On the inside we also find the renewed keyboard and touchpad. The keyboard has been given a different mechanism since this year, which means that the XPS 15 can once again compete with the best laptop keyboards on the market. Due to the lack of space, there is of course not as much 'travel' as with a traditional keyboard, but copywriters like us are very happy with this laptop. Unfortunately, the speakers (more on that later) leave no room for a numpad, so anyone who works with numbers a lot will need a separate keyboard.

The touchpad has gotten even bigger this year and while many are very happy with it, it can also get in the way. There is not much room left for your palms to rest while typing and you click the wrong mouse button more often. The response to your fingers is still excellent and multitouch gestures also work flawlessly.

Dell has clearly listened carefully to user feedback on the previous models, resulting in possibly the best laptop case to date. Yet there is one point that we simply cannot ignore: the connections. The new XPS 15 only has three USB-c ports (two with Thunderbolt 3), a 3.5mm headset port and an SD card reader. Although USB-C is indeed the future, there are still too many devices that do not use it. Whether it's a mouse, USB stick, printer, television or monitor, chances are you need a dongle. Dell does supply a usb-c to hdmi and usb-a dongle, but it is frustrating to have to grab it every time. This will remain the case for years to come, because although monitors increasingly support USB-C, this does not apply to new televisions, beamers and mice. Most new products still require an HDMI or USB-A port. A lack of space is no excuse with the XPS 15, because usb-a and hdmi would have simply fit.

Amazing sound

We usually don't discuss sound quality with laptops because the conclusion is almost always the same: tinny sound without bass and a lot of distortion at volumes higher than 50%. However, the Dell XPS 15 does so much better that it deserves its own cup. The sound can of course still not be compared with good headphones or an expensive speaker set, but we have rarely come across such powerful speakers in a laptop. We don't speak of a pounding bass with the XPS 15 yet, but the volume goes surprisingly high without distortions. It is enough to provide a living room full of guests with music, as soon as you can receive it at home again. The quality is also excellent with a very pleasant sound and no annoying resonances in the housing. For watching movies, it is also nice to know that the stereo reproduction is very clear, but then you have to sit right in front of the laptop.

Image quality

The Dell XPS has a 15.6-inch panel that is available in two flavors: UHD with touchscreen and 1080p without touchscreen. We tested the UHD model and the results are clear: this is a stunning panel. The first impression when you open the laptop is immediately good. The screen is surrounded on all four sides by a very narrow bezel and the 16:10 ratio provides just that little bit more usable surface. The contrast of 1623:1 also provides a wonderful image to look at.

Those involved in color editing or other color sensitive work will also be delighted with the support for 99% of the Adobe RGB color gamut and 93% DCI-P3 color gamut. That, together with a low deltaE of up to 1.8, makes this the ideal laptop for photographers. That applies even if you work in the sun, because a brightness of 478 nits is well above average.

Performance

While the looks are all beautiful, that doesn't guarantee a powerful laptop. Fortunately, with a tenth-generation Intel Core i7 processor and an Nvidia GTX 1650Ti you will come a long way, but don't expect a calculation monster for large compute and rendering tasks. The model we tested is equipped with 32 GB of RAM, so multitasking and hundreds of Chrome tabs will not be a problem.

The XPS 15 achieved very decent scores in our benchmarks, with both the processor and video card reaching their boost clocks. So there seems to be enough cooling and power supply to keep the two chips in check. The laptop shows that it is able to quickly complete calculation tasks, making it a luxury option for those who work with a lot of data or edit photos. In addition, the laptop is also suitable for light gaming, but then the resolution must be reduced to 1080p.

Benchmark

Result

3DMark Time Spy

PCMark 10

Blender bmw27 (GPU - CUDA)

Blender bmw27 (CPU)

Cinebench R20

3572

4994

2m33s

6m8s

2782

In daily use, however, a large part of the speed of a laptop is not only determined by the processor and memory, but also by the SSD. In the case of the Dell XPS 15, we have a 1TB NVMe SSD that shows very excellent results in CrystalDiskMark. Programs start in the blink of an eye and huge files don't just cause delays.

It is striking that the fans in the laptop had to run quite a lot during all these benchmarks, but the sound pressure always remained at a very civilized level. Despite the thin dimensions and luxurious housing, Dell has managed to install adequate cooling. In addition, there was no coil whine in our test sample, a phenomenon that its predecessors regularly suffered from.

Conclusion

It took a while, but the Dell XPS 15 has finally received a worthy update. It is a pity to see that the USB-A and HDMI ports have had to give way, but otherwise the laptop knows how to excel in almost all areas. Especially the build quality, the sound and the display belong to the absolute top. The price is also there, because for the basic model you already pay 1699 euros, which can go up to 3609 euros for the most luxurious copy.

Recent Posts