Conclusion: With its brilliant screen and serious components, the luxury-minded Dell XPS 15 (9530) is Dell's showcase PC meant to go up against high-end laptop offerings. Unfortunately, its price and battery life keep it from taking the top spot.
Conclusion: Dell’s XPS 15 is a valiant attempt to compete with the best premium notebooks but, ultimately, it falls a bit short. The blame for this lies with the display, which pads the price but doesn’t add much to the user experience. Is it sharp? Certainly. But poor black levels sap contrast and ultimately sour the overall package.
Pros: Attractive and durable exterior, Very thin and light for a 15.6” laptop, Four USB 3.0 ports, Bright 3200 x 1800 display, Quick, well-rounded performance
Cons: Expensive, Display lacks contrast, Loud fan at load
Conclusion: The Dell XPS 15 is a well-rounded mainstream multimedia machine that will give you plenty of power while still being portable enough to carry around if needed. The design is attractive enough, and the machine is comfortable to use. We’re fans of the beautiful HD display; though it lacks a touchscreen, it doesn’t make Windows 8 any harder than necessary.
Pros: Attractive and comfortable design, Good touchpad, Beautiful full HD display, Robust performance
Cons: No dedicated number pad, Speaker placement diminishes audio quality, Gets noticeably warm
Conclusion: The Dell XPS 15 is a good looking machine that looks expensive, and frankly is expensive when loaded with a Core i7 and decent dedicated graphics. It's designed to look good in the boardroom and deliver more than ample performance for everyday tasks. The full HD 1080p IPS display is a lovely though the gloss can be distracting (the same can be said for most glossy screen laptops). What holds the Dell XPS 15 back?
Pros: Great looks and build quality, slim. Lovely full HD display.
Cons: Thermal mangement and heat issues throttle power and can stymie performance.
Summary: The $1,699 Dell XPS 15 offers an impressive combination of beauty and power. The full HD screen is bright with eye-popping color, and the speakers are capable of delivering robust sound. We also love the luxurious soft-touch deck and appreciate the well-designed touchpad. We just wish the keyboard felt a little snappier and that the webcam were sharper.
Pros: Sleek design with soft touch finish, Colorful and bright full HD screen, Solid performance and graphics, Good audio
Summary: If you're looking for a reasonably priced all-purpose notebook that's great for multimedia and good enough for real gaming, the Dell XPS 15 is one of your best options. The sound quality alone really sets this laptop apart, as does the HD webcam (though we wish it performed better in low light).
Pros: Strong performance, Best-in-class audio, USB 3.0 ports, First Skype HD certified webcam in notebook, Customizable keyboard backlight, Can play 3D content on compatible TVs
Cons: Bulky design, Webcam has trouble in low light, Short battery life with default battery, Runs a bit warm
Conclusion: Among premium desktop replacement laptops, the Dell XPS 15 is an above average contender, with top hardware and solid performance. Unfortunately – especially with such a strong physical resemblance to the MacBook Pro – it can't match Apple's Retina display, Thunderbolt connection, and top-tier operating system. Then again, it doesn’t cost nearly as much as Apple’s offering, and Dell’s notebook boasts an impressive level of performance for the money.
Pros: Fast performer thanks to Ivy Bridge CPU, Decent gaming prowess via the GT 640M, Impressive battery life, Premium chassis design elements
Cons: Does look pretty Apple-ish, No SSD cache on top-end model