Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

Content

  1. TECH SPECS
  2. Positioning
  3. Appearance
  4. Screen, webcam and sound
  5. Keyboard and Touchpad
  6. Performance
  7. Battery life
  8. Conclusion

TECH SPECS

  • Processor: 7th Gen Intel® Core ™ i10750-12H, 5MB Cache, up to 6GHz, 12 Cores, 5 Threads (i9 to iXNUMX options available)
  • Graphics: Intel (R) UHD Graphics (1GB) + Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti 4GB GDDR6 memory
  • Memory: 16128MB Dual Channel DDR4 SDRAM 2933MHz (2 SO-DIMMs)
  • Storage: 3TB PCIe 4 x1 SSD, 953GB Actual (2TB maximum)
  • Screen: 15.6-inch InfinityEdge, Full HD + (1920 x 1200), 500 nits, 100% sRGB (minimum), 1650: 1 contrast ratio, anti-glare, Dolby Vision, 178 ° wide viewing angle (+ / -89 ° / 89 ° / 89 ° / 89 °), Eyesafe technology (about the screen, see the paragraph in the review)
  • OS: Windows 10 Pro (or Home)
  • Connectivity: Killer ™ Wi-Fi 6 AX1650 (2×2) on Intel + Bluetooth 5 Chipset
  • Battery: 86 W * h, power adapter 130 W weighing 480 grams with a cord (there are options with a battery 56 W * h)
  • Audio: 4-speaker design: 2 Woofer 2.5W and 2 Tweeter 1.5W = 8W total maximum output power
  • Webcam: Windows Hello, 720p @ 30fps HD camera, dual array microphones
  • Keyboard: full-size, backlit, dedicated fingerprint button, 79 keys
  • Touchpad: oversized, supports gestures, 15 x 9 cm
  • Ports:
    • 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports with Power Delivery and DisplayPort
    • 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C with Power Delivery and DisplayPort
    • 1 full size SD card reader 6.0
    • 1 x 3,5mm headphone / microphone combo
    • 1 Wedge-Shaped Lock Slot
    • 1 x USB Type-C / USB Type-A 3.0 to HDMI 2.0 adapter
  • Dimensions: 344.72 x 230.14 x 18 mm, weight 2.05 kg (the model with a 56 W * h battery weighs from 1.83 kg, the exact weight also depends on the size of the drives)
  • Materials: CNC milled brushed aluminum in Platinum Silver and black carbon fiber composite base plate
  • Price: fair price from 150 rubles

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

Positioning

If a person was created simply in the image and likeness, then on a laptop that the Almighty could call the crown of creation, He spent a lot of time and effort, along the way creating MacBooks, which were destined to own a tiny allotment of macOS. However, in order to own the Windows empire, an ultimatum solution was required, combining earthly and unearthly technologies and possessing such beauty that even the most harsh husbands began to tremble treacherously. This is how the Dell XPS 15 9500 came to be.

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

The Dell XPS 15 9500 is Dell’s most sophisticated notebook, combining unmistakable style with performance. The positioning of a laptop cannot be limited by saying that it is made for top managers or designers who work with color. It’s simply the best portable Windows laptop on the market. It is suitable for anyone looking for a high-performance solution with excellent battery life (up to 17 hours) and sleek design.

The case materials, screen, components, keyboard, touchpad – everything in the Dell XPS 15 is designed to give the user the maximum level of comfort for productive work and enjoyable entertainment.

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

Appearance

  • Left-hand side: 2x Thunderbolt 3 with Power Delivery and DisplayPort
  • Right side: USB 3.1 Type-C with Power Delivery and DisplayPort, SD card slot, 3.5 mm jack
  • Other: 1 x USB Type-C / USB Type-A 3.0 and HDMI 2.0 conversion adapter
  • Materials: brushed aluminum and black composite carbon fiber base plate

For once, I want to start not with a description of the laptop, but with a box, moreover an external one, the purpose of which is to directly protect the packaging of the Dell XPS 15 9500. Dell tried to make the user experience positive vibrations from the very beginning: pull the side flaps, and The matte black laptop case tilts up slightly for easy access. Note: The video below shows the packaging from the Dell XPS 13, as it was easier to remove.

Dell says all packaging materials are environmentally friendly and recyclable. Frankly speaking, the statement is encouraging. It is clear that this is a drop in the ocean, but the rapid pollution of the planet is frightening. And we have few options: either to dirty less, or to help Elon Musk in order to have other planets in stock that can be littered.

The appearance of the laptop cheers up. Slim body made of aluminum, minimal decorative elements, perfectly fit ports, and the inner surface is made of tactilely pleasant carbon fiber.

Dell updated the design slightly this year. Visually, the laptop has become even thinner and more elegant. Well, the first thing that the user notices is a huge touchpad measuring 15 by 9 cm, but let’s go in order!

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

Brushed aluminum for anti-fingerprints. Dell logo is glossy, but due to its small size it is difficult to smudge it, so the laptop will not look untidy

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

Loudspeakers on the sides, XPS inscription in the center of the lid. Some unconscious elements may say: “Fi, this is not a unibody!” In response, you can safely lexically reduplicate! Dell laptops are always designed with simplicity to make the laptop easy to disassemble, repair or upgrade. Most manufacturers, creating models like the XPS, are engaged in the fact that they solder all the elements that are possible to make life as difficult for everyone as possible. Dell is true to its principles. There is a manual on the site, after reading which, in no time, you can independently replace the RAM, storage, battery, fans, speakers, and anything at all!

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

2 Thunderbolt 3 ports with Power Delivery and DisplayPort technology, and 1 wedge lock slot, because everyone wants to steal this beauty!

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

The ports fit perfectly into the case, so they won’t loosen even after years

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

USB 3.1 Type-C with Power Delivery and DisplayPort, 3.5mm jack and SD card slot. The perfect solution for photographers!

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

An unexpected but cool solution is to place a port for a full SD card

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

Only the most necessary and up-to-date ports are located on the laptop case, but Dell understands that the user may need outdated solutions, so the kit includes an adapter with HDMI 2.0 and USB Type-A. Some manufacturer could send their customers to buy an adapter for unpleasant money, and Dell just puts it in the kit

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

The tail of the adapter is neatly bent

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

The only thing to find fault with is the wire material. It clings to dust

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

In general, a nice compact thing. The main thing is not to lose, because in retail such an adapter is sold for about 4 thousand rubles.

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

Maximum opening level of the lid. Ideal for classic laptop. However, there is a touchscreen option. Perhaps Dell should have gone for broke and allowed the laptop to be folded into a tablet?

Of course, the laptop opens with one hand and instantly wakes up from sleep mode

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

The Dell XPS 15 9500 has super-thin bezels, not only on the sides, but also from the top and bottom, I can’t even believe that they were able to accommodate the Windows Hello IR camera. The inner surface is made of carbon fiber, and the speakers on the sides of the keyboard

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

Unlike aluminum, handprints remain on carbon fiber. An example of prints is in the photo. The camera does not catch them well, but it is clearly visible to the eye

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

Rear view

Summing up the look of the laptop, we can say that the Dell XPS 15 9500 has one of the most sophisticated designs on the market. The perfect combination of weight, port selection and location, and materials.

Screen, webcam and sound

The laptop has two screen options to choose from:

  1. 15.6 ” 4K Ultra HD + (3840 x 2400) InfinityEdge Touch Display, HDR 400, 500 nits brightness, up to 100% Adobe RGB + 94% DCI-P3 color gamut, 1600: 1 contrast ratio, light reflectivity and smudge resistant
  2. 15.6 ” Full HD + (1920 x 1200) InfinityEdge display, 500 nits brightness, 100% sRGB gamut (minimum), 1650: 1 contrast ratio, anti-glare
  3. All panels – Dolby Vision, 178 ° wide viewing angle (+/- 89 ° / 89 ° / 89 ° / 89 °), Eyesafe technology
  4. Touchscreen options available (4K only)

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

If you’re wondering how it can be 100% Adobe RGB and 94% DCI-P3, then take a look at the color triangles below.

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

Which screen to choose depends on the purpose for which the laptop is being bought. If for working with photos and design, then, of course, you need to take the 4K version with 100% Adobe RGB. Although if you plan to work only at home, then a 100% sRGB + external monitor is also suitable.

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

They brought me a Full HD + version without a touch screen for the test. By the way, please note that both screens have a non-standard resolution. For example, not 1920 x 1080, but 1920 x 1200 pixels. Because a first-class product should have a little more!

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

The Dell XPS 15’s screen is great. Firstly, the manufacturer claims a brightness of 500 nits, but in fact it is higher. My sample glowed at 545 nits. I looked in other reviews, and wherever the authors had the opportunity to take measurements, the brightness is higher than the declared one. Dell did not stint and installed the highest quality panels. Secondly, you can’t find fault with the declared 100% sRGB. This is exactly how it is. It’s a pity we didn’t get a 4K version. It’s still rare to touch laptops with 100% Adobe RGB coverage. Thirdly, since this is an IPS matrix, there is no PWM, that is, the screen does not flicker when the brightness decreases.

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

The laptop has very thin, dark bezels. If there is a dim light in the room, then it begins to seem that they simply do not exist.

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

The screen is matte, anti-reflective. Perfect picture in any conditions. You can take to the park in the summer and work in the sun. Reflection coefficient – 0.65%

Interestingly, the laptop comes with proprietary Dell Cinema Color and Dell PremierColor utilities. The first will help you choose the optimal color reproduction for work in the evening or when watching a movie or gaming. And the second one allows you to calibrate the screen, but this requires the X-Rite I 1 Display Pro. This calibrator costs about 19 thousand. The price is unpleasant, but there is a bonus. It is easy to find it for rent for 500 rubles a day or about 3 thousand a week. So the presence of this proprietary program is a plus. The main thing is to rent a calibrator.

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

720p camera, surprisingly passable result

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

Camera and two microphones

The 720p camera produces a surprisingly tolerable result. Below are two frames: Windows has an HDR option. HDR is one where contrast and chroma are twisted.

It’s nice that the Dell XPS 15 9500 has an IR camera with Windows Hello. Recognizes quickly and accurately.

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

Dell has redesigned the sound in the laptop. There are 4 speakers: 2 low-frequency 2.5 W and 2 high-frequency 1.5 W = total maximum output power of 8 W. Describing sound quality is a tricky task, so I’ll send you to listen on your own. Quite objectively, I can only say that the Dell XPS 15 9500 is perhaps the loudest laptop in recent memory. And you can also praise the location of the speakers on the sides of the keyboard. Consequently, the laptop does not get quieter when placed on a soft surface. Subjectively, I really liked the sound. It’s great for classical music as well as playing Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

Keyboard and Touchpad

The Dell XPS 15 9500 has a 79-key full-size keyboard. Interestingly, the British version of the laptop has 80 keys, while the Japanese version has 83. There are speakers on the sides of the keyboard.

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

You can’t say much about the keyboard, since it is almost perfect in terms of typing: fingers fly, do not get tired and without typos. There are several levels of backlighting.

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

Probably, you can only find fault with the paired arrow keys.

And in the upper right corner, the black key is the fingerprint scanner. It works well, but, to be honest, I almost never used it, since Windows Hello face recognition is much more convenient and simpler.

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

Dell is clearly on the right track. The laptop has a huge touchpad. It is, of course, accurate and supports gestures. It’s a pleasure to use. Hopefully other manufacturers will take a look at Dell and take a lead.

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

Performance

Performance The Dell XPS 15 9500 is ideal for a laptop that is powerful and compact, but with a long battery life. Judge for yourself, on such a laptop you can safely work in office applications all day without an outlet, and then, by connecting to a 130 W adapter, you can enjoy playing modern games at good settings and with a high frame rate.

There are no questions about Dell’s performance, since this model is, in fact, the flagship for Dell, so here the company’s engineers were simply obliged to squeeze out the maximum and give the user a stable and comfortable work.

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

The laptop has top speed SSD.

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

The laptop passes stress tests well. By the way, a stress test is almost the only opportunity to see how the processor is overclocked to its maximum values. My copy managed to knock out 4.1 GHz, after which the frequency dropped to 3.5 GHz. At the maximum frequency, the CPU temperature was 99 degrees, and at 3.5 GHz – 90 degrees. Accordingly, you can expect that under real load the CPU temperature will never go over 90 degrees. In fact, for example, when converting video, the temperature was 80-85 degrees. Graphics above 70 degrees never got hot.

The laptop has an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti 4GB card. This is what limits the performance of the laptop. An excellent choice of card, as the laptop is suitable for working with graphics, while it will allow the owner to play modern games at normal settings.

  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, high settings – 43 FPS, highest – 26 FPS
  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, medium settings – 43 FPS (there is no point in setting others, since the game then lacks video memory + FPS will fall in battle scenes)
  • Metro Exodus, high settings – 32 FPS
  • The Witcher 3, highest – 35 FPS, highest – 60 FPS
Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

Once again, I would like to note the extremely wide upgrade opportunities, absolutely uncharacteristic for this class of devices. Take laptops from other manufacturers, and everything will be soldered-soldered up and down, so that the user does not even have the thought of poking into the computer. Dell is simple. On the official website there is a manual, armed with which, you can at least change the memory or drives, at least rebuild the battery or keyboard.

One subtle point. Depending on the initial amount of memory, the laptop can come with one or two connectors for SSD. In general, there is a lot of information on the net. People are actively experimenting, rearranging SSD and RAM.

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

For all its perfection, the Dell XPS 15 is similar to a Kalashnikov assault rifle – you can hold assembly-disassembly competitions with your eyes closed!

Battery life

The laptop comes with a 130W adapter. Instead with a wire, it weighs 480 grams. I’m a little disappointed with the size of the adapter. I mean, he’s ordinary. For example, the HP ZBook Fury 17 G7 was supplied with a 150 W power supply that weighed 460 grams. So Dell could try and keep within 400 grams, for example. On the other hand, overall, everything is good. The total curb weight (laptop + adapter) is 2.5 kg, which is quite adequate.

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

What’s unusual is the connector. Although the unit is 130 W, Dell uses USB Type-C for charging (plug into any Thunderbolt 3). In theory, non-original weaker adapters can be used for recharging. I say “in theory”, since I only got one 65W mobile charger. After googling the question, I came to the conclusion that we also need a high-quality wire that can hold the original 130 W charging. If the Dell XPS 15 does not “see” such a wire, it will not charge.

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

The laptop has a great battery life. Under maximum load 2.5-3 hours, but in the mode of an office typewriter, the laptop quietly gives out 12 hours of work. In video mode, you can also count on a similar time. It also depends on the brightness of the screen. 500 nits is much higher than the average brightness of regular laptops, which is usually in the 270-330 nits range. So at maximum screen brightness when refreshing pages over Wi-Fi, you can easily discharge your laptop in 7.5 – 8 hours. The charging time is less than 2.5 hours.

There are a number of things worth noting about these laptops. Firstly, the figures given are correct for a model with a Full HD screen. A 4K screen is roughly minus 30% battery life. If the screen is touch-sensitive, then you need to cut it off a little more. Secondly, the laptop is available in different trim levels, and there are models with a 56W * h battery. How this battery behaves, I do not know. However, there is a bonus. In the case, the size for the battery is standard, so if you happen to have a low-capacity laptop, armed with a screwdriver, you can replace the battery yourself.

Along the way, by tradition, I recommend not to forget that Dell has a proprietary application for battery health. When the laptop has been running on the power adapter for a long time, you can select in the settings so that the laptop is charged only 50% (you can set the percentage yourself). This is a good topic, since in order to get the most out of the laptop, it must be connected to power, because, as tests show, it “eats” all the 130 watts it is supposed to under load.

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

Conclusion

Dell XPS 15 9500 is a premium laptop that will delight its wealthy owner. In my opinion, the laptop is designed to satisfy all the “wants” of a modern user: compact and lightweight, and with excellent battery life, and a superscreen with a huge color gamut, and plenty of power for both work and play. Separately, I am glad that there is no heap of adware in the laptop. But there are many proprietary Dell applications. By the way, don’t be lazy, study everything useful. Although, perhaps, Dell should have created some kind of unified program, but now there is what an armada of everything.

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

With competitors, everything is both simple and difficult at the same time. For example, in terms of hardware and screen quality, you can take Acer ConceptD, but in terms of mobility it will obviously lose.

Another option is Lenovo Yoga Slim 7. There is both hardware and a screen, but there is not enough premium. However, the laptop is good, pay attention to it.

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

Of course, you should pay attention to the solutions from ASUS. For example, the ZenBook Pro Duo UX581GV with two screens.

Dell XPS 15 9500 review: the ideal laptop for 2020

Owners of Dell XPS 15 9500, share your emotions and impressions of the laptop in the comments.

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