The XPS 15’s 3.5K OLED display remains a knockout, with excellent color reproduction, black levels and all of the bonuses you’d expect. Still, I’d love to see Dell push this display further, especially after both Apple and Microsoft squeezed high refresh rate screens in competing notebooks. Having that extra bit of smoothness while scrolling through websites (and taking on the occasional enemy Spartan in Halo Infinite) would make the already great XPS 15 experience even better. (Not to mention more future-proof.)
Everything else we loved about the XPS 15 last year remains intact. The keyboard feels comfortable and responsive, the trackpad is luxuriously smooth and large, and the quad-speaker system sounds great. The XPS 15 also has most of the ports you’d need to get some serious work done. That includes three USB-C ports (two of which support Thunderbolt 4), an SD card reader and a headphone jack. There’s a USB-C to HDMI and USB Type A adapter in the box, but you’ll still need additional dongles (or a USB-C mini-hub) if you want Ethernet and multiple Type-A ports.
I’m glad Dell is sticking with the SD card slot, which will make it easy to offload photos and video. It’s also nice to see the XPS 15 make some battery life improvements. In our benchmark, it lasted 13 hours and 12 minutes, a huge improvement from last year when it clocked under 10 hours.
Despite my gushing, there’s still some room for improvement. While the keyboard, trackpad and wrist rest feel great, they also look a bit gross after light use. I’d love to see some sort of oleophobic coating that doesn’t need so much wiping down. And of course, having more useful ports wouldn’t hurt either.
The XPS 15 starts at $1,449 with a Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, but as usual, we’d recommend bumping up those specs a bit. You’ll want at least 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD and a Core i7 CPU to make this computer last for several years. Our review unit came in at $2,253 – a relatively modest price given the hardware you get. Still, I’d spend a bit more to squeeze in a larger SSD and potentially more RAM, especially if you’re constantly juggling large files.
At this point, the XPS 15 is the closest Dell has come to delivering a near-perfect workhorse machine. It’s beautiful exterior hides tremendous power for serious tasks, but it can also handle games when you need some downtime. And on top of that, it packs pretty much every feature we’d want in a modern laptop, especially if you opt for that gorgeous OLED display. Just like Apple, Dell proves that a good design can last for years.
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