Dell XPS 15 9500 overview: The photograph editor’s new pal


Lori Grunin/CNET

Dell’s XPS 15 laptops proceed to be crowd-pleasers. With its eye-catching, slim new design and photo-editing-friendly efficiency, show and have set, the newest 15-inch mannequin can maintain its personal as a much less highly effective — less expensive — various to a 16-inch MacBook Professional ($2,399 at Apple). It is nicely value a glance if that is the way you roll, although you may wish to take into account the brand new 17-inch XPS 17 as a substitute for the larger display screen. Each are nonetheless premium-priced, and certain not well worth the cash if all you want is a fairly work clamshell, not a severe workhorse. 

LikeImpressive management over shade administration for a client laptopTwo USB-C/Thunderbolt three connectionsGood efficiency and battery life, all issues thought of

Do not LikeCan run hotOnly USB-C connectorsSoft, rubberized keyboard deck feels fantastic however scratches simply

The configuration we examined runs about $2,255. When you do not want shade accuracy, need higher battery life and might stay with out the slightly-better-than 4K UHD decision, it can save you virtually $300 by going for the lower-resolution choice. The bottom configuration prices about $1,300 and comes with an Intel Core i5-10300H, 8GB RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and the 1,900×1,200-pixel show. That is a fairly large vary for a single laptop computer mannequin. 

One thing in me cringes on the concept of paying $1,300 for a system with solely 8GB RAM and built-in graphics, although, so in the event you’re leaning in the direction of that I counsel you take into account one thing just like the Lenovo C740. The processor is far much less highly effective, but it surely does not make lots of sense to pair a strong CPU with so little reminiscence. You may get an in any other case related configuration of the C740, which can be modern and about the identical weight, for nicely below $1,000.

Dell XPS 15 9500

Value as reviewed

$2,254

Show

three,840×2,400-pixel 15-inch touchscreen

CPU

2.3GHz Intel Core i7-10875H

Reminiscence

16GB three,733MHz LPDDR4x

Graphics

4GB GDDR6 GeForce GTX 1650 Ti

Storage

512GB SSD, SD card reader

Ports

3x USB-C (2x Thunderbolt three), headphone

Networking

Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650s (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.1

Working system

Microsoft Home windows 10 House (1909)

Weight

four.5 kilos (2.1 kg)

When you’re contemplating it for something past informal photograph modifying, although, do your self a favor and spring for 32GB RAM and an i7 CPU. My constant expertise is that if you want to multitask, then operations like mass thumbnail technology, which takes benefit of excessive core counts, can change into bottlenecked by reminiscence (at the least on Home windows). And functions like Adobe’s Lightroom Traditional will use all of the cores you’ll be able to throw at it for some operations.

Dell redesigned the XPS 15 (and launched a brand new 17-inch mannequin) for 2020 to align extra with the XPS 13, principally. For one factor, meaning the XPS 15 ditched its 4K OLED choice. It will get slightly sophisticated after that. The XPS 13’s show has a 16:10 facet ratio, which implies each the XPS 15 and 17 observe swimsuit. The issue is that commonplace OLED panels solely are available in commonplace 4K UHD 16:9 facet, so the XPS switched to a nonstandard 4K “UHD Plus” (three,840×2,160 pixels) and a base “FHD Plus” (1,980×1,200 pixels).

I just like the UHD Plus display screen greater than the OLED, although, particularly for photograph modifying, which is arguably the inventive work that this technique is optimized for. It has higher shade consistency and tonal vary within the shadows, and as examined it covers 100% of Adobe RGB quite than P3, which remains to be a good 94%. (We check screens utilizing utilizing Portrait Shows’ Calman 5 Final and an X-Ceremony i1Display Professional Plus.) If you do not know what all this shade gamut discuss is about, this is probably not the laptop computer for you. 

The larger touchpad is nice, however I do not like that the ability button/fingerprint reader within the higher proper nook is deliberately left a thriller. Plus, I just like the tender, rubberized keyboard deck, but it surely appears vulnerable to scratching (as you’ll be able to see on the best speaker grille).

Lori Grunin/CNET
A wealth of professional photo-editing choices

Oddly, Dell does not promote accuracy as one of many virtues of the display screen, and out of the field it wasn’t, regardless of the inclusion of PremierColor, Dell’s shade administration software program. However with some simple tweaks to the brightness and gamma settings in PremierColor, I used to be in a position to get it to to straightforward goal values of two.2 gamma, delta E for grayscale and shade lower than or equal to 2 and white level of 6,500Ok. It could possibly’t hit the successfully zero nits black (and subsequently infinite distinction, since that places zero within the denominator of the distinction calculation) however its roughly 1,560:1 distinction is sweet for an IPS (non-OLED) display screen. 

It additionally helps HDR, although with a most brightness of roughly 465 nits it will not actually wow you. And playback of 4K HDR content material actually taxes the built-in graphics; I could not efficiently power it to make use of the GTX 1650 Ti on a regular basis.

Extra notably, in contrast to many client calibrated shows, Dell’s manufacturing facility calibrated profiles really clip the gamut boundaries to the colour area; in different phrases, regardless that the show can produce colours nicely outdoors sRGB, it will not in the event you’ve opted to make use of the sRGB shade profile. That is actually useful if you want to verify out-of-gamut colours. You possibly can create customized profiles with a calibrator utilizing PremierColor as nicely, however solely with the favored X-Ceremony i1Display Professional; it does not even help the Plus but, so I could not check it. (If you wish to calibrate it utilizing your individual software program and a special calibrator, keep in mind to show PremierColor off.) 

PremierColor provides you the usual set of shade profiles, together with Rec 709 (HD) and Rec 601 (SD), in addition to settings for particular shade temperatures and relative scales for gamma, distinction and black stage. It additionally allows you to select from totally different viewing circumstances, comparable to daylight or incandescent mild. 

A draw back to the ever-shrinking display screen bezels is you must watch out when adjusting the show. For example, whereas looking for the proper angle I unintentionally touched the touchscreen and closed Chrome. I feel a touchscreen is pointless right here, anyway. And I would gladly commerce a millimeter extra of prime bezel for a greater webcam.

One other trade-off of the brand new, thinner design is swapping USB-A and HDMI connections for all-USB-C/Thunderbolt three. The XPS 15 has two Thunderbolt three connections, which is helpful. However shedding a show connection on the discrete GPU bus means you sacrifice some flexibility. It does (fortunately) retain the SD card slot, although. Dell grew the touchpad and moved the audio system to both aspect of the keyboard, each welcome adjustments. I do not just like the unlabeled, unilluminated energy button: It has a fingerprint reader in-built, however at midnight it is only a clean spot and appears to scream, “Why do you wish to flip me off?”

The Dell XPS 15 9500 (prime) has roughly the identical footprint because the Razer Blade 15, but it surely’s thinner. Plus, the sloping profile makes it appear thinner than it’s.

Lori Grunin/CNET

One factor Dell did not sacrifice is velocity, kind of. It caught with the Intel H collection processor the place lots of slim opponents use the lower-power (and subsequently slower) U collection. However it additionally tops out with the GeForce GTX 1650 Ti; bumping it as much as a 6GB 1660 Ti GPU, just like the Floor E-book three has, might need given it the additional 2GB reminiscence wanted to let it higher run some skilled graphics functions or slightly further wanted oomph for video modifying. It does let Dell differentiate between the XPS 15 and the bigger XPS 17 for one thing aside from dimension, although.

The battery life is strong relative to the remainder of its class at slightly over eight hours, at the least for streaming video. It additionally held up fairly nicely below my extra punishing real-life workload, lasting about 5 hours of energetic use (although no imaging apps). That is a fairly very long time for me, although it ran too scorching to maintain it on my lap for that lengthy.

The brand new design for the XPS 15 acquits itself nicely, and Dell did not make any main errors with it (alongside the traces of the now-retired XPS 13 bottom-dwelling webcam). However as a general-purpose work laptop computer, it is not tremendous mild, does not have a brilliant lengthy battery life, is not tremendous skinny, tremendous quick or tremendous low-cost. It is not a piece laptop computer superhero, only a premium workhorse.

Geekbench 5 (multicore)

Microsoft Floor E-book three (15-inch)

Lenovo Yoga C940 (15-inch)

Apple MacBook Professional (16-inch)

Notice:
Longer bars point out higher efficiency

Geekbench 5 (single core)

Lenovo Yoga C940 (15-inch)

Apple MacBook Professional (16-inch)

Microsoft Floor E-book three (15-inch)

Notice:
Longer bars point out higher efficiency

Geekbench 5 (Vulkan)

Lenovo Yoga C940 (15-inch)

Microsoft Floor E-book three (15-inch)

Notice:
Longer bars point out higher efficiency

Cinebench R20 CPU (multicore)

Microsoft Floor E-book three (15-inch)

Lenovo Yoga C940 (15-inch)

Apple MacBook Professional (16-inch)

Notice:
Longer bars point out higher efficiency

Video playback battery drain check (streaming)

Apple MacBook Professional (16-inch)

Lenovo Yoga C940 (15-inch)

Microsoft Floor E-book three (15-inch)

Notice:
Longer bars point out higher efficiency (in minutes)

3DMark Fireplace Strike Extremely

Microsoft Floor E-book three (15-inch)

Lenovo Yoga C940 (15-inch)

Notice:
Longer bars point out higher efficiency

System configurations

Apple MacBook Professional (16-inch)

Apple MacOS Catalina 10.15.1; 2.4GHz Intel Core i9-9980HK; 32GB DDR3 SDRAM 2,666MHz; 8GB Radeon Professional 5500M/1,536MB Intel HD Graphics 630; 2TB SSD

Dell XPS 15 9500

Microsoft Home windows 10 House (1909); 2.3GHz Intel Core i7-10875H; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,933MHz; 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti; 512GB SSD

Lenovo Yoga C940 (15-inch)

Microsoft Home windows 10 House (64-bit); 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-9750H; 16GB DDR4 RAM 2,667MHz; 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 with Max-Q design; 512GB SSD

Microsoft Floor E-book three (15-inch)

Microsoft Home windows 10 House (1909); 1.3GHz Intel Core i7-1065G7; 32GB DDR4 SDRAM four,267MHz; Intel Iris Plus Graphics and 6GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti with Max-Q design; 512GB SSD

MSI Status 15

Microsoft Home windows 10 Professional (1909); 1.1Hz Intel Core i7-10710U; 32GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,667MHz; 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 with Max-Q design; 1TB SSD



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