Dell XPS 15 9500 15.6 Review

Want a sleek and slim looking laptop for video editing that doesn’t compromise with performance? Well! If you have the budget, then there are quite a few options out there.

Generally, when talking about video editing on windows, instead of laptops, PCs are usually recommended. But there are a few laptops that are capable of producing a desktop quality performance for most tasks. Therefore, we have decided to make a review on one of the most popular laptops that money can buy for video editing and 3D graphics jobs.

We will be reviewing the Dell XPS 15 9500 15.6 in this article. The Dell XPS laptops are the Macbook Pro of Windows PCs. When you talk about a flagship Windows laptop, the first name to come to mind is the XPS series. They have gained huge popularity with the launch of the very first laptops in the XPS lineups. And have been on the top of the chart ever since. Read through our full review to know more about this product. In case you need a cheaper laptop for non-graphic intensive tasks, consider looking into Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5.

Design & Build Quality

The XPS laptops get more compact and slimmer with each new iteration. This one is no different. The design is premium and gorgeous as usual, but better than before.

The laptop has diamond-cut sidewalls for a more luxurious look. It now is 5.6% more compact in terms of the overall footprint. Comparing a budget 15inch model, this laptop will look like a 13inch laptop unless you try to measure it.

The outer shell is made using high-quality aluminum. When you unfold the device you will be greeted with a patterned carbon fiber palm rest.  It feels very comfortable on the hand but is a fingerprint-magnet. You might need to clean it often.

Dell has used recycled materials for building this device. In fact, 25% of materials are plastics collected from the coastal areas. And rest 75% are from regular plastics that are available on the surface. Dell claims 90% of this laptop’s parts are recyclable, including the bamboo packaging it comes with.

The current generation of XPS laptops are certified by Energy Star, and that’s because of having a lower power consumption rate. Environmentally thinking, this laptop definitely deserves some recognition.

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Dell has gone completely modern with this new iteration of XPS 15. It now no longer has the legacy USB-A port, which we believe is necessary and should have been included. The USB-A is still relevant by today’s standards and accessories are widely available to support it.

However, Dell does include a USB-A 3.0 adapter in the box as standard. It’s nice, but now you have to carry a dongle whenever you need to connect legacy devices. There are in total of 3 USB-C ports in this device. One is a standard port, and the other 2 are Thunderbolt 3 supported.

This laptop includes a v6.0 SD card reader, which is a bonus if you are a photographer. Some expensive laptops nowadays don’t include one despite charging a premium price. Also, it has a 3.5mm headphone jack. Although headphone jacks are mostly removed from smartphones, laptops still use them. So that’s a plus.

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Keyboard, Touchpad, & Webcam

The keyboard feels quite snappy and is very comfortable to type on. Writers and programmers will find this keyboard to be more useful than a Mackbook keyboard. You can type on it for probably hours and still not feel pain in your fingers. The touchpad is very large and extremely smooth. It has a 62% larger surface area, which is a delightfully welcoming change. You now don’t need to swipe two times or faster to get the cursor to the edge of the screen. One swipe using this touchpad is enough.

Now coming to the webcam; this is probably the worst part of owning this device. Judging the price, Dell should have definitely upgraded it to at least get a clear picture, not even asking for any HD resolution. But this is what it is. Because of trying to shrink the slimness, there isn’t much space left to have a larger sensor. Personally, I wouldn’t mind getting a better camera with the drawback of having a slightly thicker laptop.

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Display & Graphics

You will love the 16:10 display. It is perfect for watching movies and doing any graphics related works. The optional 4K Ultra HD+ panel will make your experience far more appealing with its added 922k more pixels. The image quality is exactly what you would expect from an OLED panel of this caliber, so definitely no complaints there.

This display is also protected using Corning Gorilla Glass 6, which include damage-resistant, and no flex. Regarding the graphics, the standard one ships with the NVIDIA GTX 1650Ti, which is quite powerful. It is capable of doing most tasks you can imagine. You can however pay some extra to get it upgraded if you need more power.

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We are currently reviewing the base version of this laptop. It is equipped with an Intel Core i7 10th gen, 16BG RAM, 1TB HDD, and a dedicated NVIDIA GTX 1650Ti.

If you have the money, then you could spend about $4,000 and get it completely maxed out, which we wouldn’t recommend unless you are doing some really professional task with it. The fully maxed version will give you 32GB RAM, 2TB Storage, Intel Iris Xe Graphics, with a UHD touch display. Also, various other software upgrades.

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A 1-year warranty comes as standard, but you could extend it to 4 years by spending around $260, plus, with a further $117 get the premium plus. Definitely, we don’t recommend those. If the device lasts perfectly with its 1-year warranty, then it will last properly without issues for probably 5+ years. Dell laptops are known to be very durable and reliable. So, definitely skip the extension of warranty unless you need it for very specific reasons.

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Performance is definitely great but gets quite hot while doing any power-intensive tasks. It is normal for laptops to get hot while running heavy software, but the XPS is exceptionally hot. This issue has been around in XPS models for quite some time, and Dell hasn’t been able to fix this in this iteration either.

This machine is a direct competitor to the 16” Macbook Pro. Both have premium yet unique designs of their own, and not copied from elsewhere as some other competitors do. The XPS runs through video editing, or any intensive graphics works smoothly. But the exporting time for video recording is a bit slow, compared to a beefed-up PC system. But still, compared to laptops, it’s definitely excellent.

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Battery Life

Your battery life will vary drastically depending on the configuration you’ve set up when purchasing the laptop. The second factor affecting battery life is the usage, which varies from person to person.

Expect to get around 10 hours with normal use in the base configuration, which includes the 1080p display. Unless you need an extremely high-resolution display, we would recommend skipping adding the 4k touch display when you purchase this product. That display is a huge drawback for battery life. You may get around 6 hours in the maxed-out version.

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Final Thoughts

The Dell XPS 15 is arguably one of the best flagship laptops out on the market right now. But this laptop is not for everyone. Anyone wanting just a Netflix machine, this is just an overkill purchase. A Chromebook would do better justice for video consumption at a fraction of the price. But if you are someone who does intensive graphics works or even running power-intensive software on a daily basis. This machine will be perfect for that. All in all, this machine is very reliable and won’t disappoint in terms of performance. Users mostly have complained about its thermal issues and lack of ports, but overall are satisfied with the purchase.

Eva Filgueira

Eva Filgueira is a fairly new staff writer here at Doorbell Gears, but her contribution has been very significant. She has a degree in origami design and is a very fun-loving person in nature. Her passion for learning new things has led her to this role for writing on our Hobby & Craft category. Eva loves to discover new products that help people learn new things and gives a positive vibe. She does in-depth research on each product and tries to pick the ones that aid in self-improvement and peace of mind. Also, quality and price is a concern for her, as she tries to provide the best product for the money.

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