Dell XPS 15 2023 Review: A Creator’s Laptop With Stealth Gaming Chops #GeekLeap


Dell XPS 15 9530


  • Excessive-end GPU choices

  • Vivid, colourful OLED touchscreen

  • Glorious construct high quality

Do not like

  • Low-res webcam

  • Might use a number of extra ports

  • No design modifications or enhancements

One in every of my favourite laptop computer tips is discovering a system that may play video games, and play them properly, with out feeling and looking like a gaming machine. Among the many high performers on this stealthy class is the Dell XPS 15, which seems and seems like a MacBook Professional various but in addition is able to efficiency nearly as good as that of many gaming laptops. 

However these gaming chops are only a bonus. The actual attraction right here is that this can be a slim, modern system for artistic execs trying to do picture and video enhancing or design work. Razer’s Blade laptops cowl a number of the identical floor, however with out the crossover office-ready feel and appear of the XPS 15. 

Dell XPS 15 closed

Dan Ackerman/CNET

Clad in a lightweight silver-gray, with a textured wrist relaxation and large touchpad, the XPS 15 would look simply as dwelling in a espresso store as in a boardroom. A MacBook Professional, in both its 14-inch or 16-inch model, additionally combines a wonderful show with plenty of each CPU and GPU energy, however Apple techniques are notoriously gamer-unfriendly if that is vital to you. 

The mannequin reviewed here’s a high-end one, with an Intel Core i7-13700H, 32GB of RAM, 1TB SSD, and an Nvidia RTX 4070 GPU. That configuration is $2,799, and buying and selling as much as an excellent sooner Intel Core i9 brings it as much as $2,949. The XPS 15 presently begins at $1,499 with a Core i7 CPU, Intel Arc graphics, 512GB SSD and a daily non-touch 1,920×1,200 LCD. 

Dell XPS 15 open

Dan Ackerman/CNET

Design and show

One factor the XPS 15 affords that a lot of its rivals don’t is a touchscreen OLED show. These screens have change into extra frequent in laptops over the previous few years however are nonetheless not the norm. On the plus aspect, an OLED show affords wonderful brightness and distinction and might look implausible for gaming and video viewing. Then again, the three,456×2,160 OLED possibility within the XPS 15 is locked to a 60Hz refresh charge, whereas avid gamers are more and more demanding greater refresh charges. 

Nonetheless, the show seems nice, and in line with the remainder of the fashionable XPS line, it has a really skinny border across the display screen — Dell calls this its Infinity Edge, which simply means actually skinny bezel. However having that very skinny high border across the display screen could be why this technique remains to be caught with a 720-resolution webcam, which is frankly unacceptable in an in any other case top-shelf laptop computer like this. 

Dell XPS 15 keyboard

Dan Ackerman/CNET

The physique is, like many premium laptops, minimize from strong aluminum blocks for sturdiness, and the display screen has a Gorilla Glass coating as properly. On high of the aluminum chassis is a carbon fiber high layer, which has the distinctive XPS sample alongside the wrist relaxation. It is the identical as final 12 months’s XPS 15, so this 2023 model principally simply updates the out there elements inside. Nonetheless, the keyboard stays a key characteristic, with giant keycaps and good tactile suggestions, with out being overly clacky. 

Sensible ports

Whereas slim laptops are dropping ports at a fast charge, the XPS 15 is sitting within the center floor. It has three USB-C ports, plus a headphone jack and a full-size SD card slot. Which means it is lacking USB-A, HDMI or the rest, though Dell packs a tiny USB-C hub within the field. 

Energy is by way of USB-C, so almost any related charger will work, which is a rarity for a system with a strong GPU, however if you happen to use an underpowered charging brick, the system will warn you. It’s going to nonetheless work, however the charging might not have the ability to sustain with intense GPU use, for instance. 

Creativity and gaming

I used the XPS 15 for some picture and video enhancing, utilizing Photoshop and Premiere, and located it labored flawlessly, though based mostly on these high-end specs, I anticipated nothing much less. The intense display screen helped with my picture enhancing, though the good-but-not-great touchpad made me miss MacBook Photoshop navigation. 

Dell XPS 15 open with a game scene on the screen

Dan Ackerman/CNET

With an Nvidia 4070, that is by default a high-end gaming laptop computer as properly (and prices about the identical as a comparable high-end 4070 crossover gaming system just like the Razer Blade). Along with our common benchmark checks, I ran a number of present video games on it, from Hogwarts Legacy to Marvel’s Midnight Suns to Star Wars: Jedi Survivor. All ran easily, even the poorly optimized Jedi Survivor. It helps that the display screen’s 60Hz refresh charge retains you from worrying about greater body charges, however I discovered it was useful to play at a decrease decision, like 2,560×1,200, as a substitute of the complete near-4K decision. 

The one catch is that this can be a lower-power 40-watt model of the 4070 GPU, whereas the bigger XPS 17 has entry to the extra highly effective 60-watt model. For FHD gaming, nonetheless, it ought to make a giant distinction. Additionally understand that if you happen to’re primarily utilizing this for artistic work, you will wish to obtain the most recent Studio drivers from Nvidia (which come pre-installed), slightly than the standard gaming drivers. 

I really like with the ability to play video games at severe element settings on a conservative-looking laptop computer, and to have the ability to get away with only a easy USB-C charger. It is about 4.25 kilos, so it isn’t a laptop computer you will wish to carry round each day in a shoulder bag. For an even bigger display screen at a lightweight weight, have a look at one thing like LG’s wonderful Gram line. With its large, high-res OLED display screen and highly effective elements, I see the XPS 15 as an excellent Home windows-based various to a MacBook Professional, or as a semi-desktop-replacement system on your dwelling workplace. 

Geekbench 5 (multicore)

Apple MacBook Professional (16-inch, 2023) 15009Samsung Galaxy Ebook 3 Extremely 12558Dell G16 7620 12520Asus Zenbook Professional 16X OLED (UX7602) 12476Dell XPS 15 9530 12375Dell Inspirion 16 Plus 7620 11875

Observe: Longer bars point out higher efficiency

Cinebench R23 (multicore)

Dell G16 7620 17942Samsung Galaxy Ebook 3 Extremely 15965Dell XPS 15 9530 15776Dell Inspirion 16 Plus 7620 15045Asus Zenbook Professional 16X OLED (UX7602) 14958Apple MacBook Professional (16-inch, 2023) 14803

Observe: Longer bars point out higher efficiency

3DMark Wild Life Excessive

Dell G16 7620 18004Dell XPS 15 9530 14554Apple MacBook Professional (16-inch, 2023) 12989Asus Zenbook Professional 16X OLED (UX7602) 12892Samsung Galaxy Ebook 3 Extremely 12853Dell Inspirion 16 Plus 7620 10965

Observe: Longer bars point out higher efficiency

Guardians of the Galaxy (Excessive @ 1920 x 1080)

Dell XPS 15 9530 136Samsung Galaxy Ebook 3 Extremely 131Asus Zenbook Professional 16X OLED (UX7602) 124Dell G16 7620 123Dell Inspirion 16 Plus 7620 111

Observe: Longer bars point out higher efficiency

On-line streaming battery drain check

Apple MacBook Professional (16-inch, 2023) 1474Dell Inspirion 16 Plus 7620 677Samsung Galaxy Ebook 3 Extremely 634Dell XPS 15 9530 604Asus Zenbook Professional 16X OLED (UX7602) 338Dell G16 7620 287

Observe: Longer bars point out higher efficiency

System Configurations

Dell XPS 15 9530 Microsoft Home windows 11 Dwelling; 2.4GHz Intel Core i7-13700H; 32GB DDR5 4,800MHz RAM; 4GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 GPU; 512GB SSD
Samsung Galaxy Ebook 3 Extremely Microsoft Home windows 11 Dwelling; 2.4GHz Intel Core i7-13700H 16GB DDR5 6,000MHz RAM; 6GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 GPU; 1TB SSD
Apple MacBook Professional (16-inch, 2023) Apple MacOS Ventura 13.2; Apple M2 Professional (12 CPU cores, 19 GPU cores); 32GB LPDDR5 RAM; 1TB SSD
Dell Inspirion 16 Plus 7620 Microsoft Home windows 11 Dwelling; 2.3GHz Intel Core i7-12700H; 16GB DDR5 4,800MHz RAM; 4GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU; 512GB SSD
Asus Zenbook Professional 16X OLED (UX7602) Microsoft Home windows 11 Dwelling; 2.3GHz Intel Core i7-12700H; 16GB DDR5 6,400MHz RAM; 6GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU; 1TB SSD
Dell G16 7620 Microsoft Home windows 11 Dwelling; 2.3GHz Intel Core i7-12700H; 16GB DDR5 6,400MHz RAM; 6GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU; 512GB SSD

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