Dell XPS 15 Review (2021): LED Screen, Upgraded Processor

Dell XPS Laptops are the most popular, thin and lightweight Windows computers for money. The 13-inch model has long been a wired favorite (8/10, wired recommendation), and the new 15-inch gets the same upgrade that its younger brother got earlier this year: an LED display.

That new 3.5K OLED touchscreen helps the Dell XPS 15K become one of the best 15-inch laptops on the market. It has a lot of power, thanks to the latest Intel processors and great trackpads and keyboards. The only downside is the battery life.


Photo: Dale

The 2021 XPS 15 uses the 11th generation Intel chip as the previous model. The big news here is the new OLED screen, which we should be noticing here, is alright. Like the XPS 13, you need to opt for the more powerful Intel i7 chip to get the OLED option. This means that the screen of i5 base model will remain unchanged. This is a 1920 x 1200-pixel FHD + screen.

If you choose the i7- or i9-based XPS 15, you can choose between a 4K UHD screen and the new 3.5K OLED. If you want to know which one is better … it depends. The resolution is better on 4K screens. I believe the 4K model has a slight edge in terms of battery life, although I’m comparing this year’s OLED with last year’s 4K model.

OLED is more expensive; The cheapest option is $ 2,100. The model I tested had OLED, 11th generation Intel Core i7, Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti laptop GPU, 16 GB RAM and a 512-GB SSD. This configuration is listed for $ 2,200. From there, you can run up to $ 4,600 by selecting the i9 chip, 64GB of RAM and a hooping 8 terabyte SSD space, with some more reasonable configurations.

While the base mode of the i5 chip is fine for basic computing needs, I would recommend an LED screen and a fast chip if you can afford it. It has an amazingly bright screen, and the razor-thin bezels give it an immersive quality that I tested on the rest of the 15-inch laptop. Editing photos and videos on this machine is a real pleasure, the moment I see myself taking photos so I can process them in the darktable on XPS 15.

I also found that glossy OLED screens seem to do better in bright light than FHD screens. The 400-net screen here was all right except for direct sunlight. The main problem with direct sunlight is that the high-gloss surface picks up fingerprints like crazy. If you keep it nice and clean, sunlight and glitter will not be a problem.

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