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Discussion | The XPS 15 has grown stale, and UserBenchmark listings for the 2020 edition suggest that Dell is happy with it remaining that way

Will we see a redesigned XPS 15 this year, or another XPS 15 9550 rehash? (Image source: Dell)
Will we see a redesigned XPS 15 this year, or another XPS 15 9550 rehash? (Image source: Dell)
It seems that Dell has forgotten about the XPS 15. While we continue to award the device top marks year on year, Dell has essentially been releasing minor revisions of the same machine since 2015. Now, several UserBenchmark listings have given us an insight into what Dell has planned for this year's XPS 15, the 9500. Hardware-wise at least, it looks like we are in for another year of Dell flogging a dead horse. There is a flicker of a chassis redesign being on the cards, though.

Dell has done plenty to innovate the XPS 13 in recent years. While we noted in our recent review of the Core i7 version of the XPS 13 9300 that its design was more exciting than its new CPU, it feels like Dell is continually the boundaries of what it can do with the 13-inch form factor. The same cannot be said for the XPS 15, though.

Let's face it, the XPS 15 has hardly changed since Dell overhauled the device in 2015 with the 9550. Sure, Dell has upgraded the CPU and GPU options over the years, but the XPS 15 7590 struggles with the same cooling and latency issues that have affected the XPS 15 lineup for years. Adding insult to injury, the XPS 15 7590 offers only incremental performance improvements over the XPS 15 9570.

Now, @_rogame has brought to our attention several UserBenchmark listings for the XPS 15 9500, Dell's 2020 edition of the XPS 15. While we cannot comment on the chassis of the XPS 15 9500,  UserBenchmark hints at a redesign being on the cards. As Lum Dërmaku spotted, UserBenchmark states that the XPS 15 9500 has a 3,840 x 2,400 display. While initial benchmarks are not generally a good source of what screen resolution a device will offer, it does indicate that the XPS 15 9500 will feature a 16:10 aspect ratio. If true, then we could be looking a chassis redesign for this year's XPS 15. 

On the other hand, the hardware upgrades looks decidedly disappointing. Again, it seems that Dell is phoning it in with incremental upgrades. At the time of writing, four XPS 15 9500 listings have been posted on UserBenchmark, of which three are various Core i7-10750H SKUs. While PassMark suggests that the Core i7-10750H could offer up to 40% performance improvements over the Core i7-9750H, one benchmark is not enough data to determine that the former will maintain such a wide lead over the latter in all scenarios. In reality, a 200 MHz boost clock increase will likely translate into negligible day to day improvements.

Additionally, one listing confirms that Dell will offer the XPS 15 9500 with the GTX 1650 Ti, a card likely based on NVIDIA's TU117 chip. While it will be unequivocally faster than the GTX 1650 that Dell includes in the XPS 15 7590, its name dictates that it will be no RTX 2060, let alone even a GTX 1660 Ti or GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q. Historically Dell has sold the XPS 15 with one dedicated GPU from which to choose, or the option to exclude one altogether. Hence, there is nothing to suggest that Dell will change strategy for the XPS 15 9500.

To that end, UserBenchmark suggests that Dell will offer Core i7-10750H and Core i9-10980HK powered versions of the XPS 15 9500 without dedicated graphics. Keep in mind that these listings could have been run on the Intel UHD Graphics 630 that both processors integrate though, which would make it appear that they lack a dedicated GPU.

Elsewhere, we see all listings downclocking DDR4-3200 RAM to 2,933 MHz and featuring 512 GB or 1 TB SSDs. Do not be surprised if Dell offers a 256 GB SKU too, though.

Overall, we hope that Dell has something great up its sleeve for this year's XPS 15 as it is crying out for a proper refresh. The prospect of a 16:10 display suggests so at any rate, even if CML-H processors and a GTX 1650 Ti seem somewhat uninspired.

One of the XPS 15 9500 SKUs listed on UserBenchmark. (Image source: UserBenchmark)
One of the XPS 15 9500 SKUs listed on UserBenchmark. (Image source: UserBenchmark)

Source(s)

UserBenchmark (1) (2) (3) (4) via @_rogame

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 03 > The XPS 15 has grown stale, and UserBenchmark listings for the 2020 edition suggest that Dell is happy with it remaining that way
Alex Alderson, 2020-04- 1 (Update: 2020-04- 1)
Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - News Editor - @aldersonaj
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.