The new Dell XPS 15 9500 is here and is the redesign we've been waiting for to take on the MacBook Pro
The Dell XPS line up has often been the most coveted laptop every year. After successive generations of a tried and tested design, Dell has finally decided to go for an overhaul this year. Gone are the days of complaints about a nose-cam and tinny speakers, but we now have to contend with the absence of any USB Type-A ports whatsoever. Still, the XPS 15 9500 seeks to be an evolution in more ways than one over the previous generations.
Design: Premium aluminum-carbon fiber combination sans USB Type-A
The XPS lineup has always been known for its premium design aesthetic and this time it is no different. The chassis is cut from a single block of CNC-machined aluminum with double-anodized diamond cut side edges for better scratch resistance. The carbon fiber palm rest allows for a lightweight yet strong build. The XPS logo at the base is now made out of a single sheet of stainless steel and is hand-placed on the engraved outline.
What will be more obvious to users aside from the 4-sided InfinityEdge display is the absence of any USB Type-A ports. However, unlike Apple, Dell offers a mix of Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1 Type-C ports. There are two full-bandwidth Thunderbolt 3 ports on the left and a USB 3.1 Type-C port on the right both of which support power delivery and DisplayPort-out. The right also includes a full-sized SD card reader and a 3.5mm combo headphone jack. Dell notes that a USB Type-C to Type-A and HDMI 2.0 adapter ships by default.
The new XPS 15 9500 switches to a top-firing speaker setup with speaker grills that are made of 4,532 laser-drilled holes. The two primary speakers are top-firing while the tweeters are located towards the sides. Dell says these speakers are specially tuned by Grammy Award winning producer Jack Joseph Puig. Sound quality is enhanced both on the built-in speakers and via headphones thanks to Waves Nx 3D Audio. There are two top-mounted mics for clear communication aided by the Waves MaxxVoice suite.
Display: 4-sided InfinityEdge 16:10 panel with proper webcam placement
The new XPS 15 9500 now offers a 15.6-inch 4-sided InfinityEdge panel in a 16:10 aspect ratio with up to UHD+ (3840 x 2400) resolution options and 100% Adobe RGB and 94% DCI-P3 color gamut support. Dell says that the XPS 15 comes with a 0.65% anti-reflective coating that enables glossiness sans the glare. A 500-nit brightness rating and a 178° viewing angle are in the offing as well.
The UHD+ panel is VESA DisplayHDR 400-certified. Both the FHD and UHD panels are Dolby Vision-certified and come with Dell's Eyesafe feature that protects from harmful blue light emissions while still maintaining color integrity.
One of the most criticized aspects of the XPS 15 so far has been the poor webcam placement. Thankfully, that is now a thing of the past as Dell has managed to fit an HD webcam discretely on the top bezel. The webcam also supports Windows Hello logins.
Specs: Up to 10th gen Core i9-10885H and GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q with reduced battery
Intel announced the 10th gen H-series processors last month and they have made their way to the XPS 15 9500. Dell offers the XPS 15 with CPU options that include the Core i5-10300H, Core i7-10750H, Core i7-10875H, and the Core i9-10885H. RAM options range from 8 GB to 64 GB of dual-channel 2x SO-DIMMs at 2,933 MHz while storage options include NVMe SSDs from 256 GB to 2 TB. An NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q with 4 GB GDDR6 memory drives the display. It will be interesting to see if the new chassis re-design can alleviate some of the CPU and GPU throttling issues that have plagued previous XPS notebooks.
Another notable aspect with this generation is that Dell would be specifically branding certain configurations as "Creator Edition" to make the selection process easy for creative professionals. Creator Edition XPS models will have at least a Core i5 processor, 512 GB SSD, and 16 GB RAM.
Unlike previous generations, the new XPS 15 comes with a reduced battery capacity rated at 86 Whr. Customers can also choose a configuration with a 56 Whr cell. Despite the reduced capacity, Dell puts out MobileMark and Netflix streaming results to re-affirm all-day battery life in typical usage scenarios.
Pricing and Availability
The Dell XPS 15 9500 will be available starting today in US and Canada at prices starting from US$1,299.99. Availability across Europe and Asia will occur throughout this week. Dell also said that it is launching the Mobile Connect app today for free that enables seamless integration between the XPS laptop and an Android or iOS smartphone. Mobile Connect enables phone screen mirroring along with the ability to run smartphone apps, get notifications, and drag and drop files between the XPS laptop and the smartphone.
Dell Press Release