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The Dell XPS 15 Touch Screen Laptop: A Review


The Dell XPS 15 Touch Screen Laptop has everything you'd expect from the Dell XPS line-up, such as significant performance and top-notch build quality, but with the addition of touch screen capability. It's not the cheapest model in its class, but it might be the one that gives you the most value in return. Read on to find out if this could be your next laptop.

Connectivity Options

The Dell XPS 15 Touch screen laptop is powered by an 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processor and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti discrete graphics card with 4GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory. The Dell XPS 15 features four Thunderbolt 3 ports and two USB-C/Thunderbolt three ports with both supporting chargings, connecting your external hard drives, cameras and even desktops. You can connect up to three external monitors simultaneously via HDMI 2.0 or Mini DisplayPort 1.4 (or one 5K monitor via Mini DisplayPort). You can also use Dell's optional UltraSharp 32 Cinema Monitor ($799), which has a 32-inch display, 3840 x 2160 resolution and support for 100 per cent Adobe RGB colour gamut coverage. For wireless connectivity, you have 802.11ac Wi-Fi featuring 2x2 MIMO technology (867 Mbps max throughput) and Bluetooth 5 for connecting accessories such as headsets and keyboards without wires.

Performance Test Results

After weeks of using an early production model of Dell's new XPS 15 touchscreen laptop, we think it's fair that anyone who likes Windows 8 and touchscreens should seriously consider one. As a gaming machine? Forget about it. But as a powerful business machine with an optional multi-touch display, nothing else in its price range can even touch it. It's pretty much perfect for everything but gaming. The only downside is battery life; you won't get more than 3 hours on a charge if you're doing something CPU intensive like video editing or graphic design work. If you don't need such heavy-duty performance, however, you'll quickly get 6+ hours out of it—and if you want to do some web browsing and email while on your couch or at your desk, it'll last all day long without needing to be plugged in. And while I'm generally not one for touchscreen laptops (I prefer mice), I have found myself preferring it over my mouse when working on spreadsheets or other productivity tasks where precision is critical.

Battery Life

Excellent battery life. If you're looking for a new laptop and want one that will last all day, I suggest getting Dell's XPS 15. This is thanks to its good-sized battery, which you can fully charge in just a couple of hours. I found that it lasted most of my time away from home on a single charge; if I needed to go further, it was only a matter of plugging in my charger before heading out again.

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Sound Quality

The XPS 15's speakers are top-notch for a laptop of any size but especially impressive when you consider how small they are. They're positioned on either side of Dell's InfinityEdge display, so you can enjoy the stereo sound without much compromise. The bass is solid and detailed, and the voices sound clear. Listening to music through these speakers was a joy. Make sure you crank up your volume—the XPS 15 doesn't get very loud.

Heat and Noise Management

The Dell XPS 15 houses a quad-core 8th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, which runs at 2.3 GHz, and it was able to handle all of my intensive tasks without any problems—even on a 90-degree day. After running two dozen benchmark tests for an hour, I recorded 32 degrees at its warmest point (the centre of its keyboard) and 55 degrees along its bottom half (where most laptops will rest).

Design and Feel

The Dell XPS 15 is a lovely laptop with a fantastic display and great speakers. The chassis is super sleek, with an attractively textured palm rest. If you spend several hours every day on your laptop, it may as well look good.

Software Included

Windows 8 (64-bit); Windows 7 Professional (64-bit); Dell PC Checkup; Dell PhotoStage; Adobe Reader; McAfee Internet Security Suite Trial (60 days), Norton Internet Security Suite Trial (60 days), Microsoft Office 2010 Starter Edition, Intel WiDi Wireless Display Software, Microsoft Silverlight, Amazon Kindle for PC and Kindle for Mac, Skype.

Pros and Cons

The Dell XPS 15 touch screen laptop is a beautiful machine with a gorgeous display. It has a sleek, lightweight design that many users find appealing. However, it only comes in two colours—grey and black—and some reviewers noted that these options aren't desirable. Another downside to consider is its expensive price tag. Although many people agree it's worth every penny (it earned an Editor's Choice award from PC Magazine), others feel it may be overpriced for some buyers.

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