Dell XPS 15 (9520) review: Still the best, only faster

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Dell's XPS 15 (9510)

 XPS 15 touch screen – According to our ratings, Dell’s XPS 15 (9510) is the finest 15-inch laptop you can purchase. It was the best option for a small, light device with reliable performance and a gorgeous 3.5-inch OLED screen. In addition, the XPS 15 was the best laptop you could purchase if you didn’t require a workstation or gaming capability. Finally, Dell’s XPS 15 (9520) is out, bringing all the best features of its predecessor together with the latest hardware from Intel.

In this review, I looked at a midrange XPS 15 with a 3.5K OLED display and an Intel Core i7-12700H processor. Its price of $2,253 places it squarely in the category of high-end notebook computers. In my testing, the laptop proved to be as reliable as its predecessor, if not more so, thanks to its increased processing speed.

There are faster 15-inch laptops on the market, but this one isn’t among them. Since the difference between 15- and 16-inch screens is negligible, I include them in the same category. You’re getting a giant laptop in a casing that makes it seem a lot smaller than it is, and the performance is good enough to satisfy all but the most demanding customers. As far as 15-inch laptops go, the XPS 15 is still the best. Let’s discuss the specification of the xps15 touch screen in detail. 

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Design

Years of design changes have given the xps 15 touch screen a clean and consistent look. My review unit’s sharp corners and silver chassis with black carbon fibre keyboard deck are sophisticated without being flashy. There’s also a stunning frost chassis option with a white woven fibre keyboard deck. The keyboard deck is similarly more welcoming and cosy than cold metal in both circumstances.

The hefty price tag of this laptop is understandable, given the evident care that was put into its design.

The double-anodized edges on all of our models look great. They are efficient, protecting the metal from scratches and keeping it looking brand new; in addition, the tiniest display bezels of this device contribute to the XPS 15’s impressive look, giving the impression of a screen floating effortlessly in midair and contributing to the notebook’s overall cutting-edge design. The HP Spectre x360 16 is the only laptop close to offering such a beautiful design, yet it’s also more expensive.

Everything about the layout is spot on. Neither the top nor the keyboard deck nor the chassis base shows any signs of flexing, bending, or twisting, indicating exceptional construction quality. Few laptops on the market can compete with the xps 15 touch screen, while Apple’s MacBook Pros, Lenovo’s ThinkPads, and HP’s Spectres all come close. The dual-clutch mechanism of the hinge makes opening with one hand a pleasure and keeps the display securely in place. The hefty price tag of this laptop is understandable, given the evident care that was put into its design.

More and more 16-inch laptops with giant screens have appeared on store shelves. One such laptop is the HP Spectre x360 16, which is more prominent in width and depth than the XPS 15. 

Performance

The 12th generation Intel Core i7-12700H inside the review machine I was given has 14 cores (6 Performance and 8 Efficiency) and 20 threads and consumes 45 watts of power. It has proven reliable in other computers we’ve examined, even some that are physically bigger or thicker.

Dell gave the thermal design a lot of thought when making the xps 15 touch screen, which is why it has two fans, heat pipes, concealed exhaust vents, and a slight tilt to maximize airflow. However, I was curious about the performance of its Intel 12th-generation processor since a thin laptop can only move so much air.

A word regarding performance modes. Recently, I’ve begun giving both “balanced” and “performance” mode test results due to the proliferation of manufacturer tools. The results show that the XPS 15 9520’s performance mode significantly improved its performance across the board, especially in the single-core test. 

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The XPS 15’s thermal performance was expected.

Our Handbrake test converts a 420MB movie to H.265, which was 29% quicker on Geekbench 5, 24% quicker in performance mode, and 16% quicker on Cinebench R23. The PCMark 10 Complete benchmark, which measures performance across a wide range of productivity, multimedia, and creative applications, revealed a surprising slowdown.

 It was most noticeable while doing single-core tests or in balanced mode. However, its performance mode Handbrake result was on par with the competition.

The RTX 3050 Ti in the XPS 15 9520 consumes 45 watts of power instead of its maximum of 80 watts and is clocked lower than the GPU in the XPS 15 9510. A slower GPU clock speed cancels out the XPS 15 9520’s quicker DDR5 RAM. Predictably, the newer machine had a lower 3DMark 

Impressively, it outperformed our reference games. In Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, for instance, it managed 50 fps and extreme visuals. In addition, the frame rate loss was minimal, from 48 to 46 fps, even using 1600p and extreme graphics. This test wasn’t performed on the XPS 15 9510.

The XPS 15 9520 was 20 frames per second quicker at 1080p with extreme graphics in Civilization VI than the XPS 15 9510, while it was 72 frames per second faster at 1440p with ultra-graphics. RTX 3050 Ti is, in and of itself, a low-end graphics processing unit, and because the XPS 15 9520 was not designed to be a gaming machine, neither of these issues is surprising. Yet, it was still playable at 1440p/1600p and capable of running our benchmark games at 1080p/1200p with high graphics. 

Numerous laptops in the marketplace come with such specifications, with most of these devices lacking at least a few features that XPS is equipped with. Moreover, the graphic resolution of this laptop is much better than expected. Also, the number of pixels you can watch on this laptop is commendable. 

The above portion gives a detailed overview of the xps 15 touch screen