Dell XPS 15 keeps the chassis that appealed to us last year but is boosted by a Kaby Lake generation Intel processor and a dedicated GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card from Nvidia. This Dell XPS 15 version 2017 shares many elements with the model of last year.

Consequently, the “construction” section partly reproduces the text of the previous test. Same for the “Audio” and “Mobility / Autonomy” parts.

Is Design the new formula always winning?

The Dell XPS 15 is an elongated DPS XPS 13: that would describe most simply this notebook. We could stop there, both models are similar. Dell has indeed exported the “new” design of the XPS 13 in a 15-inch format, no more and no less, which is great news. And as with the 13-inch version, one is immediately struck by the fineness of the frame of the screen (5 mm on the sides and above), now a trademark of the XPS range. The construction is very solid, the finish excellent and the angle of the hinge generous (140 degrees).

All around the keyboard, a rubber coating very pleasant to the touch allows the wrists to rest comfortably during the typing. On the other hand, we regret the messy side of this material, the fingerprints tending to appear very quickly. The keys are well spaced and bounce well, but they could have enjoyed a return a little more present. The backlight, on two levels, is welcome. The touchpad is no frills, but benefits from a good size and precise sliding.

On the connector side: there are two USB ports 3, a USB Type-C port, an HDMI 1.4 output and an SD card reader. Connectivity is provided by Bluetooth 4.1 and Wi-Fi ac. Also, note the presence of a button displaying the battery level.

The temperature and noise are relatively contained, despite the presence of a GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card. When used in an office or web-based environment, a slight blast is heard, but this does not exceed 37 dB and is therefore not at all embarrassing. In the play, however, the fans are much more present and then the 44 dB is reached.

Tactile, defined screen

It should first be specified that several display profiles are available, accessible via a right click on the desktop. It appears that the “Adobe SRGB” profile is the best in colorimetric because it displays the lowest Delta E. The color temperature is relatively close to the 6,500 K standard and the rendering is therefore fairly balanced between the cold tints and the warm tints.

This color balance is therefore quite good. On the other hand, the contrast ratio does not exceed 750: 1, for a maximum brightness of 380 cd / m². Very average figures, especially concerning the contrast, which take a hit to the readability of the whole.  The gamma curve is relatively stable, except at the beginning of the race, which betrays blacks quite clogged.

In concrete terms, the screen of the XPS 15, in brilliant version, UHD and tactile, remains good but does not reach the maestro of its counterpart. It is, therefore, advisable to opt for the Full HD and matte version of the product, which is both cheaper and more satisfactory.

Excellent level of performance

This version of the Dell XPS 15 incorporates a 6th generation Intel (Kaby Lake) processor, specifically a Core i7-7700HQ. It is a CPU etched in 14 nm with 4 cores, which offers frequencies between 2.8 and 3.8 GHz (Turbo). Its TDP is 45 W.

The Kaby Lake generation also offers few major differences from previous Skylake processors, if not a slight increase in frequency.

In practice, this Dell XPS 15 offers excellent performance and a high power index. Audio and video conversion is particularly fast, as is the processing of digital photos. It is, therefore, an extremely versatile PC, which will allow a very wide variety of uses, from the most basic to the most complex.

For the game lovers!

This is a first for our lab since the Dell XPS 15 is now equipped with a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card (4 GB of video memory). A new graphics card supposed to be placed just below the GTX 1060 and which must offer performance superior to the 960M. So it’s a good progression compared to the 960M, as you can see in the chart below.

Mobility/ power

Dell XPS 15 is one of the smallest portable notebook PCs on the market, thanks to its very low screen margins. Its weight is 1.9 kg, while its thickness reaches 17 mm when closed. It is, therefore, an easily transportable machine, but of course far from reaching the mobility of a model in 13-inch formats, such as the Dell XPS 13. The balance is very good for a machine of this size, moreover with a UHD screen.

Super-balanced Audio

The audio part of the Dell XPS 15 is the correct average for this type of product. The headphone output produces quality sound with low distortion (0.01%), good output power (112 mVrms) and a well-reproduced sound spectrum. The loudspeakers (graphics above) deliver a sound quite powerful, but that is lacking bass. The mediums and the treble are however quite present.