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Dell XPS 15 (2019) hands-on review: Dell’s flagship laptop gets a 4K OLED display and 2.25mm webcam

Dell’s new XPS 15 laptop is the first to sport an OLED display. Read our initial impressions from Computex, Taiwan

Dell has just unveiled two brand-new XPS laptops at Computex 2019 in Taipei and I’ve had hands-on time with both of them. Right now, I’ll be diving into the Dell XPS 15 (2019), the company’s new flagship laptop, now upgraded with a 4K OLED touchscreen option. Also present at the event was the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2019), the first Dell laptop built on the just-announced 10th Gen Ice Lake Intel Core CPU. The new Dell XPS 15 doesn’t use a 10th Gen CPU, but there are still plenty of new features and specification upgrades to talk about.

Keep reading for my first impressions of the Dell XPS 15 (2019), plus full details of the specs, pricing and release date information.

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Dell XPS 15 (2019) review: Key specifications, price and release date

  • 15.6in 3,840 x 2,160 (4K) OLED touch display
  • Up to Intel Core i9 (9th Gen) CPU
  • Up to 64GB of RAM
  • Up to 2TB PCI-E SSD
  • Up to Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU
  • Killer AX1650 Wi-Fi 6
  • Price: $999 (UK price TBC)
  • UK release: TBC

Dell XPS 15 (2019) review: Design, key features and first impressions

The Dell XPS 15 has long been a favourite of consumers and business customers alike, thanks to its sleek design, high-quality display and speedy performance. The new model delivers more power than ever before, courtesy of a 9th Gen octa-core Intel Core CPU, with as much as 64GB of RAM and SSD capacities up to 2TB. It also comes with the option of Nvidia GTX 1650 graphics, a significant upgrade from the GTX 1050Ti available in the 2018 model. Although the GTX 1650 may not quite make it the “ultimate creator’s machine”, as Dell claims, it’s a definite step in that direction.

The display gets a boost too, with the new option of a top-of-the-line 4K OLED touchscreen. This is the first time an XPS laptop has featured an OLED panel, and it really takes the visual experience to new heights, with a contrast ratio of 100,000:1 and self-lighting pixels that can achieve “perfect black”.

And while battery performance was already respectable on the Dell XPS 15 (2018), Dell claims that the new model will do far better, lasting up to 20.5 hours on a single charge. That may be true of certain specifications under light use, but I strongly suspect that battery life on the 4K, Core i9, GTX 1650-equipped model will be much shorter.

The final upgrade is to the camera. Earlier this year, Dell introduced the world’s smallest laptop webcam on its 2019 Dell XPS 13, measuring just 2.25mm. That’s now made its way over to the Dell XPS 15 (2019), allowing the camera to be embedded in the top bezel, while maintaining the ultra-slim “InfinityEdge” design. That’s a big improvement on previous models, where the webcam was situated below the display, giving it a rather unflattering angle on the user: Dell employees in attendance at Computex proudly chanted “No more chin-cam! No more chin-cam!” as the new camera was revealed.

The size and weight of the Dell XPS 15 (2019) don’t seem to have changed from last year’s model – but that’s hardly a problem because it’s one of the sleekest 15in notebooks on the market. The slender yet sturdy chassis is a fusion of CNC-machined aluminum, carbon fibre and Gorilla glass, as with previous models. 

The Dell XPS 15 also continues to pack a solid set of connectivity options around its tapered slimline edges. On the left, there’s a 3.5mm audio jack, a USB Type-C port (supporting Thunderbolt 3), a full-sized HDMI connector, one USB Type-A port and a proprietary power socket. On the right is a lock slot, another USB Type-A slot and an SD card reader.

Dell XPS 15 (2019) review: Early verdict

The XPS 15 is one of the best premium laptops around, and Dell has the formula locked in pretty tightly. Even so, a few tweaks here and there can go a long way, and the 2019 edition promises to be even better than its predecessor, with upgraded internals, premium display technology and that tiny, top-mounted webcam. 

At this point, there’s no UK pricing information for the Dell XPS 15 (2019), nor any word on UK availability, but in the US it starts at $999 and will be “available for purchase in the coming weeks”. I’ll update this as we learn more; in the meantime, keep an eye on Expert Reviews for more plenty more Computex 2019 coverage.

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