The XPS has plenty of power for almost any task including photo and video editing, general multimedia and of course office productivity. The Intel Core i7-4702HQ quad-core processor in our review unit delivers exceptional performance that even rivals what you’ll find in a high-end mobile workstation.
The Nvidia GeForce GT 750M graphics card inside the XPS 15 is relatively anemic for modern 3D gaming; it certainly can run those games … just not at high settings.
Storage-wise the XPS 15 is available with a number of different Solid State Drive (SSD) options; the 512GB version in our review unit is the largest offered and naturally carries a price premium.
Our Dell XPS 15 review unit was sent with the following specifications:
- 15.6-inch display (3200 x 1800 resolution, glass surface, 10-point touch-enabled)
- Windows 8.1 64-bit
- Intel Core i7-4702HQ quad-core processor (2.2GHz, up to 3.2GHz Turbo Boost, 6MB cache, 37W TDP)
- Nvidia GeForce GT 750M w/ 2GB GDDR5 memory
- 16GB DDR3L-1600 RAM (2x 8GB; max. supported)
- 512GB Samsung mSATA SSD
- No internal optical drive
- Intel Dual-Band Wireless-AC 7260 w/ Bluetooth 4.0
- Integrated HD webcam
- 6-cell 91Wh battery
- 1-year limited warranty
- Dimensions: 14.6″ x 10″ x 0.7″
- Weight: 4.44 lbs.
- Starting price: $1,599
- Price as configured: $2,349
Heat and Noise
You may have noticed there are no cooling vents visible on the XPS 15’s exterior; that’s because they are recessed into the back of the chassis right behind the display hinge. There are two fans total; one is dedicated to cooling the processor and the other the graphics card. These fans only came on during our benchmarking sessions; the XPS 15 was otherwise silent. The fans have a low-pitched sound making it non-intrusive and relatively easy to ignore.
The chassis both top and bottom remained just above room temperature while running typical office tasks. The chassis bottom warmed up noticeably while running benchmarks especially around the fan intakes, enough that I’d probably avoid using this notebook on my lap while doing anything strenuous.
Our Powermark “Balanced” battery life test is more demanding than a typical battery drain test; it includes web browsing, office productivity, multimedia and gaming workloads. The XPS 15 lasted four hours, 17 minutes; this is a good time for a 15.6-inch notebook and translates to about seven hours of usage if just surfing the Internet or typing. Reduce the screen brightness to get even more battery life; it’s the number one consumer of power in a typical notebook.