Early this year, I had the chance to review Dell XPS 15 and I was immediately taken by its performance. The laptop was powered by Intel’s powerful Core i9 processor and used NVIDIA graphics to accelerate heavy workloads. I called it a powerhouse for creators and it was my primary computer at Mobile World Congress 2019. It was quick to start, had a very good software and worked regardless of what you asked it to do. Whether you asked it to load a spreadsheet with thousands of sheets or loaded a 4K RAW footage onto video editing suite. It was able to pull off these tasks reliably even though it had a thermal issue noticeable at times.
If you are Dell then the obvious question would be how do you make it better. With the new XPS 15 launched at Computex 2019, Dell has answered that question by replacing the display on its performance-oriented laptop. The new XPS 15 with OLED display was first previewed at CES 2019 and at Computex, Dell is showing how big the change will be moving from an LCD display to an OLED panel. In fact, it would be fair to say that PCs are now in a prime position to use OLED panels. Here are my initial thoughts about the new XPS 15 and how it will be different from the existing model:
OLED is the new normal
In 2019, every other mainstream laptop will move from LCD display to OLED display. Smartphones have become the primary computer for most consumers around the world and when it comes to smartphones, most devices are now switching to OLED panels. Laptop makers are now following suit and making it the default choice for those who buy premium laptops. Dell, in fact, calls the new XPS 15 with OLED panel as “content creator’s dream” and I don’t have much reason to question that narrative.
We are looking at a 15.5-inch 4K Ultra HD OLED panel and the first thing I observed is the brightness. The OLED panel on the new XPS 15 seemed brighter with deeper blacks and the depth in color profile was more prominent than on the LCD model from early this year. If you are a content creator then every color matters and better accuracy, better content can be made on the device. The display supports 100 percent of DCI-P3 color gamut with Dolby Vision for enhanced brightness and deeper blacks. I love the display on Samsung Galaxy S10, Google Pixel 3 XL and the iPhone XS and those OLEDs make me wonder how we used laptops with LCD for so long.
Yes, the primary talking point of the new Dell XPS 15 is its OLED display but there is a lot going for it in terms of performance. The designers of Dell would have thought let’s not fix what is not broken and it comes with up to eight core 9th generation Intel Core i9 processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics. Dell is offering options for up to 64GB memory and 2TB PCIe SSD storage. It still has an aluminum unibody construction with carbon fiber textured finish near the keyboard and trackpad and Dell even calls it the smallest laptop with a 15.6-inch display.
If the performance of the early 2019 XPS 15 is an indicator then it will be fast for most consumers. However, it needs to be seen whether Dell managed to fix the throttling issue as it did with the XPS 13 model. Whether you are a video creator or an animator or one with heavy workloads, the Core i9 model of XPS 15 should handle it without any issue.
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There is nothing new about the XPS 15 if you exclude the OLED display and that makes you wonder whether the upgrade was needed at this point. But when you look at that panel, the need for an upgrade becomes very much clear. The XPS 15 has become a standard machine of choice for a lot of creators and all of them want an OLED panel, whether you know it or not. For those who got an XPS 15 early this year, it wouldn’t make much sense to upgrade but those planning to get themselves a powerhouse, this should be on top of the list.