comscore Dell XPS 15 9500 (2020) Intel Core i7 review | BGR India
Review

Dell XPS 15 9500 (2020) review: One of the finest PC experiences

The Dell XPS 15 9500 (2020) is one of the finest Windows laptops to buy this year. For workaholics or content creators, it guarantees a quality experience.

Dell XPS 15 9500 (1)

Dell XPS 15 9500 4.0 5
BGR Rating :
4.0/5

If you have wanted a fine Windows PC experience, the Dell XPS range of laptops has been the easiest recommendation since an eternity. Whether you pick up a 13-inch or 15-inch variant, the XPS laptops do not compromise on performance and form factor -a rarity in the world of Windows laptops. The XPS 15, which is the bigger version, got an upgrade earlier this year with the latest Intel processors and I was eager to try it out. Also Read - Dell Latitude 9510 2-in-1 review: Excellent battery life, good performance

I eventually got my hands on the high-end version, courtesy of Dell. The XPS 15 9500 came to my desk as my main workstation for just over two weeks, equipped with the Intel Core i7-10750H CPU and a luxurious 4K display. This particular variant costs Rs 2,18,495, which restricts this laptop for the well-heeled roaming around in business suits. Or, for the fancy content creators in glorious studios. Also Read - Dell Alienware m15 R3 Review: Futuristic, capable, and hot

While I don’t belong to either of these classes, I set it up as my main work laptop and after two weeks, I am having shard time parting with the XPS 15 9500. Also Read - Dell launches Alienware m15 R3 and Dell G series gaming laptops in India

Build & design

The XPS is one of the very few Windows laptops that compares to Apple’s MacBook lineup when it comes to sleekness and desirability. The XPS 15 is a bug 15-inch laptop and yet, it is so slim that it starts bothering the MacBook Pro with its looks. Well, it isn’t exactly wafer-thin as the design cleverly masks the bulk with its chrome-lined flat edges. The underside curves to house the internal components, imparting a sort of a floating effect. The presence of just three USB-C ports, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and an SD card slot helps the XPS with its lean-&-trim design.

Dell XPS 15 9500

Similar to previous XPS models, the XPS 15 has a metallic lid and chassis made of aluminum. The lid with its matte silver finish is good at hiding dust as well as smudges, which makes life easier in a dusty country like ours. Open the lid and you will be greeted with a stunning carbon-fiber deck that’s coated with a soft-touch finish. Every morning as I sat down during these monotonous WFH sessions, the carbon fiber finish cheered me up a little.

What cheered me up, even more, was the display. The XPS 15 9500 in 2020 comes with a 15.6-inch 4K display with an HDR 400 rating, 100 percent Adobe RGB spectrum, and 94 percent DCI-P3 color gamut. The aspect ratio is set at 16:10 and there’s touchscreen input. The bezels are unbelievably slim, especially at the bottom and all the other sides. There’s support for auto-brightness functionality and you get a rather average webcam positioned on the top.

I loved working on this display and I loved playing on it even more. The colors literally pop-out and make the usually dull Windows 10 interface seem lively. The 4K resolution looks greatly sharp but I guess it is overkill. Whether I was catching up on my binge sessions of The Office, or watching the Apple events, the XPS 15’s display made everything look gorgeous. The touch response was good and I found it helpful during increased workloads. If you are a content creator and you cannot compromise with colors, the Dell XPS 15 with the 4K display is the laptop you should choose.

Dell XPS 15 9500

Complimenting the display is a pair of speakers that are placed on either side of the keyboard. These are good speakers – great if you compare it to what most other laptops have to offer. Not only is the volume loud, but the audio also sounds rich with distinguishable bass, strong mids, and decent highs. Whether playing games or watching movies, I did not found myself reaching for headphones or wireless speakers.

Helping with the workflow was the massive and responsive trackpad as well as the comfortable QWERTY keyboard. The large size of the trackpad makes scrolling through windows easier. The keyboard itself is comfortable to type long documents but I have seen better keyboards with more feedback and key travel on Lenovo’s similarly-priced ThinkPad laptops. For most generic use cases, the keyboard will do just fine.

The port selection is limited on the XPS 15 9500. There are three USB-C ports and these are the only ways to connect other devices or storage media. I found a USB-C dongle that extends a USB-A and an HDMI port for users (helpful for people who use a mouse). What’s helpful though is the ability to charge the battery via any of these three USB-C ports.

Dell XPS 15 9500

For biometric verification, the XPS 15 comes with a capacitive fingerprint scanner on the power button. It unlocks fast, although I found myself relying on the more reliable IR face scanner system. I open the lid, the laptop scans my face, and I am on the desktop in less than 5 seconds.

Performance

Powering the Dell XPS 15 9500 is a 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10750H CPU that’s paired to 32GB DDR4 RAM as well as a 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD storage. This variant came with the NVIDIA GTX 1650 Ti graphics card with 4GB of VRAM. The laptop runs on Windows 10 Home out of the box.

In my daily usage, the XPS 15 9500 had no trouble dealing with the office workloads. Basic PC stuff such as writing documents, dealing with eight Google Chrome tabs simultaneously, streaming music in the background, as well as transferring big files from thumb drives did not bother this laptop at all during my time with it. This was despite the resolution set to 4K for all the tasks.

Dell XPS 15 9500

If you are into benchmarks, here are some scores to keep your nerdy part happy. The XPS 15 9500 scores 4,870 on PCMark while on CineBench R15, it managed a score of 1,589. In 3DMark’s Skydiver test, the XPS nabbed a score of 20,390 while the FireStrike test only got the laptop a score of 8,890.

Since the scores were good enough, I tried some gaming on the XPS 15 9500 and the results were mixed. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, which is a current title, could only amass 30 fps at maximum on an average with medium to low graphics at 720p resolution. F1 2020 could do its best of 40 fps on an average in medium graphics. I also noticed the palm rest areas heat up quite a lot but HWInfo showed a constant temperature of 95 degrees Celsius under extreme gaming loads. The experience is far from good but then, the XPS 15 isn’t a gaming laptop. The NVIDIA GTX 1650Ti is an older card and I wish Dell used a more capable RTX series card to offer better graphical performance.

I used Photoshop 7.0 on this laptop and while editing 4K photos, the laptop did not struggle. Sadly, I don’t edit videos and hence, I cannot tell you if you should consider this for video editing purposes.

Dell XPS 15 9500

The overall fast performance and the high-res 4K display do take a toll on the battery life. Dell claims up to 8 hours of life while streaming Netflix. In reality, my workflow saw the XPS 15 9500 die at the 5.5-hour mark at best. Do note that I kept the laptop connected to my Wi-Fi network, streamed songs via the laptop speaker, and used mice to get my work done. The Full HD version could get better battery life but I expect at best two hours more life on a single charge. Charging up the battery does not take a lot of time. I saw the battery fill up from 46 percent to 100 in around an hour.

Conclusion: Is the Dell XPS 15 9500 worth it?

Dell XPS 15 9500

The Dell XPS 15 9500 is one of the finest Windows laptops you can have on your desk today. The previous versions set a benchmark for premium ultrabooks and the updated XPS 15 9500 simply extends it to another level. It is built exclusively well, has a superb display (if you opt for the 4K display), performs adequately, and has decent battery life. For content creators, you will like the audio-display package of the XPS 15. That said, I would have liked Dell to offer a better GPU.

At this price, the Dell XPS 15 competes with the likes of the 16-inch MacBook Pro and HP Spectre x360 15. The MacBook Pro draws with its macOS ecosystem apps (Final Cut Pro X) but for everything else, I think it is the Dell XPS 15 9500 that does things better with its 4K display, 32GB memory, and a hot design. If you are blessed with a budget of Rs 2,18,000, go ahead and get this XPS.

For the latest tech news across the world, latest PC and Mobile games, tips & tricks, top-notch gadget reviews of most exciting releases follow BGR India’s Facebook, Twitter, subscribe our YouTube Channel.
  • Published Date: November 20, 2020 6:09 PM IST



new arrivals in india

Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro
Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro

39,999

Infinix Hot 10
Infinix Hot 10

9,999

Vivo V20 SE
Vivo V20 SE

20,990

Vivo V20
Vivo V20

24,990

Micromax In 1b
Micromax In 1b

6,999

Micromax In Note 1
Micromax In Note 1

10,999

OnePlus 8T
OnePlus 8T

42,999

Samsung Galaxy F41
Samsung Galaxy F41

15,499

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

1,29,900

Apple iPhone 12 Pro
Apple iPhone 12 Pro

1,19,900

Apple iPhone 12 Mini
Apple iPhone 12 Mini

69,900

Apple iPhone 12
Apple iPhone 12

79,900

Poco X3
Poco X3

16,999

Realme Narzo 20A
Realme Narzo 20A

8,499

Realme Narzo 20
Realme Narzo 20

10,499

Realme Narzo 20 Pro
Realme Narzo 20 Pro

14,999

Oppo F17
Oppo F17

17,990

Samsung Galaxy M51
Samsung Galaxy M51

24,999

Poco M2
Poco M2

10,999

Oppo F17 Pro
Oppo F17 Pro

22,990

Realme 7 Pro
Realme 7 Pro

19,999

Realme 7
Realme 7

14,999

Xiaomi Redmi 9A
Xiaomi Redmi 9A

6,799

Vivo Y20
Vivo Y20

12,990

Xiaomi Redmi 9
Xiaomi Redmi 9

8,999

Nokia 5.3
Nokia 5.3

13,999

Motorola Moto G9
Motorola Moto G9

11,499

Realme C15
Realme C15

9,999

Realme C12
Realme C12

8,999

Samsung Galaxy Note 20
Samsung Galaxy Note 20

77,999

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Prime
Xiaomi Redmi 9 Prime

9,999

Oppo Reno4 Pro
Oppo Reno4 Pro

34,990

Samsung Galaxy M01 Core
Samsung Galaxy M01 Core

5,499

Realme 6i
Realme 6i

12,999

Asus Rog Phone 3
Asus Rog Phone 3

49,999

OnePlus Nord
OnePlus Nord

24,999

Infinix Smart 4 Plus
Infinix Smart 4 Plus

7,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9

11,999

Samsung Galaxy M01s
Samsung Galaxy M01s

9,999

Vivo X50 Pro 5G
Vivo X50 Pro 5G

49,990

Vivo X50 5G
Vivo X50 5G

34,990

Realme C11
Realme C11

7,499

Poco M2 Pro
Poco M2 Pro

13,999

Realme X3
Realme X3

24,999

Realme X3 SuperZoom
Realme X3 SuperZoom

27,999

Tecno Spark Power 2
Tecno Spark Power 2

9,999

Oppo A12
Oppo A12

9,990

Oppo A52
Oppo A52

16,990

Samsung Galaxy A21s
Samsung Galaxy A21s

15,999

Oppo Find X2
Oppo Find X2

64,990

Motorola One Fusion Plus
Motorola One Fusion Plus

17,499

Samsung Galaxy A31
Samsung Galaxy A31

20,999

Samsung Galaxy M01
Samsung Galaxy M01

8,999

Samsung Galaxy M11
Samsung Galaxy M11

10,999

Infinix Hot 9 Pro
Infinix Hot 9 Pro

9,999

LG Velvet
LG Velvet

Price Not Available

Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite
Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite

Price Not Available

Apple iPhone SE 2020
Apple iPhone SE 2020

42,500

Honor 30 Pro
Honor 30 Pro

Price Not Available

Honor 30
Honor 30

Price Not Available

OnePlus 8
OnePlus 8

44,999

OnePlus 8 Pro
OnePlus 8 Pro

54,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro

13,999

Motorola Moto E4
Motorola Moto E4

8,999

Samsung Galaxy On Max
Samsung Galaxy On Max

9,775

nubia N2
nubia N2

15,999

Karbonn K9 Kavach 4G
Karbonn K9 Kavach 4G

5,290

Motorola Moto C Plus
Motorola Moto C Plus

6,999

Best Sellers