The XPS 15 we tested has a 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB PCIe SSD, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 GPU with 4GB of VRAM and a 4K touchscreen display. It even has a fingerprint reader. Put simply, we tested one of the most expensive high-performance builds available. You can get a considerably cheaper one if you're OK with downgrading a bit to a non-touch 1080p display and half the RAM. If money isn't a big concern, you can personalize this laptop however you like with up to 1TB of storage.
This laptop has a 15.6-inch 4K screen. To be clear, 4K resolution is also known as ultra high definition while 1080p is normal high definition. The picture goes almost entirely to the edge of the screen, which makes it feel even bigger than it actually is. In our tests everything we watched looked vivid and the display put out 282 nits of light, better than the 266 nit average for this type of computer.
The whole package weighs only 4.6 pounds, so it’s not exactly the lightest laptop we tested, though it’s not as heavy as the nearly 5-pound Acer Aspire E 15. On the sides of the laptop you also get an HDMI output, two USB ports, headphone/microphone jack, Thunderbolt 3 port, SD card reader and Kensington lock slot for security.
Our main gripe with this laptop is its webcam. It is located at the bottom of the display so it effectively shoots up your nose and tends to give you a double chin even if you don’t have one. If you type while you’re on camera, your fingers sometimes make an appearance on screen as well, which isn’t the most professional look if you’re planning on using this laptop for video conferencing at work.
Back to the positive things, the XPS 15 won’t burn you! In our tests the center of the keyboard got to 86 degrees Fahrenheit and the touchpad stayed at 80 degrees, but most impressively the bottom of the laptop peaked at a rather cool 79 degrees, so you don’t need to worry about burning your legs if you’re using the computer on your lap. These readings are well within the comfort threshold we’ve established of 95 degrees. Plus, you get respectable battery life because in our tests this laptop lasted eight hours and 23 minutes. The HP Spectre X360, however, did give us slightly more battery at 8 hours and 41 minutes.
The 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor and 16GB of RAM powers this unit well. We opened a bunch of browser tabs and streamed video without this laptop even hiccupping. That quick processor comes paired with a great graphics card so you and your family can use this capable machine for gaming. The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card let us play video games with vivid, clear colors and rendering in 1080p. Sadly, it doesn’t quite have the oomph to utilize 4K in video games.