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Dell XPS 15z review

Verdict

A big laptop with plenty of power, plus the style and battery-life to make a surprisingly strong all-rounder

Review Date: 27 Jul 2011

Reviewed By: David Bayon

Price when reviewed: £958 (£1,150 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
5 stars out of 6

Value for Money
5 stars out of 6

Performance
5 stars out of 6

PCPRO Recommended

As if Dell’s XPS 15 weren’t desirable enough already, it’s now joined by the sporty 15z. As well as upgraded internals, the whole design has received a bit of spit and polish to bring it up to luxury standards.

Dell has done a fantastic job sprucing up the curves of the 15in frame, with a lovely silver coating on the lid, a neat spiral-finished hinge cover and a muted grey inside. Add some neat flourishes, such as the large speaker grilles either side of the keyboard, and a silver trim around the edges, and you have a laptop that’s unusually stylish for its size. The Full HD screen makes it necessarily wide, but at only 26mm it’s not too thick either.

Dell XPS 15z

The keyboard adds to the luxury feel. First, there’s the shape of the keys, all rounded edges with a slightly concave surface. Then there’s the letters and symbols adorning them, which have a cool futuristic look. Finally there’s the size: although this isn’t a full-width keyboard, large gaps between rows mean it’s well suited to large hands.

The touchpad is huge too, and thankfully Dell has decided not to roughen it up, instead choosing a nice smooth finish that doesn’t get clammy too quickly. The deep-travel buttons could perhaps give a little more click feedback than they do, but on the whole it adds up to a very comfortable laptop to use on a desk. It’s just a shame that its size and 2.56kg weight make it rather less comfortable to use on a lap.

Dell XPS 15z

The 15z isn’t only about design: it also offers a great deal of computing power. It comes with a dual-core 2.7GHz Core i7-2620M and 8GB of DDR3 RAM, which pushed it to an overall score of 0.73 in our application benchmarks – not far off the sort of score you’d expect from a top-end quad-core laptop. Graphics are handled by a switchable Nvidia GeForce GT 525M GPU. This isn’t a powerhouse, but it’s perfectly capable of a little gaming: the XPS 15z managed a respectable 45fps in our Low quality Crysis test and 23fps at Medium. Lower a few settings and you might just about squeeze a playable frame rate at the screen’s native Full HD resolution.

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User comments

Seriously...

If you cannot replace the battery then don't buy the machine as it'll probably be a paperweight part just after the warranty expires.

(For example the Acer W500 states that the battery will retain charge for up to 300 charges.... nearly a years life. Funny that)

By rhythm on 27 Jul 2011

1080p screen

I cant find this option on dells website. Its a dealbreaker if I can not get one for the price

By jamieostrich on 27 Jul 2011

RE: 1080p

Dell assured me the 1080p option is available, but they were having some supply and website issues yesterday.

Probably best to order by phone so you can confirm with them that you're definitely getting the right screen.

Regards
David

By davidb_pro on 27 Jul 2011

Seriously...
If you cannot replace the battery then don't buy the machine as it'll probably be a paperweight part just after the warranty expires.

(For example the Acer W500 states that the battery will retain charge for up to 300 charges.... nearly a years life. Funny that)
By rhythm on 27 Jul 2011

............. How true!
Dell do indeed i believe have a counter of some sorts inside their batteries which drastically reduces performance after so many charge cycles.. and they have worked it out so that it goes just after the first 12 months. Then they expect you to purchase a new battery at a cost of between £90-£150. Nice little earner for them!

By THCBlueberry on 27 Jul 2011

1080p Screen Problems

I can confirm that Dell are having supply problems. I ordered mine back on the 7th July and received an e-mail few days ago stating supply problems. They are currently quoting between the 5th and 18th of August for delivery.

I agree about the battery but it is common these days for non removable ones. I'm not too worried about it thoug, by the time it goes i'll problably be looking at another laptop anyway

By mesha64 on 27 Jul 2011

XPS 15Z Do not buy one

Hello all

So I have had this machine for the last 3 months and I have next day business support.

First Issue : The chrome finish on the both slides has chipped and flaked. To resolve it they had to take the entire machine apart but they fixed it.

Second Issue : The machine has been dead for 7 days. You boot it and it makes 8 beeps. Dell have now failed to organise to collect the machine, once they do that I can expect it to be away for 10-15 days.

Save yourself and buy another one.

Regards

See the full details and video below:


http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/laptop
/f/3518/t/19434545.aspx

Fhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hA9TR-y6vpo&featur
e=youtu.be

By Wicklow on 1 Feb 2012

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