Science and Technology
Dell XPS 15z Review
Today, we revisit the Dell XPS 15z in a slightly different configuration. The XPS 15z carries with it the same DNA as the XPS 15, but the excess fat has been trimmed down a bit to give the notebook a very sleek and streamlined look. This is the premium ve
Today, we revisit the Dell XPS 15z in a slightly different configuration. The XPS 15z carries with it the same DNA as the XPS 15, but the excess fat has been trimmed down a bit to give the notebook a very sleek and streamlined look. This is the premium version of the standard XPS notebook and it certainly shows in the design. Let’s see how it compares to its similarly spec’d brother.
Design and Build
The notebook comes draped in a matte silver paint job that keeps fingerprints at bay, while maintaining the premium look. The XPS 15z has a chrome trim running along the edges that makes it stand out fairly and prevents it from looking too dull. It weighs around 2.5kg, so it’s not particularly light. Everything from the hinges to the fit and finish of all the panels has a premium feel to it, and it doesn’t take long to realize this.
For connectivity, we have a headphone and microphone jack on the right, along with the slot-loading DVD burner. Around the back, we have the charging port and the LAN jack. There are exhaust vents in between the two ports in a stylish mosaic-like pattern. This theme is also carried forward on the speaker grills. On the left, we have the rest of the ports, which include HDMI, DisplayPort, ESATA/USB port, USB 3.0 and a USB 2.0 port. There’s also a memory card reader and a battery charge status indicator. The hinge sports a nice cylindrical ribbed design that also plays host to the power LED ring. The notebook has rubber feet underneath to keep it steady on most surfaces, but there are no quick remove panels for swapping out the RAM or hard drive.
Inside, we are greeted with more of the silver paint job, along with the incredibly comfortable chiclet keyboard. The speaker grills are placed on either sides and deliver very decent audio quality. The keys are backlit and have three intensity settings. Due to the sculpted nature of the keys, your fingers land firmly on a key without slipping onto another key by accident. Overall, the XPS 15z certainly pampers you and it’s one of the best designed notebooks we’ve seen, both ergonomically and aesthetically.
This unit of the XPS 15z is powered by an Intel Core i7-2640M running at 2.8GHz and a Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz. Other components, include 8GB of DDR3 RAM, 1TB hard drive running at 5400rpm and an Nvidia GT-525M dedicated graphics card with 2GB of video memory. Dell also bundles a lot of software (or Bloatware, depending on how you see it) along with the XPS 15z to get you started. Some useful programs, include Microsoft Office Starter 2010 and McAfee Security Center (30-day trial only).
Dell also throws in some of their own software, like Dell Online Backup up to 2GB for a year, Webcam Central, Facial recognition software, Roxio Creator Starter kit, Stage Software as well as 3 year complete-cover warranty.
The notebook runs silent and relatively cool for regular usage. Even while charging, the notebook gets warm, but never overly hot and you can still comfortably use it on your lap while it’s charging. If you’re doing anything more than just surfing the Internet or watching videos, then the notebook gets noticeably hotter. Coming to the performance, as expected, the slightly faster Core i7 does perform a little better than the previous model that we reviewed.
For multimedia, the XPS 15z is the perfect tool. The Full HD screen looks absolutely gorgeous and the colours displayed are very vivid and really pop on the screen. The brightness levels of the screen are also pretty good and there isn’t much of a colour shift when tilting the screen back and forth. The Nvidia GT 525M also supports Optimus technology, which means the discrete card only kicks in when there’s some heavy graphics to be rendered. The rest of the time, you’re on the integrated card.
The XPS 15z comes with 64WHr 8-cell battery pack, which managed 1hr and 15mins in the Battery Eater Pro. This is not bad given the components and the Full HD screen. Under standard usage, you should be able to get around 4hrs of good usage. Since this notebook wasn’t exactly designed to be portable anyways, it shouldn’t be much of a problem.
This particular configuration of the Dell XPS 15z will set you back by Rs.84,900, which makes it quite expensive and definitely a premium notebook. Having said that, we will say that you won’t be disappointed with this notebook. The design, finish and the attention given to every detail are impeccable and we can see why they’ve priced it this high. If you are on the look-out for a premium grade notebook, then the XPS 15z is a very good option to start with.
-By Roydon Cerejo
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