Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 Is A Powerhouse With Minor Flaws

The version of the XPS 15 2-in-1 reviewed here is the one with an 8th-gen Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, a 256GB SSD, a 4K screen, and a discreet Radeon™ RX Vega GPU.

After problems with UPS (this can be a whole book written on this), I finally have the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and have been using it for the past day. I’ve used it enough where I feel comfortable giving a full review. I am mostly happy with it, but there are a few flaws. Let’s get started…

Display

The 4K display on the 2-in-1 is gorgeous. It ranks up there with some of the best 4K screens on the market. The MacBook Pro’s screen has a better contrast ratio, but only a 2880 x 1800 pixel resolution screen.

This XPS screen, at 400 nits, gets extremely bright, so it is okay if you just turn it up 50 percent — this would be a good thing, since it saves battery life. I did notice some screen bleeding, but it is on the lower-right part of the screen. My eyes don’t even notice it unless I am using the XPS with a black screen in the dark.

Keyboard

Originally, I wasn’t thrilled with the magnetically driven keyboard. However, after two hours of use, I loved it. The keys don’t have as much travel as other laptop keyboards, but you can actually type faster on this than others, including the MacBook Pro and its butterfly keys. Some other sites say that this isn’t the type of keyboard that you would want to type a novel on, but I disagree. 

The keyboard on the XPS 15 2-in-1 takes some getting used to.

Performance

I’m not a gamer, so I can’t tell you how well this plays games. However, I am a video editor, photo editor, and do some minor 3D design. And I can tell you that this computer operates significantly faster than the Dell XPS 13 9370 that I reviewed a couple months back, which is the same one I use as my regular computer. Some of this has to do with the 16GB RAM on board, which makes a huge difference when using programs such as Adobe Premiere or Adobe Photoshop.

Battery Life

Some say that the battery life is the Achilles heel of the XPS 15 2-in-1, but I don’t agree. It’s certainly not fantastic. But I’ve been able to get five hours of use with the brightness turned to 50 percent. Considering the power under the hood of this computer, that is pretty good. Perhaps, with updates from Dell, the battery life will be even better.

Fan Noise and Heat

The XPS 15 2-in-1's fan can get quite loud, but it's not a deal killer.

If somewhat loud (but not overbearing) fan noise and warm keyboards (at times) bother you, the XPS 15 2-in-1 may not be for you. When I first used this on my lap, I felt that there would be a hole in my pants when I lifted it up. However, once I did a BIOS update, the heat wasn’t nearly as bad — just more of an annoyance. 

The fan noise, even after the BIOS update, is somewhat annoying, but it doesn’t make the screeching coil whine noise heard on Dell’s older laptops. It’s a small price to pay in order to have a large and powerful computer.

Tablet

There is a reason this is called the XPS 15 2-in-1, and that’s because the screen can be folded back so you can use your laptop as a tablet. Mind you, it’s one very huge tablet. There is an optional pen you can buy for inking or drawing.

Conclusion

The XPS 15 2-In-1 is the best 15-inch laptop in its class. You will have to pay a hefty price (most configurations are over $2,000), but you get a portable gaming machine and fantastic video editing device. Plus, your eyes will get addicted to the large and beautiful screen.

 

About Daryl

Daryl Deino has been a technology enthusiast since 1995 and has written for several newspapers and technology sites. Please reach him at [email protected]
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