Dell XPS 15z Laptop Review

Category: Laptops - Date: August 3, 2012

The Dell XPS 15z is puts Dell back in the limelight for laptop design. Compared to Apple’s laptop-to-beat, the MacBook Pro, by many reviewers, the 15z is definitely a step in the right direction. Let’s take a look under the hood.

Specs

The XPS 15z has a Core i5-2410M dual-core processor with 6GB of RAM. There’s also a GeForce 535M graphics processor with 1GB of RAM, a DVD/CD burner, and a 500GB hard drive. For connectivity you’ll find HDMI and mini-USB ports, two USB 3.0 ports, an ethernet port and a multicard readers. Headphone and mic jacks round out the picture.

Unfortunately, for some unknown reason, Dell decided to make it difficult for users to upgrade this laptop. The case is too thin to allow the installation of a Blu-ray drive, or any drive at all, for that matter. In the plus column though, the standard screen resolution is 1366 x 768 and throw in an extra hundred bucks and you can upgrade to a full 1920 x 1080 HD display.

Going back to those comparisons with the MacBook Pro, the 15-inch MacBook has only 4GB of Ram and a screen resolution of 1440 x 900, and it doesn’t have any USB 3.0 ports. It does, however, cost about $700 more than the Dell. Go figure.

Design

OK, back to the Dell. The 15z measures a touch over 15 inches wide by 10 inches deep, a tad bit larger than the Apple. And the Dell’s chassis is made of aluminum and magnesium, pieced together in a sleek, clean, eye-catching design.

Keyboard

But let’s talk about the keyboard because that’s a deciding factor for a lot of users. As laptops and notebooks continue to shrink in size, so do their keyboards and touchscreen keyboards typically suck on mid-range products.

The Dell XPS 15z keyboard has island style keys with rounded edges. Very easy to touch-type with and they have a nice soft touch-action – no pounding necessary. And finally, someone has answered my prayers , the Dell has a nice size touchpad that you just can’t miss, but it’s recessed , hallelujah , so you don’t accidentally activate it with your palm while you’re typing. This feature alone makes it well worth my money.

Battery

Battery tests put the 15z batter life at about 5 hours, which is pretty average for this mid-level machine. And that was with Wi-Fi enabled and some game playing thrown in for good measure.

Conclusion

The XPS 15z really is one of the better laptops that Dell has cranked out recently and if you’re a Dell fan, like me, you’ll want to check it out. I’ve always found Dell’s service and support to be impeccable and it looks like they’re stepping back into the arena with a vengeance.

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