Dell XPS 15

Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

Intel’s 12th-gen CPUs bring it to new heights.

Devindra Hardawar

Devindra Hardawar

How can Dell improve on its already excellent XPS 15? The latest Intel hardware, which boasts a better multitasking performance, has been added to the XPS 94. We loved the XPS 15’s updated design when it debuted two years ago, and last year, Dell added an OLED screen option, which led us to call it “practically perfect” in our review. We’re out of adjectives at this point. Still, it’s worth noting that the XPS 15 continues to be the 15-inch notebook that every PC company aspires to make.

Gallery: Dell XPS 15 (2022) | 10 Photos


A big reason for that is the XPS 15’s recent redesign, which dramatically narrowed the bezels and gives the entire computer a more modern look. The display borders are so thick that you can almost date laptops. Although I have seen it many times over the years, I still love how the screen flows into the keyboard. It may sound cliché, but those thin borders make it appear like the screen is floating.

XPS 15 (2022)

Pros

  • Sleek design
  • Great performance
  • Excellent keyboard and trackpad
  • Long battery life
  • Gorgeous display

Cons

  • Could use more ports
  • Keyboard and trackpad look messy after use

Every other aspect of the XPS 15’s case also feels like it’s honed to perfection, from the aluminum exterior to the smooth carbon fiber around the keyboard. I’m sure Dell will eventually give us an XPS 15 Plus that takes design cues from the newer XPS 13 Plus, but the standard model still has a level of polish that goes beyond most Windows laptops.

The big selling point for the XPS 15 this year is Intel’s new 12th-gen hybrid processors. They are far more efficient than the last year’s processors in handling multiple tasks because they combine high performance with efficient cores. Low-power cores are great for preserving battery life. Together with NVIDIA’s 45-watt RTX 3050 Ti GPU (which was also in the model we covered last year), the XPS 15 is now even more of a genuine powerhouse.

PCMark 10

3DMark Night Raid

Geekbench 5 (CPU)

Dell XPS 15 (2022, Intel i7-12700H, NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti 45w)

6,825

24,250

1,680/11,412

HP Spectre x360 16 (Intel Core i7-11390H, NVIDIA RTX 3050)

4,785

16,927

1,518/4,200

Dell XPS 15 (2021, Intel i7-11800H, NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti 45w)

5,966

22,264

1,536/7,551

ASUS ZenBook Duo (Intel Core i7-1165G7, Xe graphics)

4,704

15,315

1,410/4,539

Our review machine, equipped with a Core i7-12700H, 16GB of RAM and that NVIDIA GPU, scored 17 percent higher than last year’s model in the PCMark 10 benchmark and 40 percent faster in Cinebench’s multithreaded test. In the real world, those scores mean that the XPS 15 could end up saving you hours when it comes to editing huge video files or rendering 3D projects. The new CPU also gave the XPS 15 a slight leg up in some complex games like Halo Infinite. I reached a steady 60fps while playing in 1080p with medium settings, whereas the last XPS 15 struggled with complex shooters while using the same GPU. (It was fine for a low-impact game like Overwatch, but that was about it. )

Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

Image Credit: Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

The XPS 15’s 3.5K OLED display remains a knockout, with excellent color reproduction, black levels and all of the bonuses you’d expect. Although I love the display, Dell should push it further. This is especially important after Microsoft and Apple both introduced high-resolution displays in their notebooks. Having that extra bit of smoothness while scrolling through websites (and taking on the occasional enemy Spartan in Halo Infinite) would make the already great XPS 15 experience even better. This is also future-proof. )

Everything else we loved about the XPS 15 last year remains intact. The keyboard is responsive and comfortable, the trackpad feels large and smooth, and the quad speaker system sounds amazing. The XPS 15 also has most of the ports you’d need to get some serious work done. There are three USB-C ports, two of which support Thunderbolt 4, an SD card reader, and a headphone socket. The box includes a USB Type A adapter and a USB Type C to HDMI adapter. However, you will need additional dongles (or an USB-C mini hub) if your device requires Ethernet or multiple Type A ports.

Dell XPS 15

Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

I’m happy that Dell has kept the SD card slot. This will make it easier to upload photos and videos. It’s also nice to see the XPS 15 make some battery life improvements. In our benchmark, it lasted 13 hours and 12 minutes, a huge improvement from last year when it clocked under 10 hours.

Despite all my praises, there is still room for improvement. Although the trackpad, keyboard and wrist rest are great, they look a little shabby after light usage. I would love to see an oleophobic coating which doesn’t require so much wiping down. It would also be nice to have more ports.

Dell XPS 15

Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

The XPS 15 starts at $1,449 with a Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, but as usual, we’d recommend bumping up those specs a bit. You’ll want at least 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD and a Core i7 CPU to make this computer last for several years. Our review unit came in at $2,253 – a relatively modest price given the hardware you get. If you have large files to manage, I would spend more on a bigger SSD and more RAM.

Dell XPS 15

Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

At this point, the XPS 15 is the closest Dell has come to delivering a near-perfect workhorse machine. The beautiful exterior conceals a lot of power, but it is also capable of handling games. It has almost every feature you’d expect from a modern laptop, particularly if you choose the OLED display. Like Apple, Dell shows that good design can last many years.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Affiliate links may be included in some of our stories. We may be compensated if you purchase something from one of our stories’ affiliate links.

Popular on Engadget