Dell XPS 15 (2019): The webcam has moved – but not by much. The Dell XPS 15 for 2019 fixes the laptop’s most obvious flaw.
the webcam placement, but doesn’t change much beyond some updated components. It feels like a missed opportunity to keep Dell’s flagship 15-inch laptop in line with the rest of its redesigned XPS range.
As has always been the case with this line, the Dell XPS 15 (2015) takes everything that made its predecessors such great machines and builds on them. And, it does so by adding more power and, of course, more powerful components, as well as some much-needed lifestyle improvements, notably moving the webcam back to its rightful place and somehow making it smaller.
Strangely enough, when the Dell XPS 15 (2019) was launched at Computex 2019, there wasn’t much fanfare. For one, it was a nice refinement but not an innovative leap over the XPS line. It was also heavily overshadowed by the new design updates of the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2019) and the Alienware Gaming PC that garnered a lot of interest.
However, the Dell XPS 15 (2019) is still a very solid machine and anyone needing to upgrade from an older portable to a robust ultrabook should take a close look. Potential buyers will find it a great choice in the market for plenty of power, a sleek design, and a 15-inch display. And, they’ll find it a viable Windows alternative to the MacBook Pro. But, if you’re in the market for the latest, you might want to check out the 2020 refresh.
Dell XPS 15 (2019) Price and availability
The Dell XPS 15 (2019) starts at a respectable $1,168 (about £930, AU$1,660) for its base configuration, which offers a decent amount of power. It rocks a 9th-generation quad-core Intel Core i5 processor (CPU), 8GB of 2,666MHz memory (RAM) and a 256GB PCIe solid-state drive (SSD) behind a 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) screen.
This particular setting is not available in the UK and Australia. Initial configurations in the UK show the 9th generation i7 instead, with the same memory, storage, and display. Meanwhile, the base configuration in Australia rocks the same processor, memory, and display, but has double the storage.
Of course, the highlight of this show is the complete cut-out configuration. A maximum Dell XPS 15 2019 is an 8-core Intel Core i9 CPU, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics (4GB GDDR5), 32GB RAM, and 2TB SSD, all behind an OLED 4K UHD (3,8160 x multi-screen). This souped-up model will cost you $3,118 (£2,899, about AU$4,440).
This particular configuration is not available in Australia, where the maxed-out model has identical internals, but storage is limited to 1TB. It will cost you AU$5,199.
You may be able to access the better Nvidia graphics at the extremes of the available configurations, as has been the case in the past. We do know that the minimum amount to get your hands on this stunning OLED display will be $2,018/£1,868/AU$3,499.
So, you will see an impressive increase in performance in this year’s Dell XPS 15 which is not much higher than the current price of the XPS 13.
Design and display Dell XPS 15 (2019)
We’re glad to see that Dell has finally moved the webcam from below the display to its rightful place above it. Unfortunately, we’re also not satisfied with everything in the design of the Dell XPS 15 (2019), as it remained mostly the same. If Dell had already spent the time and effort to change one key design element, wouldn’t it make sense to take the opportunity to revisit other aspects of the XPS 15’s look and feel as well?
We’d love, for example, to get either a set of top-firing stereo speakers or a number pad on the keyboard to make use of all the extra space on either side of the keyboard.
Sadly, you’ll have the same design as the last one or two models of this laptop: an aluminum-clad lid and base with a black carbon fiber palm rest on the keyboard. That design has worked well for a while, but now it feels and looks a little dated, especially with the completely fresh-for-2019 look and feel of the Dell XPS 13 and XPS 13 2- with in-1.
However, to be fair to the XPS 15, Dell did give its keyboard a bit of an adjustment this year, if only to revise the font of the keys so they don’t look robotic and are closer to Helvetica’s hipness. Also, not all unchanged aspects are bad. Travel remains consistent at 1.3mm, and force feedback feels just as solid after our brief testing. The trackpad has kept the same smooth and accurate design as always, with a glass coating.
Dell’s main focus here, of course, was to offer its flagship ‘prosumer’ laptop with an OLED display, which was a bold attempt. The massive 100,000:1 aspect ratio is immediately apparent when looking at the screen, with blacks that fade into the laptop’s thin bezels.
Dell informs us that this display aims to support content creators with its 100% DCI-P3 color gamut. It’s not quite as bright as other screens at 400 nits max, leaning on that improved contrast ratio to pick up some of the slack left behind by the lack of brightness.
The laptop weighs just 4 pounds (1.8 kg) with a standard display and a 57 watt-hour (Wh) battery and now weighs the same at 4.5 pounds (2 kg) with an OLED display and a 97 Whr battery. Likewise, the laptop is as thin as ever – just 0.66 inches (17 mm) across the board. Finally, the ports are the same, with two USB 3.1 ports, a USB-C port with Thunderbolt 3 and PowerShare, an HDMI 2.0 port, an SD card reader, and a headset jack.
Performance of Dell XPS 15 (2019)
We can only say so much about the performance of the new XPS until we actually get a review unit through its pages. That said, based on the Dell XPS 15 (2019) specs, we have a pretty good idea of what to expect. The combination of Core i9 power with eight cores and GTX 1650 graphics can make this laptop a beast when it comes to handling high-resolution images and rendering equally high-resolution video content.
Likewise, the laptop’s gaming performance should be able to handle a Fortnite session for professionals who want to squeeze in one over lunch or after work — or any PC games, for that matter. If you are a college student who still wants to be. taken seriously in class. The amount of RAM this laptop offers calls for multitasking the hardware is capable of.
As for battery life, Dell promises plenty, reportedly up to 20 hours and 30 minutes of typical runtime on the FHD model, up from 13 hours with the 4K model or seven hours on the OLED display. These numbers sound too good to be true in our opinion, but again, only a thorough review will tell us how accurate these numbers really are.
Dell XPS 15 (2019) Early verdict
The Dell XPS 15 (2019) has addressed what was perhaps the laptop’s most annoying and glaring flaw – the webcam placement. Additionally, Dell has given its internal components a fair upgrade in almost every category. And, it has done so while inheriting great parts from its predecessor.
However, we are left disappointed by the speed with which this revision was – albeit briefly – carried out. There are many more aspects to be improved, and Dell could have tackled them to complete Dell’s 15-inch laptop this year. Unfortunately, Dell played it too safe this year, and the end result is a laptop that’s improved somewhat but still disappoints on a number of points.
We’ll save any further praise or condemnation for a full review of the Dell XPS 15, but for now, we’ll leave it at this: What you’re looking at is a 15-inch laptop that gets the basics done. has been arranged. And not much.
Pros and Cons of Dell XPS 15 (2019)
- +Webcam has finally moved
- +Core i9 power
- +Gorgeous OLED screen option
- –No major redesign