The latest version of the Dell XPS 15 – like many of the versions before it – is an easy pick for our lists of best laptops for video editing and best laptops for photo editing(opens in new tab) out there at the moment. It's powerful, it looks great, it has a bright and crisp screen, and more besides... but is it the best laptop for your needs? If the Dell XPS 15 has found its way on to your shortlist of potential purchases, we're here to tell you everything you need to know about it. By the time you've finished our guide to the laptop, you should be in a position to make an informed decision about upgrading. When you go shopping for a Dell laptop, you know there are going to be multiple configurations available, and that's the case with the Dell XPS 15. These configurations are refreshed on a fairly regular basis as well, so we'd recommend you going to the Dell website and having a look at what's available right now. You can often also pick up laptops with slightly different specs from third-party retailers too. At the time of writing, you can get the latest Dell XPS 15 with a choice of 12th-gen Intel processors: an Intel Core i5-12500H (12 cores, up to 4.5GHz, 18MB cache), an Intel Core i7-12700H (14 cores, up to 4.7GHz, 24MB cache), or an Intel Core i9-12900HK (14 cores, up to 5.0GHz, 24MB cache). Those chipsets can be paired with 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of RAM. Obviously that covers a wide range in terms of power, performance, and what the laptop can cope with – from everyday computing to high-end tasks – so pick your budget and your choice of components accordingly.
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One area the Dell XPS 15 can't really stretch to is top-level gaming and creative tasks: the GPU choices top out at an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti. That's a decent mid-ranger when it comes to graphics performance, but you're not going to get the very best frame rates on the very latest games. For the Dell XPS 15, the slimline looks and relatively low weight are more important than gaming grunt. Storage starts from a very respectable 512GB and goes up to a rather impressive 2TB, with a 1TB option in between. That gives you scope for storing large media files and libraries on the Dell XPS 15, though bear in mind that the price of the laptop can start to rise quite quickly as you add more NVMe SSD storage. You get the best Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity on board, as well as Wi-Fi 6 – that's not quite as good as Wi-Fi 6E, but you're nevertheless going to be well covered for wireless internet for years to come.
The Dell XPS 15 comes in two halves: the 15.6-inch screen on the top and then the keyboard and the rest of the laptop attached to it. Part of the appeal of this laptop is how good those two halves look at how well they complement each other – in terms of aesthetics it's one of the best Windows laptops around, and it has a keyboard and trackpad that are comfortable and responsive in use. As with the internal components, there are several screen configurations available here, so you're going to have to figure out what your budget is and which one you want to go for. The resolutions start at 1920 x 1200 and go up from there, with a maximum brightness of 500 nits on offer, and a refresh rate stuck at 60Hz no matter what panel you choose (gamers take note). There are touchscreen and OLED upgrades available for the display, which is surrounded by ultra-thin bezels on all sides. The dual 2.5W stereo woofer and 1.5W stereo tweeter speakers (so 8W total peak) give you plenty of audio goodness, whether that's from movies or music or podcasts. We wouldn't say the sound system is one of the most outstanding reasons to buy this particular laptop, but then it's by no means a reason not to buy it either. The speakers perform a little better than you might expect from their size and configuration, and you can't really ask for much more than that.
When it comes to the key features of the Dell XPS 15 and what makes it such an appealing buy, it's really just the basics done very well: the quality of the screen, the overall look and style of the laptop, the typing and the trackpad experience, and the amount of power you can set up under the hood. There's no flashy innovation here, but then again there doesn't really need to be one – it's just an all-round, premium-level laptop.
By David Nield