2x Dell XPS 15 review: Core i7 or Core i5?

Should you get the more powerful version with Core i7 with GeForce GT 640M or the more affordable model with Core i5 and GT 630M?

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Introduction

The Dell XPS 15 is a laptop that showcases what Dell is very good at, and that is creating high-quality products. This is a laptop that's not supposed to be the cheapest possible alternative, but one that is put together decently and performs adequately. Hardware.Info tested two models, one with Core i5 and GT 630M and one with Core i7 and GT 640M. 

The Dell XPS 15 is a 15-inch laptop and looks like a larger version of the Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook. This larger model doesn't carry the Ultrabook title, because Dell use standard, 35-watt mobile processors instead of energy-efficient ones.

The XPS 15 is constructed out of aluminium and a rubbery material. The laptop looks very sleek from all sides, and you don't even have all those stickers to sully the look. They are located under an aluminum cover on the bottom. Sharp lines and appealing design, those words come to mind when looking at the XPS 15. The keyboard, with backlit keys, also appears to be designed with aesthetics in mind. The keys are rounded, which takes a little getting used to. Like Apple's laptops, Dell has not included a separate numpad. The touchpad is large and smooth, and works fine.

Dell XPS 15 (Core i5/GT 630M)

When designing the sides of the XPS 15 Dell also put a lot of thought in form and not just function. On the left there are three USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port and a Mini DisplayPort. A VGA connector is absent. If you have the GeForce GT 630M you can't use the digital connectors at the same time, but that is possible with the GT 640M. On the left Dell also placed a gigabit port and a network cable.

On the other side you'll find the DVD burner which doesn't have a tray, but just a slot you slide the disc into. There is a headphone and a microphone jack. The wireless functionality is provided by an Intel Centrino 6235. It has good specifications, and is compatible with 802.11n on both via 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. The maximum transfer rate is 300 Mbit/s. The adapter also provides Bluetooth and supports Intel Wireless Display, which Dell included software for.


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