Advertiser Disclosure: At Slickdeals, we work hard to find the best deals. Some products in our articles are from partners who may provide us with compensation, but this doesn’t change our opinions. Our editors strive to ensure that the information in this article is accurate as of the date published, but please keep in mind that offers can change. We encourage you to verify all terms and conditions of any product before you apply.Reading Time: 5 minutes
Yay! A new XPS 15! So, should you rush out and buy it? Probably. But let’s talk about it for a minute. When shopping for a laptop, it’s easy to get obsessed with numbers; the CPU speeds, the memory, the screen resolutions, and such. But the raw specifications don’t tell the entire story.
How does a laptop feel in your hands? How are the keys under your fingertips as you type? How responsive is the touchpad? Does the overall aesthetic suit your personal tastes? These are the things that really make the difference between liking a laptop, and truly loving it.
And these are the things that I think Dell really nails with its XPS line of laptops. Each year, for several years, I’ve heaped praise on the latest iteration of the XPS 15, even going so far as to calling it the best Windows laptop on the market. And for the past few weeks, I’ve been living with the latest and greatest iteration, new for 2022.
Once again, I love it. But why? Do XPS laptops have specs that are leaps and bounds beyond anything else? Not really – an expensive gaming laptop would probably take that award. Are there cheaper laptops out there that could do the job? Absolutely – have you seen how nice the new Inspiron laptops are now? But as fellow fans of the XPS will tell you, the devil is in the details, and that’s where the XPS stands above the competition.
So for this review, rather than just rattle through the numbers, and get all bogged down in spec sheets, I’d like to talk about what sets the XPS apart for me, and why I think it’s worth its premium price. And, of course, I’ll be layering in details on how the latest 2022 XPS 15 continues a run of excellence for Dell’s flagship laptop brand.
I’m going to start off with the thing I love most about the XPS – the quality of the materials used. It starts strong, with a machine-milled aluminum outer body. But it’s when you open the laptop that things get pretty special.
Dell uses a beautiful matte carbon fiber material for the palm rests in the 2022 XPS, as it has in previous models, with the most amazing soft-touch coating that feels like it’s made of a pliable rubber. It’s so nice that I found myself occasionally pausing work just to run my fingers over the body of the laptop, like one might do to the premium leather if you sat in the driver’s seat of a Bentley.
Visceral pleasure aside, carbon fiber is of course also incredibly strong and light, making it the perfect material to use in a premium laptop that needs to be as thin and portable as possible, while retaining durability and great looks. I hope Dell plans to do this for years to come, because the XPS just wouldn’t be the same without this defining feature.
The Best Laptop Keyboard
The XPS hasn’t always been perfect in this area, but Dell has really refined the design of its keyboard in recent years, and right now I feel like the XPS has just about my favorite keyboard in a laptop.
Some of it is down to design choices; wide keys with perfect spacing for amazing touch typing accuracy, full-size shift and backspace buttons for intuitive switching between desktop keyboards and the XPS, subtle underlighting where both the primary and secondary functions of the keys are illuminated, and a full function key row.
The short-throw keys also offer just the right amount of tactile click for a reassuring stroke, and enough resistance to retain a stable, linear key while also minimizing accidental input. Personally, I also like that the keyboard matches the body color, rather than going for an accented look.
An Audio Visual Treat
Look, I’m just going to say this right now: the sound on most laptops utterly sucks. For years, if you wanted a good sounding laptop, you needed a Macbook. But luckily that’s no longer the case. The XPS 15 is a rare example of laptop sound done right.
Despite its relatively thin chassis, it accomplishes a surprisingly rich sound profile, with good bass reflex and clear treble without that tinny sound you often get with laptops.
This pairs well with the display, which is always top-notch in the XPS. This is another of its defining features. It doesn’t matter which model you buy, the XPS always comes with a clear, bright, radiant display with amazing colors and accuracy, spread over a perfectly proportioned 16:10 aspect ratio (meaning it’s taller, or more square, than a normal widescreen display).
This is fitting, of course, for the professionals and content creators the XPS intended for. But this also makes it an excellent device on which to enjoy streaming TV shows or movies when the hotel’s entertainment selection just isn’t doing it for you.
A Touch of Class
Some XPS models come with touch screen input, support for which in Windows has improved massively in recent years. But that’s not what this section is about.
No, this headline refers to the enormous touchpad on XPS. Even on the smaller models, the XPS comes with an absolutely enormous touchpad dominating most of the lower deck below the keyboard. Once you get used to a touchpad of this size, it’s hard to go back to other laptops with more modest touch inputs.
And it’s not just the size that counts — the matte surface reduces the appearance of fingerprints and greasy smears, while also offering a perfect glide for your fingertips. It’s accurate, with multi-touch inputs working perfectly every time for me. Yet palm rejection is also excellent, so you needn’t worry about accidental swipes when typing.
Ready for Action
I made it a point to de-emphasize specs in this article, but if you’re going to pay over $2000 for a laptop, for sure it had better be fast. And luckily, the XPS doesn’t disappoint.
You can get the full detailed specs from the Dell store, but what’s important to know is that the XPS 15 is a premium productivity laptop, and that means you can count on it having the latest Intel CPUs (in this case, a Core i7 12700H that runs up to 4.7GHz), a super fast solid-state hard drive, and up to 64GBs of new-generation DDR5 RAM. If that means nothing to you, here’s the translation: it’s bloody fast.
For graphic designers, 3D artists or even the odd game or two, the XPS 15 can be outfitted with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti (45W) graphics card. This is enough power to keep light 3D or high-resolution video editing running smoothly.
Should You Buy the new Dell XPS 15 Laptop?
The XPS is a high-end luxury device. If you don’t care for soft-touch surfaces, or how a laptop looks and feels, and you’re all about getting the biggest numbers for your money, get something cheaper.
If you enjoy the attention to detail, the extreme refinement, and the premium fit-and-finish of a device like the XPS 15, I think you’ll find that it is money well spent.