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Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520) Review [Complete Buying Guide]

Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520)
Table of Contents

Here we will show you the complete review of the Dell XPS 15 OLED 9520. Dell’s newest premium laptop, the XPS 15 (version 9520, starting at $1,449; $2,299 as tested), has an OLED display and represents the cutting edge of desktop replacement technology. This laptop has the latest Intel 12th Generation CPUs, Nvidia GeForce RTX graphics, and a gorgeous OLED touch screen, making it very productive and visually stunning. It’s one of the greatest workplace PCs available, and it’s also a fantastic choice for media editing and other similar tasks. When it comes to high-end computers for making media, the XPS 15 OLED is once again our top pick.

Dell XPS 15 OLED 9520 model

The XPS 9520 follows the tradition of the rest of the XPS series, which often appears among the top ultrabooks, with its practically bezel-free display. As a result, the OLED display on our review device seemed to float above the keyboard, albeit Dell still has some work to do on the built-in camera.

Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520) Review

The XPS’s slim design makes it convenient to take it with you wherever you go, but it comes at the expense of connectivity options. Weighing that against the processing speed it provides will help you decide whether this laptop meets your requirements for creative work.

Preliminary Planning and Building

The new XPS 15 9520 looks and feels similar to earlier models in the series, so there are plenty of resources available to help you get a handle on what it symbolizes. In my opinion, this is the best Windows-based substitute for the Macbook pro. The same high-quality materials and meticulous attention to detail were used. It’s small, has many high-quality display choices, plentiful inputs, powerful sound, and can do a wide range of common tasks.

The size of the bezels surrounding the screen provides more evidence of this laptop’s portable style, confirming the device’s dimensions. There are several images available online that show the differences between the MBP 16 and the MBP 15, so you won’t have to wait for me to get one. Yes, I did use the latest ZenBook Pro 16X, and it is clear that the XPS 15 is a more compact and lightweight machine. However, as you’ll see in our next review, the ZenBook Pro has higher processing power. Dell’s XPS 15 comes in two sizes, but both use the same two color schemes they’ve provided for years: silver exteriors with either black or white interiors, both with a woven carbon-fiber-like finishing. However, the lighter choice may not be widely accessible.

The XPS 15 was put through its paces while sporting an interior made of black carbon fiber weave. While the white version with the woven glass palm rest is certainly eye-catching, I much like the carbon fiber version. After testing a few different XPS 15 versions, I can say with confidence that the carbon fiber chassis is the most pleasant to use for extended periods of time with your wrists and hands resting on it.

The XPS 15’s screen

The XPS 15’s OLED display, which measures 15 inches, seems to be suspended above the keyboard. Even while many other PC makers have been reducing the bars surrounding their displays, its small bezels stand out as particularly impressive. The wide 16:10 screen ratio allows for plenty of reading material to be shown at once, reducing the need for scrolling.

XPS 15's OLED display

The OLED display’s resolution of 3456 x 2160 falls short of 4K but is still very high quality. Generally speaking, 4K is defined as a minimum of 3840 x 2160 pixels. Because of the extra height of 16:9 screens, that translates to 3840 x 2400 on most screens.

The Dell display is bright and colorful, albeit not the brightest on the market. It was great for watching the opening scene of Tears of Steel, a 4K open-source film we use for testing; the red flames of a rocket booster became a brilliant white. Also, the contrast was great, even against the grey sky.

The XPS 15 was able to display a color gamut of 123% in sRGB and 85.9% in DCI-P3. That’s better than both the Gigabyte Aero 16 (which utilizes OLED) and the MacBook Pro (which has a mini-LED display). Here, the Ideapad Slim 7 Carbon triumphed. It covers 139.3 percent of the DCI-P3 gamut and 197 percent of the sRGB spectrum.

Equipment and efficiency

The Dell XPS 15 9520 we used for testing was the mid-range model. Thus it has a Core i7-12700H CPU, Iris Xe graphics, an Nvidia RTX 3050Ti 35-45W GPU, 16 GB of DDR5-4800 RAM, and a 1 TB fast gen4 SSD for data storage.

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This is a locally purchased store display model. We put it through its paces a few months after its debut, and by late June 2022, the program was mostly complete (BIOS 1.3.0, MyDell 2.0.30.0 app, Nvidia Studio Driver 512.96). It’s still possible that certain details may shift in subsequent software releases.

Specifically, our unit is based on the standard Core i7-12700H CPU found in Intel’s Alder Lake H45 architecture. The hybrid architecture of this Dell laptop. It has 6 Performance Cores and 8 Efficiency Cores. It makes it the most power-efficient Core H 12th-gen system we’ve evaluated so far.

In terms of graphics processing, the newest iteration of the XPS 15 has an Nvidia RTX 3050Ti processor. It has a TGP of 35W and can boost its power consumption to 45W. There is also an RTX 3050 40W variant, as well as an Iris Xe variant.

This laptop has 2 memory slots (called DIMMs) and can take up to 64GB of DDR5-4800 RAM. Each of our machines has 32 GB of RAM installed in a dual-channel configuration.

Dell XPS 15 sound system (9520)

When compared to other laptops, the XPS 15’s speakers are impressive. They are loud, to be sure, but also well-tuned and balanced.

The Pretty Reckless’s “25” filled my flat. Also, the music didn’t distort even when I turned up the level to eleven. The rums, strings, and singing all sounded fantastic as well. While the bundled Waves MaxxAudioPro program allowed me to adjust the volume and EQ settings to improve the sound, the bass was still noticeably lacking.

However, the quality of the sound came at a strange price; whenever I listened to music, my XPS 15 vibrated. If I touched the keys on the keyboard for an extended period of time or the wrist rest, I could feel it. Although this occurs to some extent on all portable audio systems (speakers produce sound via vibrations), it is more pronounced on this device.

The runtime of the Dell XPS 15’s Battery (9520)

When we put the XPS 15 through our battery life test, it fared surprisingly well, particularly considering that it has an OLED display and a dedicated graphics card. Under our test conditions, which included continuous web browsing, video streaming, and OpenGL benchmarks at 150 nits, the Battery lasted for 9 hours and 43 minutes.

Dell XPS 15's Battery

That was much faster than the Aero 16’s time of 5:04. At 9 minutes and 56 seconds, the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon was comparable to the XPS 15.

However, Apple’s 16-inch MacBook Pro, powered by Arm’s M1 Max, performed far better, lasting 15 hours and 31 minutes. The XPS 15 is an excellent business laptop with a battery life that can last through a whole workday. However, Apple is well ahead of the competition.

Pros:

  • Intel’s latest 12-generation processors provide lightning-fast speeds.
  • Stunning 3.5K OLED touch screen.
  • Long-lasting battery life; it lasts all day.
  • Inviting layout with a roomy touchpad and a soft, large keyboard.
  • There is an SD card slot.

Cons:

  • USB-C connectors have limited functionality and sometimes need the use of an adaptor.
  • The GeForce RTX 3050 Ti isn’t exactly a powerful GPU.
  • There are several noticeable flaws with the 720p webcam.

Conclusion

It’s now time, to sum up this review.

While the XPS 15 series has seen only minor changes over the last several years, the 2022 refresh will be far larger than the incremental changes seen in the preceding years. The 12th-generation Intel Alder Lake hardware implementation is responsible for this. It is because it provides a noticeable improvement in performance. It is true under both light and heavy use. If you’re in the market for a laptop for programming, engineering, or video production, the XPS 15 9520 is up to 30 percent quicker than the 9510.

The Gigabyte Aero 16 offers comparable performance on the PC side. Also, it supports graphics cards up to the RTX 3070 Ti for those who need them. The battery life isn’t as good. Also, the SD card slot is essential for certain types of creative work, so that one isn’t a good option.

The XPS 15 9520 has been a success. It is because it is a versatile tool. It can be used in a variety of situations and is easily transported. So, this is the Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520) Review.

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