Consider the bezel. That humble landing strip of plastic or metal that frames the screen in almost every high-tech device. Televisions have largely done away with the the wide bezels of old, at least in mid-price and better sets, extending the screen nearly all the way to the very edge for a seamless, floating look. Phones are getting closer as well, especially in forward-looking devices such as.
But laptops have lagged behind in shaving down the frame around the display, making mobile PCs look downright clunky compared to other electronic gadgets. is a step in the right direction, with edge-to-edge glass over a reasonably thin black bezel, but the still popular MacBook Air is a poster child for overly wide screen bezels, a look that has not changed in several years.
That's why thewas such a breath of fresh air when first introduced in early 2015. That slim 13-inch laptop took its high-resolution display nearly all the way to the system edge. That eye-catching design won raves from reviewers, including me -- after all, people want to look at more screen, not more bezel.
The next step in the anti-bezel revolution is a bigger version of that system, the Dell XPS 15. Like the 13-inch model, it's available with a few different resolution and component options, but unlike the XPS 13, the display can go all the way up to 4K resolution. The least exciting versions have a standard 1,920x1,080-pixel display, Intel Core i5 CPU and lack a touchscreen, but start at a very appealing $999 in the US. (It starts at £1,149 in the UK and AU$2,099 in Australia, but for a more high-end starting configuration.)
Adding a faster Core i7 processor, big solid state hard drives, a touchscreen or an Nvidia GeForce 960M graphics card steadily drives the price up until it hits $2,129, £1,599 or AU$2,999 for the configuration reviewed here, which includes all the bells and whistles.
The end result is a machine that looks and feels much like a 15-inch MacBook Pro doesn't offer 4K displays, nor touchscreen options. Configuring a 15-inch Retina-display MacBook Pro with a similarly large 512GB SSD and the AMD Radeon R9 M370 graphics card boosts that system's price to $2,499 in the US, although the Radeon is not as gamer-friendly as the Nvidia 960M found here (which may be a moot point, as Apple's OS X limits the games available in the first place)., but one that also outdoes the Apple version in many areas. The
Dell XPS 15
|Price as reviewed||$2,129, £1,599 or AU$2,999|
|Display size/resolution||15.6-inch 3,840x2,160 touch display|
|PC CPU||2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ|
|PC Memory||16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,133MHz|
|Graphics||2GB Nvidia Geforce GTX 960M|
|Networking||802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.0|
|Operating system||Windows 10 Home (64-bit)|
But specs aside, this is a laptop that will draw the eye of anyone who passes by while it sits open. The larger screen against the thin bezel feels even more impressive than in the 13-inch version, because there's an even greater screen-to-edge ratio at play here. Note that, like the 13-inch model, the lack of bezel real estate means the webcam has been moved to a spot below the screen, right above the hinge. It can make for some less-than-flattering up-the-nose shots if you're not careful.
The interior is matte black, with a backlit but otherwise featureless keyboard sitting above a large button-less touchpad. The keyboard feels small, considering how wide the XPS is. Function keys are helpfully reversed, with a single tap controlling volume and brightness, rather than a function-key-plus-FN-button combo as still required by many laptops. The touchpad has a pleasing matte surface, but also has some of the same floaty feeling as the 13-inch XPS 13 had last year. It's still very usable, but doesn't feel quite as tight as on the best Windows laptops or a MacBook.