Dell XPS 15z review: Dell XPS 15z

We tried to run the latest GPU-melting PC game, just-released The Witcher 2, and found the game barely playable, even at the lowest detail settings. That game, however, is quickly becoming infamous for have very high hardware requirements . To make sure recent games would play well, we checked Dragon Age II and found that to be very playable, even at the maximum resolution.

Juice box
Dell XPS 15z Average watts per hour
Off (60%) 0.37
Sleep (10%) 1.01
Idle (25%) 6.85
Load (05%) 52.23
Raw kWh number 40.71
Annual energy cost $4.62

Annual power consumption cost

The thinner and more portable a laptop is, the better we expect its battery life to be. While the 3 hours and 30 minutes the Dell XPS 15z ran on our video playback battery drain test was acceptable for a 15-inch laptop (and aided by Nvidia's Optimus technology, which turns off the GPU when its not needed), Apple's MacBook Pro ran for twice as long, and even the previous generation of XPS 15 laptops ran for an additional 30 minutes.

Dell typically includes a one-year in-home service warranty with the XPS 15, and though the warranty upgrade options were not live on Dell's Web site at the time this review was written, based on previous XPS laptops, coverage should be expandable up to four years for an extra $290, or four years with accidental damage protection for $410. Dell's Web site offers 24-7 toll-free phone service and Web support, including software drivers and documentation that are easy to find.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Unreal Tournament 3 (in fps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
1,280x800, 0X AA, 0X AF*  
1,440x900, 4X AA, 8X AF*  
Alienware M14x
Dell XPS L502X
Dell XPS 15z

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Find out more about how we test laptops.

System configurations:

Dell XPS 15z
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-2620M; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 2GB Nvidia GeForce GT 525M / 64MB (Shared) Intel HD 3000; 750GB Seagate 7,200rpm

Acer Aspire 8950G-9839
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.0GHz Intel Core i7-2630QM; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 2GB AMD Radeon HD 6850M; 750GB Toshiba 5,400rpm

Dell XPS L502X
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.0GHz Intel Core i7-2630QM; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 667MHz; 2GB Nvidia GeForce 540M + 64MB(Dedicated) Intel GMA HD; 750GB Western Digital 7,200rpm

Apple MacBook Pro - Core i7 Sandy Bridge 15.4-inch - 2.2GHz OS X 10.6.6 Snow Leopard; Intel Core i7 2.2GHz; 4096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,066MHz; 1GB AMD Radeon HD 6750M / 384MB (Shared) Intel HD 3000; 750GB Toshiba 5,400rpm

Alienware M14x
Windows 7 Ultimate (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core i7-2820M; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1600MHz; 3GB NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M + 64MB (Dedicated) Intel HD 3000; 720GB Seagate 7,200rpm

What you'll pay

    Pricing is currently unavailable.

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    Where to Buy

    Dell XPS 15z (L511z) - 15.6" - Core i7 2640M - Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit - 8 GB RAM - 750 GB HDD

    Part Number: 15Z-2198 Released: May 24, 2011
    Pricing is currently unavailable.

    Quick Specifications See All

    • Release date May 24, 2011
    • Resolution 1366 x 768 ( HD )
    • Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Edition
    • Installed Size 8 GB
    • Color elemental silver aluminum
    • Weight 5.5 lbs
    • Optical Drive DVD±RW
    • Graphics Processor NVIDIA GeForce GT 525M
    • CPU Intel Core i7 (2nd Gen) 2640M / 2.8 GHz
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