First Look: Dell XPS 15
About Video Comments (0 ) Transcript

First Look: Dell XPS 15

3:08 /

Sure, it's bulky, but Dell's new XPS 15 offers more bang for the buck than most high-end laptops, combining great audio and rock-solid features into a package that could easily serve as a desktop replacement.

Hi, I'm Scott Stein, senior associate editor at CNET.com and this is the Dell XPS 15. Now, when we first heard about the XPS 15, it seemed like it was trying to take on the HP Envies and the MacBook Pros of the world, a high-end laptop with media features and we're a little bit skeptical about what it brought to the table to really compete with those products. Well, color us pretty impressed. Despite the fact that it seems to have a slightly bulky design that's not the best looking laptop out there, its internal specs and features are really tough to beat especially at the price point that this puts out. For $849 which is the base configuration, you get a Core i5 processor, good Nvidia GeForce graphics. You also have HDMI 1.4 which enables playback of 3D games or Blu-ray if you configure it with Blu-ray to a 3D television, kind of a fun idea, and it has USB 3.0 ports. It's a really nice package and we haven't even mentioned one of the most compelling features, a really great JBL speaker set with subwoofer that provided some of the best audio we've ever heard on a laptop. Now, there are a few drawbacks, namely that the base configuration only has a 1366 X 768 screen in 15.6 inches. You probably wanna upgrade that to a 1080p display but the good news is that even with the 1080p display and a Blu-ray drive addon, this base configuration only comes with a DVD player, you're going to about $1079, which is still really reasonable for everything that you get in this. Now, it's not gonna be something you take around and put on your lap. Really, it's designed to sit on a desk and this baby got back. It's got a pretty thick end around the side to it and most of the ports that come around the back here are really meant for desk use. That's alright because, really, frankly, we'd rather use a laptop like this on a desk, and its features extend to some of the ergonomics. While the keyboard doesn't have a number pad and looks a lot like a lot of other Dell keyboards, it is backlit which is a nice plus and the trackpad is really large. The multitouch response worked really well for us. It's not that fancy looking but its nearly as hard as a MacBook Pro's trackpad and that's saying something. Now, there are a couple of weird things. There's no VGA port on this laptop but there is a mini DisplayPort and HDMI. Again, that's HDMI 1.4. And you'll also have an okay battery life. It's not fantastic but who would expect that on a laptop like this. Thankfully, because there is Nvidia Optimus automatic switching graphics on this, it does switch out when you're not using it and it conserves a little bit of battery life so you get about 3 hours of battery time. Another nice plus is its webcam. It has an HD webcam that actually records in H.264 if you so choose and is Skype compatible for Skype HD web chat and it also has a noise canceling microphone inside so it's an above average web chat experience compared to other laptops. When you look at other $999 laptops this compares to, its price-per-feature set comes out on top so even if you add the extras, you're still coming out at a better price situation. That may be worth considering if you're in the market for a high-end media laptop. I'm Scott Stein and this is the Dell XPS 15.

New releases

Inside Scoop: Who is the Amazon...
2:55 July 24, 2014
Amazon's new Fire phone has three standout features, but it's lacking in apps and full Android offerings....
Play video
Tomorrow Daily 024: Art by chainsaw-wielding...
20:05 July 24, 2014
On today's show, we get weirded out by the robot who can learn a new gait after it's injured, discuss Sharknado's...
Play video
LG G Pads sport sleek designs and...
2:17 July 24, 2014
These 7- and 10-inch tablets are average budget tablets with a high-end look.
Play video
GE's new microfactory wants to...
1:54 July 24, 2014
See some of FirstBuild's earliest concepts and find out how to submit your own ideas.
Play video
Nyne Bass: Big sound from a $150...
1:40 July 24, 2014
Nyne's current flagship model delivers surprisingly decent performance for its relatively affordable price...
Play video
The 404 1,531: Where we take it...
35:04 July 24, 2014
Coolio takes to PornHub to release his next album, a drastic makeup technique to throw of facial recognition,...
Play video
Foursquare enters a new era of...
2:53 July 24, 2014
With a revamped app and logo, Foursquare focuses on local search and moves check-ins to the new Swarm app....
Play video
2014 BMW X5 xDrive35i
9:39 July 24, 2014
It's the original BMW SUV, now all-new for its third generation. Brian Cooley takes the BMW X5 xDrive35i out...
Play video
 

Video discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre