CNET First Look
Higher-res display and graphics in the slim Dell XPS 15It has a premium price, but the XPS 15 may be the thin game-friendly laptop you've been waiting for.
I'm Dan Ackerman, and we are here taking a look at the brand new Dell XPS 15. Now, Dell has had XPS 15-inch laptops before. This model is a bit of a pretty serious revamp. It's thinner, it's lighter, it's got a lot of the same industrial designs we've seen from the XPS line the last couple of years. But the main selling point here is that it has two features I like a lot. One, a better than HD resolution display. This is a 3200x1800 display, that makes it kinda like the Retina MacBook Pro or kind of like the Lenovo Yoga 2 and some of the other better-than-HD display laptops we've seen recently. And it also has a discrete graphics card. In this case, it's the Nvidia GeForce 750M, which is a perfectly fine mid-level card if you're not doing like super serious all-the-time gaming. It gives you that option while still being kind of a thin, light, tote-around-- almost business-minded laptop because it's pretty buttoned-up looking. Now, I will say the actual look here, the gray matte and black, there's certainly nothing wrong with it. But it's the same look that XPSs have had for a couple of years now. This could be a $900 laptop, this could be a $2,000 laptop or more. It's kinda hard to tell. And I think we're telling that this is expensive, this particular configuration is $1,899. And for about $2,300 bucks, you can get an upgrade that gives you a 512 gigabyte SSD. This has one of those combo hard drives that's a regular hard drive with a small SSD. You know, I think for that kind of money, you need something that's just a little bit fancy, a little bit more upscale-looking. But the build quality is really great. This is aluminum and carbon fiber, the joints are all tightened-- no real complaints there. I always liked the rounded corners on the Dell keyboards, but this keyboard feels a little bit small. It's a lot of dead space here. They could definitely put in like a full number pad or something like that. Having the big super high-res screen is a lot of fun, super crisp texts and images. If you're using the Windows menu like this, everything looks great. If you have some Legacy programs that aren't like full Windows 8 versions, like let's say, Photoshop or some of the gaming system programs, the texts and icons get really small there, hard to see. And that's one of the problems with having a super high-res screen. Everyone hasn't quite adjusted to that world yet. We've only seen a few, so far, but I think we're gonna see a lot more. So, basically, if you want something that's pretty much just like the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro-- and I mean that in a good way-- but if you happen to have Windows 8 instead of OS X, this is a very, very close [unk] system, both in terms of features and price. I'm Dan Ackerman, and that is the Dell XPS 15.