Dell XPS 15 (9520) evaluate: Nonetheless the perfect, solely sooner

Dell XPS 15 (9520)

MSRP $2,253.00

“The Dell XPS 15 is at the highest of its recreation and stays the perfect 15-inch laptop computer you’ll be able to purchase.”


  • Streamlined and stable construct
  • Aesthetically good
  • Sturdy productiveness and inventive efficiency
  • Above-average battery life
  • Wonderful keyboard and touchpad
  • Superior OLED show
  • Excellent audio


  • Costly
  • Efficiency ceiling restricted by skinny chassis

We rated Dell’s XPS 15 (9510) as the perfect 15-inch laptop computer you could possibly purchase. It provided the perfect mixture of a beautiful, well-built skinny and lightweight chassis, stable efficiency, and a spectacular 3.5K OLED show. Until you wanted workstation or gaming efficiency, the XPS 15 was the of its dimension you could possibly purchase. Now, Dell has launched the XPS 15 (9520), which retains every thing nice concerning the earlier mannequin whereas updating to Intel’s Twelfth-gen platform.

I reviewed a midrange configuration of the XPS 15 with an Intel Core i7-12700H and the three.5K OLED show. It runs $2,253, putting it solidly in premium laptop computer territory. After placing the laptop computer by way of its paces, I can say that it’s simply nearly as good as earlier than, solely sooner.

It’s not the quickest 15-inch laptop computer you’ll be able to purchase (and I’ll embody 16-inch laptops in the identical class given the small differential in display screen dimension). Nonetheless, you’re getting a big laptop computer with a chassis that makes it appear a lot smaller than it’s and sufficient efficiency to please all however probably the most demanding customers. The XPS 15 retains its place because the king of 15-inchers.


Dell XPS 15 9520 rear view showing lid and logo.Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

The XPS 15 advantages from years of design iterations which have culminated in a streamlined and cohesive aesthetic. The angles are excellent, and the silver chassis with a black carbon fiber keyboard deck on my evaluate unit is elegant with out being ostentatious. You may as well get a frost chassis with a white woven fiber keyboard deck that’s merely lovely. In each instances, the keyboard deck can be heat and comfy in comparison with naked steel.

The general consideration to element is palpable and helps justify the laptop computer’s excessive worth.

Every mannequin has the identical diamond-cut, double-anodized aspect edges which are engaging and useful, offering scratch resistance that helps maintain the steel pristine regardless of plugging and unplugging peripherals. Because of the smallest show bezels you’ll discover in a 15-inch laptop computer, which make up a 92.9% screen-to-body ratio, the XPS 15 seems ultra-modern with a display screen that appears to drift within the air. The one laptop computer that comes near offering such a beautiful design is HP’s Spectre x360 16, which can be extra extravagant.

The design isn’t simply aesthetically good. It’s additionally extremely well-built, with no bending, flexing, or twisting within the lid, keyboard deck, or chassis backside. Apple’s MacBooks Professionals, Lenovo’s ThinkPads, and HP’s Spectres are as well-built, however few others can match the XPS 15. Even the hinge is effectively designed, with a dual-clutch mechanism that makes opening with one hand a breeze whereas holding the show firmly in place. The general consideration to element is palpable and helps justify the laptop computer’s excessive worth.

The XPS 15 is about as small as you’ll be able to make a laptop computer with a 15.6-inch 16:10 show, due to the tiny bezels talked about above. The Microsoft Floor Laptop computer 4 comes shut, being nearly as broad whereas being deeper due to its taller 15-inch 3:2 and bigger bezels, nevertheless it’s not almost as highly effective. The XPS 15 is skinny at 0.71 inches and lightweight at 4.31 kilos, however the Floor Laptop computer 4 is thinner and lighter at 0.58 inches and three.4 kilos.

We’ve seen extra 16-inch laptops arriving with shows which are simply barely bigger. The HP Spectre x360 16 is one such laptop computer, and it’s wider and deeper than the XPS 15 whereas being thicker at 0.78 inches and heavier at 4.45 kilos.


Dell XPS 15 9520 left view showing ports.

Dell XPS 15 9520 right view showing ports.

Connectivity is restricted to 3 USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4 help, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a full-size SD card reader. Dell features a USB-C to USB-A and HDMI adapter, however the shortage of legacy ports on the machine is disappointing and one in all the prices of such a skinny chassis.

Wi-fi connectivity is powerful with Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2.


Dell XPS 15 9520 front view showing display and keyboard deck.Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

My evaluate unit was outfitted with the Twelfth-gen Intel Core i7-12700H, a 45-watt CPU with 14 cores (six Efficiency and eight Effectivity) and 20 threads. It’s been a stable performer in different laptops we’ve examined, all of which have been bigger and/or thicker machines. Dell paid a number of consideration to thermal design with the XPS 15, utilizing two followers and warmth pipes together with hidden exhaust vents and a slight angle to extend airflow. Nonetheless, it’s a skinny laptop computer that may solely transfer a lot air, and I used to be wanting ahead to seeing its Intel Twelfth-gen efficiency.

A fast observe about efficiency modes. Given the prevalence of producer utilities that enable the person to choose from modes that tune the followers and CPU velocity to run cooler, extra quietly, or sooner, I’ve began reporting each “balanced” and “efficiency” mode benchmark outcomes. You’ll see them mirrored within the desk. As you’ll be able to see from the XPS 15 9520’s scores, switching to its efficiency mode made a big distinction in most of our benchmarks, notably in its single-core efficiency. That’s completely different than the XPS 15 9510, which didn’t show a significant distinction in efficiency mode in all however one benchmark.

The XPS 15’s thermal efficiency was predictable given the laptop computer’s dimension.

Total, the XPS 15 9520 offered a significant bump in efficiency over the XPS 15 9510 with a 45-watt, 4-core/8-thread Core i7-11800H. It was 29% sooner in Geekbench 5, 24% sooner in efficiency mode in our Handbrake check that encodes a 420MB video as H.265, and 16% sooner in Cinebench R23. Apparently, it was slower within the PCMark 10 Full benchmark that checks quite a lot of productiveness, multimedia, and inventive duties.

In comparison with laptops with the identical CPU however thicker chassis and extra strong thermal options, the XPS 15 9520 was a step behind. This was notably true in balanced mode and with single-core checks. When taking a look at multi-core outcomes, the XPS 15 9520 held its personal towards the Asus ZenBook Professional 14 Duo in Geekbench 5, Handbrake, and Cinebench. In opposition to the Lenovo Legion 5i Professional gaming laptop computer and the MSI Creator Z17 in efficiency mode, the XPS 15 9520 caught up in its single-core scores however couldn’t sustain in multi-core. Its Handbrake lead to efficiency mode was aggressive, nevertheless.

(single / multi)
Cinebench R23
(single / multi)
PCMark 10
Dell XPS 15 9520
(Core i7-12700H)
Bal: 1,470 / 9,952
Perf: 1,714 / 11,053
Bal: 100
Perf: 77
Bal: 1,509 / 11,578
Perf: 1,806 / 13,313
Dell XPS 15 9510
(Core i7-11800H)
Bal: 1,556 / 7,692
Perf: N/A
Bal: 103
Perf: 101
Bal: 1,513 / 9,979
Perf: N/A
Asus ZenBook Professional 14 Duo
(Core i7-12700H)
Bal: 1,829 / 10,819
Perf: N/A
Bal: 94
Perf: 82
Bal: 1,793 / 12,046
Perf: N/A
Lenovo Legion 5i Professional 
(Core i7-12700H)
Bal: 1,625 / 11,543
Perf: 1,712 / 12,882
Bal: 72
Perf: 63
Bal: 1,725 / 14,135
Perf: 1,805 / 18,417
MSI Creator Z17
(Core i7-12700H)
Bal: 1,744 / 11,750
Perf: 1,741 / 13,523
Bal: 88
Perf: 70
Bal: 1,805 / 11,266
Perf: 1,819 / 15,754
LG Gram 16 2-in-1
(Core i7-1260P)
Bal: 1,682 / 9,035
Perf: 1,686 / 9,479
Bal: 137
Perf: 113
Bal: 1,524 / 6,314
Perf: 1,663 / 8,396
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
(Ryzen 7 6800U)
Bal: 1,417 / 6,854
Perf: 1,404 / 7,223
Bal: 112
Perf: 111
Bal: 1,402 / 8,682
Perf: 1,409 / 8,860

I additionally ran the Pugetbench Premiere Professional benchmark that runs in a stay model of Adobe Premiere Professional and makes use of discrete GPUs to speed up numerous processes. We used an older model with the XPS 15 9510 and so can’t instantly evaluate outcomes with the XPS 15 9520. Within the new edition, the XPS 15 9520 with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti scored 760 in balanced mode and dropped to 729 in efficiency mode. That’s doubtless because of throttling (see beneath). These scores evaluate to the MSI Creator Z17 with the identical CPU and an RTX 3070 Ti GPU that managed 897 and 984, respectively. We don’t have a laptop computer in our Pugetbench database with the identical CPU and GPU because the XPS 15 9520, however the laptop computer’s scores are in keeping with expectations.

The XPS 15 9520’s thermal efficiency was predictable given the laptop computer’s skinny chassis. I noticed some throttling in our most intensive benchmarks, Handbrake, Cinebench, and Pugetbench, primarily when in efficiency mode. The CPU would hit its most temperature of 100 levels Celcius periodically after which throttle, with the temperatures dropping into the 70s with decreased CPU frequencies. That course of repeated itself in every check, which doubtless restricted the efficiency ceiling. Efficiency mode was nonetheless efficient in all benchmarks besides Pugetbench. The followers spun up fully in efficiency mode however have been surprisingly quiet and unobtrusive, and the keyboard deck and chassis by no means obtained greater than heat.

I didn’t anticipate the quickest efficiency from the XPS 15 9520, and I didn’t get it. As an alternative, I obtained a laptop computer that’s impressively fast for being so skinny and lightweight. The XPS 15 9520 is greater than quick sufficient for probably the most demanding productiveness customers whereas being moderately speedy in artistic duties. Should you’re an expert creator, you’ll need one thing thicker and with a sooner GPU, however anybody else will discover the XPS 15 9520 to be a compelling stability of dimension and velocity.

Murderer’s Creed Valhalla
(1080p/1200p Extremely Excessive)
Civilization VI
(1080p Extremely)
(1080p/1200p Epic)
Time Spy
Dell XPS 15 9520
(RTX 3050 Ti)
50 fps82 fps57 fpsBal: 4,470
Perf: 4,520
Dell XPS 15 9510
(RTX 3050 Ti)
N/A61 fps50 fpsBal: 4,540
Perf: N/A
Samsung Galaxy Guide Odyssey
(RTX 3050 Ti)
15 fps61 fps54 fpsN/A
HP Spectre x360 16
(RTX 3050)
N/A58 fps37 fpsBal: 3,453
Perf: N/A
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 16 Professional
(RTX 3050)
34 fpsN/A40 fpsBal: 4,223
Perf: 4,878
MSI Creator Z17
(RTX 3070 Ti)
60 fpsN/A85 fpsBal: 8,763
Perf: 9,263

The XPS 15 9520’s RTX 3050 Ti runs at 45 watts (80 watts is the chip’s most) and is clocked slower than the XPS 15 9510’s GPU. Due to this fact, the XPS 15 9520’s sooner DDR5 RAM is offset by the slower GPU clock velocity. Unsurprisingly, the newer machine’s 3DMark Time Spy check was decrease than the earlier mannequin in balanced mode and basically equal in efficiency mode.

Its efficiency in our benchmark titles was surprisingly good. For instance, it hit 50 frames per second (fps) in Murderer’s Creed Valhalla at 1200p and extremely graphics, which is sort of playable and solely 10 fps behind the MSI Creator Z17 with an RTX 3070 Ti. As well as, it dropped solely a bit to 46 fps at 1600p and extremely graphics. We didn’t run this benchmark on the XPS 15 9510. In Civilization VI, the XPS 15 9520 managed 82 fps at 1080p and extremely graphics, greater than 20 fps sooner than the XPS 15 9510, and 72 fps at 1440p and extremely graphics. Lastly, in Fortnite, the XPS 15 9520 achieved 57 fps at 1200p and epic graphics. At 1600p and epic graphics, it hit 46 fps.

The RTX 3050 Ti is an entry-level GPU in and of itself, and easily put, the XPS 15 9520 wasn’t made to be a gaming laptop computer. Even so, the laptop computer was capable of run our benchmark titles at 1080p/1200p and excessive graphics at first rate framerates, and it was even playable at 1440p/1600p.

Show and audio

Dell XPS 15 9520 front view showing display.Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

Dell provides three shows for the XPS 15 9520, all 15.6 inches within the productivity-friendly 16:10 side ratio. Choices embody Full HD+ (1920 x 1200) non-touch IPS, UHD+ (3840 x 2400) touch-enabled IPS, and three.5K (3456 x 2160) touch-enabled OLED. My evaluate unit outfitted the latter, and it was brilliant and colourful out of the field with OLED’s typical inky blacks.

Based on my colorimeter, the OLED panel was nearly as good as all the time. The show was brilliant at 391 nits, effectively above our 300-nit threshold, so it’s seen in all however direct daylight. The distinction ratio was extremely excessive, creating inky blacks and textual content that pops on a white background. The colours have been broad at 100% of sRGB and 96% of AdobeRGB and extremely correct with a DeltaE of 0.42 (1.0 or much less is taken into account glorious). The Asus Vivobook 15 OLED and ZenBook Professional 14 Duo had barely wider AdobeRGB gamuts however weren’t as correct.

That is a beautiful show for productiveness and inventive work that may please everybody.

I’ll observe that I’m utilizing a more recent SpyderX colorimeter than the one used on the opposite OLED shows in our comparability group. It calculates OLED distinction in another way from the earlier fashions and returns decrease scores. Nonetheless, the distinction ratio is simply nearly as good regardless of the numerical distinction in testing strategies. To verify, I examined with my older Spyder4 colorimeter, and it reported a distinction ratio of 392,140:1.

The one criticism with the show is that it’s not fairly 4K+ decision, which largely impacts streaming video. Not that it actually issues on a 15.6-inch show, the place Netflix and different streaming content material are fairly fulfilling and profit from nice excessive dynamic vary (HDR) help. That is a beautiful show for productiveness and inventive work that may please everybody. Should you demand 4K+ decision, you’ll be able to select the high-res IPS choice, which on previous XPS 15’s has additionally offered broad and correct colours, plenty of brightness, and many distinction (for IPS shows).

DistinctionsRGB gamutAdobeRGB gamutAccuracy DeltaE
(decrease is best)
Dell XPS 15 9520
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 16 Professional
LG Gram 16 2-in-1
Asus Vivobook 15 OLED
Asus ZenBook Professional 14 Duo

The XPS 15 9520 has the identical quad-speaker setup because the earlier mannequin, with two upward-firing audio system subsequent to the keyboard and two audio system firing at an angle beneath the keyboard deck.

Dell XPS 15 9520 top down view showing speaker.Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

The audio system consists of Waves NX 3D expertise, and the audio system have been tuned by Grammy Award winner Jack Joseph Puig. Does all that really make a significant distinction in sound high quality? Completely. The XPS 15 9520 has a few of the perfect audio in a Home windows laptop computer, bested solely by the MacBook Professional. There’s tons of quantity, mids and highs are detailed, and there’s some actual bass. Listening to a film trailer, there’s a noticeable 3D impact and a wider sound stage. Whether or not you’re gaming, bingeing Netflix, or listening to music, you’ll love the audio and gained’t really feel any want to tug out a pair of headphones.

Keyboard, touchpad, and webcam

Dell XPS 15 9520 top down view showing keyboard and touchpad.Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

The XPS 15’s spacious keyboard doesn’t have probably the most journey, however its massive keys take pleasure in gentle switches which are snappy and exact with a responsive bottoming motion. It joins HP’s Spectre line in representing the perfect keyboards you’ll be able to get on Home windows laptops. Solely Apple’s spectacular Magic Keyboard on its most up-to-date MacBooks is best.

The touchpad is very large by Home windows laptop computer requirements, with a clean and comfy floor and quiet, assured button clicks. It’s a Microsoft Precision touchpad, in fact, so Home windows 11 multitouch gestures are dependable and exact. The one factor Dell may do higher is to implement a haptic touchpad to interchange the mechanical model, which would supply extra customization, options, and extra constant clicking throughout your complete floor. Maybe that may are available in the subsequent era.

The OLED show on my evaluate unit was touch-enabled, and there’s an choice for a non-touch panel. The contact show was responsive and dependable throughout my testing.

Dell XPS 15 9250 front view showing webcam.Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

One in all the few modifications made to the XPS 15 9520 exterior of the chipset is splitting the webcam and infrared digicam into two parts. That improves the webcam’s picture high quality, even though it retains the earlier mannequin’s 720p decision — which is behind the instances as extra laptops are outfitted with Full HD webcams.

Home windows Whats up passwordless login is offered by an infrared digicam and facial recognition and a fingerprint reader embedded in the facility button, simply the place it ought to be. Each strategies labored completely.

Battery life

As with the earlier era, the XPS 15 9520 packs in 86 watt-hours of battery capability to energy high-end parts and a high-resolution OLED show. Some 15-inch laptops have bigger batteries, however the XPS 9510 did effectively with the identical dimension battery and the identical show, so I used to be occupied with seeing the Twelfth-gen Intel CPU’s effectivity.

We don’t have many comparable Core i7-12700H laptops in our database but, so direct comparisons are troublesome. Nonetheless, we are able to see that the XPS 15 9520 improved effectivity over the XPS 15 9510, notably within the PCMark 10 Purposes battery check that’s the perfect indication of typical productiveness battery life. In our internet shopping check that cycles by way of a number of fashionable and sophisticated web sites, the XPS 15 9520 did fairly effectively at 9.5 hours, and its 12.75 hours in our video check that loops a neighborhood Full HD Avengers trailer was additionally a stable displaying. Its 11.25 hours within the PCMark 10 Purposes check was above common throughout our total database.

Net shoppingVideoPCMark 10
Dell XPS 15 9520
(Core i7-12700H)
9 hours, 38 minutes12 hours, 40 minutes11 hours, 14 minutes
Dell XPS 15 9510
(Core i7-11800H)
9 hours, 4 minutes11 hours, 18 minutes8 hours, 3 minutes
MSI Creator Z17
(Core i7-12700H)
4 hours, 23 minutes4 hours, 32 minutesN/A
Asus ZenBook Professional 14 Duo
(Core i7-12700H)
3 hours, 10 minutes5 hours, 18 minutesN/A
Lenovo Slim 7 16 Professional
(Ryzen 7 5800H)
8 hours, 5 minutes11 hours, 48 minutes9 hours, 34 minutes
LG Gram 16 2-in-1
(Core i7-1260P)
11 hours, 31 minutes17 hours, 58 minutes16 hours, 39 minutes

Battery life was sturdy for a laptop computer with a big, power-hungry OLED show and quick parts. You’ll get a full day of labor except you push the CPU and GPU, with slightly left over. And in case your workflow is demanding, you’ll nonetheless get far longer on a cost than most laptops with this type of energy. On condition that the XPS 15 9520 differs solely in its Twelfth-gen chipset from the earlier mannequin, it’s honest to say that Intel’s latest is a minimum of a bit extra environment friendly.

Value and configurations

My evaluate configuration with a Core i7-12700H, 16GB of DDR5 RAM, a 512GB PCIe 4 solid-state drive (SSD), the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti, and the three.5K OLED show prices $2,253 on Dell’s web site. You may drop all the way down to a 12-core (4 Efficiency and eight Environment friendly) Core i5-12500H, 8GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, Intel UHD graphics, and a Full HD+ (1920 x 1200) IPS non-touch show for $1,420. Max out the XPS 15 9520 with a Core i9-12900HK, 32GB of RAM, a 2TB SSD, the RTX 3050 Ti, and the OLED show, and also you’ll pay a hefty $3,037. You may combine and match utilizing Dell’s configurator and decide a machine that matches your wants and minimizes the worth — however regardless of what you select, you’ll be firmly in premium laptop computer territory.

Our take

The Dell XPS 15 9520 picks up the place its predecessor left off, retaining its finest qualities and growing efficiency. It’s a laptop computer that is aware of precisely what it desires to be — it’s not the quickest 15-inch laptop computer, neither is it the thinnest, nevertheless it’s the perfect mixture of dimension and efficiency you’ll be able to purchase.

You’ll love the construct high quality, adore the look, and admire the show. Sure, you’ll spend some further money in comparison with some competitors, however the funding is effectively value it. Dell paid consideration to the small print and engineered not solely the perfect 15-inch laptop computer however among the best laptops, interval.

Are there any alternate options?

I’m not conscious of any laptop computer as small, skinny, and lightweight because the XPS 15 9520 whereas nonetheless providing a 45-watt CPU and a discrete GPU. And currently, 16-inch laptops appear to have change into extra fashionable than 15-inch choices, similar to 14-inch laptops appear to be arriving extra shortly than latest 13-inch fashions. So, discovering a robust different to the XPS 15 9520 within the 15-inch class is troublesome.

Should you don’t thoughts leaping up 0.6 inches in display screen dimension, then a 16-inch laptop computer just like the latest HP Envy 16 is a superb choice. Equally configured however with a lower-res IPS 120Hz show, it’s just a few hundred {dollars} much less. It’s not as skinny or as gentle, however the HP Envy 15 was one in all our favourite laptops after we reviewed it a few years in the past, and the latest mannequin appears to uphold the identical traditions.

In case your price range permits it, you could possibly contemplate the Apple MacBook 16-inch. It’s equally effectively constructed, extremely quick with its Apple M1 Professional or M1 Max, and it simply provides the perfect battery life you’ll discover in a bigger laptop computer. Should you’re not married to Home windows 11, the MacBook Professional 16 makes a stable selection.

How lengthy will it final?

The XPS 15 9520 is as well-built as a laptop computer may be, with consideration paid to the high quality particulars and solidity that few laptops can match. It can final for years of productive service, and it’s user-upgradeable as effectively — enhance the RAM as much as 64GB and add a second SSD for RAID efficiency or further storage. In fact, we’d like to see an extended guarantee than a single 12 months, however that’s simply the way it is with even premium laptops.

Do you have to purchase it?

Sure. Should you’re searching for a 15-inch laptop computer that efficiently walks a high quality line between portability and efficiency, you gained’t discover a greater choice.

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