Dell XPS 15 Touch Screen Laptop Review

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Dell's XPS line of laptops have always been about foregoing compromise in the pursuit of a premium mobile experience. The company's latest lineup of XPS 15 touch-enabled systems carry that tradition into a new era of computing, driven by Microsoft's Windows 8.1 operating system. These machines are anything but cookie cutter, and even if you're not a fan of the unified approach Microsoft took with Windows, there's more here than just a touch computing experience. Much more.

To begin with, the real star of the show is the optional 15.6-inch Quad HD+ (3200x1800) display. Dell's the first system builder to employ a QHD+ IGZO panel, which trumps any of Apple's MacBooks with Retina-class displays. Packing 5.7 million pixels into a 15.6-inch frame results in a stunningly sharp viewing experience, and it looks gorgeous from virtually any angle.

There are three configurations to choose from starting at $1,500. Dell sent us its highest end model, priced at $2,350 and loaded with an Intel Core i7-4702HQ processor, 16GB of DDR3L-1600 RAM, a high performance 512GB mSATA solid state drive, and NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M graphics with NVIDIA Optimus graphics switching technology. Further adding to its future-proofing configuration are amenities like 802.11ac Wi-Fi connectivity, Bluetooth 4.0, and SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports with PowerShare technology,

In short, Dell provides a lot of bang in exchange for all those bucks, and at a glance, we're hard pressed to discern any obvious weak points. We've gone beyond the spec sheet, however, and like all systems that end up at HotHardware, we put this one through the wringer. Find out what we learned on the following pages.

Dell XPS 15 Touch
Specifications & Features
Processor Intel Core i7-4702HQ (6MB cache, up to 3.2GHz)
Operating System Windows 8.1 64-bit
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M with 2GB GDDR5
Memory 16GB DDR3L 1600 MHz DRAM
Display 15.6-inch UltraSharp QHD+ (3200x1080) touch display
Storage 512GB mSATA solid state drive (SSD) w/ Intel Rapid Start Technology
Optical N/A
Wireless Connectivity Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 + Bluetooth 4.0
Intel Wireless Display (WiDi) 3.0 ready
Near Field Communication (NFC)
Interface 3 x USB 3.0 w/ PowerShare
1 x USB 2.0 w/ PowerShare
1 x mini DisplayPort
1 x HDMI
3-in-1 media card reader
1 x headphone jack
Noble lock
Webcam Widescreen HD webcam w/ dual array digital microphones
Battery 91Whr (6-cell) non-replaceable
Power Adapter 130W AC adapter
Dimensions 14.6 (W) x 10 (D) x 0.3-0.7 (H)  inches
Weight 4.44 pounds
Manufacturer Warranty 1-year
Pricing: $2,349 (as configured but options in config are available)

You'll notice this laptop teeters on the edge of being an Ultrabook with a height that ranges from just 0.3 inches to no more than 0.7 inches at its thickest. That's impressive when you consider all the power sitting underneath the lid, though at 4.44 pounds, the XPS 15 Touch won't challenge the lightest laptops out there in terms of weight.

The additional weight isn't wasted, as you won't find an Ultrabook that offers everything the XPS 15 does. Dell uses premium materials such as machined aluminum, carbon fiber, and hardened Corning Gorilla Glass. In doing so, the XPS 15 Touch looks and feels like a high-end laptop, which is not always the case with true Ultrabooks.

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lipe123 10 months ago

You guys should really add the Asus brand of laptops to your comparison tables etc. Something like the Vivobook would be a somewhat similar comparison to this.

Doesn't seem fair to see the fancy dell vs regular laptops trouncing it in almost every test.

acarzt 10 months ago

You must have missed the section where they compared hard drives speeds from and Asus Zenbook against the Dell and the Dell lost.

They also compared it to PCs that were designed with gaming in mind and it held it's own..

Not bad for a laptop that isn't even intended to be used for gaming.

Dave_HH 10 months ago

Better yet, we should get the most recent generation of Haswell-powered ASUS notebooks in here for review! On it.

hfm 10 months ago

Can you guys comment on the cooling system noise and heat under gaming load?

paul_lilly 10 months ago

Hey HFM -- the XPS 15 Touch is almost dead silent for daily computing chores, save for an occasional electronic 'whine' when the CPU does some heavy lifting. As for gaming, the cooling fan will kick on when you stress the GPU and it is audible, though not obnoxiously loud -- you won't hear it through a set of headphones or decent pair of speakers.

In a stress test using FurMark (GPU) and Prime95 (CPU), the GPU hovers around 80C and the CPU cores jump around from 88C to 95C. That's about as hot as it's ever going to get.

contentsetter 10 months ago

nice configuration and good battery backup. Easily handle high performance applications.

4 out of 5.

juggler314 9 months ago

I can't see where you got 430 minutes runtime for the web browsing test. I have one of these now (it's a pretty nice laptop in general - although I would expound on that here). I get 3 hours of "real world use". Brightness set to

I do not have an SSD, but it seems like that alone wouldn't add 4+ more hours of battery life (I'll be replacing the HDD with an SSD sooner or later so I'll be able to directly check that).

I can concur on the sound - dead silent for normal use, load up anything that uses the GPU though and it gets rather loud...

Irma Gonzalez 8 months ago

To put it mildly, this is the laptop that nightmares are made of. On March 18, 2014 I purchased a fully loaded custom built XPS15-9530 with 512 SSD and full high end everything for over $3000. On April 21, 2014 it finally arrived, it wouldn't even boot up! What a failure and I feel that I've been ripped off royally. All I get is 3 beeps, a pause, then 3 beeps and the cycle repeats itself. Stay away from this brick is my advice. See for yourself my experience as I unpacked and turned it on:

Can you believe this?


I cannot even give a review on anything else as it fails to boot up. Customer service transferred me to Tech support, which then asked "What do you want me to do?" Really, WHAT do I want? I working brand new unit. Instead after a 3 hour conversation being transferred to everyone under the sun (but on supervisor as I repeatedly asked for) I have no resolution.

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