Here at Reviewed, we love Dell laptops. Known for their reliable builds and budget-friendly prices, they're a great option for those on a tight budget. Well, this year at CES, Dell banged a hard left with its XPS line and I'm so here for it. What can I say? Dell upped the swank factor. While we love the Dell XPS 13 (2018), the Dell XPS 15 (2018) really knocked us off our feet with its unique keyboard and kickass internals.
About the Dell XPS 15 (2018)
The Dell XPS 15 comes in two configurations. The base model ($1,299.99) is armed with an 8th-Gen Intel Quad Core i5-8305G CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 15.6-inch FHD touch display, and a 128GB PCIe SSD. The souped-up version features a 4K Ultra HD touch display, an 8th-Gen Quad Core i7-8705G, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB PCIe SSD. Here are the specs at a glance:
CPU: Up to 8th-Gen Intel Quad Core i7-8705G
GPU: Radeon RX Vega M GL graphics with 4GB HBM2 RAM
Display: 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) touch display / 4K Ultra HD (3200 x 1800) touch display
Memory: Up to 16GB RAM
Storage: Up to 1TB PCIe SSD
Ports: 2x Thunderbolt 3 with powershare, 2x USB-C 3.1, micro SD card reader, headset jack, noble lock slot
Weight: 4.3 lbs
What We Like
More than enough graphics power for photo editing or playing games
Between the 8th-Gen Intel CPU and the Radeon Vega M GL GPU, which has been combined into one chip, the XPS 15 is powerful enough to handle VR experiences. So, whether you're working in Photoshop or playing Overwatch, this 2-in-1 may very well be a beast in the performance department. I can't speak to how it performs under pressure, though, as I didn't put it through the proper tests.
The magnetic levitation keyboard is a dream to type on
You're probably wondering what the hell a magnetic levitation keyboard is. Believe me, I was confused too. Well, if you want the most straightforward explaination, the keys literally float on a magnet, which makes for a pleasantly springy typing experience. This also helps slim down the 2-in-1, too. If you're a fan of Apple's butterfly switch keys, you'll probably enjoy this keyboard.
What We Didn't Like
The pen isn't included
If you want to use the touchscreen, you'll need to buy the tilt-supporting Dell Active Pen as a standalone accessory. This is annoying because it means you're stuck buying a $99 pen from Dell, as the XPS 15 isn't compatible with other pens. If you've got the budget, $99 may not be a big deal, but for other folks, it's a good chunk of change. The pen will come to market on April 6th, 2018.
The webcam is on the bottom of the screen
As you can see in the picture below, the webcam angle is both strange and unflattering. I'm not sure why you'd want to look up someone's nose, but hey, you do you. Who knows? Maybe someone's harboring secrets up there. Jokes aside, this isn't a deal-breaker for me because I don't use webcams. If the awkward webcam placement really bothers you, you can always get an external webcam.
Should You Buy It?
If you spend most of your time in Photoshop, yes
Plain and simple, the XPS 15 is a well-rounded machine. While I prefer the XPS 13's white and rose gold color scheme, the XPS 15 is definitely more powerful. With its 8th-Gen Intel CPU and Radeon graphics, it's the kind of machine that's really versatile in what it can do. I only spent a few minutes with it, though, so I'm not sure how it performs under a heavy load. The XPS 15 should hit the shelves this spring with a starting price of $1,299.99.