Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520): Review

Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520): Review

Written by Deepak Bhagat, In Gadgets, Updated On
May 26th, 2024
, 578 Views

At first glance, the Dell XPS 15 (9520) might seem like the perfect PC for people who need to take power wherever they go. It is both stylish and traditional, and it is both powerful and unassuming. It is a robust laptop made of aluminium with a 12th Gen Intel H series processor and up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti (starting at $1,449, tested at $2,399).

The XPS line, which has been on the list of best ultrabooks many times, has always been known for its nearly borderless display, and the Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520) is no different. Our review unit’s OLED screen almost floated above the keyboard, but Dell still needs to work on the webcam. It is also thin, which makes the XPS easy to carry and limits the number of ports. You will have to weigh that against how much power it gives you to decide if this is the creative laptop you need.

Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520) Specifications

ComponentSpecification
Processor OptionsIntel Core i5-12500H, Intel Core i7-12700H, Intel Core i9-12900H
Graphics ProcessorNvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti
RAMUp to 64 GB DDR5
Storage Options512 GB SSD (Boot Drive)
Screen Size15.6 inches
DisplayOLED touchscreen, 3456 x 2160 resolution (3.5K), 16:10 aspect ratio
Operating SystemWindows 11
Battery56 Wh (base model); other configurations may vary
PortsUSB-C, Thunderbolt 4, SD card reader
Chassis MaterialAluminum
WeightApproximately 4 pounds (varies by configuration)
Dimensions13.57 x 9.06 x 0.71 inches (L x W x H)
KeyboardShort-actuation keys, backlit
TouchpadGlass, large size
Fingerprint SensorIntegrated into the power button
AudioStereo speakers with high-quality sound
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2
Colour OptionsPlatinum Silver, Frost White
Webcam720p (needs improvement)
Starting Price$1,449
Tested Configuration Price$2,399

Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520): Specifications

Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520) specs

Dell’s base model for this series has a Core i5-12500H processor, 8 GB of RAM, a 56 Wh battery, and an FHD+ matte screen. The most powerful model has a Core i9-12900H processor, 64 GB of RAM, 3050Ti graphics, and a 4K+ touchscreen. Throughout this article, we will talk about the different options and what makes them unique.

Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520): History

The engineers and designers at Dell worked hard to make the Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520) the perfect full-size laptop. When the lid and chassis are closed, they look simple and stark. Moreover, if you do not like the look of Dell’s Platinum Silver finish, you can always choose Frost White.

This gives the XPS an even more serious look, but it still looks stylish in an office without being too loud. When the XPS 15 opens, its OLED screen shows a picture that goes all the way to the edges and has skinny bezels around it. The 16:10 panel has a resolution of 3,456 by 2,160 pixels, which Dell calls “3.5K” to show that it is almost as good as 16:9 screens with a 4K resolution of 3,840 by 2,160 pixels. The 15.6-inch screen has all the features you would expect from an OLED screen, such as deep, rich blacks, extra-sharp details, and bright colours. It also has a touch screen, but keep a cloth handy to wipe off fingerprints and smudges.

Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520): Keyboard, Touchpad, and Fingerprint Sensor

Keyboard

The Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520) retains the familiar keyboard design seen in previous XPS models, characterized by its short-actuation keys. This keyboard offers a tactile typing experience that many users will find satisfactory, particularly those who have used XPS laptops before. However, the short essential travel might not appeal to everyone, especially users accustomed to keyboards with longer critical travel, such as those found on ThinkPad or MacBook models.

The layout is well-designed, although the half-sized Up and Down arrow keys could be a minor inconvenience for some. The plastic keycaps feel durable and are resistant to fingerprints, particularly on the Frost White version of the laptop. The font used on the keys is clear, and the uniform backlighting ensures visibility in low-light conditions, enhancing the overall typing experience.

Touchpad

The touchpad on the Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520) is spacious and responsive, providing precise cursor control and smooth gesture support. Made of glass, the touchpad has a premium feel, and its large size makes it easy to perform multi-finger gestures such as pinch-to-zoom and three-finger swipes. The surface is smooth, allowing fingers to glide effortlessly, which contributes to a seamless navigation experience.

Fingerprint Sensor

The fingerprint sensor on the Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520) is integrated into the power button, located at the top right corner of the keyboard deck. This positioning is convenient, allowing users to power on the laptop and authenticate simultaneously. The sensor is quick and accurate, providing reliable biometric security for unlocking the device and logging into applications. This added layer of security is a welcome feature for users who prioritize data protection and quick access to their laptops.

Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520): Screen

Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520) screen

On the Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520), the 15-inch OLED touchscreen floats above the keyboard. Even though many other computer makers have been making the bars around their screens thinner, the bezels on this one are still impressive. The 16:10 ratio gives you much room to work and lets you see more content with less scrolling. The resolution of the OLED screen is 3456 x 2160, which is not quite 4K but close (3840 x 2160 is usually considered the minimum for 4K). Due to the extra height, 16:9 screens often bump that up to 3840 x 2400.) Even though it is not the brightest, Dell’s screen is bright and clear. I used it to watch Tears of Steel, a 4K open-source film we use for testing. In the first scene, when the red flames on a rocket booster turn white, they stand out well, even against a grey sky.

Verdict

The Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520) stands out as an impressive blend of style, performance, and portability. Its nearly borderless OLED display offers stunning visuals with deep blacks and vibrant colours, making it a strong contender for creative professionals and multimedia enthusiasts. The laptop’s build quality, characterized by its aluminium chassis and sleek design, ensures durability while maintaining a sophisticated look.

Performance-wise, the 12th Gen Intel H series processors paired with up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti make the XPS 15 a powerhouse capable of handling demanding tasks, from video editing to gaming. However, its thin design limits the number of ports, which might be a drawback for users needing extensive connectivity options.

The keyboard and touchpad offer a satisfactory experience, although the keyboard’s short-actuation keys might not appeal to everyone. The audio quality is exceptional, providing a clear and powerful sound that enhances multimedia consumption.

While the webcam quality needs improvement, and the variety of Dell-branded software could be streamlined, the overall package of the XPS 15 OLED (9520) remains compelling. It’s a robust, stylish, and powerful laptop that caters well to both professional and personal use.

FAQs

What is the audio quality of the Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520)?

The Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520) features impressive audio quality. The speakers deliver clear, powerful sound with a well-defined soundstage. Whether listening to complex music tracks or watching movies, each instrument and vocal detail is distinct, providing an immersive audio experience.

How is the keyboard and typing experience on the Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520)?

The keyboard on the Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520) offers a short-actuation typing experience that some users may prefer, especially if they enjoy the feedback from previous XPS models. The layout is generally comfortable, though the half-sized Up and Down arrow keys can be a minor inconvenience. The keycaps resist fingerprints well, and the uniform backlighting enhances usability in low-light conditions.

What are the screen specifications of the Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520)?

The Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520) features a 15.6-inch OLED touchscreen with a resolution of 3456 x 2160 pixels, which Dell refers to as “3.5K.” The screen offers excellent color accuracy, deep blacks, and sharp details, making it ideal for creative work and media consumption. The 16:10 aspect ratio provides more vertical space, reducing the need for scrolling when working on documents or browsing the web.

What software comes with the Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520)?

The Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520) includes several Dell-branded software applications, which, while functional, could be more streamlined. Dell Update provides the latest BIOS updates and drivers, and Dell Power Manager allows users to monitor battery health and adjust thermal settings. Although having one integrated application would be more convenient, these tools help maintain the laptop’s performance and health.

What is the battery life of the Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520)?

Battery life can vary depending on the specific configuration and usage patterns. The base model comes with a 56 Wh battery, which offers decent battery life for everyday tasks. Higher-end models with more powerful components may have shorter battery life due to the increased power consumption. It’s advisable to check specific battery benchmarks for the configuration you are interested in to get a more accurate estimate.

Does the Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520) have good connectivity options?

The thin design of the Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520) limits the number of ports available. However, it typically includes essential ports like USB-C, Thunderbolt 4, and an SD card reader. Users who need extensive connectivity options might need to use external adapters or docking stations to expand the available ports.

How does the Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520) perform in terms of build quality?

The Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520) is known for its robust build quality, featuring an aluminum chassis that ensures durability. The laptop’s design is both stylish and functional, making it a reliable choice for professionals who need a sturdy device for daily use. The build quality contributes to the overall premium feel of the laptop.

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