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Dell XPS 15

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Dell XPS 15, as it now starts at a lower price.
Dell’s XPS laptops are considered the gold standard when it comes to premium notebooks, and the newest XPS 15 is no exception. This is one of the most powerful laptops on the market, thanks to its Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti graphics. It’s also drop-dead gorgeous with its slim, modern industrial design, incredibly thin bezels and lovely display. The 15-inch still suffers from the XPS line’s biggest flaw — an ill-placed webcam — but, overall, this is one of the best Windows laptops you can buy and a formidable foe to Apple’s much pricier 15-inch MacBook Pro.

Design

With its clean industrial silver aluminum lid and undercarriage sandwiching a soft-touch black interior accentuated by smooth, rounded corners, the latest XPS 15 looks pretty identical to its predecessors. It’s not a bad thing, as the laptop is very sleek and looks great in an office. The laptop is a little underdressed for a LAN party, but it’s still an attractive system no matter how you slice it. Similar to the 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro, the laptop sports only one adornment — the glossy Dell insignia in the center of the lid. It’s a minimalist chic that I dig.

Swathed in soft-touch black-carbon-fiber, the laptop’s interior is just as familiar as its exterior, down to the power button that doubles as a fingerprint reader in the top-right corner. The barely there InfinityEdge bezel surrounds the 15.6-inch display, giving way to the large bottom bezel housing the webcam.

Heat

Despite its metallic lid and undercarriage, the XPS 15 did a good job of staying cool. When we measured key points of the laptop after streaming a full-screen HD video for 15 minutes, the touchpad hit 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The center of the keyboard reached 83 degrees, while the bottom registered 92 degrees. Each measurement was well within our 95-degree comfort threshold.

Webcam

While I appreciate super-slim bezels, Dell and other companies have to find a better place for the webcam than positioned right above the hinge. When I launched the camera app, the “nose cam” lived up to its name, capturing my chest and nose in the shot. It took quite a bit of adjusting on my part to get an appropriate angle

Still, the XPS 15’s integrated camera managed to perfectly capture the color in my bright pink dress. Details were sharp enough to capture some pilling on the garment as well as striations in the fabric.

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