Mini assessment: Dell XPS 15 9520 is an easy improve to a longtime design

Dell XPS 15 9520 sitting open on table with screen on.
Enlarge / Dell’s XPS 15 9520 is nearly identical to the last-gen 9510, albeit with improved processor performance.

Andrew Cunningham

Even as repeated updates to existing computers, Dell XPS 15 9520 quite light. This is very repetitive. The only thing that separated him from The XPS 15 9510 we reviewed last year is that it swapped the 11th generation Intel processors for the 12th generation versions. Everything else, from the design to the screen to the GPU, is the same (unless you count changing the shortened Windows 10 era rectangular logo on the Windows button to a square Windows 11 era logo).

So we’re not going to spend a lot of time re-explaining the things about this laptop that we’ve already mentioned. Weighing just over four pounds, it’s still a computer built for people who want more power than a 13 or 14-inch laptop can provide, but who still care enough about size and weight that they don’t want to pass. full-size desktop or large gaming laptop.

It still has a nice thin-bezel display, a large trackpad, a comfortable keyboard with firm but not too tight keys and a pleasant amount of travel, and Thunderbolt and USB-C ports for accessories and charging (plus an SD card reader and jack). headphones). A fingerprint reader, an IR camera face scanner compatible with Windows Hello, and a 720p webcam and speaker (serviceable but decent in both cases) round out the basic amenities.

Need to reiterate some better technical points for people who don’t want to lure them out of a year old review. The two ports on the left of the laptop are Thunderbolt 4, while the port on the right is the old USB-C. It retains a pair of RAM slots for removable DDR5 memory modules (an upgrade from last year’s DDR4), plus an additional M.2 2280 slot for a second NVMe SSD. The system’s 130 W power limit uses a USB-C connector, but it’s still technically proprietary—you can charge your laptop more slowly with older USB-C chargers, but you may still need to use a Dell for full power and performance.

The XPS 15 retains a nice, large trackpad and keyboard with a combination of firmness and fun ride.  It's not the best laptop keyboard we've used, but it's comfortable.
Enlarge / The XPS 15 retains a nice, large trackpad and keyboard with a combination of firmness and fun ride. It’s not the best laptop keyboard we’ve used, but it’s comfortable.

Andrew Cunningham

We tested the model with a 3456×2160 OLED display, which sits between the entry-level 1920×1200 IPS panel and the high-end 3840×2400 IPS panel. It’s nice to have options for people who prefer OLED’s infinite contrast, but the slight graininess (especially noticeable when viewing flat, untextured white or color fields) and oversaturated colors is a price you’ll have to pay. The 404 nits max screen brightness and 100 percent sRGB and 99.4 percent DCI-P3 gamut coverage (as measured by the i1Display Studio colorimeter) are all good.

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