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Dell XPS 15 L502X Reviews

May 30, 2011 By: lilybird Category: Desktop and Laptop

The newest XPS 15 looks similar to the old one–which isn’t that old, really: we reviewed it last November 2010. Still, usually there are some key differences with all the 2011 update. Most notably, all XPS models will have new second-gen Intel Core i-series CPUs.

Design
The Dell XPS 15 sports a matte silver anodized aluminum lid that will not grab fingerprints, however it seems a bit dull. Fortunately, Dell offers 200 different Dell Studio lid patternsOn the plus side, we appreciate the small black bar that is different behind the lid, that has a backlit XPS logo that pulses in the event the method is asleep. We like how the matte finish continues on the sides and bottom, areas all too often ignored by other notebook makers. The dark brushed aluminum deck within the appliance plus the diamond-cut, silver trim that surround the keyboard and touchpad look more sophisticated. The JBL speakers, which take a seat on either sides of your keyboard, have a very unique pattern that appears a tad old-fashioned.At 15 x 10.4 x 1.5 inches and 6.6 pounds with the nine-cell battery, the XPS 15 is among the bulkier 15-inch notebooks we’ve tested. It barely compliment a typical notebook bag, but it weighs more than the 5.6-pound 15-inch HP EliteBook 8560p along with the IdeaPad Y560d.

Keyboard and Touchpad
At first glance, the XPS 15’s keyboard offers quite a bit going for it: a flexible backlight, large, well-placed keys, as well as a generous, comfortable palm rest. However, the keys themselves were somewhat stiff. This led us being more deliberate when typing across the keyboard sit a number of status lights and three touch-sensitive buttons. The very first button launches Windows Mobility Center, a mini control panel that allows you to easily manage your Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and display settings; we particularly appreciated to be able to set the keyboard backlight’s brightness. The second button is user-configurable, as well as third button launches Dell Audio by Realtek, a sound control center. The large 3.9 x 2.2-inch touchpad on the XPS 15 offers the perfect level of friction and smoothly executes multitouch gestures just like pinch-to-zoom.

Display
The 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 resolution display about the XPS 15 is amongst the brightest and the majority of colorful we’ve tested. Even at viewing angles of nearly 90 degrees to the left or right, images stayed sharp and bright.

Audio
The XPS 15 is a useful one for everyone as your home stereo. The JBL Speakers and bottom-mounted sub-woofer offer incredibly loud and accurate sound. Whether there we were following a bass-heavy R&B song including “Forget Me Nots,” a funk classic for instance Kool and the Gang’s “Summer Madness,” or maybe a classical tune for example Richard Strauss’ “Thus Spake Zarathustra,” sound was bright and true, even at maximum volume. The Wave MaxxAudio sound enhancement software plays a crucial role in providing this degree of fidelity.

Ports and Webcam
An HD Webcam records video at resolutions up to 1,600×1,200 pixels, or at 1,280×720 pixels in HD H.264 format. Though frame rates are choppy using normal settings, the HD recording mode produces smooth, very watchable clips. The Webcam is likewise suitable for SkypeHD for HD streaming, a pleasing bonus. A noise-canceling microphone increases the chat package, pushing its chat capabilities better those of a business laptop. The modern Dell XPS has the same pair of ports we had from the XPS back in November, which is OK, since those ports already were pretty up-to-date. Though the XPS lacks an ExpressCard slot, they come in two USB 3.0 ports, an optional TV tuner (included on our config), and HDMI 1.4 with Nvidia 3DTV Play, allowing playback of 3D games or Blu-ray content onto a 3D HDTV via an HMDI cable. You’ll need a 3D TV to even take advantage of this feature, obviously, therefore we doubt most people will.

Life cycle of battery and Wireless
The nine-cell battery that had our XPS 15 (extra $40 option) created difference, lasting 4 hours and 2 minutes using our video-playback battery-drain test. That is the solid number for the laptop this powerful, but it’s still hours in need of the similarly-equipped 15-inch MacBook Pro. On the other hand, it’s a big improvement with the 2 hours and 26 minutes we got for the XPS 15 not too long ago which has a standard six-cell battery. With no tested the XPS utilizing a standard six-cell, it’s hard to share with what perhaps the advantage arises from the greater battery and exactly what is the reaction of a much more efficient Intel CPU.

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