Dell XPS 15 9500 Core i5 Review: Now Even More Like a MacBook Pro

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From the point of view of an average consumer, the refreshed XPS 15 checks almost all the right boxes. The bright 16:10 display, improved keyboard feedback, roomy clickpad, expanded audio system, long battery life, quiet fans, upgradeable RAM, and new secondary M.2 slot all help to make the system a joy to use. If you’ve been holding out on upgrading to an XPS 15, then now would be the time to reconsider because this latest revision improves upon the older design in significant ways. The omission of both HDMI and USB Type-A will inevitably be an annoyance, but at least adapters are included in every box which is more than what we can say for the MacBook Pro.

From an enthusiast’s point of view, however, it appears that the cooling solution hasn’t improved by all that much. Core temperatures are already reaching over 90 C on our quad-core Core i5 base configuration which means the higher-end octa-core Core i7 GeForce GTX configuration will more than likely run even warmer and louder. If you weren’t a fan of the unexceptional cooling solution on the last generation model, then this latest model probably won’t change your mind. Furthermore, the WLAN module and keyboard are now more difficult to service than before since their components are more heavily integrated onto the mainboard.

We’ll be revisiting the XPS 15 9500 soon with different configurations to get a better picture of the overall model. But for the base price of $1300, Dell’s flagship system is making all the right changes in almost all the right places for an admirable first impression.

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