Timing is everything in the PC business, and the Dell XPS 15 9500, an overdue refresh to the company’s high-end workhorse, arrives just in time for it to be truly considered the “MacBook Pro killer” it’s always aspired to be.

Yes, we know “MacBook Pro killer” is overused Internet clickbait. But with Apple’s decision to throw in the towel on x86-based laptops, anyone buying a Mac today is basically volunteering to stand on the deck of the Titanic and wave as the last lifeboats pull away.

This review is part of our ongoing roundup of the best laptops. Go there for information on competing models and how we tested them.

Some laptop refreshes can be fairly minor. For the XPS 15 9500 ($2,254 at Dell.com), it’s a complete redesign of a laptop that’s changed little since 2015, when it first adopted its “InfinityEdge” bezels.

On this model, gone is the 16:9 display aspect ratio that was prevalent for some years—fine for watching YouTube, not so great for productivity. In its place is a 16:10 aspect ratio, 15.6-inch panel running 4K+ with HDR400 and Dolby Vision support. The result is a stunning all-screen look that is likely to set the style for other laptop makers to emulate.

xps15 front blue screen Dell

XPS 15 9500 Specs

The Dell XPS 15 9500 wouldn’t be a Dell XPS 15 without top-shelf parts. As you can see from the spec list that follows, it’s first-class all the way. Note that the eval unit we tested has a Core i7 CPU, which we think is a better choice overall than the 9th-gen Core i9 in the Dell XPS 15 7590 we tested last fall. The Core i9 chip seemed to push that laptop’s thermals over the edge.

CPU: Intel 10th-gen 8-core Core i7-10875H

GPU: GeForce GTX 1650 Ti

RAM: 16GB DDR4/3200 in dual-channel mode and SO-DIMM slots.



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