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For creative professionals, the 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro (2018 model) is the ultimate ‘do-it-all’ machine with stellar performance and ingenious design. But once you start looking at things like the Touch Bar and realize that that it doesn’t add much to your productive life, and the Retina screen while being crisp and accurate doesn’t allow you play modern games once in a while – then you start appreciating mainstreams laptops like the Dell XPS9570-7996SLV-PUS and HP Spectre x360-15t.
Both of these Windows alternatives offer the best of both worlds (they cost almost half-the MacBook Pro, but boast better features, including discrete graphics card). That’s not to downplay the MacBook Pro mighty, especially when the 2018 model rocks a fantastic design, eighth generation processor, all day battery life and a bright Retina display.
The 2018 edition of the XPS continues its tradition of undercutting the MacBook Pro’s price. Our review model, the Dell XPS9570-7996SLV-PUS counters with a swift six-core “Coffee Lake” processor, sleek design and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics. Throw a relatively low price into the mix, and you’ve got a repeat Editor’s Choice machine, and among the best desktop replacements you can buy.
As before, the Dell XPS 9570 sports premium construction that’s attractive and nice to hold in your arms. It carries the same aluminum base and lid from last year’s XPS 15 Touch, with the all-familiar palm rest and keyboard base. Using the same body and screen as Dell’s XPS line, this system looks and feels expensive. It measures 0.66 by 14.06 by 9.3 inches (HWD), and weighs a relatively light 3.9 pounds. This is a lot heavier than the 2.4-pound LG Gram 15, but is not a burden in a briefcase.
The 400-nit brightness IPS display is perhaps the most important highlight here. Dell used Infinity edge display technology to deliver a virtually border less display, no wonder they managed to fit a 15.6-inch display inside a laptop that is a few inches shy of 14-inches. It has 1,920-by-1,080 resolution, the screen is incredibly sharp and clear. With this resolution, the display is ideal for web design and working on large spreadsheets is enhanced.
Laptop screen come in better resolutions, some up to 4K but this model of the XPS 15 sports a high-resolution panel, which the company boosts covers 100 percent of the Adobe RGB color gamut for enhanced accuracy when viewing and editing images. The panel is slightly reflective, but it doesn’t have the distracting mirror-glass finish of many touch displays, though you may experience some reflections at wide angles, otherwise everything is excellent.
Brightness and contrast are top-notch, and fine details are sharp, you may even confuse it for a higher-res display. However, colors get muddy as you turn down the brightness, but they are still rich and vivid when it’s up, making viewing images, streamed content or even plain content an exciting experience. The only grip I got with the screen is that it doesn’t tilt back as quite as far as I’d like.
Inputs and Connectivity
For a premium laptop, the keyboard and touchpad ought to reflect that; the XPS 15 delivers exactly that. The backlit chiclet-style keyboard is well designed, comfortable, and nice to type on though some might find the key travel to be a lil’ shallow. It possible to work in darkness since the keys are well lit with two levels of back lighting.
The one-piece touchpad is well set and comfortable to use, with support for Windows 10 multi-touch gestures. Its speakers are clear and loud enough to fill a medium-size room.
Connectivity is excellent. The Dell XPS 9560 has all the ports you might need for a business presentation including: an HDMI port, a headset jack, a USB-C port with Thunderbolt 3, an SD card reader and two standard USB 3.0 ports. For wireless connectivity, you get Killer 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth as standard. The power button doubles as a fingerprint reader for Windows Hello logins.
With Nvidia’s GTX 1050 Ti and an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750U processor powering it, the XPS is built for both work and play. And, by play, we naturally mean spreadsheet creation, occasional video editing and college tasks. In real-world use, the Coffee Lake processor handles anything you throw at it with ease ranging from spreadsheets, MS Office tasks and image editing (though not at Pro-levels where you might a high-res screen).
Matched with 16GB of memory, a 512GB solid-state drive (SSD) and 1TB hard drive storage, this XPS 15 gets spirited performance with snappy system startup and app launches and lag-free multitasking. With a beefy hardware, you’ll be happy to use the system for most power-user tasks including photo editing and video encoding among other professional media works. The system is plenty quick overall, and will complete media projects you might need to work on at a good clip.
The Dell XPS 9570 isn’t a dedicated gaming machine, but it has features that are typical of gaming system, and an even better resolution. Given the GTX 1050 Ti graphics card, it’s capable of playing some of the latest AAA games at moderate quality and resolution settings. For instance, played at 1080p (1920-by-1080), you’ll get around: FIFA 17-145 fps; Fallout 4-40 fps; The Witcher 3-35 fps; and, GTA V – 65 fps. For a desktop replacement designed for professional creatives, this is quite impressive, though, not the best in the category. For gaming, you can consider something like the MSI GS65 Stealth for around the same price.
One big improvement from the 2017 model is battery life. This model maxes at around 11 hours on a single charge, a notable improvement over last year’s model. Still, this is near the bottom of our competitive stack, but much more practical for a day at work and getting you a few hours of entertainment or streaming back at home.
The Bottom Line
The Dell XPS9570-7996SLV-PUS, as a gaming laptop is not cheap especially compared to today’s flock of $1000 gaming laptops, some even offering superior gameplay. But, the Dell XPS 15 isn’t specially cut for gaming, its more of a decathlete, with the power to switch from productivity apps to creative work and then delivering enjoyable, if not record-setting, 1080p gaming.
As configured, the Dell XPS 15 Is a powerhouse for video editing and a bargain-hunter’s workstation for number-crunching with large datasets. And, it has a gorgeous screen.
Of course, it can’t stop sales of MacBook Pros to Apple’s loyal customers even if dell offered it for below $1000 or even less. But for most buyers of desktop-replacement laptops who are not necessarily excited by the MacBook Pro and its ilk, the XPS 15 belongs at the top of a very short list.
The Dell XPS9570-7996SLV-PUS is a sleek desktop replacement laptop designed for professional creatives, packing a beefy hexa-core CPU, a bright display and an ambitious price.
- A sleek, compact 15.6-inch laptop
- Beefy six-core processor
- Stellar Full HD screen
- Only one Thunderbolt 3 port
- A familiar design.
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Dell XPS 9570 Gaming Laptop 15.6" FHD, 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H CPU, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, GeForce GTX 1050Ti, Thin bzl 400 Nits Display, Silver, Windows 10 Home - XPS9570-7996SLV-PUS
4 used from $966.38