The time has come for an overall review of the Dell XPS 15z. The story the technical specifications of a product tell is often not the same after you actually use it for an extended period of time – that seemingly fast machine starts to crawl after installing a few more applications and opening up a few more tabs.
Here’s the good news. The XPS 15z didn’t show any signs of slowing down in the two weeks that I started bombarding it with various applications. The only gripe that gets worse with time is the inability to turn off the trackpad. It’s really quite irritating when you do a lot of typing and end up having to backspace or reposition the cursor constantly.
It’s not light. But its not heavy either. For a 15-inch device, the feel of the weight is, to me, perfectly acceptable. It’s a little bit straining when I need to grab the laptop with one hand and keep it level (you know for those moments when you’re doing work and suddenly have to shift to another table?).
On standard use with average brightness settings and no heavy lifting like World Community Grid running in the background, the laptop lasts around 5 to 6 hours.
What differentiates one laptop from another, to me, is how it balances portability with utility – A really small and slim machine that’s seriously underpowered (think netbooks) will be pretty but useless while a power-packed device that takes a crane to lift is also pretty impractical to use. Do I think the XPS 15z gets the balance right? Pretty much so. I think it could be lighter, but it’s good enough.
The smooth finish of the aluminium shell makes it really good in the light (provided you kept it clean). And when in the dark you brush your hand over it, it feels like a tiny bit of the door of that car you couldn’t afford. Is it going to turn heads? I doubt. But are you going to feel good carrying it? Yup.
In terms of positioning of the various ports, I think it would have been wiser to have at least one USB port on each side, with one side also having two ports (a total of 3 ports). This would mean your mouse can be easily connected on either side and with a double port on one side it would allow those external harddrives that need two USB ports to be plugged in to be able to draw sufficient voltage without having to split the USB cable to opposite ends of the laptop.
Connectivity (Data and inter-device operability)
With a HDMI output, Mini-display port, ethernet and standard audio ports, the main gripe to me here is that it only has 2 USB ports. I really think a 3rd one would help. (Note: In their recently released XPS 14z, this has already been addressed.)
Performance (Processor and Memory. and actual field performance)
The set that I test with runs with 8GB RAM and the i7-2620M processor and I suppose that’s pretty pimped up specs. Anyhow, over the past two weeks, this probably means you must always get pimped up specs because, that’s when the device is at it’s most awesome 🙂
Unlike tablets and netbooks, the XPS 15z feels solid such that you can throw it in your bag without worrying something might cause it to break or crack or something.
All in all, I think the device is a decent one. Able to deliver most things while not causing too big a whole in your pocket.
Does this device make the cut into anyone’s Dream Gear? Stay tuned…
- Dell XPS 15z – A work machine you can carry around
- [Pictures] Dell XPS 15z
- [First Impressions] Dell XPS 15z
- 24 Hours with the Dell XPS 15z
- A week with the Dell XPS 15z
- [Making the Cut] Dell XPS 15z
Starting and maintaining Ridz.sg aside, Ridzuan is Co-Founder of Senseless Labs – A software solutions company currently focused on building mobile-based Marketing and CRM solutions. He has been dabbling in both web and mobile development since 2003. His interests include how technology can be used to improve the human condition, poverty alleviation through sustainable development, education and microfinancing.