Do not be fooled by its unchanged design; each year, Dell takes advantage of the arrival of a new generation of processors and graphics cards to refine its XPS range. The 2021 version of the XPS 15 (9510) is no exception to the rule, with the arrival of the Intel Tiger Lake chips now supported by a GeForce RTX 3050 (Ti). Enough to offer increased performance, but this is probably not the most significant change of this Dell XPS 15 vintage 2021.
|AMOLED display with great contrast||Expensive as configured|
|UHS-II SD card reader||Underwhelming GPU options|
|Stellar OLED screen option||Below-average battery life|
|Comfortable keyboard and trackpad|
Your ideas will become even brighter.
The 16:10 aspect ratio display with a 4-sided InfinityEdge bezel and 100% Adobe RGB color gamut makes your creations as vivid and colorful as you can imagine.
Redesigned InfinityEdge display.
Enjoy the convenience of a top-mounted camera and a 16:10 aspect ratio display with a gorgeous bezel-less panel for even more productivity.
Unrivaled picture quality.
Take full advantage of HDR content playback with Dolby Vision technology, which delivers colors previously unavailable on SDR displays on PCs. Dolby Vision can bring highlights up to 40 times brighter and low-light areas up to 10 times darker.
Immerse yourself in movies and games with vibrant, lifelike colors on the new 3.5K (3456 x 2160) OLED display. Superb blacks deliver a phenomenal 100,000: 1 contrast ratio so images come to life in stunning detail, especially in dark areas. Wide color gamut (100% DCI-P3) provides more realism and is excellent for content viewing.
Colors that stand out.
An optional 4K UHD + display with 100% Adobe RGB and 94% DCI-P3 color gamut produces rich colors, and 1600: 1 contrast ratio lets you see the brightest and darkest areas. The brightness of 500 nits ensures clear images in bright conditions such as outdoors.
Taking care of your eyes.
The Eyesafe display reduces harmful blue light emissions and maintains vibrant colors. It is the first panel to efficiently distribute the energy of a light source, selectively reducing harmful blue radiation and scattering it across the optical spectrum.
Great visuals for indoor and outdoor use.
A special coating with a reflectivity of up to 0.65% reduces glare when working outdoors and in bright light. Thanks to this coating, the surface of the screen remains shiny, and color saturation is maintained.
Get more done.
The 11th Gen Intel Core processor is more powerful with more cores and threads, supports fast Wi-Fi 6 and gigabit download speeds, and lets you move large files at ultra-fast speeds with Thunderbolt 4. you can enjoy what you love. An 11th Gen Intel Core processor with 8 cores and 16 threads delivers desktop-like performance, allowing you to work with demanding design programs (2D and 3D) in a comfortable laptop.
More creativity, less delays.
You can edit and export videos faster. AI effects improve the quality of projection and broadcasting. From ray tracing to AI-powered video editing, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 GPUs accelerate workflows and creativity.
Dell Power Manager.
This application allows users to control system characteristics such as noise (fan speed), battery life and performance according to their preference, and also select different modes: reduced noise, high performance, enhanced cooling or optimized mode. The selectable mode allows the user to change the performance of the system. This Dell-designed solution dynamically delivers optimal processor performance by setting the mode most suitable for the user and intelligently monitoring and adjusting system temperature.
Fast memory and capacious data storage.
The system boots and resumes in seconds with up to 2TB SSD storage. With up to 64GB of 3200MHz memory, you can multitask even the most demanding applications at lightning speed.
Killer Wireless Adapter.
Supported by cutting-edge Wi-Fi 6 technology with theoretical bandwidth up to 2.4Gbps, the Killer AX1650 is up to three times faster than the previous generation 80MHz 2×2 AC devices. The adapter prioritizes video streaming, data traffic and game traffic on the system appropriately, ensuring a fast and smooth Internet experience.
Advanced heat dissipation system.
With two separate high-volume fans, two heat pipes and a hinged exhaust vent, the heat dissipation system delivers optimal performance in the smallest form factor possible.
|Dell XPS 15 (9510)|
|Released||June 1, 2020|
|Model||XPS 15 9500|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-11800H (2.3 – 4.6 GHz) / 8-core|
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForceRTX 3050Ti|
Integrated Graphics – Intel UHD Graphics
|OS||MS Windows 10 Home (64-bit)|
|Dimensions||344.7 x 230 x 18 mm|
The Dell XPS 9510 NVIDIA STUDIO laptop is equipped with a top-notch 15.6-inch display, a powerful Intel Core i7 11800H (Tiger Lake) 2.3 GHz processor, and a good NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050Ti graphics card for notebooks. The XPS 9510 has a stylish design that appeals to those who use their notebook often on the road or in the office. Dell XPS 9510 laptops are renowned for their wide range of colors, lightweight design and rich package options.
|Display Type||IPS LCD|
|Display Resolution||3840 x 2400, 290 ppi, 16:10|
|Display Feature||UHD + 4K IPS InfinityEdge multi-touch 500 nits|
Like the touchpad, the screen is the other distinguishing feature from the competition. Computer off, it is first the opportunity to admire its borderless frame with amounts reduced to the strict minimum: Less than 4 mm on the sides, barely more on the upper upright (5 mm) and a dozen millimetres at most the bottom of the screen. And again, with the hinges and the frame, visually, we are instead on 5 mm. In short, it’s beautiful, and the “wow” effect is confirmed as soon as you see the Windows desktop.
The UHD panel (Sharp SHP14D0 – LQ156R1) allows you to enjoy a beautiful display thanks to its 9 million pixels. The contrast ratio is excellent (1581: 1) and might even suggest an OLED panel. But no, it’s LCD. However, it is now possible for an XPS 15 equipped with an OLED panel for those who prefer depth and infinite contrast.
The maximum brightness is 425 cd / m2 and, combined with the effective anti-reflective coating, allows you to consider working outdoors without fear. Image professionals (or demanding amateurs) will appreciate the sRGB and Adobe RGB spaces (95% DCI-P3). The Dell Premium Color utility offers many possibilities of pre-settings to adapt the display according to its needs and uses by switching with one click from one profile to another. Even if for optimal fidelity, regular calibration using a probe remains essential.
In addition to the aesthetics with the absence of unsightly black borders, the 16:10 aspect ratio of the screen offers a little more height. The usable area will depend on the scaling factor chosen. Still, considering that most users opt for 200%, this allows to display 120 pixels more in height (i.e. 1920×1200 px)—a little more appreciable for browsing the Internet for retouching photos in Photoshop.
Finally, if the “classic” hinges do not allow this XPS 15 to be transformed into a tablet, the touch screen is a little extra to which you quickly get used to everyday life. To click on a dialog box, launch a program or even scroll through your photos in Capture One (or Lightroom), it quickly becomes more intuitive to interact via the screen than sliding your finger on the touchpad, as efficient as it is.
|Processor||Intel Core i7-11800H (2.3 – 4.6 GHz) / 8-core|
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti 4GB GDDR6|
|RAM||32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4 2933MHz, 2 slots|
|Storage||512 GB SSD, second slot available|
The Dell XPS 15 comes in different configurations. Choice of an Intel Core i5-11400H (Hexa Core), a Core i7-11800H, a Core i9-11900H processor, and two Octo Core processors.
In practice, the Core i7-11800H, which equips our model, is, in our opinion, the most interesting. More affordable and to simplify just as powerful as the Core i9 (the latter lacking space in the compact chassis of the XPS 15 to express its potential). The Core i5 could be interesting (since equivalent to the Core i7-10750H of last year), but it seems (for the moment at least) impossible to choose it with a dedicated graphics card.
Suppose the Intel UHD chip may be sufficient for office use. In that case, it will quickly show its limits with photo (Lightroom included) and video software, especially if you opt for a High Definition panel and an external screen.
Two options are possible on the graphics card side, a GeForce RTX 3050 or an RTX 3050 Ti. In practice, little different and once again, with the set of pre-configurations imposed, it is more interesting to opt for the latter. Still, if playing recent titles is possible (with an average of around 40-45 FPS in Full HD), this is not the area where this XPS is most comfortable.
An observation that could be extended to performance is where, more generally, the Dell XPS 15 does not particularly shine (but without being ridiculous). The fault is a cooling system below the competition (see the next part for more details), especially in the face of gaming laptops better armed on this point. The latter also sometimes take advantage of their more powerful graphics card, especially in photo and video, where software increasingly relies on the GPU to deport specific tasks and thus speed up renderings/exports.
Therefore, if every second counts for you, it is better to switch to another computer. On the other hand, if performance is one criterion among others, the XPS 15 remains in the race and will make up this (slight) weakness with different strengths.
|Webcam||1280 x 720|
|Audio||Waves Nx 3D Audio|
|Network||WiFi (802.11 b / g / n / ac / ax) 2×2|
|Ports||2 x Thunderbolt 4, |
1 x USB Type-C, Mini jack,
Unsurprisingly, and like the other models in the range, the XPS 15 only offers USB-C ports. Three in number, the two located on the left of the chassis are now Thunderbolt 4 compatible. An asset for connecting a 4K screen, a docking station or even an eGPU.
On the right side, a faster UHS-II SD card reader. Photographers and videographers will appreciate it. A headphone/microphone jack is also included.
A USB-C to HDMI and USB-C adapter is also included in the packaging.
With its speakers located on each keyboard side, the Dell XPS 15 enjoys excellent sound quality. It thus stands out from the competition with rather convincing restitution for a laptop, on condition, however, not to push the volume beyond 50/60%.
The sound becomes more nasal and loses precision. The spatialization is satisfactory with the bonus of the possibility of activating the follow-up of the face via the utility MaxxAudio to benefit from an optimization of the sound according to your position about the screen.
The result is not always convincing, but it sometimes brings a little more during certain action scenes when the computer is not ideally positioned in front of the user.
If the absence of a numeric keypad may make some teeth cringe, for the rest the keyboard of this XPS 15 9510 borders on perfection. Typing is very comfortable, even after several hours of intensive use, thanks to its large keys (16.5×15.4 mm) with a (very) soft touch, despite a stroke (1.4 mm) and spacing (2, 9 mm) in the low average.
The backlighting of the keyboard can only be adjusted in two intensities. Although calibrated, they nevertheless offer good readability during the day or once it gets dark.
The power button hides a Windows Hello compatible fingerprint reader. One of the most discreet integrations that some competitors would do well to learn. And if you prefer the simplicity and speed of facial recognition, no problem, the Dell XPS camera is also compatible with Windows Hello.
The webcam “does the job”, on the other hand for videoconferences it would be appreciated to have a better definition on a computer of this range. It’s a shame that you still have to settle for an average 720P camera.
As for the touchpad, it’s impossible not to notice it with its XXL dimensions (15×9 cm!). It turns out to be very pleasant to use even if it clicks. Good point; it no longer “sounds” hollow (at least on our copy) as it was on the previous generation.
|Battery life||Up to 9 h|
|Battery Capacity||86 W * h|
|AC Adapter||130W power supply|
The 130W power supply unit measures 143x66x22mm for a weight of 270g. It offers a cable length of 2.7m. Like the other models in the XPS range, the Dell Power Manager utility provides access to many settings to extend battery life by setting a maximum charge threshold. Convenient when the computer is used on the mains most of the time. Other setting options, in particular, according to the days of the week, are available if necessary.
With an unchanged design, the freshness of this Dell XPS 15 9510 seems to be sought in updating the processor and the graphics card. Admittedly often more imposing and less elegant but which can nevertheless constitute alternatives.
But after ten days spent with the XPS 15 2021, it is not the Intel Tiger Lake processor or the NVIDIA Ampere graphics card that has marked us the most.
Others will be more seduced by its UHD screen, among the best currently available on a laptop—a powerful ally for designers, photographers and videographers. Image lovers may also be sensitive to the presence of an SD card reader. This detail has become so rare that it should be emphasized, even more so when the latter supports the UHS-II standard.
Among its other strengths, let’s mention its comfortable keyboard, its large touchpad, its contained weight without forgetting an autonomy compatible with a nomadic use and an audio system above the average. The possibility of installing a second SSD and upgrading the RAM may end up convincing.
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