Dell XPS 15 (9520) Laptop Review

Dell XPS 15 (9520) laptop Review, Let's take a look at the Dell XPS 15 (9520) laptop specifications, features, and other information that is currently available.

Dell XPS 15 (9520) Laptop Review
Dell XPS 15 (9520) Laptop


+  Excellent performance

+  OLED screen offers bright, vivid colors

+  Long battery life


-  Gaming performance is not great

-  The OLED screen isn't as visible outdoors

-  Not the lightest of laptops

Another year, another iteration of Dell's XPS product line, its range of premium laptops for creative people, heralds the changing of the seasons. This year's refresh of the mid-range XPS 15 laptop includes 12th-generation Intel CPUs and faster DDR5 system memory, resulting in a significant performance boost.

Otherwise, the XPS 15 (9520) is nearly identical to last year's model, which is not a bad thing. This is a fast, well-designed laptop with a bit more space than the smaller XPS 13.

For the price, the XPS 15 (9520)'s performance and portability place it among the best laptops of 2022. If you're curious about why, visit the how we test page to learn about infospa testing process.

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The Dell XPS 15 (9520) is now available for $1,549 / £1506 / AU$3229. The review model I tested costs $2,399 / £2199 / AU$3229 and includes a 14-core i7 CPU, 16GB of DDR5 RAM, a GeForce 3050 Ti GPU, a 15.6-inch, 3456 x 2160 pixel OLED screen, and a platinum silver finish.


Dell has taken the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach with the XPS 15, with this new model looking nearly identical to last year's model. That's not a problem, because the aluminum case feels tough enough to withstand a lot of use, and it houses a large, wide keyboard with chiclet-style keys across the majority of the width.

The speakers are located on either side of the keyboard, resulting in excellent sound with plenty of volume and presence. However, there is no numeric keypad, which is inconvenient if you need to enter a lot of data.

This is not the lightest laptop, weighing around 4.3 pounds. If you're going away for more than a day, you'll also need to add another pound for the bulky 130W USB charger, which could put a strain on your shoulder over time.

The touchpad is also quite large, which made it a little difficult to use. It responds to gentle fingertip touches but ignores accidental palm touches, as it should. When you press down with one finger for a left mouse click or two fingers for a right mouse click, you will hear a satisfying click. However, I found that the sheer size of the touchpad made reaching the bottom-right corner for the other method of performing a right-click more difficult.

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There are two Thunderbolt 4 ports on the left side, plus a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port on the right, as well as a headphone jack and an SD Card slot. The Thunderbolt or USB-C ports can both be used to power the laptop with the included charger, eliminating the need to run the cable behind it when charging. For older devices, the power adapter converts any of these ports into a standard USB 3.2 Gen 2 port.

The 15.6-inch, 3456 x 2160 pixel OLED screen remains the design's focal point. It has excellent, vibrant colors as well as deep shadows. The display's peak brightness was just under 350 candelas per square meter, which is bright enough to be easily visible in any indoor lighting, though it appears a little pale outside. If you frequently use your laptop outside, a brighter standard display may be preferable. Dell offers a 4K standard LED option with higher brightness for the same price.

The DisplayHDR 500-certified OLED display I tested does not support the HDR10 or Dolby Vision standards. However, movies and television shows continue to look fantastic. If you watch Season 4 of Stranger Things on Netflix before a flight, the entire row will be rooting for those crazy kids as they become trapped in the dull gloom of the Upside Down.

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So, if the XPS 15 (9520)'s exterior is mostly unchanged, what about the inside? There have been numerous changes, including the introduction of a new generation of CPUs and faster memory.

The XPS 15 (9520) is powered by a 12th-generation Intel i7 12700H processor with 14 cores and a clock speed of up to 4.7GHz. That's a significant improvement over last year's model, which featured an 11th-generation i7 processor with eight cores and a top speed of 4.6GHz. The laptop's memory has also been upgraded, moving from DDR4 to DDR5. As a result, whereas the previous model could read and write data to memory at four times the speed of the memory clock, the new model can do so at five times the speed.

What does all that technical jargon mean? It means more processor cores that can run slightly faster and a significant increase in data transfer speed, resulting in a faster computer.

The XPS 15 (9520) scored 6219 on the PCMark 10 office benchmark test. Last year's XPS 15 scored 6030, representing a 5% performance increase, which is consistent with the speed increase I've seen from other laptops using Intel's 12th-generation processors. And I definitely noticed a performance boost in the business and photo editing apps on this laptop: large Excel spreadsheets recalculated faster, and Photoshop filters were applied noticeably faster.

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The XPS 15 (9520) also includes an Nvidia GeForce 3050 Ti graphics chip, indicating that it has adequate graphics power. That is the same as the XPS 15 from last year, but it is still a good choice for casual gaming.

In Ultra Nightmare graphics mode, it managed about 40 frames per second in Doom Eternal at the native resolution of the screen. This is far less smooth and realistic than the hundreds of frames per second delivered by a dedicated gaming laptop like the Alienware x17 R2, but it's adequate for some light violence. Doom Eternal looked great on the OLED screen as well, with satisfyingly realistic blood spatters and deep, dark shadows.


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Of course, a fast laptop is useless if it can't be used on the go, but the XPS 15 (9520) had no such issues.

In the PCMark 10 battery test, a fully charged battery provided just over nine hours of video playback with the screen set to a brightness of about 200 cd/m2, a typical level for indoor use. That'll get you through a couple of movies on a cross-country flight or a typical day of work away from a power source.


The XPS 15 does not introduce any revolutionary new features (9520). It's a little faster and has a little more battery life than the model from last year. And that's not a criticism: more processing power and battery life is always a good thing, and the overall design is still an excellent blend of robustness and features.

This is a laptop that you can carry around and use without fear of damage, while still providing top-tier performance, connectivity, and features.