Dell XPS 15 7590 / 9580 review, despite the intense competition, it is still the best ultra-portable laptop
By Sigismondo Eisenhower 2019-06-21 2159 0
In the world of ultrabook, it is always our favorite! Dell has definitely found the right formula with its XPS 15 7590/9580, a laptop that is both ultra-light and high-performance, elegant and very durable. Since the launch of the first model in 2012, Dell has improved its machine with small touches until it achieves the little masterpiece of industrial design that we are testing today.
The machine is certainly not cheap, with an entry ticket at $1449.99 for the basic version, $ 2099.99 for the model tested here or $ 2999.99 for the OLED edition with 4K touch screen. On the other hand, competitors like Asus or Huawei also have very good machines... often much cheaper. But none of them, in our humble opinion, can yet win against Dell's XPS 15 7590. Here are our arguments, tests to support them!
An attractive case, as slim as it is solid
In its 2019 version, the XPS 15 7590 evolves very little in terms of design. We find the superb ultra-thin chassis of the 2018 version, entirely made of aluminium: 1.8 kg on the scale, barely 12 mm thick in the thickest part (a little over 18 counting the small studs under the case) and 20 cm wide. Dell has just modified the screen hinge to make it easier to open with one hand.
A modern connection system
On the sides of the XPS 15 7590, the connection system is resolutely modern, with two Thunderbolt 3 connectors on the left side and a USB-C (standard USB 3.1) on the right. Dell adds an audio output in jack format and a microSD card reader. Even though the thinness of the housing, Dell does not delete the "big" socket:HDMI For the latter, the American manufacturer provides a small USB-C- / USB-A converter cable. For everything else, you will have to buy adapters.
A high quality Full HD display (preferred in 3:2 format)
Open case, we discover a very beautiful satin screen in Full HD definition (3840 x 2160) with remarkably thin edges. Named Infinity Edge by Dell, this slab has almost no edges and offers a very beautiful image, perfectly sharp and homogeneous, with no clear marks on the sides.
In both Full-HD and 4K, the image format of the XPS 15 7590 is the same, a very classic 16:9 aspect ratio. It's nice to display videos, a little less for displaying web pages or office documents. Here, we have a weakness for ultrabook with 3:2 screens, such as Apple's MacBook Air or Huawei's very good MateBook 13. Please, Mr. Dell, draw us an XPS 15 with a screen 3:2...
A new mini-camera
The 2018 version of the machine had been criticized for the strange positioning of its webcam at the bottom of the screen. It was simply impossible to accommodate it in the edge of the slab, which was no more than 4 mm thick. Dell is able to correct this small defect on the 2019 edition of the XPS 15 7590, thanks to a really tiny new webcam: it measures only 2.25 mm on the side compared to 7 mm for the previous one.
The only problem is that this mini-camera, which produces fairly good images in 720p, is not compatible with the Windows Hello biometric identification system. To quickly unlock a Windows session, without entering a password, use the machine's fingerprint reader, located on the start button, which responds quickly and efficiently.
Comfortable typing feeling
Although a little narrow, especially for large hands, the keyboard offers a very good typing comfort once you get used to the small size of some keys (functions and arrows, especially). The striking is clean and quite silent. And if the tactile zone is not huge, it responds perfectly to the slightest touch and the movements of several fingers at the same time.
Office automation, multimedia creation, HD video playback, the XPS 15 7590 2019 can do almost anything. The version tested here, at nearly 1500 euros, is based on a solid Intel Core i9-9980HK processor, whose working frequency varies between 4.6 and 1.8 GHz depending on the load. It is coupled with 8 GB of DDR4 memory and an SSD storage module with a rather modest capacity -256 Go- but very efficient. With this efficient engine, the 2019 Dell XPS 15 7590 achieves excellent results at one of our benchmark benchmarks, PCMARK 8, which measures the desktop and multimedia performance of computers.
It should be noted that like most ultrabook, the XPS 15 7590 is a hard worker, not a player. Don't count on him to run the 3D headlines, the machine's Intel video circuit is just right for card games or modern versions of Tetris!
Quiet engine with low temperature
A pleasant surprise for such a powerful machine, the Dell xps 15 7590 is very discreet, even in the middle of work. Virtually inaudible even in a quiet room for routine office tasks, ventilation speeds up a little during more demanding work (image editing, video editing...). But according to our sound level meter, the noise does not exceed 35 decibels at full power, which is very good.
Good point also for temperature management, which never exceeded 33 degrees, during our tests, at the level of the palm rest. The underside of the housing heats up significantly more, with 49 degrees measured by us near the ventilation vents. So let's remember the basic advice for using a laptop, valid for the Dell like any other: avoid using it on your lap, and never, ever, install it on a bed, so as not to block the air vents.
Battery: almost 20 .5H
Let's save the best for last! Despite its high level of performance, the 2019 edition, at least the one tested here, can last nearly 20 hours 30 minutes on battery power, without interruption (and probably two or three days of episodic use). This is an excellent score for a machine of this calibre, even if the 2018 edition, equipped with a slower processor, did even better (almost 13 hours of continuous use). Only Apple's MacBook Pro 13 surpasses this Dell, with nearly 14 hours 30 minutes of battery life.
As slim as it is elegant, solid, powerful and very autonomous, the Dell XPS 15 7590has all the qualities of an ultrabook. It is therefore - as it was last year - the best model on the market. Certainly, the jewel is not cheap, and it is now followed by excellent competitors signed Asus or Huawei, but it is an excellent investment for work... or leisure! To keep trackers at a distance, we suggest that next time Dell opt for a 3:2 screen, more convenient to work with than the 16:9 "panoramic" tiles. A USB-C adapter offered to the "old" common socket formats (Ethernet, HDMI, USB...) would not be a problem!
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