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Dell XPS 15 vs. Inspiron 15 7000: Which is best for you?

If you're looking for the best Dell laptop, Dell's XPS 15 (9510) is an impressive piece of hardware. It was recently refreshed from the 9500 model, and it's now complete with multiple high-end display options, dedicated NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti GPU, and 11th Gen Intel Core H-series CPUs. It's also quite a bit more expensive than the Inspiron 15 Plus (7501), an excellent laptop in its own right for those who don't want to pay the XPS tax.

Unfortunately, it seems that Dell has — at least for the time being — discontinued the Inspiron 15 Plus. You can still find it at some third-party retailers like Amazon, but Dell's site no longer has it listed. There is, however, a replacement in the form of the Inspiron 16 Plus, a laptop for creators who don't want to pay the XPS tax. My comparison of the Dell XPS 15 vs. Inspiron 16 Plus has a lot more information about the new laptop and how it compares to our favorite 15-inch device.

Let's take a look at the specs that make up these two laptops.

Dell XPS 15 vs. Inspiron 15 7000: Tech specs

XPS 15 (9510)Inspiron 15 Plus (7501)
Processor11th Gen Intel
Core i5-11400H
Core i7-11800H
Core i9-11900H
10th Gen Intel
Core i5-10300H
Core i7-10750H
RAM8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB
DDR4-3200MHz
8GB, 16GB
DDR4-2933MHz
Storage256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB
M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
256GB, 512GB, 1TB
M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
Display size15.6 inches15.6 inches
Display resolution1920x1200 (FHD+) non-touch
3840x2400 (UHD+) touch
3456x2160 (3.5K) OLED, touch
1920x1080 (FHD) touch
GraphicsIntel UHD Graphics
NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti
Intel UHD Graphics
NVIDIA GTX 1650 Ti
PortsTwo Thunderbolt 4
USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2)
SD card reader
3.5mm audio
Two USB-A 3.1
HDMI
USB-C 3.2
3.5mm audio
microSD reader
WirelessKiller Wi-Fi 6 AX1650
Bluetooth 5.1
802.11ax Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.1
BiometricsFingerprint reader
IR camera
Fingerprint reader
Battery56Wh (No dedicated GPU)
86Wh
56Wh
Dimensions13.57 x 9.06 x 0.71 inches
(344.72mm x 230.14mm x 18mm)
14.01 x 9.23 x 0.69-0.74 inches
(356.1mm x 234.5mm x 17.5-18.9mm)
WeightFrom 3.99 pounds (1.81kg)From 3.86 pounds (1.75kg)

Dell XPS 15 vs. Inspiron 15 7000: Design and features

The latest XPS 15 9500 and now the 9510 have seen a design refresh in the style of the XPS 13 9310, with a thinner body, 16:10 display with almost no bezel at all, and webcam with an IR sensor above the display. You still get a carbon fiber interior and CNC-machined aluminum chassis. The XPS 15 is slightly smaller and thinner than the Inspiron 15 7501, though not so much that you'd notice a big difference if they weren't side by side.

The Inspiron 15 Plus — which used to be called the Inspiron 15 7000 — has an aluminum chassis that extends to the interior, keeping the silver finish throughout. The lack of carbon fiber and the slightly larger chassis still don't make it heavier than the XPS 15, at least to start. Once you add a 4K touch display and a massive 86Wh battery to the XPS 15, it does become heavier.

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7501 Keyboard

(Image credit: Source: Dell)

Both laptops employ a sizable Precision touchpad with plenty of room for Windows 10 gestures. As for the keyboard, both are backlit, and both should be fine for a day of productivity. If you type a lot, testing them both out before a final purchase is a good idea. Keycaps on the XPS 15 have been enlarged for a better typing experience, and flanking the keys on either side are top-firing speakers. Combined with down-firing speakers, you're getting a total of 8W of audio output. If the sound is essential, the XPS 15 easily beats out the Inspiron. Both laptops have a fingerprint reader built into the power button.

The port selection has changed with the XPS 15 9510 model. Gone is USB-A. Instead, it has two Thunderbolt 4, USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2), an SD card reader, and a 3.5mm audio jack. The Inspiron 15 has a selection better for legacy accessories, including two USB-A 3.2 (Gen 1), HDMI, USB-C 3.2 (Gen 1), 3.5mm audio, and microSD card reader. Ultimately, both laptops deliver generous connectivity, and you can add a powerful laptop docking station for even more ports.

Dell XPS 15 vs. Inspiron 15 7000: Display

(Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

The XPS 15 9500 saw some changes to its display, including a move to a 16:10 aspect ratio for a taller look. And now with the 9510 model, there's a new 3.5K OLED screen available. This touch display has an anti-reflective finish to reduce glare, as well as 400 nits brightness. It manages 100% DCI-P3 color reproduction for specialized work.

The non-touch FHD+ model, which is the most affordable, hits up to 500 nits brightness, manages 100% sRGB color reproduction, and includes Dolby Vision. Its high brightness means you can use it just about anywhere, and it will gobble up the least amount of power.

For those who love or require 4K for work, the UHD+ touch option hits 500 nits brightness and manages 100% AdobeRGB and 94% DCI-P3 color reproduction, making it a reliable choice for photo editing and specialized work. Keep in mind it will weigh more and suck up more battery. For a more thorough breakdown, check out our Dell XPS 15 9500 FHD+ vs. UHD+ guide.

As for the Inspiron 15 Plus 7501, there's a relatively basic FHD touch display option with an anti-glare finish, WVA panel, and 16:9 aspect ratio. It's all you'll need for standard tasks, and it's a looker in its own right thanks to 100% sRGB color, but it just doesn't match up to the display options available with the XPS 15. There is a 4K display option listed in Dell documentation for the Inspiron 15, but so far it doesn't look like it's available.

Dell XPS 15 vs. Inspiron 15 7000: Performance

(Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

For general productivity tasks, the Inspiron 15 Plus has all the hardware you'll need (and a bit more). It's available with up to a 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10750H processor (CPU), 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 1TB M.2 PCIe solid-state drive (SSD), as well as a dedicated NVIDIA GTX 1650 Ti GPU with 4GB of VRAM. While one RAM slot is soldered, there is a second available for upgrades.

The Inspiron 15 Plus has enough juice for some quality gaming or a bit of extra horsepower for editing. If you're trying to stick to a tight budget, it has a lot to offer for the $1,127 price tag. That's a bit less money than even the introductory XPS 15 model. For a general productivity machine that's still going to tear through word processing, web browsing, and video streaming, you can spend about $637 and get a 10th Gen Intel Core i5-10300H CPU, 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD, and integrated Intel UHD graphics.

On the other hand, if you want a thin and light 15-inch device with a performance boost, the XPS 15 has some extra hardware to behold. With up to an 11th Gen Intel Core i9-11900H CPU, 64GB of DDR4 RAM, a 2TB PCIe SSD, and a dedicated NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti GPU with 4GB of VRAM, it can pretty much handle anything you throw its way, including specialized work. Add in three stellar display choices, and you have one mighty Ultrabook.

If neither of these laptops ends up appealing to you, be sure to look at our best Windows laptop picks for way more options.

The XPS 15 is an outstanding laptop if you have the budget

Overall, the XPS 15 is thinner, more compact, and of overall higher quality. You're ultimately going to pay more, but there are three superb displays to choose from, and it can become a true desktop killer for professionals thanks to more powerful hardware options. Check out our Dell XPS 15 9500 review for lots more information about the previous model.

Go with the Inspiron 15 7000 for an affordable Ultrabook

If you don't need the extra power or fancy displays found in the XPS 15, the Inspiron 15 Plus 7501 is going to save you a lot of money and still be an excellent laptop. It's built well, it has many of the same features, and a dedicated NVIDIA GTX 1650 Ti GPU and 10th Gen Intel CPUs add some much-appreciated power.

You'll no longer be able to find the laptop for sale at Dell, which means you'll miss out on the extensive configuration options usually on offer. Still, if this laptop is right for you, there are options at third-party retailers. And if you do like the Inspiron line and want a great laptop for less money, be sure to check out the Inspiron 16 Plus with 11th Gen Intel Core H-series CPUs, up to a NVIDIA RTX 3060 Laptop GPU, and 16-inch 3K display with 16:10 aspect ratio.

Cale Hunt
Cale Hunt

Cale Hunt is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on laptop reviews, news, and accessory coverage. He's been reviewing laptops and accessories full time since 2016, with hundreds of reviews published for Windows Central. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user, and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.