The two XPS 15 displays — FHD+ and UHD+ — are built into a chassis that has the same dimensions, ports, and features, though some lower-end performance hardware (and a lower price) is only available with the FHD screens. Below is a comparison of the displays and the hardware options available with the different types of display.
The refreshed Dell XPS 15 9500 has either FHD+ or UHD+ display options to choose from. The "+" comes from the added pixels due to the new 16:10 aspect ratio that expands the display for a boxier look. While the two displays are the exact same size, they differ significantly.
The FHD+ model will help land you the lowest possible price on an XPS 15, and it's still a respectable IGZO display with 100% sRGB color reproduction and up to 500 nits brightness. It can handle HDR content thanks to Dolby Vision. Battery draw is considerably less than the UHD+ model, which is important if you like leaving the AC adapter behind when you leave your home or office. The FHD+ option is non-touch and has an anti-glare layer rather than anti-reflective; however, the 500 nits brightness should help solve intense light falling directly on the display.
|Dell XPS 15 (FHD+)||Dell XPS 15 (UHD+)|
|Display size||15.6 inches||15.6 inches|
|Brightness||500 nits||500 nits|
|Color||100% sRGB||100% AdobeRGB, 94% DCI-P3|
If you opt for the dedicated NVIDIA GTX 1650 Ti GPU for some gaming, it will perform much better and offer higher framerates at the lower resolution. If you're not buying the XPS 15 for any specialized work — design, development, or heavy editing — you should find the FHD+ model checks all the boxes unless you just want to bask in brilliant 4K while going about usual tasks.
The UHD+ touch display comes in one flavor this time around, as Dell has canned the OLED option. The IGZO display also has the 16:10 aspect ratio for a boxier look, and it comes with 100% AdobeRGB and 94% DCI-P3 color reproduction. If you're planning on design and editing work, this display should be ideal. It will use more battery than the FHD+ model due to more pixels and touch functionality, but that's a tradeoff you'll have to live with.
The UHD+ option has an anti-reflective layer to better combat glare, and it is VESA certified DisplayHDR 400. Like the FHD+ model, the higher-res display can hit 500 nits brightness. An XPS 15 with UHD+ display will weigh a bit more, but not anything egregious.
Comparing hardware options
Performance hardware differs depending on the display you go with, and if you don't need the added power from a dedicated graphics card (GPU), the FHD+ model is going to be quite a bit cheaper due to the hardware on offer.
Yes, you can configure a model with FHD display to have a 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10875H processor (CPU), 64GB of DDR4-2933MHz RAM, NVIDIA GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q dedicated GPU, and a 2TB M.2 PCIe solid-state drive (SSD), but you can also go as low as an Intel Core i5-10300H CPU, 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD, 8GB of RAM, and integrated Intel UHD Graphics. The low-end model comes with a smaller 56Wh battery due to the lack of dedicated GPU.
UHD+ models are not available with the Core i5 CPU or integrated Intel UHD Graphics, so if you do prefer to pay less for the weaker hardware, you will have to go with an FHD+ display. UHD+ models are also only available with the larger 86Wh battery, which makes sense due to the increased power draw of the high-res display and GPU.
Bottom line? If you'd like ultimate performance, you will be able to get it with an FHD+ or UHD+ display, though if you prefer to save some money and go with the baseline hardware on offer, you will have to stick with an FHD+ display.
The FHD+ XPS 15 is a lot of laptop for most people
If you'd like to save about $300 at checkout and still get high-end performance hardware in your XPS 15, the FHD+ display model is quite attractive. It can also be had in low-end hardware for even further savings. Though you won't have touch function, you will get added battery life and an excellent picture. The NVIDIA GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q GPU, if included, will perform much better when gaming in FHD+.
Lower cost, still a great PC
The FHD+ XPS 15 is available at a cheaper starting price, you can get the same powerful hardware inside (great for gaming), you'll get longer battery life, and it's a bit lighter. As long as you don't plan on a lot of professional design, development, or editing work, it should make a great choice.
The UHD+ XPS 15 is better for power users
Video and photo editors can undoubtedly take advantage of the extras the UHD+ XPS 15 models have to offer, but know that it's also a great all-around laptop for anyone who appreciates a high-res display. Once you go 4K, it's hard to go back to anything else.
A better choice for professionals and power users
UHD+ XPS 15 models will ultimately cost more than FHD+ models. They will have lesser battery life, but if you need a touch display, brilliant contrast, or precise color reproduction in AdobeRGB or DCI-P3, going with UHD+ makes sense.
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