Dell renews their powerhouse XPS 15 laptop with a stunning 4K display

Besides the super impressive XPS 13 Ultrabook announced today at CES, Dell also is refreshing their XPS 15. The XPS 15 is my primary laptop that I reviewed a few months ago and it is still one of the best on the market.

The 2015 version steps things up by replacing the QHD+ touchscreen with an ultra-high 4K resolution (3840 x 2160) display. Unfortunately, that is really about all that is new.

Surprisingly, this newer XPS 15 does not feature the 5th generation Intel Broadwell chipset. Instead, everything is identical between this and the 2014 version except for that improved display.

No word on battery life, although we already saw it at 2.5 hours remaining when it was at 68%. We suppose if you can push 5 hours out of a 4K display that is not too bad. However, I would have liked to see some of the same 'wow' power and attention to detail the XPS 13 received.

I will say that Dell did an excellent job with scaling. In using the OS for a few minutes, there were no "OMG things are so small!" moments, which is great for those who are considering this device. Indeed, the only time you could tell this was a 4K display is when you zoomed in on text and saw zero artifacts or jaggedness. Impressive, indeed.

The XPS 15 with 4K display goes on sale in early February, which we will follow up on at that time. For now, see our hands-on video!

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Thankfully I don't feel the urge to replace my existing one....
  • Me neither. Which is good.
  • If it had a better keyboard with number pad, I'd be happy. Sick of 15" laptops without one.
  • That's one of the few 15" laptops without a number pad these days. A big advantage for me - hate the num pads - I don't need it and it only shifts the keyboard to the side, making it less comfortable to use + they make some more useful buttons smaller(e.g. the arrow keys) to fit the num pad.
  • None of the 15" high-end \ ultra books have a keypad.
  • I can feel Daniel excitement from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean
  • Happy Dan has been happy this morning.
  • Daniels excrement, oh excitement, my bad.
  • LOL. Stupid! (facepalm)
  • :)
  • Where's the 4K retina MacBooks? Late as always.
  • They're reinventing it. Duh. And coming up with a name to make it seem like its their idea. Lol. Takes time.
  • iRetina?
  • Lol you waiting for one? Anyway who really needs 4k at this size. 31inch on the other hand....:D
  • Marks waiting for one.
  • Because 4k laptops do so well. Apple will do it when it doesn't kill battery life. Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • i4K? Or iQuadRetina?
  • So was the Windows version of the Dell Venue pro not a good seller? I've been waiting for them to announce a newer version.
  • Why no number pad? A number pad is a must for a 15 inch laptop.
  • Because they're giving you 8.294.400 pixels. You're a flipping pixel millionaire, Mr. Immanuel Kant. You could donate a bitmap of a 16x16 pxl C-Note, wipe a jpegs behind, and still stack the Benjamins filling your screen.  Who needs a number pad when your screen is fluidly swimming at 70 Hz with 360p videos on You____Red____?  
  • Calm down dude. He/she is probably an accountant or works financials. Studies have shown no one else uses the number pad, which adds to cost and detracts from ergonomics.
  • ^^AVATAR AWRAD OF THE DAY^^ The Wikipedia intro for Immanuel Kant, "...Kant argued that our experiences are structured by necessary features..."  
  • The "awrad of the day" Pray tell, what the hell is that?
  • :)
  • Shame Windows and Windows apps still don't scale that well. I actually prefer standard HD on PCs so I don't get fuzzy apps.
  • You better watch out before VESA sues you for misrepresenting their "standards"
  • Metro apps scale perfectly. Its those dang legacy x86 apps that don't scale too well but not much MS can do about that.
  • Not really - I have an 15"/FHD and find a lot of the OS dialogs, for instance some control pannel settings, popping out with blurry fonts.
  • No matter how many pixels you cram in there it's still blurry when scrolling so its still ugly. Wish they'd come up with a fix in the tech world for this. And no not fake refresh rate gimmicks that predict where things are moving.
  • I could go for this. I need to replace my current XPS 15 from 2011 but really need the space for a send hard drive for photos.
  • If you get the "hybrid" version (6-cell battery, 32GB SSD+1TB HDD) you can switch out the 32GB SSD for any other mSATA SSD (or replace the 1TB 2.5" HDD).   If you get the 9-cell battery version (512GB SSD) there is no room for the 2.5" HDD, only has the mSATA SSD card.
  • Wait, so if I get the 512GB I can't install the Samsung 1 Terabyte SSD?  Yikes! 
  • No, but if you get the 32gb/1tb version, you can replace the 32gb ssd with a 1tb ssd for 2tb total.
  • I read a thread where a guy replaced the 512 ssd with a 1tb ssd... are you sure it can't be done?  
  • It said he used the Samsung 840 EVO Msata 1TB card... 
  • Oh yeah, you can replace the 512 ssd with another msata ssd. You just cant put a second hard drive in there if you order the ssd-only version (its got a bigger battery which takes up the space where the 2nd hard drive would go.
  • Thank you so much elyl... very kind of you to respond :)
  • So can the model with the SSD and reg. HD, be configured after purchasing, to have a larger ssd swapped for the 512 gb, then the reg. HD swapped out for another SSD?   So that it has two 1 tb SSD's if so desired?
  • Wow, 7 month old article!  Yes, you can open it up and fit a replacement mSATA SSD.  I think only Samsung makes 1TB mSATA. You might want to consider waiting 2-3 months for the refreshed model that will likely be coming out if you want the "infinity display" like the new XPS 13, but if you can't wait, I'm sure you'll be happy with the current gen.
  • Wait, so this is using the same 750M chip that under powers the existing displays?! I am disappoint son.
  • Yeah, I don't think this is actually the renewed version (like the XPS13), just another option for a screen.  I expect they're waiting for SkyLake to do a proper refresh on this later in the year.
  • Hopefully. Looking forward to a 970M in there at minimum (which should still manage good battery life), with an option for 980M for diehards.
  • This "powerhouse" word in title is a joke right? Beside display this laptop is so 2013. And they even increased price? thx.
  • I'll agree on the GPU being 2013 spec, but the rest is pretty powerful. This comes with the same CPU as many gaming laptops out there, and the SSD is plenty fast.
  • Any idea about the price in India, if announced ?
  • It's actually not surprising at all that this notebook doesn't feature a Broadwell processor since the Broadwell mobile high-end processors aren't expected to be available until July iirc.
  • CPU is not so important. No PCI SSD, old GPU, lack of ability to add LTE modem...
  • No broadwell no dice
  • Broadwell H! The quad core that would be in this, aren't out yet.
  • Great Report on the new XPS 15... Was there any indication whether they'd be offering a 1 Terabyte Solid State drive option?
  • That big radius on the bezel is off-putting for me. Makes it look like a V Tech kids toy. The XPS 13 looks a shit ton better.
  • Agreed,I was so hoping to buy it thinking it was going to be redesigned like the 13 inch,love the bezel-less square look! 
  • Yikes, no 5th generation Intel chip.
  • As others have mentioned, it's not available yet for the high end tier. And I wouldn't be surprised if they skip (miniscule improvements) and the next refresh is for Skylake.
  • Glad to see OEMS doing better. They were very lucky that the SP3 wasn't sold ~ $250 cheaper, otherwise some (my self included) would have stuck with the MS brand for a few years.
  • Shame this update doesn't have a Maxwell gpu. I've got a couple of the 2014 models; would've loved to have one as a svelt gamer - though the xps 15 does get hot and throttle hard, though not unexpected for such a thin machine...
  • Wish it had the bezel-less square edge design of the 13 inch 
  • 15 inch and no numpad, wht dell? 
    also ugly as poop :P  I love my Asus N550jk :D   
  • Other sites are now reporting that both the XPS 13 and XPS 15 are coming with Broadwell chipset. Anyone heard any more on this?
  • I want to know this too.