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Dell XPS 15 vs. LG gram 15: Which PC is a better buy?

Dell Xps 15 9500
Dell Xps 15 9500 (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Dell XPS 15 (9500) vs. LG gram 15Z90P tech specs

Dell XPS 15 (9500)LG gram 15Z90P
Processor10th Gen Intel
Core i5-10300H
Core i7-10750H
Core i9-10885H
11th Gen Intel
Core i5-1135G7
Core i7-1165G7
RAM8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB
DDR4-2933MHz
8GB, 16GB, 32GB LPDDR4x-4266MHz
Storage256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB
M.2 PCIe SSD
512GB, 1TB
M.2 PCIe SSD
Display size15.6 inches15.6 inches
Display resolution1920x1200 (FHD+)
3840x2400 (UHD+)
1920x1080 (FHD)
Aspect ratio16:1016:9
GraphicsIntel UHD
NVIDIA GTX 1650 Ti (4GB)
Intel Iris Xe
PortsTwo Thunderbolt 3
USB-C 3.1
SD card reader
3.5mm audio
Two Thunderbolt 4 (USB4 compatible)
Two USB-A 3.2 (Gen 2)
HDMI
microSD card reader
3.5mm audio
BiometricsIR camera
Fingerprint reader
Fingerprint reader
WirelessKiller Wi-Fi 6 AX1650
Bluetooth 5.0
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
Bluetooth 5.0
Battery56Wh, 86Wh80Wh
Dimensions13.57 x 9.06 x 0.71 inches
(344.72mm x 230.14mm x 18mm)
14.05 x 8.82 x 0.69 inches
(356.87mm x 224.02mm x 17.53mm)
WeightNon-touch, 56Wh:
4.03 pounds (1.83kg)
Touch, 86Wh:
4.5 pounds (2.05kg)
2.47 pounds (1.13kg)

Design and features

Source: LG (Image credit: Source: LG)

The two 15-inch laptops share a similar footprint, and they're both about the same thickness. The Dell XPS 15 9500, however, is considerably heavier. The LG gram lives up to its name, weighing in at just 2.47 pounds (1.13kg). The non-touch XPS 15 with a smaller battery hits 4.03 pounds (1.83kg), while the touch models with a larger battery hit 4.5 pounds (2.05kg). If you want the most portable option to carry on frequent travels, the gram 15 should win you over.

Part of the gram's secret to weight loss is a magnesium alloy chassis, whereas the XPS 15 goes with CNC-machined aluminum and a carbon fiber palm rest. Both laptops have a premium look with attractive lines, and you're not going to feel out of place in a cafe or boardroom with either option. The gram 15 has undergone MIL-STD 810G durability testing to ensure it can withstand a busy life.

Ports have been stripped back on the refreshed XPS 15 (9500) compared to older models. It has two Thunderbolt 3, one USB-C, SD card reader, and a 3.5mm jack. The gram 15 has a much more varied selection, with dual Thunderbolt 4 (with USB4 compatibility), two USB-A 3.2 (Gen 2), HDMI, microSD card reader, and a 3.5mm audio jack. If you need to expand XPS connectivity, you can always check out the best laptop docking stations.

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

Speedy Wi-Fi 6 connectivity comes standard in both laptops, setting you up for future networking. Both have an available fingerprint reader for increased security through Windows Hello, though only the XPS 15 also has the option for facial recognition through an IR camera. Despite the incredibly thin display bezel, the camera is still positioned above the screen.

Laptops this size are built for productivity, so the keyboard and touchpad play a significant role. If you're a lover of number pads, only the gram 15 includes the extra keys. Both keyboards are backlit and shouldn't take long to get used to. We always recommend testing in person, but if you can't, just keep in mind that there's nothing wrong with either setup. The latest gram 15 now has larger keycaps and deeper 1.65mm key travel for a more comfortable typing experience.

As for the touchpad, the XPS 15 is the winner in the size category. Dell has not held anything back here, and it dwarfs the touchpad on the gram 15 despite the 15Z90P having a larger surface area than before. Both laptops use Precision drivers. Flanking the XPS 15's keyboard on either side is a quad-speaker setup that pumps out impressive top-firing audio. It's a clear win compared to the dual down-firing speakers in the gram 15.

Display

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

Display options are where the differences between these two laptops begin to open up. The gram 15 has a single touch FHD IPS option available, with high sRGB color reproduction and excellent contrast. It's ideal for productivity work, and the lower resolution helps boost the battery life. If you'd like to up things to 4K, however, you'll have to turn to the XPS 15.

Dell's laptop has two different displays to choose from, each with a new 16:10 aspect ratio that effectively eliminates the chin at the bottom of the screen. Baseline models come with an FHD+ non-touch display with perfect sRGB color reproduction and about 500 nits brightness. It has an anti-glare finish to help with working in bright sunlight, but it does not have the attractive edge-to-edge glass that some people prefer. With the FHD+ model, there is a slim plastic bezel that is raised.

Moving up to 4K, the touch display has 100% AdobeRGB and 94% DCI-P3 color reproduction and manages about 500 nits brightness. Its anti-reflective layer cuts down significantly on glare while also delivering the glass finish with no raised bezel. Both displays offer Dolby Vision, though only the 4K model comes with VESA-certified DisplayHDR 400.

Performance

Source: LG (Image credit: Source: LG)

Thanks to 11th Gen Intel Core CPUs and integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics, the LG gram 15 will hold its own when given a considerable load. It won't bring the power of dedicated graphics, but it's going to perform well with standard office and productivity work.

The XPS 15 is what you'll want if performance truly matters. 10th Gen Intel Core H-series CPU options shred and the NVIDIA GTX 1650 Ti dedicated GPU offers relatively impressive power for specialized work and a bit of gaming (though this shouldn't be considered a gaming laptop). Due to there being so many customization options, it's much easier to get precisely the laptop you need from Dell.

The LG gram 17 that we reviewed, which has the same 80Wh battery as the gram 15, is capable of hitting about 10 hours of life when going about standard productivity work. That should hold true here as well. On the other hand, the XPS 15 is a mixed bag. There are two battery sizes available, so those who want the best life possible should opt for the 86Wh option. However, the larger battery is available only with the Core i7 CPU and dedicated GPU, which will consume more power. The gram should deliver, on average, more battery life, though the XPS 15 shouldn't be far behind, at least when not taxing the system.

Go with the XPS 15 for the most power

Thanks to beefy CPUs and dedicated NVIDIA GPU, the XPS 15 is the right choice for power-hungry users. Add in plenty of customization options, including a 4K touch display, and you should find it easy to get exactly what you want. Be sure to have a look at our collection of the best Windows laptop options out there to see where it ranks.

Stick with LG's gram 15 for a mobile and capable Ultrabook

You won't get quite as much power from the LG gram 15Z90P due to the lack of a dedicated GPU, but it's still one of the lightest 15-inch laptops around. If you like to travel unburdened, this laptop should be an excellent fit for productivity work and even some light gaming.

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.