Dell XPS 15: Quick Review

I’ve been using a Dell XPS 15 for a week, and this is my review (from a developer’s point of view):


  • Display: It has a nice 15″ display with a resolution of 3200 x 1800 (higher DPI than the MacBook Retina Display).
  • Weight: It is a light notebook, of about 2 kilos.
  • It is very fast. And it boots in a just a few seconds.
  • It doesn’t come with crapware
  • The keyboard is Ok. I like that you can toggle the Functions keys by pressing Fn + Esc.
  • Great unboxing experience, but who cares?


  • Did I mention that it has a 3200 x 1800 display ? That is great. But the problem is that a lot of programs are not ready to run in High-DPI mode. All Qt and GTK based applications look horrible; even some Microsoft applications like Skype don’t look OK; the YouTube flash player looks too small;  Havok Anarchy is unusable on this notebook; Eclipse icons are too small; and so on.
  • adb doesn’t recognize my Nexus 7. I’m not sure why yet.
  • It comes with Windows 8.1, instead of Windows 8.1 Pro
  • The display is “touch”. Why do I need one? I cannot clean the display with my fingers. Is there a way to disable this feature? Although I found it useful to play 10000000.
  • The touchpad is OKish, not great, but not terrible either. But I was expecting something of higher quality, given that this is a top-end notebook.


  • I was looking for a MacBook Retina Display-like notebook for Windows. And although it is not as polished as the MB, it is good-enough as long as your favorite applications works OK on High-DPI machines. Visual Studio works great, so no major issues for me.
Havok Anarchy on a High-DPI Windows Machine. It is unusable.


Published by ricardoquesada

cocos2d, unicyclist, commodore 8-bit

2 thoughts on “Dell XPS 15: Quick Review

  1. Still satisfied with the laptop? I’m considering buying it and using it as a developer machine (Visual Studio etc.)

    1. Not really. There are many applications that don’t run well on it because of its resolution (applications’ bug, not a bug on the machine but anyway, a but nonetheless).
      And also, I’m having some issues with the trackpad.
      I wouldn’t recommend it.

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