The DELL XPS 15 (6845sLV) is a high-end laptop that is a perfect replacement for desktop, and that's a funny place to be. It strikes a sweet spot between form and function, while still remaining functional for complex computing needs.
- Attractive design
- Strong performance
- Great audio
- Can run hot sometimes
The DELL XPS 15 (6845sLV) is a high-end laptop that is a perfect replacement for desktop, and that’s a funny place to be. While, you could get your hands on a less expensive laptop to do many of the same tasks, systems like the XPS 15 are simultaneously placed PC Tools and showcases for previewing high-end technology.
In this case, its the system’s 3,200-by-1,800-resolution screen, which on a pixel basis trumps even the mighty Retina Display from Apple. By all standards, its one of the few systems that throws a halo over Dell’s XPS range being a showcase for what the company can do now and in the future. But can it unseat our current champ? Read on…
Design and Features
The Dell XPS15-6845sLV shares the same looks with the Dell XPS 15-8947sLV, with a dark coloured, expansive keyboard deck and comfortable matching keyboard with sculpted keys. It also sports a built-in trackpad thats responsive to touch, and a vertical line that bisects the click area to help with right clicks. Just like Apple’s MacBooks, the keyboard is backlight, and for that I have no complaints typing on it.
The system weighs 4 pounds, which is imperceptibly lighter than the MacBook Pro (4.46 pounds) also lighter than the Asus VX51VZ-XB71 (4.56 pounds). The XPS 15 (6845sLV) trumps all three on pure pixel count, since its 3,200 by 1,800 resolution is the highest in this esteemed group. With this many pixels, it’s easy to edit 1080p videos or raw images from your D-SLR without having to zoom in on detail.
It has a 235 PPI (pixels per inch) screen, while the MacBook Pro screen is at 220 PPI. More isn’t necessarily better in all cases, but the XPS 15’s screen let us pick out insane levels of detail in images. We tested the display by looking at 4K videos online, and you’d almost swear you’re looking out of a window when watching outdoor videos. Viewing angles were good, though the screen reflectivity was a problem when viewing night scenes.
Storage and Ports
Dell XPS 15 (6845sLV) comes with 1TB Hard Drive and 32GB mSATA Solid-State Drive(SSD), which is positively capacious for a SSD these days. This space is quite OK, especially these days, when cloud storage, online streaming, and home NAS appliances make multi-TB hard drives less relevant than before. If you find yourself wanting more storage, it’s easy to hook up a 2TB USB 3.0 portable drive to one of the system’s three USB 3.0 ports. There is also a USB 2.0 port, for older peripherals like mice.
Both USB ports are on the right side, and Dell happens to be one of those manufacturers that don’t differentiate USB 3.0 ports by colouring them blue. So you need to pay attention as you hook your smartphone or tablet to charge. The system doesn’t have built-in Ethernet, yes, this is a pitfall even with stable wireless, but it does have but it does have HDMI, mini-DisplayPort, a SD card reader, Bluetooth 4.0, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. It also lack an optical drive, which is justified, but for Ethernet Dell can’t get away with it.
The system’s 15.6-inch QHD+ screen has 10-point touch, and I can say it responds well to standard Windows 8 swipes and commands. Its screen is covered by edge-to-edge Gorilla Glass NBT. If there is any downfall to this setup, then I bet it the highly reflective glass, which can be quite a problem when viewing something with a dark background, like on films or even the default wallpaper.
On the top lid is a matte silver metal finish, while on the bottom lid is made of carbon fiber, which somehow lends the XPS 15 the pedigree premium materials. These materials sets the system in the same league as premium laptops like the Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch (2013), Asus ROG Strix and the Toshiba KIRABook. Coincidentally, all of these three competitors also have larger than 1080p (1,920 by 1,080) screens.
The Dell XPS 15’s 4th Gen Intel Core i7-4712HQ (6M, up to 3.3GHz), 16GB of memory, NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2GB GDDR5, and 1TB hard drive all combine to give you a system that’s as powerful as an all-in-one desktop. It further scores on the fourth generation Intel Core architecture in the i7-4712HQ gives more life to your battery to get you to where you’re going for almost all-day performance from the system. This is a marked improvement over systems with third-generation Intel Core processors like the Asus VX51VZ-XB71.
The Dell XPS 15 (6845sLV) certainly eschews most of its Windows-based competitors like the Asus Zenbook VX51VZ-XB71 in battery life, price, and features.However, it still needs to be seen how it stacks against the Apple MacBook Pro, which is the champ in this category of desktop replacements.
It matches the MacBook Pro in performance (multimedia and 3D), has more RAM, higher resolution touch screen, and twice the storage. However, it also has problems with glass reflectivity, and two hours less battery life.
The MacBook Pro comes with iWork and iLife apps, which arguably make the MacBook more useful without additional purchases for the XPS 15. In terms of bragging rights, premium construction materials, and wow factor, both are even.
It is very close, but those two hours of battery life scales in favor of the current champ. The XPS 15 (6845SLV) comes highly recommended, but at the end of the day if we were in the market for such a system and if it were our money, we’d buy the Apple MacBook Pro (2013).