First off, I will note that I am reviewing the L502X revision of the Dell XPS 15 notebook, so as to avoid any confusion.
Here are the specs on the machine I purchased:
Intel Core-i7 2620M
640GB HDD (7200rpm)
NVIDIA geForce 540M (2GB)
720p WLED Display
Integrated 2.0MP Skype-Ceritified Webcam
JBL Waves Maxx Audio Speakers
9-cell 90Whr Battery
The first thing you will notice about this machine is its design, a mix of modern and rugged industrial form. Some may think it looks a bit dated, but i disagree. At just under six pounds, it may not be the laptop for the road warrior, but as a desktop replacement, this is perfect.
Speed is the second thing you will notice with this machine. Intel's second-generation SandyBridge Core-i7 processors are unbeatable at the moment when it comes to laptop performance computing. The 2620M included with my system runs on two cores at 2.7Ghz (TurboBoost 2.0 up to 3.4Ghz), but using Intel's TurboBoost Performance Monitor application, you see that when you are completing an intense task, the processor is usually in the 3.2-3.4GHz range. Also, when idle, the processor reduces its clock speed to save precious battery life. Starting up, loading programs, running various games, and basic web browsing are all done at noticeably improved speeds, even coming from a relatively fast Core 2 Duo-based laptop.
I had heard some complaints about the WLED display, but have yet to regret this purchase. There is an option to upgrade to a 1080p B+RGLED display, but that is up to you as to your needs. Regardless, the display is bright and crisp.
Now, we come to one of the most touted features of this machine, the speaker system. The JBL Waves Maxx Audio 3.0 system is absolutely unbelievable. The sound is full, crisp, and able to fill a large room. You get a fabulous sound covering the full range of frequencies, and above all, a strong bass I have not heard in any other laptop. The sound is so rich that I might even liken it to one of Bose's Wave Radios. Behind the scenes you have professional-quality sound processing, likely a big assistance to the overall aural experience. Even if you choose not to buy this machine, I recommend you find someone who has one and listen to a few songs.
This system came with 6GB of RAM of the DDR3-10600 variety running at 1333MHz with two channels per card. It also came with a 7200RPM 640GB Hitachi hard drive. Both of these assist in producing the speed I have already noted. There are various other configuration options, including various sizes and speeds for hard drives (5400-7200rpm), memory options from 2-8GB, and also the option to replace the hard drive with a rapid Solid State Drive, which is 256GB, but will add around $400 to the cost of your laptop.
Battery life is always a concern with notebook computing, but this machine will not let you down. I opted for the 9-cell battery which is rated at 90Whr, and has provided me over 5 hours of general use. There is a six-cell option available, as well. It is worthy of note that the nine-cell battery does stick out a bit from the base of the machine. For me, this has not been an issue, as the protruding portion is not very wide, so I don't notice it when using it on my lap. The six-cell option is flat and in line with the rest of the base of the unit. The nine-cell battery also provides some elevation to the machine when used on a desk, so you won't need to purchase a laptop stand for cooling.
WiFi comes standard on this system, and Bluetooth is standard on all but the lowest of wireless networking cards. There is also the option to add a Mobile Broadband access card.
Other notable features include a Skype-Certified 2.0MP webcam, a microphone, an a plethora of ports to connect all of your peripherals. The webcam produces a nice picture quality and Dell includes a software suite to enhance its features, including various backgrounds, etc. There is an option to purchase facial-recognition software to work with the camera, eliminating the need for you to type a password to turn on your machine or log in to various websites. The microphone is complimented by the same professional audio processing software that I discussed in the section about the speaker quality. Among its abilities is a noise-cancelling option, so you can carry on conversations in a noisy room and be heard clearly on the other end.
This system comes with a variety of connectivity options. Among these, are USB 3.0, eSATA, HDMI, Mini Display, Ethernet, AC Power Input, SPDIF Digital Audio Out, Microphone In, and Analog Audio Out. There are three USB 3.0 ports, one of which is combined with the eSATA port, which is on the right side of the machine. The other two are on the back and left side. There is also the option to install a TV Tuner, which would have its port along the rear.
Overall, I am quite pleased with this laptop. Speed, design, battery life, and a reasonable price all make this machine a winner. I highly recommend it.
Also, I would like to recommend the use of the Dell Outlet to save a decent amount of money on your purchase. In my case, it saved me almost $500.
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Amount Paid (US$): 899
Operating System: Windows
Processor: Intel Pentium
Processor speed: over 1000
Screen Size: 15 inches
RAM: More than 256
Internal Storage: CD-RW and DVD
Hard Drive (GB): Over 50