Dell XPS 15 (L501x) notebook
Dell XPS 15 (L501x) review: This Core i7 Dell laptop is equipped with a Full HD screen
- Excellent screen, plenty of processing power, surprisingly good speakers
- Thicker than a Macbook Pro, graphics card could be more powerful, build quality could be better
The Dell XPS 15 (L501x) notebook is a strong performer, and it's not even particularly expensive. It's not all good news -- it's a little thick and the internal fan can be loud.
Price$ 1,544.00 (AUD)
Best Deals (Selling at 2 stores)
The Dell XPS 15 (L501x) is a notebook that competes with the Apple Macbook Pro. It has a 15.6in, Full HD (1080p) screen, an Intel Core i7 processor, a fast 640GB hard drive and all the trimmings. It's not as attractive or as well-built as an Apple laptop but it's cheaper and more powerful.
Check out our review of the Dell XPS 15z (P12F)
Dell XPS 15 (L501x): Design and build quality
The Dell XPS L501x draws inspiration from the Dell Adamo, with a small lip that's raised behind the LCD screen. The notebook's chassis is an odd mix of curves and straight edges — it's not as smooth as a Macbook Pro or Apple Macbook Air, and not as squarely utilitarian as a Lenovo notebook. It's a solid notebook, but we did notice a bit of flex in the LCD screen and some play in the DVD drive's tray lock.
The Dell XPS L501x can be customised with one of over 100 designs on its lid. Ours came with the Dazzling Dreams design, which we thought was very unusual and attractive.
What stood out for us was how good the Dell XPS L501x's internal stereo speakers sounded. They're not a patch on real computer speakers, but they're the best we've heard in a laptop. Clear treble and a surprising amount of mid-range and bass make the XPS L501x fine for music or movie playback.
Dell XPS 15 (L501x): Specifications and performance
Our Dell XPS L501x test unit used a quad core Intel Core i7-740QM processor, which isn't available in the Australian model — you're restricted to the less powerful, dual-core Intel Core i5-480M. It's still a good chip, and comparable to the one in a base-level 15in Macbook Pro. Our test unit shipped with 6GB of DDR3 RAM, but you're able to specify between 4 and 8GB of RAM when you order your notebook. The internal 7200rpm, 640GB hard drive proved to be a zippy performer in our tests, copying 2.12GB of files from one folder to another in 1min 2sec.
The NVIDIA GeForce GT 435M graphics card is a mid-range model — it's more potent than the Macbook Pro's GT 330M, but there are significantly more powerful chipsets available in gaming notebooks. This graphics adapter drives the Dell XPS L501's 15.6in, LED-backlit LCD screen — our test unit used the RGB LED-backlit 1920x1080-pixel model — which is able to display excellent clarity and brightness levels (among the best we've seen from a 15in screen). As you'd expect, the Dell XPS L501x also has 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, a couple of USB 3.0 ports and an eSATA connector.
Our battery rundown test, where we play a movie while the screen is set to full brightness and Wi-Fi is enabled, ate through the Dell XPS L501x's battery in 1hr 22min. This is a pretty standard result for a 15in laptop, but if you're looking for extra longevity you can purchase a 9-cell battery instead of the standard 6-cell. It is bulkier though, causing the laptop to tilt forwards when sitting on a flat surface.
We ran through a series of performance tests to give the Dell XPS L501x a bit of a chance to stretch its legs. Our Blender rendering test completed in 2min 14sec using a single thread of the CPU and 43sec when using all eight available threads. 3DMark06 returned a result of 7390 3DMarks, and iTunes encoded 53min of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3s in 1min 16sec. These are strong results and are reflected in the generally snappy operation of the Dell XPS L501x.
Dell XPS 15 (L501x): Conclusion
The Dell XPS 15 (L501x) is a strong performer. It's not as well built or attractive as a MacBook Pro, but it is cheaper.
Become a fan of PC World Australia on Facebook
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and features. Sign up to PC World’s newsletters
Join the newsletter!
Apple iPhone X
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
cloudandco Smart Cane
Toys for Boys
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Bose SoundLink Micro
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Google Daydream View VR Headset
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Xbox One X
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 4 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
- 5 Giabyte Aorus X9 Gaming Laptop review: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- HP Omen laptops include a first: Nvidia Max-Q graphics technology
- HP's Omen X Compact Desktop can morph into a backpack VR PC
- HP reboots Omen desktop with more of what gamers love
- HP's Omen Accelerator can give your laptop some guts
- Samsung to detail new Tizen OS for smart home appliances, IoT devices
PCW Evaluation Team
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro review
- Get set for Amazon Australia Black Friday launch
- Destiny 2 PC review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- CCPlatform/ Systems DeveloperVIC
- FTProject ManagerQLD
- CCProject Director - Gold CoastQLD
- FTRecords AnalystOther
- CCAxway DeveloperACT
- CCScrum MasterQLD
- FTProgram Manager - Technology & EngineeringOther
- TPService Delivery ManagerACT
- CCMid - Level SAP Test Analyst (Brisbane)NSW
- FTCustomer & Sales Support Associate - TelecommunicationsOther
- CCCloud Test EngineerNSW
- FTService Desk Analyst - L1Other
- FTAnalyst ProgrammerOther
- CCF5 Operational Support EngineerWA
- CCSolaris / Oracle SPARC administratorVIC
- TPBusiness Analyst - SalesforceNSW
- TPProject ManagerACT
- FTSenior .Net DeveloperQLD
- CCProject Director - Gold CoastQLD
- FTSenior Project Manager, Facilities & Asset ManagementOther
- FTDigital Marketing Executive - PersonalisationOther
- FTApplication Packaging EngineerOther
- FTSenior Change ManagerNSW
- FTEllipse DeveloperQLD
- FTCloud ArchitectNSW