Dell XPS 15 7590 Specs, Price, Gaming Performance – The Dell XPS 15 is a premium laptop with a high-end build quality that’s packing some decent specs in a thinner package. In this detailed review, I’ll show you the good and bad aspects of the XPS 15 and assist you in choosing if it’s a laptop you should consider.
Dell XPS 15 7590 Specs
For the specs, mine has an Intel i7-9750H CPU, Nvidia GTX 1650 graphics, 32gb of memory in dual channel, a 15.6” 4K OLED screen, and a 1TB NVMe M.2 SSD. For network connectivity, it’s got WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5, but it’s too thin for an ethernet port, so you’ll need to use a dongle if you need it. It’s also available with i5 or i9 CPU, you can find examples of other configurations and check updated pricing.
The chassis is CNC machined aluminum, the lid is silver metal. While the interior has a black carbon fiber composite with a sort of rubberized feeling texture. There were no cutting corners or edges anywhere, and the whole laptop felt extremely well built and premium in terms of materials and design. The weight is listed at 2kg for the more significant battery option I’ve got, and mine was right on this. With the 130-watt power brick and cables for charging, the total weight rises to 2.4kg.
The dimensions are 35.7cm in width, 23.5cm in-depth, and 1.7cm in height. This thinner footprint allows it to have 8mm small screen bezels on the sides. The 15.6” 4K 60Hz OLED screen has a glossy finish and looks excellent. However, it’s also available with a 1080p 60Hz 500 nit IPS screen, too, or a 4K IPS touch screen.
I’ve covered the color gamut of the panel applying the Spyder 5 Pro and got 100% of sRGB, 95% of NTSC, and 98% of AdobeRGB. At 100% brightness, I measured the panel at 508 nits in the center and with a 500,000:1 contrast ratio, so impressive results for a laptop panel, perfect for content creation. As each pixel is lit individually, there’s no backlight, so backlight bleed does not exist with OLED. There are some downsides to the OLED screen, though. The main issue is that it uses pulse-width modulation, or PWM, to adjust brightness. However, I could pick it up on camera with high shutter speed. This can cause eye strain for some people over long periods. However, I didn’t personally have any problems.
The other potential issue is burning-in over time. Though apparently, that takes a long time to develop with these new generation panels. But unfortunately, it is not something I’m able to uncover in just a few weeks. Otherwise, the glossy finish can be distracting in a well-lit room as it quickly shows reflections. There was almost no screen flex, it’s solid metal. And the hinge running along most of the space below the screen made it feel very sturdy. It wasn’t possible to open up with one finger, not the end of the world, but it does help show there’s more weight towards the back. It felt fine on my lap, though.
The chiclet keyboard has 1.3mm of travel and white backlighting, which can be adjusted between two levels of brightness or turned off with the F10 shortcut key. It illuminates all keys and even secondary key functions. However, by default, I found it would turn off pretty quickly after just 10 seconds. You can adjust the timeout period in the BIOS, though, with different limits for AC and battery power. Overall I liked typing on the keyboard, it’s got no Numpad, which some people may not like. Personally, I only didn’t like the small arrow keys which Dell always seem to use.
There’s an optional fingerprint scanner in the power button. There was only a little keyboard flex when pushing down hard, overall, the body felt very solid. And I found the letter keys needed 61 grams of force to actuate. The glass touchpad uses precision drivers and worked very well. It feels very smooth, gives a satisfying click, and has all the usual gestures. I liked its size and had no problems using it. Fingerprints and dirt show up on the black interior, but they’re harder to see due to the carbon fiber pattern. And despite it being kind of rubbery feeling, it was easy enough to clean.
On the left from the back, there’s the power input, USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A port, HDMI 2.0 output which goes via the Intel graphics, USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port which also offers Thunderbolt 3 with 4 PCIe lanes, power delivery, and DisplayPort 1.2 output, followed by a 3.5mm audio combo jack. On the right from the front, there’s a full-size SD card slot, USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A port, a button you can press to show the battery charge level, and a wedge lock slot.
There’s nothing at all on the back, the air is exhausted out below the screen. While the front has holes for the microphones and white light in the center. The metal lid is all matte silver with the Dell logo in the center with a shiny mirrored finish. Underneath is pretty clean looking; there are just air intake vents towards the back. To get inside, you need to remove 10 TR5 screws. Then underneath the XPS logo, there are two Phillips head screws. The flap uses magnets to stay closed to keep the bottom looking clean.
Once inside, we’ve got the WiFi 6 card up the top left corner, single M.2 drive on the left in the middle, battery along the bottom, and two memory slots in the middle just below the heat pipes. The two speakers are found down the front on the left and right. They sounded quite clear even at higher volumes with a little bass. I’d say they’re above average for laptop speakers. At maximum volume, they can get pretty loud. However, the latency on results wasn’t looking good. The Dell XPS 15 7590 is powered by either a 3 cell 56WH or 6 cells 97WH battery.
I’ve examined it by the screen brightness at 50%, background apps disabled, and keyboard off. While only viewing YouTube videos, it lasted for 8 hours and 11 minutes. And it was using the Intel integrated graphics due to Nvidia Optimus. This is one of the best results I’ve ever had with this test, especially with this level of hardware.
While performing the Witcher 3 by medium settings, including Nvidia’s battery boost set to 30 FPS, the battery lasted for 1 hour and 45 minutes, and it ran at 30 FPS for the whole test without any dips, so well above average battery life and excellent results.
The 130-watt power brick that’s included with the Dell XPS 15 7590 seemed to be adequate in terms of there not being any battery drain while gaming or under the heavy stress test. Though, as we’ll see next, that may just be due to harsh power limitations. The Dell power manager software allows us to select from four different performance modes. When under the combined CPU and GPU stress tests, I found that the temperatures were on the lower side. The exception was with the highest ultra-performance mode in use, for the first 3 minutes, where I saw higher temperatures, but these dropped down after the first 3 minutes. This results in less performance in terms of clock speed for long term workloads.
CPU performance outside of combined CPU and GPU workloads was a different story though, the power limit for CPU only load was 56 watts, and the limitation was thermal throttling as the fans don’t get very loud. Which generally exceeds 50 decibels easily. The keyboard area was comfortable to use when under heavy load. Only the parts between the keys showed up as hitting around 50 degrees Celsius. The actual body and keys were just a little warm.
This does, however, have the advantage of offering cooler temperatures for sustained heavy load. While short-duration burst style workloads were able to perform better for the first few minutes. Based on the performance that I saw with the XPS 15, I find it difficult to recommend the $500 upgrade to get the 8 core i9 CPU. Dell seems to be prioritizing cool and quiet operation. And given we’re not getting the most out of the i7, an i9 just feels like a waste. Unless you do a lot of multicore work and don’t mind lower clock speeds than what other laptops could offer. Although the XPS 15 isn’t designed to be a gaming laptop. Given we’ve got GTX 1650 graphics, it should still be capable of playing some games.
Dell XPS 15 7590 Price
For updated pricing, you have to check before you buy it, as prices will change over time. Dell frequently runs sales. At the time of recording, in the US, the XPS 15 starts at USD 1000. Although that’s with i5 CPU and without any discrete graphics. The specific configuration I’ve tested in this article goes for USD 1850, but it’s around $500 more if you want the 8 core i9 CPU. Here in Australia, my configuration is over AUD 4300, though it starts under $1900 for the i5 and no graphics.
With all of that in mind, let’s conclude by looking at the good and bad aspects of the Dell XPS 15 laptop. Overall the XPS 15 is a beautiful looking machine, it feels good quality materials. The OLED screen looks fantastic, though it’s not without its drawbacks, which include glossy finish, use of PWM to adjust brightness, and potential burn-in later on. Despite not being a gaming laptop, the GTX 1650 is definitely capable of running modern games well with low to medium settings.
It’ll also be an excellent addition to other GPU accelerated tasks like video editing or 3D modeling. The actual performance when under CPU and GPU load a bit desired. At least when compared against other laptops I’ve tested for the website. Based purely on the specs, the XPS 15 ticks off a lot of boxes for a laptop I’d want to use personally for video editing while traveling. It’s got the SD card slot, good screen, large battery, even Thunderbolt 3. however, the lack of performance under heavy load has put me off it.
If cool and quiet is your preference, the XPS 15 could be a consideration. Then there’s the price, even if I got half the memory and half the storage space. You could still get something like the MAG-15 from Eluktronics for less money with a GPU that will blow 1650 away. Sure, you can’t get the MAG-15 with an i9 or OLED screen. But based on the performance with the i7 in the XPS. I seriously doubt it’s worth paying USD 500 more to get the i9 anyway. That said, in my opinion, the build quality of the XPS 15 is a level above the MAG-15.
And yeah, if you really need the OLED screen, then it could be worth considering. But then the Gigabyte Aero 15 also becomes another option, again for less money and a much better GPU. Of course, if you’re just after a laptop for gaming. There are much cheaper options without all the extra features on offer from these machines. So to summarise, I think the XPS 15 is a decent laptop.