Dell XPS 15z (2011) review

Ridiculous power in a beautiful and highly portable body

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Our Verdict

One of the best portable laptops we've seen, with amazing power, a bright screen and booming speakers


  • Sharp, vibrant full HD screen
  • Incredible performance
  • Excellent isolation-style keyboard
  • Slim and solid build
  • Long battery life


  • Short power lead
  • Screen doesn't tilt back far
  • Fairly expensive

Here at TechRadar, we had some serious geek chills when we reviewed the Dell XPS 15. Combining powerful Intel Core performance with a slick customisable body, beautiful screen and excellent usability, we defy anyone not to enjoy the impressive computing experience it offers.

So when Dell came to our office with the shiny new XPS 15z, we immediately had to don the waterproof pants. The stakes have been upped with a surprisingly slender chassis, but Dell hasn't made any sacrifices in terms of performance, thanks to a second generation Sandy Bridge Core i7 CPU ably backed up by 8GB of RAM.

Just a quick glance at the gorgeous design and it's obvious that the Dell XPS 15z is a special laptop. A sleek brushed metal design has been used throughout the £899 PC, with a darker tint to the interior. Gone is the jutting lip at the rear. The big booty of the XPS 15 has slimmed right down, while the thickest part of the body measures just 27mm.

Fans of the XPS 15 will know that its one downside is its chunky build, so this slender finish makes the Dell XPS 15z a great deal more portable. This is further bolstered by the 2.6kg weight, compared to the XPS 15's 2.8kg frame.

Dell xps 15z

The aluminium lid is incredibly thin yet solid, unlike the lids of the Samsung 9 Series laptops. The 15-inch display does shimmer if the lid is pushed hard in places, but we're confident that it could absorb a decent punch without suffering any damage. Of course, punching this beauty is the last thing we'd do.

Inside the Dell XPS 15z, the PC's keyboard sits in the middle of the chassis and looks great, with curved metallic keys. They don't travel far when hit, but they're firmly set and well separated from each other, which makes typing comfortable. Even better, they glow when used in low light so you aren't squinting to see.

Other interior features are limited to the power button, which sits centrally above the keyboard, the wide touchpad and two speakers, which sit either side of the keyboard. It's a minimalist laptop design that works too well for words.

Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Hard Drive Capacity500 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Optical Drive TypeDVD-Writer
Maximum Battery Run Time8.36 Hour
eSATA/USB ComboYes
Product FamilyXPS 15z
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Keyboard BacklightYes
ColourElemental Silver
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameDell
Processor Speed2.40 GHz
Processor TypeCore i5
Screen Size39.6 cm (15.6")
Number of Cells8-cell
Standard Memory6 GB
Weight (Approximate)2.51 kg
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelHM67 Express
Optical Media SupportedDVD±R/±RW
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports3
Memory StandardDDR3-1333/PC3-10600
Height24.6 mm
Width384.8 mm
Depth260.4 mm
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product Series15z
ManufacturerDell, Inc
Product ModelX15Z-5834ELS
Product NameXPS 15z Notebook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Product LineXPS
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberX15Z-5834ELS
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Less mass. More appeal.

XPS 15z delivers the power you need inside the thinnest 15" PC on the planet. Easy-to-use Dell Stage software keeps the things you care about at your fingertips, giving you the best of everything while sacrificing nothing.

The computer you need inside the laptop you want

Starting at only 5.54 lbs (2.51 kg), the incredibly thin, superportable XPS 15z will keep you on the go for up to 8 hours.

Unmatched sophistication

From its anodized aluminum case to its backlit chiclet keyboard, XPS 15z blends classic craftsmanship with contemporary design. It's a difference you can truly feel.

Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)