Dell XPS 15z (P12F) laptop
Dell XPS 15z review: A thin 15.6in laptop with a great configuration, but let down by a poor keyboard
- Full HD screen
- Good build quality
- Poor keyboard
- Tacky design
- USB ports only on one side
If it had a better design and a more comfortable keyboard, the Dell XPS 15z would be close to awesome. As it stands, it's just good. We like its configuration and performance, as well as its Full HD screen and its strong build quality. The XPS 15z is suitable for power users and part-time gamers.
Price$ 1,698.00 (AUD)
Best Deals (Selling at 2 stores)
There was a fair bit of hype surrounding the launch of Dell's XPS 15z (P12F), which centred on the concept of it being a thin-and-light competitor to Apple's MacBook Pro. Now that we've got our hands on it though, it's not as impressive as Dell made it out to be. Sure, it's a notebook that has a good configuration and speed, and it offers good value for money, but it also has tacky styling and an awful keyboard.
Undeniable similarities to the MacBook Pro
The XPS 15z is a 15.6in laptop that's slimmer than most large laptops and it weighs around 2.5kg. It's reminiscent of a MacBook Pro, and similarities between the two notebooks are numerous: the base has a sealed, curved design that tapers upward; there is a slot-loading DVD burner on the right side; all ports are on the left side, except for the network port on the rear and the audio ports on the right side. The keyboard and speakers, too, are almost identical in layout to the MacBook Pro, but the keys on the Dell are rounded and feel awful.
In fact, the backlit, chiclet keyboard is one of the most disappointing aspects of the XPS 15z; its keys feel shallow and lack adequate responsiveness, and the arrow keys, in particular, are small and feel awkward to use. Also, the eject button for the optical drive is treated as just another keyboard button nestled between the F12 and Insert keys — it would be better off in a corner position or, better yet, on its own above the keyboard somewhere.
Speakers with etched grilles flank the ends of the keyboard, as they do in the MacBook Pro, and this is one of the aspects of the laptop's design that we find tacky. We'd prefer the speakers to be laid out above the keyboard, which would also leave room for a number pad to be included. A ribbed hinge design also adds to the tackiness, as does the chrome trim around the edge of the base and touchpad. The touchpad itself is good though. It's large (100x53mm), comfortable to use and it supports gestures. We also like its soft left- and right-click buttons.
The Dell XPS 15z feels very solid overall and it doesn't creak or bend noticeably at the corners when you pick it up with one hand. However, because it has a slot-loading DVD burner in a relatively thin chassis (around 18mm), there is enough give in the chassis to make spinning discs rub against the body of the laptop when you pick it up. It's also a very loud DVD burner.
While the XPS 15z is a little lighter than a typical 15.6in laptop, this isn't something that's noticeable when you pick it up. That said, it feels well balanced and easy to handle. The hinges that hold the screen are strong and keep it perfectly in place at any angle, and the screen itself is vibrant and of high quality. It has a native resolution of 1920x1080, so it's good for watching movies, viewing photos and also for lining office documents side by side. Still, a resolution of 1920x1200 would be better. The screen is glossy, which means reflections could drive you crazy.
We're not fans of all the USB ports being on one side of the unit, as it leaves you with no option but to plug everything in on the left side, which can be particularly annoying if you're trying to use a corded mouse with your right hand — it's great for lefties though! It's not the first time we've seen this sort of design: the Sony VAIO SB laptop also has all of its USB ports on one side. We like the fact that you get two USB 3.0 ports, as well as one eSATA/USB 2.0 combo port; you also HDMI and Mini DisplayPort, as well as an SD card slot, Gigabit Ethernet, a 1.3-megapixel webcam, Bluetooth, 802.11n dual-band Wi-Fi (Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6230) and support for Intel Wi-Di (Wireless Display).
Join the newsletter!
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
cloudandco Smart Cane
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Toys for Boys
Lego Mindstorms EV3
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Bose SoundLink Micro
Xbox One X
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG 65E7T Ultra HD OLED TV review: The South Korean thoroughbred is still first past the post
- 2 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 3 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 4 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 5 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 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's Omen Accelerator can give your laptop some guts
- HP reboots Omen desktop with more of what gamers love
- Samsung to detail new Tizen OS for smart home appliances, IoT devices
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
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
- CES 2018: Belkin go big on wearables accessories and wireless charging
- OPPO Load Up A73 Smartphone With Flagship Features
- CES 2018
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCProject ManagerNSW
- CCSolution Delivery Manager/Tech LeadNSW
- FTNatural/ADABAS ProgrammerOther
- FTFull stack DeveloperOther
- FTIT Support OfficerWA
- CCAzure Consultant / ArchitectVIC
- CCJunior to Mid Level Java Developer - BankingNSW
- TPProject Director | Long term contractQLD
- CCSenior System Engineer l Office 365,Windows 10, VMWare WorkspaceNSW
- FTIntegration SpecialistQLD
- FTJunior Account Manager - Global Cloud OrganisationVIC
- FTTechnical Business AnalystVIC
- TPSenior Applications Project ManagerACT
- FTDesktop Support OfficerSA
- FTTest Manager - InfrastructureOther
- FTProject Control AnalystSA
- FTNetwork Technical Specialist L3 x 2 ? Large Telco ? 6 month contract initiallyNSW
- CCUX Designer - Full StackNSW
- FTLevel 2 Desktop Support EngineerVIC
- FTInformation Security AnalystNSW
- CCSystems EngineerWA
- TPSenior Business Analyst - Health - Data Linkage SystemQLD
- TPSenior Business Analyst - SalesforceNSW
- FTCyber Security Engineer - AWS Project!Other
- CCLean Six Sigma Process Improvement SpecialistNSW