New laptops from Dell have created quite a media buzz with their latest iteration of XPS and Latitude product lines. Some contend that Dell laptops are poised to make a run at Apple’s MacBook Pro as the best business laptop you can own. That might seem like an apples and oranges comparison, but one thing is certain—some of the best mobile Windows PCs you can purchase right now have Dell on the case. With three, perhaps four bona fide options for business, the challenge might be which Dell laptop best suits your needs. We asked Dell’s Allen Harris to help our customers pair their needs with their product offerings.
The media has the new XPS 15 positioned to compete with the latest MacBook Pro. Is Dell looking at Apple as a competitor, or is this just a construction of tech writers?
It has always been Dell’s intent to bring the best products to an incredibly competitive market. The XPS 15 and entire XPS line-up have helped us do so in a way that has caught the attention of tech writers, creatives, power users and more. The Dell XPS 15 offers a powerful & sleek PC alternative to the Apple MacBook Pro with up to 10 percent more performance(1), 66 percent more graphics performance(2) and 73% more gaming performance(3) than the MacBook Pro 15. XPS 15 also offers touch, a higher resolutions screen, better graphics, more connectivity options and a longer battery life in a smaller package.
The new Dell XPS with the mobile Intel Core i3 CPU offers a great price point. What kind of tasks might be too much for that processor to handle?
The new XPS 15 does offer the Intel Core i3 8130u processor as an option. This is the latest and most powerful version of the Intel Core i3 ever released. I’d recommend checking out some of the many benchmark tests performed independent of Dell and Intel online. Many show that this processor outperforms previous generations of both AMD and Intel’s higher level processors.
In terms of specifications, certain models of Dell XPS laptops are getting close to what we’d call a mobile workstation–for Dell, that’s traditionally Dell Latitude’s territory. Is that something that the product team thinks about at Dell?
Good eye. Dell’s workstation line is actually the Precision line and Latitude is the everyday business compute line. When comparing the XPS 15 and Precision 5530, they have similar design and performance but Precision 5530 mobile workstation is designed for professional creators with ISV certifications while XPS 15 is for prosumers. Precision 5530 comes with a NVIDIA Quadro professional graphics card while XPS offers NVIDIA GeForce 1050Ti with MaxQ design. The other difference is the processor; Precision offers up to Intel Xeon processors while XPS offers up to 8th gen Intel Core i9 processors. Both offer powerhouse performance with amazing designs!
I never thought I’d see a Dell Latitude in a 2-in-1 form factor! What was the thinking with that product offering? Who is this for?
Our research showed that nearly 40% of mobile users juggle multiple devices. When surveyed many of those users said they would prefer a device that enabled them to use it as both a tablet and PC when on-the-go. There are a few target end-users that we keep in mind when developing the 2-in-1 options including on-the-go professionals such as remote events coordinators, territory sales professionals and even remote support teams that may find pen input just as beneficial as keyboard input. In addition we have found that many high level executives, insurance adjusters, marketing managers, field engineers and warehouse managers have adopted the 2-in-1 because of its flexibility plus power combination.
If you’re going strictly for power-to-price ratio, what Dell business laptop offers the most bang for the buck, in your personal opinion?
That is a great question because budget does dictate which way to go. Dell’s mainstream business machine, the Latitude 5000 series, is designed to bring power and budget together with a new chassis design that is cleaner than ever before. However, many customers, like myself, have adopted the XPS 13 because of the extremely small design combined with exceptional performance.
If you’re an after-hours gamer who needs a laptop that equally proficient with work and play, which laptops would you suggest and why?
I would get a Dell G-series notebook. I suggest a G5 or G7—both designs are clean front-facing and inside the NB. A key design feature built for the casual gamer that also uses the machine for business is the option to turn off the LED keys during business hours to avoid distractions & back on while playing the game.
First person shooters or fast paced games benefit from a GTX 1060 graphics card which is available on the G5 and G7 models. Dell offers a G3 option as well that is attractive to gamers on a budget. Similar to the G5 & G7 models the G3 has a clean & light design but uses a different processor. The G3 uses the GTX 1050ti GPU which provides very good game play with real-time strategy games but may reach its limit maxed-out settings.
Footnotes from Dell:
(1) Based on Dell internal testing, August 2018, using CineBench R15 benchmark test comparing CPU performance on a Dell XPS 15 9570 equipped with Intel Core i9-8950HK, 32GB RAM, 512G SSD and NVIDIA GTX 1050Ti graphics vs. a MacBook Pro 15” (2018) similarly configured with Radeon Pro 560X graphics. Actual performance will vary.
(2) Based on Dell internal testing, August 2018, using Geekbench 4 OpenCL (Discrete Graphics) benchmark test comparing Compute on GPU on a Dell XPS 15 9570 equipped with Intel Core i9-8950HK, 32GB RAM, 512G SSD and NVIDIA GTX 1050Ti graphics vs. a MacBook Pro 15” (2018) similarly configured with Radeon Pro 560X graphics. Actual performance will vary.
(3) Based on Dell internal testing, August 2018, using Unigine Heaven (OpenGL) benchmark test comparing gaming performance on a Dell XPS 15 9570 equipped with Intel Core i9-8950HK, 32GB RAM, 512G SSD and NVIDIA GTX 1050Ti graphics vs. a MacBook Pro 15” (2018) similarly configured with Radeon Pro 560X graphics. Actual performance will vary.