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Video review: Dell XPS 15z P12F

The price tag of almost £1200 is high, but despite our reservations about the keyboard, the overly reflective glossy display and the positioning of USB ports, the Dell XPS 15z is a good all-rounder – especially with entertainment-focused tasks. But in overall build quality, security or the fine attention to all the details, an Apple MacBook Pro it ain't.

Click here for a full review of the Dell XPS 15z P12F.

The processor specification of the Dell XPS 15z is admirable. Our sample had a 2.7GHz dual-core Intel i7-2620M which may have been around for nearly a year, but it was matched up with a generous 8GB of RAM to help the Dell to 135 points in WorldBench 6.

Since Dell built this sample Dell XPS 15z P12F, it's upgraded the processor options to include a 2.8GHz Core i7-2640M. This could even notch up the score further by a point or two.

The nVidia GeForce 525M graphics card with 2GB of video memory is also a beaut, propelling the XPS 15z to an average framerate of 51fps at Maximum detail settings in FEAR. While this isn't the best score we've seen from a laptop in this category, it gives an idea of the kind of graphics horsepower that shouldn't entireley disappoint a keen gamer.

The USB ports, including one which doubles up as an eSATA port, are all on the left hand side, just like the MacBook Pro. This might not seem like a big issue, but if like this reviewer you should be a left-handed mouse user and have a dongle for the wireless mouse in one of the ports too, you're likely to find yourself knocking into those peripherals on a frequent basis.

The author also isn't a fan of built-in batteries, although the 8-cell, 64Wh lithium-ion power pack inside the Dell 15z does a very good job. In our tests it lasted just short of seven hours (409 mins) in the MobileMark 2007 Productivity benchmark.

The slot-loading DVD rewriter is also reminiscent of the MacBook Pro, even if the eject button has counter-intuitively been placed three keys in from the top-right of the keyboard, rather than the obvious position in the top-right corner. And as optical drives go, it's also quite noisy.

Connectivity is decent – aside from the aforementioned USB ports and USB/eSATA combo, there is an HDMI port and a Mini DisplayPort – an Apple favourite, and something we're increasingly seeing on some Windows laptops now.

Single-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0 are present, as is a multi-format card reader that'll deal with just about any card you care to try in it.

Click here for a full review of the Dell XPS 15z P12F.



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