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Home / Trends / Dell XPS 15 vs. MacBook Pro 16: Powerful laptops Duke It Out

Dell XPS 15 vs. MacBook Pro 16: Powerful laptops Duke It Out

It's no secret that 15-inch (and larger) laptops are the powerhouses. They are used for games, content creation, video editing and doing serious work.

Two of the best are the Dell XPS 15 and MacBook Pro 16. Both are great laptops with great performance and build quality, and great input options – but which one is right for you?

The price difference between these two devices is considerable. Because of the value alone, the XPS 15 is the laptop that we would recommend to more people. To find out which one to buy, we'll go into every aspect of these two laptops.

Build quality

  Dell XPS 15 7590 review
Riley Young / Digital Trends

If so, when you want to buy one of these laptops, you know why you need it, either for the larger screen or for the extra power. A laptop must also have the basics, and you are likely planning to use your laptop for typical Internet surfing, entertainment, and more general work. The build quality is a good start.

Both laptops offer exceptional design and robustness. The XPS 15 is a combination of aluminum and carbon fiber, while the MacBook Pro 16 is a single piece of aluminum. Both have a tight fit and a tight finish and feel very stiff in the hand. However, if I had to anoint a winner, I would award the prize to the MacBook Pro 16. The usual quality from Apple can be seen here. The laptop is incredibly well built and feels worth every penny (more on the price later).

I was impressed with both laptops when I used them and never felt that they were cheap or prone to breakage. But the MacBook Pro 16 impressed me the most thanks to its immaculate construction.

Keyboard and touchpad

Shortly before the release of the MacBook Pro 16, there was a time when a comparison was made between a MacBook keyboard and this equipment. Almost every premium Windows 10 laptop was very one-sided.

Apple's butterfly switch keyboard with extremely low spring travel (ie the feeling of typing on a wooden block) couldn't hold the best Windows candles 10 options. Apple's keyboard was also extremely unreliable and suffered from a number of problems.

Apple has created a full 180s version of the keyboard of the MacBook Pro 16, which uses a new scissor mechanism that creates the popular external Magic Keyboard (a nickname that is now similar), also applies to the keyboard of the laptop.

Despite the relatively small spring travel of 1 mm, the new MacBook keyboard is clear, snappy and responsive. The keyboard of the Dell XPS 15 is fine, offers more travel and its own precise mechanism, but I fly over the latest from Apple in a way that I don't do with other keyboards.

The MacBook Pro 16's touchpad is also a step above the XPS 15. The Dell has a fine touchpad that is relatively large for Windows 10 standards and supports Microsoft Precision touchpad drivers, but is not really with Compare the extensive Force Touch touchpad from Apple.

It only takes a little time to get used to it. The haptic feedback method of the MacBook to register "clicks" compared to the physical keys of the XPS 15. Once you get used to it, this becomes the second Nature. Apple's touchpad is also the most responsive to the variety of multi-touch gestures supported by MacOS.

  Dell XPS 15 7590 review
Riley Young / Digital Trends

Apple has the usual Touch Bar LCD panel above the keyboard that replaces physical keys for system and app specific functions. You will either love it or hate it (or maybe ignore it like I do), and I leave that up to users' preferences. The XPS 15 instead offers a touch display, which I very much prefer, for Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) and 4K display options (3,840 x 2,160), but strangely not for our test device with Samsung AMOLED panel. As I said, I prefer a touch display over Apple's touch bar. I find it very practical when I wipe my thumb through long websites and occasionally tap the pop-up button.

The XPS 15 uses a fingerprint scanner that supports Windows 10 Hello, this works fine if you log in without a password. Apple has a very similar Touch ID, which also enables password-free login. Really, both are great solutions that work very well.

Battery Life

The XPS 15 is available with a 97-watt-hour battery, most of which you can find in a Windows 10 laptop. The MacBook Pro 16 has a whopping 100 watt-hour battery, most of which is allowed on airline flights.

When you equip the XPS 15 with a 4K display, especially the AMOLED screen, it becomes similar (ie, rather) limited battery life for the MacBook Pro 16 with its retina display (3,072 x 1,920). Of course, you can also configure the XPS 15 with a full HD display with lower performance and achieve a much better battery life. This is a real benefit for anyone who doesn't need high resolution and more accurate colors.

If you & # 39; If you use the laptops for real work, you will probably have about five hours each before you have to reconnect them – at least with high-resolution displays. With smaller and less powerful laptops, you can get a much better mileage.

Portability and Connectivity

  Dell XPS 15 7590 Review
Riley Young / Digital Trends

The XPS 15 and MacBook Pro 16 are just a fraction of an inch apart (approximately 14.09 inches ), Depth (approximately 9.7 inches) and thickness (approximately 0.66 inches).

They're also roughly the same weight, at 4.3 pounds for the MacBook Pro 16 and 4.5 pounds for the XPS 15. Note that the MacBook Pro has a 16-inch display with a higher aspect ratio of 16 : 10 compared to the 15.6-inch display of the XPS 15 with an aspect ratio of 16: 9.

In short, both are equally wearable – or not wearable, depending on your tolerance for size and weight. Personally, I had no problem carrying one of the laptops around in my backpack. Both manage to build a lot of performance and some very large displays into relatively small cases, and are more than worth their size and weight.

The connections have some important differences between the two. Apple is all-in for USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 and offers four of the connections for excellent support of external displays and peripheral devices. However, you need dongles and many of them – or maybe a Thunderbolt 3 dock – to connect to modern and older devices.

Dell offers a wider range of connectivity options, including two USB-A 3.1 ports, a single USB-C port with Thunderbolt 3, a full-size HDMI 2.0 port, and an SD card reader. The XPS 15 offers Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, which is an advantage over the MacBook Pro 16's Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5.


The MacBook Pro 16 has only one display option, a retina (3,072 x 1,920) IPS panel with excellent contrast at 1250: 1 and brightness at 443 nits, a wide color gamut (100 percent of sRGB and 91 Percent of AdobeRGB) and very good accuracy at 1.41 (less than 1.0) is considered excellent).

The XPS 15 offers a variety of displays, including non-touch full HD, touch full HD, 4K IPS and 4K AMOLED panels. We checked the AMOLED version and it was a really spectacular experience. The brightness was very high at 457 nits and the contrast was 479,980: 1 with ink black. The color gamut was also incredible with 100 percent sRGB and 99 percent AdobeRGB with a slightly lower color error rate of 1.6.

You can get a great display with both laptops, but Dell's AMOLED option is superior. It offers unprecedented contrast (with the exception of other AMOLED systems) and colors and is suitable for photo and video editors of a T. Today's AMOLED displays are the best displays you can find on laptops and if you are a creative professional , then it is you. It is up to you to give it a try before you make your decision.


Not surprisingly, both laptops are experts in tasks such as photo and video editing. We tested the most powerful configurations of the laptops, both of which used an eight-core Core i9 processor, a discrete graphics card, and lots of RAM.

According to our creative benchmarks, they are within a few percentage points of each other. For example, the XPS 15 ended our handbrake test, which encodes a 420MB video file in 1 minute and 42 seconds in H.265, while the MacBook Pro 16 finished in 1 minute and 58 seconds.

In our more demanding Premiere Pro test, this renders a 4K video in ProRes 422. The XPS 15 completed the task in 4 minutes and 55 seconds, while the MacBook Pro 16 took 4 minutes and 41 seconds.

The XPS 15 wins consistently, and when dealing with larger equipment projects, this difference is remarkable. Keep in mind that if your requirements are not that high, you can spend over a thousand dollars less on an entry-level XPS 15 that still offers decent creative performance. Just make sure you stick to at least one of the six-core configurations.


Let's face it, a lot of people want to be able to take breaks from work with occasional gaming sessions. Can these laptops play today's modern titles with adequate resolution, graphics and frame rate?

Simply put, the MacBook Pro 16 can only play a tiny fraction of the games available for the XPS 15. Start Steam or another digital distribution service and you will find that Windows 10 is a much more compelling game platform. That doesn't mean you won't find any games available on the MacBook Pro 16, but it will alleviate your expectations.

All configurations of the XPS 15 (except the base model) are equipped with the GeForce GTX 1650 GPU so that you don't have to spend much more on the game. There are several graphics options available on the MacBook page, starting with the Radeon Pro 5300M. From there it costs a little more.

The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 generally offers better gaming performance than the AMD Radeon Pro 5500M. At least in the games that are available on both platforms. You can play games like Fortnite and Rocket League on your MacBook and achieve reasonable frame rates of around 60 frames per second (FPS) at medium settings, but many can have problems with titles due to the odd resolutions of the MacBook Pro 16.

The XPS 15, on the other hand, plays all of today's titles pretty well, as long as you are ready to reduce the resolution and graphic details. It's not a "real" gaming laptop, but enough to keep you busy if you take a break from editing this video.

Configurations and Pricing

  Dell XPS 15 7590 Review
Riley Young / Digital Trends

This is where XPS 15 and MacBook Pro 16 differ the most. Dell offers a configuration of the XPS 15 starting at just $ 1,100 for a 9th generation Intel Core i5-9300H, 8 GB RAM, a 256 GB solid-state drive (SSD) and a 15.6-inch full HD non-touch display. It's more of a general productivity laptop because it's limited to just four processor cores and integrated graphics.

You can spend up to $ 3,330 on a Core i9-9980HK, 64 GB RAM, a 2 TB SSD, and a 4K AMOLED display. All configurations (except the base model) are supplied with the discrete GPU Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650.

The MacBook Pro 16 is a much more expensive laptop, especially in the lower price segment. The entry-level configuration costs $ 2,400 for a 9th generation Intel Core i7 CPU, 16 GB RAM, a 512 GB SSD and an AMD Radeon Pro 5300M GPU. At the top end, you can spend up to $ 6,100 for a Core i9-9980HK, 64 GB RAM, an 8 TB SSD (!), And an AMD Radeon Pro 5500M GPU.

The MacBook Pro 16 offers the "premium" in premium pricing. The XPS 15 costs you about half as much from the bottom to the top.

If the MacBook Pro 16 has prevailed, the option of a massive 8 TB SSD storage is available compared to a maximum of 2 TB of the XPS 15 SSD. Choosing Dell means you need more external storage.

Conclusion: The XPS 15 wins

  Dell XPS 15 7590 test
Riley Young / Digital Trends

Wow, that's a tough one. I like the keyboard, the touchpad and the overall build quality of the MacBook Pro 16. It has some notable advantages over the XPS 15.

However, this shouldn't bother Dell. The XPS 15 costs a fraction of what you spend on the MacBook Pro 16, and you can get equally good performance, an even better display, and better port selection.

In my book, the Dell XPS 15 is the better laptop, and it is certainly more accessible. You don't have to invest nearly as much to get a great laptop as you do with Apple's offer.

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