When comparing Dell XPS 15 vs Dell Precision 5510, the Slant community recommends Dell XPS 15 for most people. In the question“What are the best laptops for Linux?” Dell XPS 15 is ranked 6th while Dell Precision 5510 is ranked 10th. The most important reason people chose Dell XPS 15 is:
Two display choices are available for the XPS 15, an Ultra HD touchscreen or a Full HD non-touch screen. Both screens have a very wide array of colors as they cover approximately 100% of sRGB color space. The viewing angle is around 170 degrees. However, at 45 degrees, slight color change can be noticed. With around 350 nit output for brightness, it’s a viable choice for outdoor usage. All of this makes it an amazing display.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Amazing display
Two display choices are available for the XPS 15, an Ultra HD touchscreen or a Full HD non-touch screen. Both screens have a very wide array of colors as they cover approximately 100% of sRGB color space.
The viewing angle is around 170 degrees. However, at 45 degrees, slight color change can be noticed.
With around 350 nit output for brightness, it’s a viable choice for outdoor usage. All of this makes it an amazing display.
Pro Good battery life if you pick the 1080p display
Models with the 1080p screen last about 10 hours with general usage. Naturally, if more intensive tasks are involved, the battery will be drained faster.
Pro Solid keyboard and trackpad
The keyboard and trackpad are reliable and solid all-around. The keyboard is responsive but is not super “clicky”, rather a bit soft. It has a white backlight on black keys that illuminates them at night. The touchpad is rather large while having no buttons. Despite this, the XPS 15 can reliably distinguish between the left and right clicks which are done on the trackpad itself.
Pro Optional password-free-sign-in via a fingerprint reader
For an additional $25 it’s possible to enjoy a password-free-sign-in by having a fingerprint reader. It will keep your laptop safe while still providing convenient access to it.
Pro Operates well on a Linux system
All essential things, like network connectivity, ports and sound, work right “out-of-the-box” with a Linux operating system. There is a compatibility issue on the new 9560 model with its graphics card but the laptop is still very usable with its integrated Intel graphics card.
Pro Can run most modern games
Being an excellent all-rounder, it can be used as a gaming laptop for games that are not exceptionally demanding, like Overwatch or Dota 2. Unless you’re using the cheapest model, you can expect a reasonable 60 frames per second for almost all modern games, provided that you’re willing to lower the game’s settings.
Pro Very well-rounded laptop
The cheapest configuration is a great choice for general non-intensive use - things like internet browsing, watching movies and similar tasks.
Whereas the more expensive configurations are gradually more capable of intensive tasks, like video editing or gaming. It’s not as good as a specialized computer built for a specific purpose, like a video editing laptop with an enormous RAM size or a gaming laptop with a superior graphics card, but it’s a very well-rounded, reliable laptop.
Pro Slick design
The whole design is quite stylish. The aluminium chassis provides a very clean look while the black carbon fiber palm rest with an almost borderless display cements it as a visually modern laptop. All of this is made with a premium build quality.
Pro Remarkable screen
There’s a choice between a Full HD and an Ultra HD screen. The Full HD is a matte-type screen with a native resolution of 1920 x 1080 while the Ultra HD has a glossy, touch-enabled surface which supports resolutions up to 3840 x 2160.
Both screens have a very accurate color portrayal with approximately 100% of sRGB color space covered. They also have incredibly wide viewing angles.
The brightness for the UHD screen is around 390 nits which is considered “very bright” and can easily be used outdoors. The FHD version has around 360 nits which is slightly worse but is also considered bright.
Pro Great performance for graphics-related work or gaming
The included hardware corresponds to a moderately powerful workstation laptop. The video card has certified drivers that are optimized for performance with specific applications, like AutoCAD or DCC (Digital Command Control).
Similarly, all of provided processors have four cores for high multi-tasking capabilities while the 32GBs of RAM allow running large projects. This combination makes it an attractive option for rendering, 3D modeling, and similar tasks.
Pro Great Linux support
The hardware is Ubuntu Certified. It makes sure that Ubuntu, and by extension other Linux distributions work right out-of-the-box without needing to mess with it to get basic things, like Wi-Fi or soundcard, to work.
Pro Small and lightweight for a workstation
It is surprisingly small and lightweight for being a workstation-type laptop. With the weight ranging from 1.8kg to 2kg and with the dimensions of 35.8 x 23.5 x 1.7 cm, it really is a portable workstation laptop.
Pro Solid touchpad
The touchpad feels a bit slippery but is, otherwise, responsive and reliable. Several different gestures are available to make navigating with the touchpad easier. These gestures, like zoom, rotate, scroll and others, can be disabled via touchpad settings.
Pro Great design
It looks strikingly clean. Built with an aluminium chassis it presents itself as a luxurious laptop. When opened, it has a sleek, dark carbon fiber palm rest with an almost bezel-less display. The small edges allow fitting a 15.6 inch screen inside such a small frame.
Pro Reliable keyboard
The keyboard is covered with a soft coating that is pleasant to touch. The keys feel rather shallow with only 1.3mm travel distance but are still very responsive. It also has a backlight with three options - bright, dim and off.
Pro Reasonable battery life
With the Ultra HD screen the battery lasts for about 4 hours of general usage. This is with the smaller 3-cell (56Wh) battery. Note that, if you’re choosing the bigger 6-cell (81Wh) battery, the hard drives are limited to the M.2 PCIe drives with no secondary storage option.
Pro Silent during light usage
Con Battery doesn’t hold long with the Ultra HD screen
If you’re choosing the configuration with an Ultra HD screen, expect a very short battery life of around 6 hours for general usage. With more intensive tasks it's even less than that.
Con 9560 model's GPU has compatibility issues on Linux
The new 9560 model has some trouble accepting its GTX 1050 Ti video card while running a Linux operating system. Fortunately, the integrated Intel graphics card is capable enough to substitute it. The manufacturers are probably aware of the issue and will, most likely, release an update for it.
Con Palmrest collects sweat
The palm rest is made from carbon fiber which attracts fingerprints and sweat. After some time it gets kind of unpleasant to touch and needs to be cleaned.
Con Some ghosting in games
The display is not intended for gaming purposes so it can produce an effect called “ghosting”. Ghosting is when the pixels are not able to change their colors fast enough, so the color of the preceding frame can still be slightly seen on the next frame. This causes a blurring effect. Note that it only happens on high framerates coupled with fast objects.
Con Noisy fans
The laptop is very quiet during idle and light usage but when there is some workload, the fans get quite loud and distracting.
Con Awkward webcam location
The webcam is located under the screen instead of on top. It means that your face will be shown from a lower angle which can seem a bit weird. It also means that your fingers can partially obstruct the webcam while you’re typing.
Con Audible coil whine
Coil whine can be heard when it’s generally quiet and the fans are not running. Audible when the laptop is connected to the power supply. The manufacturers have acknowledged it as a problem and, if possible, will push out an update which should eliminate it. Until then, it’s still a gripe.
Con Premium pricing
The price seems a bit steep for what you’re getting.
Con Not ideal for video calls
It has very awkward webcam and microphone locations making it rather unsuitable for video calls. The webcam is located under the screen, instead of on top, which creates a strange angle. It can also be partially covered by fingers when typing.
Similarly, the microphone is located at a weird place - at the very front of the frame. At such a close position it can more easily distort your voice.
Con Palm rest gets greasy
The carbon fiber coating is very susceptible to the sweat of your hands. The continuous contact with the skin can make the palm rest greasy and uncomfortable. It has to be cleaned regularly in order to avoid it.
Con Loud during high workload
Con Lacks certain keys
It has no numpad which would typically ease the input of numbers. It even has enough space for it. In addition, the navigation keys (arrows) are replaced with Page Up, Page Down, Home, and End keys.