Dell XPS 15 7950 2019 – a big laptop for an even bigger job

Dell XPS 15 7950 2019
100% human

The Dell XPS 15 7950 2019 is a big laptop – huge even (in a nice way), but it has the legs to finish races that most other laptops would not dare start.

For example (depending on the configuration), the Dell XPS 15 7950 2019 range has 9th generation Intel Core processors, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650/4GB DDR5, 15.6-inch FHD/UHD, IPS or OLED displays and masses of memory and storage options.

And what is best the Dell XPS 15 7950 2019 range starts from $2,123.99 to a tad over $5,000 for the touch screen IPS 100% Adobe RGB 500nits display, and all the bells and whistles.

We set out to see why the Dell XPS 15 7950 2019 is receiving five-star ratings almost across the board.

Dell XPS 15 2019 (7950 Series)

My first impression – lots of grunt – obscenely more than I have experienced in any recent laptop. Second impression – 357 x 235 x 11/17mm x 2kg – yes, it’s a biggun!

Yet, when I look at the edge-to-edge display (top and side have minimal 6mm bezels) I realise that with most other brands you could add an extra 20-30mm width, 10-20mm depth and 10-15mm height so this heavy-weight is really a light-weight. Thanks, Dell.

Specs as tested $3698.99

  • 15.6-inch 4K (3840 x 2160) Anti-Reflective InfinityEdge Touch IPS, 100% AdobeRGB, 500-Nits, 1500:1 contrast, Gorilla Glass NBT
  • 9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750H, 12 MB Cache, 6 Core, up to 4.50 GHz (option i5-9300H or i9-9980H).
  • Intel UHD Graphics 630 and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB GDDR5
  • 16 GB, 2 x 8 GB, DDR4, 2666 MHz (Max 32GB)
  • 512 GB M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid-State Drive (1TB or more)
  • Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650, 2 x 2, Bluetooth 5.0
  • 6-Cell, 97 WHr, Integrated battery
  • Warranty – 1-year in-home service
  • Website here

For our reviews, we use the words FAIL, PASSable, PASS and EXCEED to denote performance in the various paradigms.

Screen – EXCEED

The 15.6” IPS screen is 4K with a 100% Adobe RGB colour gamut. Professionals can take a photo with an RGB setting on their camera, use Adobe software, and see that image on the screen with precisely the same colours. It is not the same as 100% DCI-P3 (for movies) – that is the AMOLED screen’s domain. 

We tested the 500nits, and the screen has even brightness and contrast. Delta E is 2.2 (below four is very good).

Interestingly the other 4K option is a Samsung-sourced, 100% DCI-P3, AMOLED. It is 400 nits but makes up via an almost infinite contrast (as blacks are true black). I would love to see this panel side-by-side the IPS.

But the addition of Dolby Vision and Dell’s own Cinema Colour really make this 4K IPS screen pop for movies, sports, animation and more. Do not waste a 4K screen on Office365.

Dell XPS 15 7950 2019

Processor – EXCEED

The Core i9-9750H is a 6-core, 12-thread processor running from 2.6-4.5Ghz. Its 14nm design draws 45W TDW. It has single/multi 1074/5000 in the Geekbench tests which is impressive for a battery-operated device.

It needs a big notebook chassis for cooling to allow it to run up to 100° under load. We ran a throttling test for 15 minutes, and it performed to 100% throughout showing excellent cooling (the bottom reached 50° and the top deck 37°.

Fan noise ramps up from 28dB to 47dB under full load.


The Intel UHD 630 Graphics is fine for everyday use.

The NVIDIA GeForce 1650 kicks in when an app or game supports it or when using the HDMI port to drive an external monitor.

In PC UserBenchmark we noticed the NVIDIA was performing about 15-20% slower (34 versus 40-45fps) than other similar laptops. This could just be a driver update issue.

Ports – EXCEED

  • HDMI v2.0 port
  • Thunderbolt 3 (100W PD)
  • 2 x USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 5Gbps port
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • Micro/SD card reader
Dell XPS 15 7950 2019 ports

Thunderbolt is a full 40Gbps implementation with DisplayPort and supports daisy-chaining five downstream devices. It also supports USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbps) at 5V/3A.

But there is a catch 22. If you want to use a Thunderbolt 3 dock and you want to use Power Delivery (PD) to charge the Dell, it must support at least 100W. If you use a standard 85W dock it will work but warn you that charging is very slow. In this case you would need to use the Dell charger as well.

Dell advertises the $496.99 Dell Thunderbolt Dock – WD19TB with a 180W PS for this unit.

Dell Dock


It uses the Killer 1650X, Wi-Fi 6 (AX) chip for up to 2.4Gbps data transfer rates (aggregated HT160). We tested on a NETGEAR AX8 AX6000 router and achieved 1.2Gbps and with a little tuning got it to 1.8Gbps.

BT 5.0 is the latest standard.

Battery – PASS

19V/6.67A (130W) plug charger for its 97WHr battery. It will fully charge the battery in under four hours (off) and six hours (on). It has a 300 discharge/charge cycle and is field replaceable.

  • Typical use gave nearly ten hours (Wi-Fi, BT, screen-on, Word, Internet etc.)
  • Heavy load gave about 3.5 hours
  • 1080p (not 4K) video loop 50% brightness, aeroplane mode gave nearly seven hours

The CPU has a 45W TDW, and you can stretch battery life considerably via Windows settings.

Remember that few USB-C chargers and no battery power bank in the world will provide 100W PD at this time.

Keyboard/trackpad – PASS

I would like to have said EXCEED here – it has a 1.3mm throw and 55g actuation which is great for typists. But the keys feel a little ‘dull’.

The oversized 105 x 80mm glass trackpad is excellent. The keyboard is backlit.

Sound – PASSable

It is a Realtek ALC3266-CG with Waves MaxxAudio Pro. In layman’s terms, that means the sound is ‘processed’ rather than natural.

The front stereo bottom-firing speakers reach 89dB with reasonably low distortion. There is no low- or-mid-bass, it creeps in at 125Hz. Then it builds to a flat mid and treble making this bright vocal. Waves has a +/-6dB equaliser, but it makes little difference. Subjectively – there are better sounding laptops.

720p (.92MP) 78° webcam and dual mics – good for Skype and has a camera live LED. It does not support Windows Hello, but the fingerprint reader does.

Case/Build – EXCEED

It is solid at 2kg and presents as a large device (even though it is not much bigger than a typical 14” laptop. The chassis is milled aluminium, and I really like the carbon fibre deck – it is vast and lets me rest my palms beside the trackpad. A Goodix fingerprint reader is part of the power button.

Dell XPS 15 7950 2019 front and back

Serviceability – EXCEED

Manual here

Dell has an excellent reputation for serviceability. While this is for on-site service it means the tech-savvy can also replace battery, memory, SSD, HDD (means it uses a smaller three-cell battery) and much more.

 GadgetGuy’s take – Dell XPS 15 2019 EXCEEDS our expectations

Dell makes good gear. It has excellent support and even has a full service manual.

This may be a big notebook, but it is actually smaller than any other 15”.

What more can we say – if you need a powerhouse, this must be at the top of your shopping list.

A note to MacBook Pro 15 users – this device is aimed squarely at you. It has touch and a real 4K Dolby Vision display. You can read a comparison here.

Value for money
Ease of Use
Reader Rating0 Votes
Dell quality and build
Fully field serviceable
15.6’ screen in a 14’ body
4K screen (IPS or OLED) is perfect
Last years 'look'