The Dell XPS 15 L501X is the first XPS 15 series laptop launched to the global market in 2011 and is a major competitor to Apple’s MacBook Pro. This laptop has a 15.6-inch Full HD (1080p) screen, an Intel Core i7 processor, large-capacity HDD storage. Maybe the XPS 15 L501X isn’t as attractive or as good as Apple’s laptops, but it’s still affordable and powerful.
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Dell XPS 15 L501X Specifications
|PROCESSOR||Intel Core i5-480M, Intel Core i7-740QM|
|MEMORY||DDR3 4 GB (maks. 8 GB)|
|DISPLAY||15,6 inch Full HD, LED backlit LCD|
|GRAPHICS CARD||NVIDIA GeForce GT 435M|
|STORAGE||HDD 640 GB|
|CONNECTIONS||Wireless 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, Gigabit LAN|
|PORT||USB 3.0, USB 2.0. HDMI, RJ-45, VGA, card reader, audio combo jack|
|DIMENSIONS||15 x 10,4 x 1,3-1,5 inch|
|OPERATING SYSTEM||Windows 7|
Design and Build Quality
Visually, the Dell XPS L501X takes inspiration from the Dell Adamo, with a small raised lip behind the LCD screen. The notebook’s chassis is a ‘weird’ mix of curves and straight edges, which isn’t quite as smooth as the MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, and isn’t quite as usable as the Lenovo notebooks. While generally solid, you’ll notice a bit of flex in the LCD screen and some in the DVD drive slot.
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The Dell XPS L501X can be customized with one of the more than 100 designs on the lid. What stands out is how good the Dell XPS L501X’s built-in stereo speakers sound. They may not be patches on desktop computer speakers, but they are the best you can hear on a laptop. Clear trebles and a surprising amount of mid-range and bass make the XPS L501X great for music or movie playback.
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Dell XPS 15 (L501x) Performance
The Dell XPS L501x unit we reviewed uses a quad-core Intel Core i7-740QM processor, besides that this laptop is also available with a dual-core Intel Core i5-480M engine. It’s still a good chip, and comparable to the one in the base-tier Macbook Pro. Our test unit shipped with 6GB of DDR3 RAM, but you can specify between 4 and 8GB of RAM when ordering the notebook. The 7200rpm, 640GB internal hard drive proved to be performing well in our tests, copying 2.12GB files from one folder to another in 1 minute and 2 seconds.
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The NVIDIA GeForce GT 435M graphics card is a mid-range model, more powerful than the GT 330M Macbook Pro, but there is a much more powerful chipset available in gaming notebooks. This graphics adapter powers the Dell XPS L501’s 15.6-inch LED-backlit LCD display. Our test unit used a 1920×1080-pixel RGB LED-backlit model capable of delivering excellent levels of clarity and brightness (among the best we’ve seen from a 15-inch display). As you’d expect, the Dell XPS L501x also has 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, a pair of USB 3.0 ports, and an eSATA connector.
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We ran a series of performance tests to give the Dell XPS L501x a little chance to stretch its legs. Our Blender rendering test completed in 2 minutes 14 seconds using one CPU thread and 43 seconds when using the eight available threads. 3DMark06 returns 7390 3DMarks results, and iTunes encodes 53 minutes of WAV file into 192 Kbps MP3 in 1 minute 16 seconds. This is a strong result and is reflected in the generally fast operation of the Dell XPS L501x.
In a battery test, when used to play movies, with the screen set to full brightness and Wi-Fi enabled, consumed the Dell XPS L501X battery in 1 hour 22 minutes. This is a pretty standard result for a 15-inch laptop, but if you’re looking for extra longevity, you can buy a 9-cell battery instead of the standard 6-cell. Unfortunately, it’s larger, causing the laptop to tilt forward when placed on a flat surface.
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The Dell XPS 15 (L501x) is a powerful laptop for heavy application use. It’s not as well-made or as attractive as the MacBook Pro, but it’s cheaper.
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When it was first launched to the global market, Dell released the XPS L501X with prices starting at 1,220 USD for the highest variant. Unfortunately, now the company Dell has produced this device again.
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