Dell XPS 16 (2024) review: the best Windows laptop since… the start of the year

Last year I reviewed Dell’s XPS 13, a laptop that I found nice but wasn’t for me. Despite its stunning screen and keyboard, it didn’t offer the hardware performance I usually looked for. In addition, it was very hot. I ended up preferring the XPS 17.

Dell apparently read my reviews, because its new laptop, the XPS 16, fixes all the problems I had with the 13- and 17-inch models. The XPS 16 can be considered as the successful fusion of the XPS 13 and the XPS 17, of which it takes the best characteristics while bringing several improvements.

Dell XPS 16 Laptop Technical Specifications

  • Display : 16.3-inch 4K OLED touchscreen
  • Weight : approximately 2.2 kg

  • Processor : up to Intel Core Ultra 9
  • RAM/Storage : up to 64 GB LPDDR5x/4TB SSD
  • Autonomy : up to 12 hours Webcam camera:
  • Full HD (1080p) Connectivity: Wi-Fi 7, Bluetooth 5.4
  • Price : from €2,200

Design-wise, the XPS 16 is reminiscent of the XPS 13. It has the same comfortable keyboard without spacing (between keys) as before, as well as the glass trackpad. The row of capacitive keys linked to functions is even making a comeback, and I love it. It’s a smart way to group function keys and media keys together without it being cluttered. Of course, I have to mention that the screen has also been improved. It’s now a gorgeous 16-inch 4K OLED touchscreen surrounded by ultra-thin bezels, giving the illusion that it’s larger than it actually is.

The device I tested was equipped with the Intel Core Ultra 7 155H processor and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 graphics card, just like the XPS 17. Buyers have the option to opt for a model with a more powerful processor or a less powerful GPU. The latter can come in handy if you want to reduce the price a little.

Regardless, the XPS 16 can handle big workloads like video editing or graphics rendering without issue, and it’s arguably the best Windows laptop out there right now.

How the Dell XPS 16 Laptop Was Tested

For testing, I used the XPS 16 as my everyday computer; I surfed the Internet, did my daily work, and checked my emails. Pretty much anything you can do on a laptop, I’ve done on this device. Next, I ran several benchmarking software programs to get an idea of ​​how the laptop performed under heavy workloads.

For the choice of browser, I installed Chrome, known to be resource-intensive.

I then opened several windows and tabs to see if there was any significant slowdown (there wasn’t). I launched Netflix and then Spotify to see how the XPS 16 performed as an entertainment device. The hardware configuration I tested gives the machine a serious boost, as the benchmark tests show (I’ll come back to that later).

What are the best features of the Dell XPS 16 laptop?

Dell XPS 16

June Wan/ZDNET

Stunning 4K display

Without a doubt, the crown jewel of the XPS 16 is its 4K display. I’ve already talked about how amazing it looks, but I haven’t yet mentioned the features that make the screen as good as it is. The laptop supports Dolby Vision, a type of HDR software that helps achieve vibrant color tones and deep, dark shadows.

Additionally, the display has a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1, which ensures a high amount of detail and covers the entire DCI-P3 color gamut, resulting in even richer colors.

Although I really like the screen, there is one little thing I’m not a fan of: it’s a touch screen. This isn’t a bad thing in itself, but I don’t think it’s necessary. This adds weight to the laptop, and the dirt-repellent coating doesn’t work very well. I see a lot of stains after just a week of use.

An elegant and efficient design

You already know how much I love the XPS 16’s keyboard, but there are other aspects of the design that I appreciate. On the sides and back are the vents that keep the laptop cool. They are quite robust, because even when the computer heated up, it did not last long. Heat dissipates quickly thanks to these vents.

Additionally, the internal fans can work more intensely by adjusting them through the thermal management tool in the MyDell app.

Looking at the keyboard, you will see a new key for Windows Copilot. Pressing this button slides the AI ​​assistant to the right and you can ask it questions or order it to generate content. This is a great feature to add to an already feature-rich computer.


Cesar Cadenas/ZDNET

A good entertainment system cannot exist without a good audio system

Superior sound can go a long way toward immersion and the XPS 16 delivers. The speakers consist of two tweeters and a pair of woofers located on either side of the keyboard. This ensures that the sound will not be muffled.

Additionally, the speakers are supported by a combination of Dolby Atmos and Waves Maxx Audio software.

The whole thing creates a rich audio bubble that mimics the experience of a movie theater. I tell you, you’ve never watched an action movie on a laptop unless it’s an XPS 16!


Of course, it would be remiss of me not to talk about the performance of this new machine. To get an idea of ​​what the XPS 16 is capable of, I put it through several benchmark tests and was impressed with its performance. On Cinebench R23, it achieved a score of 12,972, placing it squarely in fourth place among the processors tested by the program. As for 3DMark, the laptop scored 8,260.

The first program tests how quickly a processor can render a highly detailed image, while the second evaluates a laptop’s ability to run video games at high settings. Without going into detail, all you need to know is that these are above average numbers.

I haven’t overclocked the XPS 16, so I don’t know its full potential, but it’s still solid. Expect great performance from this laptop.

Which laptop to choose: XPS 13, 14 or 16?

Dell XPS 2024 CES

June Wan/ZDNET

The XPS 16 is part of a trio that includes the XPS 14 and an updated XPS 13. These are all great devices that I would recommend to anyone, but which one is best? For me, two criteria come into play: price and weight. You may be surprised to learn that I’m not telling you to judge them by their screen or their power. Indeed, they all excel in each of these areas. So much so that it is difficult to choose one over another based on these criteria alone.

What matters is the weight. It is very important. The XPS 16 weighs around two kilos, which makes it harder to carry around than it seems. In addition, its weight combines with significant dimensions. The other two, on the other hand, are thinner. The XPS 13 weighs almost half of the XPS 16, around 1.2kg, while the XPS 14 only weighs 1.8kg at most. In addition, their reduced size allows them to fit more comfortably on certain desks and be placed on the lap.

Of course, price plays an important role. The XPS 16, due to its high-end equipment, is sold from 2200 €. Naturally, the XPS 13 is the cheapest, starting at 1550 euros. The XPS 14 finds itself in a bit of an awkward position with its $1,950 price tag, but it will be your best bet if you want a beefier XPS 13.

What I’d like to see in the next XPS 16 model

Dell XPS 16 keyboard

June Wan/ZDNET

More ports

The XPS 16’s biggest flaw is the lack of ports. Despite processor powers comparable to those of a desktop computer, it only has three USB-C ports, an audio jack and an SD card reader. There’s nothing for HDMI, USB-A, or anything else. This greatly limits the capabilities of the laptop since you can’t connect many accessories to it.

Sure, the laptop comes with a USB hub that allows you to connect a USB-A dongle and an HDMI cable, but that’s not enough.

The ideal would have been to have more ports or a large hub like those supplied with the HP Specter x360. Since this is not possible, I recommend purchasing a docking station separately.

Lack of proper haptic feedback

I really like the unique styling of the XPS 16, but I recognize that it won’t be for everyone. Indeed, the touchpad is a little soft. However, Dell claims to have equipped the trackpad with motors for responsive feedback.

It’s certainly responsive, but so are every laptop trackpad I’ve tried.

My feeling extends to the capacitive touchpad at the top of the screen. I like it, but its performance is questionable. Sometimes just pressing the space next to a symbol key works, but other times the input is ignored. It’s not very consistent.

Final Thoughts on the Dell XPS 16 Laptop

Even though it’s only the beginning of the year, I can confidently say that the Dell XPS 16 is a contender for my favorite laptop of 2024. I thoroughly enjoyed my time using it. Like I said earlier, I feel like Dell read my 2023 review and made changes just to make me happy!

Dell equipped the older XPS 13 with better processors and enlarged its screen to achieve a full 4K display while maintaining its iconic look.

I also appreciated the wide range of features, especially those that future-proof the laptop, like the Windows Copilot button. Thanks to them, the laptop will last for a long time and your investment will be worth it.

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