Okay, guys, we are sorry for being late on this one, but we were just able to take the XPS 15 7590 into our grasps. In the tomorrow of CES 2020, we will take some of your precious time by talking about the last-year XPS 15. Indeed it is a very popular device in the world of content creation. However, there are a lot of new models hitting the shelves in a couple of months, so it is interesting to see how a well-overused design is going to compare with them.
First off, this notebook has a lot of iterations. Starting at 1200-1300 bucks for a decent model, equipped with a Core i7-9750H and a GTX 1650, it can go up to $3-4000 if you want the entire Core i9-9980HK + 4K OLED display treatment. So, instead of traditionally speaking of a laptop that belongs to one market group, we actually keep in mind the wide price variations of its models, in order to build our verdict on the notebook.
Now back to the point – the XPS 15 7590 has a lot to offer, but the new design is not amongst it. Instead, Dell has decided to maintain the well known rigid carbon-fiber/aluminum mixture that everyone is used to for better or for worse.
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/dell-xps-15-7590/
Dell XPS 15 7590 - Specs
What’s in the box?
Inside the notoriously blank packaging, there is a black box, non-overwhelmingly labeled by a simple, small Dell logo. Open it up, and you will see your brand new XPS 15 7590, protected by a plastic letter-like bag. In another compartment, you will find the 130W power adapter.
Design and construction
Not only does it look exactly like its predecessor – the XPS 15 9570, but it also shares the same measurements – 11.2-17mm thickness, 1.80 kg weight (for the 56Wh unit and non-touch display) and 2.00 kg weight (for the 97Wh unit with a touchscreen display). This means that the device remains portable enough while retaining a very strong and resistant body. This is not the only thing about it, however. Dell is proud with 25% of its packaging trays are made out of ocean plastics, while the 75% that remain are recycled from other plastics. Keeping an eye on the environment, they state that over 90% of the notebook (by weight) can be easily recycled or reused.
Putting the likes of Greta Thunberg and Greenpeace aside, let’s talk about its lid, which cannot be opened with a single hand – at least that’s the case for the unit we got. We wish to remind you that we have a retail unit, that we purchased from a store, so it is very possible that the unit you got, behaves similarly to ours. On the bright side, the lid of the XPS 15 7590 is incredibly sturdy and is extremely hard to bend or twist.
Next, let’s turn our heads to the base compartment. Clearly seen on the image below, and later confirmed by our disassembly, it is made out of carbon fibers. They possess incredible strength, while keeping the weight down, which makes them perfectly suitable for a laptop. As of the keyboard – it has a decent travel, clicky feedback, and a backlight. What we don’t like, however, is the size of the keys and the layout of the “arrows”. We think that for a 15-inch device, the XPS 15 7590 is equipped with a too-small keyboard, which first – makes it look silly, and more importantly, can be slightly uncomfortable, especially comparing it to a MacBook Pro 15 or 16.
On the other side, the touchpad is one of the best in the Windows world, in terms of gliding capabilities, speed, and accuracy. However, once more, we feel that it could have been made bigger – something we witnessed with the latest Dell XPS 13, shown at CES 2020 in Las Vegas.
Turning the laptop upside-down shows us a great view of the speaker cut-outs, as well as the ventilation grill. One that is actually smaller than that of a gaming laptop with similar specs. Additionally, the hot air is exhausted from in between the lid and the base, which can naturally lead to less airflow, especially when used with its screen closed.
On the left side, you can see that the computer charges with a barrel-style plug. Additionally, here you can find a USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 1), an HDMI connector, as well as a Thunderbolt 3 port and a headphone jack. Then on the right, there is another USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 1) port and an SD card reader. This site is also populated with the security-cable slot, a battery-charge status button and a battery-charge status lights, which are activated by… you guessed it right – the aforementioned status button.
Disassembly, upgrade options and maintenance
In order to access the internals of this notebook, you need to remove its bottom plate, This can be done by unscrewing all 10 Torx-head screws that you see, and then further two, that are hidden by the “XPS” labeled plate in the middle of the panel. After that, you would want to start the prying process from the backside – around the hinges. This will give you enough force, yet will be the most protective method for the materials.
After you’ve done that, you can see the cooling solution, which comprises two heat pipes, that cool both the CPU and the GPU. We must say that there are two metal plates put on top of each chip, while the chipset had its own thermal conductive pad that sticks to the bottom panel.
Following that, there are two RAM DIMMs, which support up to 64GB of DDR4 2666 MHz memory – that’s 32GB per slot! While on the storage side, there is only one M.2 PCIe x4 slot, that supports up to 2TB drives. By the way, the model that features the smaller battery has a 2.5″ SATA slot, as well.
Speaking of battery there are two options – a 56Wh one and a 97Wh one. Our unit shipped with the latter, which is nearly the maximum you are legally allowed on an airplane.
Dell XPS 15 7590 is equipped with a Full HD IPS panel, model number SHP14BA (MWP1T-LQ156M1). Its diagonal is 15.6″ (39.62 cm), and the resolution – 1920 х 1080p. Additionally, the screen ratio is 16:9, the pixel density – 142 ppi, their pitch – 0.18 x 0.18 mm. The screen can be considered Retina when viewed from at least 60 cm (from this distance, the average human eye can’t see the individual pixels).
Viewing angles are good. We offer images at different angles to evaluate the quality.
One of the key features of the XPS 15 7590 is its Cinema Color app. It provides you with four presets – movie, sports, evening and animation. Sadly, none of them falls beneath the Average gamma of 2.0 – they go as follows 2.60, 2.90, 3.10 and 3.80 in the same order as listed.
The maximum measured brightness is extremely high – 584 nits (cd/m2) in the middle of the screen and 556 nits (cd/m2) average across the surface with a maximum deviation of 12%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen and at maximum brightness is 7400K (average) – colder than the 6500K optimum for sRGB. The average color temperature through the grey scale before profiling is 7560K.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from uniformity perspective. The illustration below shows how matters are for operational brightness levels (approximately 140 nits) – in this particular case at 24% Brightness (White level = 142 cd/m2, Black level = 0.105 cd/m2). We detected a noticeable Nonuniformity of the screen around its upper edges, both in terms of brightness and color.
Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color-sensitive work (a maximum tolerance of 2.0 ). The contrast ratio is very good – 1350:1 (1200:1 after profiling).
To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.
Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people in HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.
Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.
The yellow dotted line shows Dell XPS 15 7590’s color gamut coverage.
Its display covers 94% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976.
Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma mode.
We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange, etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.
Below you can compare the scores of Dell XPS 15 7590 with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).
The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.
The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle, and the surrounding light conditions.
Response time (Gaming capabilities)
We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.
We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 36 ms.
Health impact – PWM / Blue Light
PWM (Screen flickering)
Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.
Dell XPS 15 7590’s display backlight doesn’t flicker at above 150 nits. Moreover, the flickers have a relatively low frequency, which is not great for the user. Thankfully, our Health-Guard profile fixes the issue.
Blue light emissions
Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.
Dell XPS 15 7590’s display has an IPS panel with a Full HD resolution. Its viewing angles are comfortable, contrast – high and maximum brightness – extremely high. On the downside, the display uses PWM to adjust its brightness levels up until 150 nits. However, it covers 94% of sRGB and with the help of our Gaming and Web design profile, the color representation becomes accurate enough for professional use of photographers and designers. Sadly, our retail unit had a fair amount of deviations across the surface, when it comes to brightness and color uniformity. Ultimately, this makes it inappropriate for color-sensitive workflow.
Buy our profiles
Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for Dell XPS 15 7590 configurations with 15.6″ SHP14BA (MWP1T-LQ156M1), (FHD, 1920 × 1080) IPS.
*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]
Read more about the profiles HERE.
In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia's products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.
Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.
Design and Gaming
This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.
Health-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.
Dell XPS 15 7590’s speakers have good quality. Its low, mid and high tones are clear
You can find all of the drivers and utilities for the XPS 15 7590 here: https://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/19/product-support/product/xps-15-7590-laptop/drivers
Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. This device features a 97Wh battery pack.
We were able to get more than 16 hours of Web browsing and around 14 hours and 20 minutes of video playback.
In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.
For every test like this, we use the same video in HD.
The XPS 15 comes with a quad-core processor in the form of the Core i5-9300H, as well as a six-core version – the Core i7-9750H, up to an eight-core behemoth – the Core i9-9980HK.
Results are from the Cinebench 20 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Fritz chess benchmark (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from our Photoshop benchmark test (the lower the score, the better)
While in the graphics department you have the option of staying with the integrated Intel UHD Graphics 630 to keep the price down, you could also equip it with the GeForce GTX 1650 with 4GB of GDDR5 memory.
Results are from the 3DMark: Fire Strike (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 3.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Superposition benchmark (higher the score, the better)
We tested the laptop with NVIDIA’s 441.87 WHQL drivers.
|Far Cry 5||Full HD, Normal (Check settings)||Full HD, High (Check settings)||Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)|
|GeForce GTX 1650||60 fps||55 fps||52 fps|
|Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016)||Full HD, Lowest (Check settings)||Full HD, Medium (Check settings)||Full HD, Very High (Check settings)|
|GeForce GTX 1650||108 fps||78 fps||39 fps|
|Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018)||Full HD, Lowest (Check settings)||Full HD, Medium (Check settings)||Full HD, High (Check settings)|
|GeForce GTX 1650||84 fps||52 fps||48 fps|
|Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands||Full HD, Medium (Check settings)||Full HD, High (Check settings)||Full HD, Very High (Check settings)|
|GeForce GTX 1650||54 fps||50 fps||44 fps|
Temperatures and comfort
Max CPU load
In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.
Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.
|Core i7-9750H (45W TDP)||0:02 – 0:10 sec||0:15 – 0:30 sec||10:00 – 15:00 min|
|Dell XPS 15 7590||3.25 GHz (B+25%)@ 98°C||3.00 GHz (B+12%)@ 99°C||2.69 GHz (B+3%)@ 92°C|
|Dell Inspiron 15 7590||2.91 GHz (B+12%)@ 97°C||2.52 GHz @ 97°C||2.41 GHz @ 97°C|
|HP Pavilion Gaming 15 2019||3.57 GHz (B+37%)@ 81°C||2.88 GHz (B+11%)@ 73°C||2.66 GHz (B+2%)@ 73°C|
|Lenovo Legion Y7000 (2019)||3.34 GHz (B+28%)@ 72°C||3.15 GHz (B+21%)@ 82°C||2.99 GHz (B+15%)@ 79°C|
|Lenovo Legion Y540||2.78 GHz (B+7%)@ 74°C||3.08 GHz (B+18%)@ 90°C||2.87 GHz (B+10%)@ 79°C|
|ASUS ROG G731||3.38 GHz (B+30%)@ 87°C||3.43 GHz (B+32%)@ 94°C||2.63 GHz @ 73°C|
|ASUS ROG G531||3.41 GHz (B+31%)@ 95°C||3.23 GHz (B+24%)@ 95°C||2.72 GHz (B+5%)@ 79°C|
As you can see, Dell is using a super aggressive power curve, and is giving its users the maximum performance achievable with the current cooling solution. Frankly, this gives away all of the issues, because, while it doesn’t struggle to cool down the Core i7-9750H as the Inspiron 15 7590, It still can’t reach the clock speeds seen from the likes of the Legion Y7000 (2019) for instance.
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650||GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min)||GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min)|
|Dell XPS 15 7590||1395 MHz @ 78°C||1498 MHz @ 74°C|
|Dell Inspiron 15 7590||1395 MHz @ 80°C||1395 MHz @ 84°C|
|Acer Aspire 7 (A715-74G)||1552 MHz @ 70°C||1532 MHz @ 76°C|
|Dell G3 15 3590||1605 MHz @ 67°C||1566 MHz @ 74°C|
|ASUS ROG G531||1461 MHz @ 65°C||1408 MHz @ 71°C|
|ASUS TUF FX705||1566 MHz @ 74°C||1568 MHz @ 74°C|
|Acer Nitro 7 (AN715-51)||1633 MHz @ 61°C||1599 MHz @ 67°C|
Interestingly, on the GPU-side we saw some controversial results. In the first two minutes, the clock speed averaged at 1395 MHz, which is the base frequency of this GPU. With the temperature reaching 78C in this short time period, we thought that definitely the cooling is not good enough. However, more time passed and the GPU frequency crept up to 1498 MHz, while the temperature dropped down to 74C. This was only achieved by pushing the CPU frequency and temperature down – the drawback of using the same heat pipes for both the CPU and the GPU.
53C on the outside – clearly it is not the most comfortable experience to your fingers, during gaming or graphically intensive tasks. At least the fans were not that loud, whatsoever.
It is not only the hardware that puts the XPS 15 amongst the best laptops on the market at the dawn of every year. It looks great, it feels great, it certainly has an amazing set of displays to choose from. However, when you go back in time, you will see that these things all remain unchanged for a third or fourth year in a row.
Of course, the hardware evolves with every year that passes, but what certainly lacks evolution is the premium behemoth, known as the XPS 15 7590. To be completely honest, we enjoyed working with it, and we still think that it is one of the best out there – first, it has a great 97Wh battery that lasted us through 16 hours of Web browsing and 14 hours and 20 minutes of video playback. And this is despite the use of an H-series processor.
Next in line is the screen – Dell XPS 15 7590’s display has an IPS panel with a Full HD resolution. Its viewing angles are comfortable, contrast – high and maximum brightness – extremely high. On the downside, the display uses PWM to adjust its brightness levels up until 150 nits. However, it covers 94% of sRGB and with the help of our Gaming and Web design profile, the color representation becomes accurate enough for professional use of photographers and designers. Sadly, our retail unit had a fair amount of deviations across the surface, when it comes to brightness and color uniformity. Ultimately, this makes it inappropriate for color-sensitive workflow.
Whether you are a corporate tycoon, a content creator, or you just want a good-quality product, the XPS 15 7590 is always going to be there and will deliver. Its strong carbon fiber and aluminum body will provide you with enough confidence, that you can bring this device everywhere. Sure, there are more powerful outfits, with better cooling solutions, but they are certainly less appealing in terms of looks and are most probably heavier and bulkier.
As of a comparison with the latest and greatest from the Apple world, there is no point in picking a winner, as both are representatives of entirely different ecosystems, despite being targeted at a similar group of people.
- Strong body build of carbon fiber and aluminum
- 97Wh battery that delivers more than 16 hours of Web browsing
- 94% sRGB coverage (1080p SHP149A) and with the help of our Gaming and Web design profile you the Average gamma falls to 1.1
- Thin and light
- Boasts up to Core i9-9980HK processor
- Easy upgrade and maintenance
- Wide variety of price options
- Fingerprint reader embedded in the power button
- Has a keyboard with a rather small deck
- Uses aggressive PWM to adjust its brightness up to 150 nits (fixed by our Health-Guard profile)
- Its design is getting old
- The cooling struggles under heavy load
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/dell-xps-15-7590/