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Mini-review: Dell’s XPS 15 9520 is a low-key improvement to an established design

Enlarge / Dell’s XPS 15 9520 is nearly identical to the last-gen 9510, albeit with improved processor performance. (credit: Andrew Cunningham)

Even as an iterative update to an existing computer, Dell’s XPS 15 9520 is pretty mild. It’s super-iterative. The only thing that separates it from the XPS 15 9510 we reviewed last year is that it swaps the 11th-generation Intel processors for 12th-gen versions. Everything else, from the design to the screen to the GPU, is the same (unless you count changing the foreshortened Windows 10-era rectangle logo on the Windows key to a square Windows 11-era logo).

So we won’t spend much time redescribing things about this laptop that we have already mentioned. Weighing just a bit over four pounds, this is still a computer made for people who want more power than a 13- or 14-inch laptop can provide, but who still care enough about size and weight that they don’t want to graduate to a full-size desktop or a bulky gaming laptop.

It still has a nice slim-bezel screen, a huge trackpad, a comfortable keyboard with firm-but-not-too-firm keys and a pleasing amount of travel, and Thunderbolt and USB-C ports for accessories and charging (plus a single SD card reader and a headphone jack). A fingerprint reader, face-scanning Windows Hello-compatible IR camera, and a 720p webcam and speakers (serviceable-but-middling in both cases) round out the basic amenities.

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