I review laptops for a living — and this is the one I'd buy

Dell XPS 15 OLED (2023)
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

As a writer for Tom’s Guide, it’s my job to evaluable the best laptops on the market to help readers decide which ones serve their needs. Because of that, I know exactly what I want from a laptop I’d purchase. 

I need a machine that can not only handle my everyday workload but is also capable of playing the best PC games. And while I’d like to save money if possible, price isn’t a factor. After all, I want a device that won’t become obsolete shortly after purchase.

Of the laptops I’ve tested and reviewed in 2023, this year’s Dell XPS 15 OLED provides everything I’m looking for in a notebook. Like its predecessors, the XPS 15 delivers a near-perfect balance of style, performance and portability. The new MacBook Air 15-inch also has these qualities, but I prefer Windows 11 to macOS Ventura — and I want a laptop I can play most modern games. The Dell XPS 15 gives me that, and more.

You can read my full Dell XPS 15 OLED 2023 review for a detailed rundown, but suffice it to say it’s an all-around winner — and the one I’d buy for myself. Here’s why.

Stellar design

I prefer laptops with subdued designs that don’t draw attention. The XPS 15 meets that ideal thanks to its smooth machined aluminum chassis and slim profile. It looks like a generic laptop you’d see in a movie — and I mean that in the best way possible. Though its design won’t wow anyone, it’s a sleek and elegant laptop that won’t look out of place at your home, office or favorite cafe

Dell XPS 15 OLED (2023) review unit

(Image credit: Future)

At 13.57 x 9.06 x 0.71 inches and weighing up to 4.23 pounds, the XPS 15 is also easy to carry around. Its sturdy build and thinness make it comfortable to hold — which is great since I have to frequently carry the laptop between my desk and our testing lab throughout the day.

The 15.6-inch 3.5K OLED display has plenty of space for all the windows I tend to keep open while working. The vibrant colors and high resolution also make games look and run great. And though I don’t often use it, I appreciate that the display has touchscreen functionality.

Dell XPS 15 OLED (2023) review unit

(Image credit: Future)

Speaking of things I love, the roomy keyboard with its soft textured carbon fiber palm rests make typing on this laptop a pure joy. The large responsive trackpad also gives my big hands plenty of room to work with.

Excellent performance

You can configure the XPS 15 with the latest Intel Core CPU and Nvidia GeForce RTX 40 series laptop GPU. That, along with at least 16GB of RAM, gives Dell’s laptop plenty of power to handle multiple open windows, some light video editing and graphically-demanding video games. It's a true workhorse of a laptop.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 Dell XPS 15 OLED (2023)Samsung Galaxy Book 3 UltraMacBook Pro 16-inch (2023)
Geekbench 5.412,47812,21215,048
Copying 25 GB from flash drive (MBps)2,060 Mbps2,075 MbpsN/A
Handbrake video encoding (minutes:seconds)5:015:264:03

My review has a full breakdown of how the XPS 15 did in our performance tests. In short, it held its own in our CPU, video encoding and file transfer tests. My anecdotal experience corresponds to our testing results as the laptop never once failed to do what I needed it to — even when I had multiple tabs open while running videos or playing games.

Speaking about games, that’s something that’s absolutely crucial for a computer I personally use. The best MacBooks like the MacBook Pro 14-inch 2023 and MacBook Pro 16-inch 2023 with their Apple M2 Pro and Apple M2 Max chips decimate most of the best Windows laptops we’ve reviewed — but the game offerings on Apple's platform aren’t yet up to snuff. Playing Resident Evil Village on a MacBook is great, but I’m still waiting for games like Cyberpunk 2077 or Doom Eternal to release on Macs.

Dell XPS 15 OLED (2023) review unit

(Image credit: Future)

Returning to the Dell XPS 15, it has more than enough power for the games I enjoy. During my testing, Doom Eternal ran between 85 to 100 frames per second at medium settings at 1,200p resolution. God of War on PC stayed within the 30 to 40 fps range, which is similar to how it performed on the PlayStation 4 Pro. Cyberpunk 2077 managed to hit a respectable 45 to 50 fps at medium settings, depending on how much action was happening on screen.

The Dell XPS 15 isn’t marketed as one, but it can hold its own against some of the best gaming laptops.

The Dell XPS 15 OLED is a winner 

I review a lot of laptops but rarely spend much time with them after my reviews go live. The fact I continue and will continue to use the Dell XPS 15 OLED as my primary work laptop until I have to return it is the best endorsement I can give Dell’s notebook. If you’re looking for a solid laptop for work and gaming, you can’t go wrong with the Dell XPS 15 OLED.

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Tony Polanco
Computing Writer

Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on X/Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.