Time to for a new laptop! Why I switched to a Dell XPS 15 9510 from a Dell Precision 15 7000 Series (7510) Mobile Workstation
The Dell Precision 15 7510 Mobile Workstation has served me well for over 5 years. But it is finally time to upgrade to the XPS 15 9510
What is wrong with my Dell Precision 7510?
Reliability: These last few months have seen several blue screens. I have connection issues more days than not. Yesterday my computer randomly shut down while I was using it! At this point, these are minor annoyances. But I do want to have a new computer set up before the Precision becomes unusable.
Resources: 16GB of RAM and a 2TB hard drive don’t go nearly as far as they did 5 years ago!
Outdated: Although the Precision will still be an excellent computer for blogging, photo editing, and writing code, I am definitely running into my graphics card’s limitations when I try to work with videos and 3D.
Warranty: After 5 years, I finally reached the point where my extended warranty could not be extended any further. I take that as an indicator that my computer has served me about as long as Dell expected it to.
What am I looking for in my next computer?
I want a laptop that is lightweight with long battery life. Something that is comfortable to use and has plenty of USB ports, an SD card reader, and long battery life.
I need a machine that is powerful enough to run the entire Adobe Creative Suite alongside Microsoft Office and multiple browsers while syncing files to Dropbox.
A large hard drive is a must as it is expected to hold so many precious photos and videos plus several work projects. Bonus points if I can find a laptop with a built-in CD burner for my genealogy business!
Another must is the availability of a 4+ year warranty with accident protection and Next Business Day On-Site repair service. I know a lot of people see the warranties as a waste of money. But I have used them with most of my laptops. (Tip: I rarely get the “next business day” service that I pay for. I do not live near any large cities so scheduling and part availability can be a problem. But it is still faster than mailing my computer to a repair center.)
Why did I choose the Dell XPS 15 9510?
The XPS 9510 is a bit of a compromise. With current supply chain issues, this is one of the few machines available that meets my needs for less than $4,000. … If I had over $8,000 I could throw several of my wants in too!
Dell XPS 15 9510 Pros
Price: Depending on how you customize, the XPS 9510 can cost between $1150 and $5822. My configuration was a little under $4,000.
Customizability: Up to 64GB RAM and up to 8TB HardDrive!
How did I customize my Dell XPS 9510?
- Windows 10 Pro because Windows 11 Pro wasn’t an option yet.
- 11th Generation Intel Core i9-11900H (24MB Cache, up to 4.9 GHz, 8 cores) because it was the best option available, and I have never regretted getting the better processor.
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti 4GB GDDR6 [45W] Time will tell if this was a good choice. At the time of purchase, this was the best available option for this laptop.
- 64GB DDR4 3200MHz, 2x32GB because I usually double the RAM when I get a new computer, but I always end up regretting that I didn’t go bigger.
- 4TB M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive This was another compromise. I really wanted two 2TB solid-state drives for a total of 4TB. I hoped this would be possible because they had an option to get two 4TB for a total of 8TB. But they would not make the substitution for me. (The $8,000+ Precision that I was looking at would have let me pick three hard drives!)
- 15.6″ FHD+ (1920 x 1200) InfinityEdge Non-Touch Anti-Glare 500-Nit Display The screen is somewhere that I am normally willing to spend extra. This time I chose the cheapest screen because I hoped the lower resolution would be easier on the battery power and on the graphics card. My most serious work will be done while hooked up to a larger display. I believe the screen that I chose will be more than sufficient for when I take my laptop to meet with clients.
- Pro Support Plus 4-Year Warranty with 24×7 Tech Support, Accidental Damage Service, and Next Business Day Onsite.
Availability: As anybody who has tried shopping for a computer in late 2020 or at any point in 2021 knows, this was a big deciding factor! I have a good laptop now. But it has been having problems. I cannot take a chance on if I will be able to find something suitable four months from now if my old laptop totally quits. (that said, once I stop using it for so many intense processes I expect it to have sevearal months, maybe even a few years left in it)
Dell XPS 15 9510 Cons
Touch Screen: I know many people prefer a touch screen. But I am not a fan. It will be one of the first things that I disable.
Built-In Camera: Another thing that I am not a fan of. I am sure it will come in handy sometimes. But most of the time I will put a sticker over it.
Keyboard Layout: This has been a pet peeve with most of my laptops. I really love the keyboard on my Precision 7510! The keys are nicely spaced and they managed to put a numpad on the side.
Touchpad: Pictures look like the touchpad will be very large and not have any buttons. This only adds to the awkwardness of the keyboard layout. I type fast and I like to rest part of my hands under the spacebar while I think.
USB-C Ports: I guess these are the wave of the future. I assume I will be glad to have them in a few years. But for now, I have four USB-A devices that I like to keep plugged in. I will have to buy a USB-A to USB-C Adapter.
Overall Dell XPS 15 9510 Expectations
I believe the XPS will have the power I need to get the job done. In some ways, it won’t be as portable as my Precision 7510. I am looking forward to the switch!