Dell XPS L501x Application Performance

PCMark loves SSDs, so the performance of the L501x isn't going to break any records there. Actually, the i5-460M processor is pretty common as well, striking a balance between price and performance. Clocked at 2.53GHz with only a 2.80GHz Turbo Boost available, it's slightly slower than the i5-540M (lower Turbo) but as an OEM part the prices are probably far more attractive. Despite the return to the "pure" XPS name, the new XPS line essentially continues from where the Studio XPS left off. These are good multimedia platforms with mainstream gaming performance, suitable for all but the most demanding users.

Here's how the L501x compares to several other recently reviewed laptops. We've chosen to highlight two other laptops for comparison: the ASUS N82Jv and the Toshiba A660D. The N82Jv is a good all-around laptop with a similar size and performance while the A660D represents the high-water mark for current AMD Danube platforms. Actually, that's not entirely true—AMD has faster mobile parts available—but the A660D is at least in the same price range as the base XPS L501x. We've also got results from the latest MacBook Pro 13 in our charts, but we really need a comparison with the MBP15 (under Windows) to be fair, so we won't make too much of the MBP13 here.

Futuremark PCMark Vantage

Futuremark PCMark05

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R10

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R10

Video Encoding - x264

Video Encoding - x264

General performance is right where we'd expect it for the CPU, GPU, and HDD combination. The L501x trails the N82Jv slightly in PCMark Vantage but reasserts itself in the CPU intensive CINEBENCH and x264 testing. The higher base clock speed also puts it within striking distance of the i7-720QM in multi-threaded tasks, so unless you really need every last ounce of multi-core power the dual-core i5-460M is a compelling alternative—and don't forget the loss of Optimus (and the price increase) that comes with moving to Clarksfield processors. As a balanced platform, Arrandale is very difficult to beat, and AMD will need its Bulldozer/Llana mobile offerings before it can go toe-to-toe with Intel laptops.

Up Close and Personal with the Dell XPS L501x Dell XPS L501x Gaming and Graphics Performance
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  • cknobman - Wednesday, November 10, 2010 - link

    I agree completely.

    This notebook is bfugly, big and fat!!!!!!
  • JohnMD1022 - Wednesday, November 10, 2010 - link

    Seagate drive?

    I'll pass.

    Just had another bad one pass thru the shop.
  • vant - Wednesday, November 10, 2010 - link

    Are you kidding me? This is quite possibly one of the ugliest laptops I've seen in a while. I seriously feel like no one at Dell's design team is younger than 50. Just look at the first picture posted and tell me thats not more hideous than a puddle of urine.

    At least the previous XPS had leather and modern styling. This seriously looks like 'hey we need some high quality materials and Apple like design cues!' but then they just f*ed up everything in the process of getting it to market.

    Seriously, with a design like that you can stuff two quad core i7s (desktop of course), 16GB of RAM, a GTX480, 200+ ppi display, a $1k price tag and NO ONE WOULD BUY IT.

    Dell, HP, Toshiba, ASUS, etc.: They all need a wake up call and realize that their products are being used in the public at coffee shops, not in private homes. We have to use these products around people who look at us. We need products that look modern and work well with our mobile lifestyles. That means we need LIGHTWEIGHT, SMALL FORM FACTOR (thin would be nice), and LARGE AMOUNTS OF BATTERY LIFE.

    The average user doesn't need a Core i7 on their laptops, the average user needs 12 hours of battery life instead. We don't need 420Ms, we need laptops that will actually fit in our backpacks (without making us look like we are carrying an animal).

    How companies are still losing market share while putting trash products like these to market and surviving is baffling. They will continue to bleed until death or change. Their choice.

    I'd like to take this time to also point out that copying the competition gets you nowhere. Innovating is where the money is.
  • barnett25 - Wednesday, November 10, 2010 - link

    Are you sure you are talking about the "average user" and not just yourself?

    Cause I have no need for a thin and light laptop. I've got a smartphone for that. If your spending all your time at starbucks showing off you should get a Mac.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying they should not make thin and lights, just that not every computer has to be one.
  • nafhan - Wednesday, November 10, 2010 - link

    Uhm, I'd say your wrong, there are some people who need 12 hours of battery life, but it's not the "average" user. The average user is rarely going to take their laptop out of the house/dorm, and when they do, it's going to be to a coffee shop or something. I also think there's still a few people out there who aren't going to pay an extra $800 to make sure their PC is pretty.
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, November 10, 2010 - link

    Umm, yeah, I would say you fit the target market for a Mac exactly. But that is not the "average user". I have had one laptop or another for 11 years, and have used one in a coffee shop maybe 5 times (when meeting with clients). And I certainly have never needed 12 hours of battery life, I've never spent 12 hours straight at any computer portable or not. Not to say I am an "average user" either, but I'm not delusional enough to think everyone needs what I would like. And I don't derive feelings of self-worth from what my laptop looks like.
  • B3an - Friday, November 12, 2010 - link

    Who the fuck takes there laptop to a coffee shop to pose? Oh yeah... mactards.
    For the rest of us mature people with more than single digit braincell counts, we want laptops like this that are actually useful.

    This isn't even meant to aimed at these kind of sheeple. Theres laptops made specificity to be very portable, thin, lightweight, with low power usage/long batter life, and this CLEARLY is not intended as one. Idiot.
  • PlasmaBomb - Wednesday, November 10, 2010 - link

    Any chance of you asking for one and doing a review of it?

    Thanks :)
  • tipoo - Wednesday, November 10, 2010 - link

    Why are Macbook Pro battery life results never put in with windows laptop reviews? I understand the differences in benchmarking performance between the two, but in terms of battery life it should be a straightforward comparison, no?
  • kake - Wednesday, November 10, 2010 - link

    If you look at the charts on the battery performance page, you'll find the Apple MBP 13 near the top of the heap in every scenario.

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