Razer Blade 15 (2022) vs Dell XPS 15 (2021): Which laptop should you buy?
At this year’s CES, Razer announced the 2022 versions of most of its Blade gaming laptops, including the new Blade 15. This is one of best 15-inch laptops out there, especially for gamers, but also for content creators. But it’s not alone in that space, and the Dell XPS 15 (2021) is another very popular and fairly powerful laptop for creators. If you’re trying to buy a new laptop to get some demanding work done, these are both great options. Should you buy the Razer Blade 15 (2022) over the Dell XPS 15 (2021)? Let’s find out.
One thing we’ll say right now is that the XPS 15 hasn’t yet been refreshed with the new hardware announced by Intel and NVIDIA at CES 2022, so this matchup favors Razer right out of the gate. However, comparing the two brings out some important differences that will probably still apply when the XPS 15 eventually gets upgraded. That way, you can decide if it’s worth waiting for the XPS 15 refresh, or if you should buy the Razer Blade 15 when it’s available. Without further ado, let’s dive right into the comparison.
|Razer Blade 15 (2022)||Dell XPS 15 (9510)|
|Price||Starting at $2,499.99||Starting at $1,299|
Right away, you can tell there’s a big disparity in terms of specs between the two laptops, as well as in terms of pricing. These differences should help make it obvious which model is right for you, so let’s dive deeper into what they mean for you.
Performance: The Razer Blade 15 is a powerhouse
The big difference start right away with performance. With the latest refresh, the Razer Blade 15 comes with 12th-generation Intel Core processors up to a Core i9-12900HK. These new Intel processors use a hybrid architecture mixing high-performance and efficient cores for a total of 14 cores and 20 threads. Meanwhile, The Dell XPS 15 is still using 11th-generation processors up to a Core i9-11900H, with 8 cores and 16 threads. We don’t yet have benchmarks to compare these two processors directly, but Intel claims the Core i9-12900H is roughly 30% faster than a Core i9-11980HK, as seen below.
The difference in graphics performance is also significant. The Razer Blade 15 comes with up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, which features 7424 CUDA cores and 16GB of GDDR6 memory. Even the lowest configuration, an RTX 3060, includes 3840 CUDA cores and 6GB of memory. That’s compared to the maximum configuration of the Dell XPS 15, which is a GeForce RTX 3050 Ti with 2560 CUDA cores and 4GB of memory.
The Razer Blade 15 (2022) will naturally perform much better than the Dell XPS 15 across the board, but that will also come at the expense of battery life. It has a large battery, but it’s bound to drain more quickly. These high-performance GPUs use a lot more power, as you’d expect.
On the flip side, the Dell XPS 15 gives more options for the RAM and storage configurations out of the box. You can configure the laptop with up to 64GB of RAM out of the box, as well as up to 8TB of storage with two SSDs. Meanwhile, the Razer Blade 15 is more streamlined – it comes with 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage. However, you can upgrade those specs yourself after the fact up to 64GB of RAM and 4TB of storage. The Razer Blade 15 also has faster RAM, thanks to support for DDR5, plus PCIe Gen 4 SSDs, but those are things that a new version of the XPS 15 would likely get as well.
Display: Razer Blade 15 for gaming, XPS 15 for work
The displays between these two laptops are also very different, and it’s here that it might become clearer what you should get for yourself. The Razer Blade 15 (2022) gives you three options to choose from: Full HD 360Hz, a Quad HD 240Hz, or 4K 144Hz. These are all gaming-focused displays with high refresh rates and resolutions to match your specific preferences. They’re all in the 16:9 aspect ratio, which is the most popular form factor for gaming. They’re also all IPS panels, while last year’s model offered a 4K OLED version that was more tailored to creators.
On the other hand, the Dell XPS 15 may have a less impressive display on paper, but it’s more focused on productivity and work. It comes in a tall 16:10 aspect ratio, and that extra vertical space helps you see more text and UI elements at once. All the panels have a 60Hz refresh rate, and you can choose between a Full HD+ IPS panel, a 3.5K OLED version, or the extra sharp Ultra HD+ IPS panel. That lower refresh rate makes it obvious it’s not a gaming laptop, but it’s just as sharp. With the 3.5K OLED panel, this is also a better display for media consumption (and it’s just more beautiful in general). And if you want to do color-sensitive work, the Ultra HD+ model covers 100% of Adobe RGB, making it ideal for that.
That’s what it boils down to – the Razer Blade 15 (2022) is fantastic for gaming, but if your focus is work, then the Dell XPS 15 will probably serve you a bit better. In terms of audio, both laptops have a stereo speaker setup, but the Blade 15 only has two speakers, while the Dell XPS 15 has a more impressive setup with four speakers (two woofers and two tweeters). The Dell XPS 15 is known for having one of the best speakers on a Windows laptop, so that’s your best choice if you’re not planning to use external audio.
Above the display, the Razer Blade 15 pulls ahead, however. It comes with a Full HD 1080p webcam along with an IR camera that can be used for Windows Hello facial recognition. Dell’s XPS 15 uses a 720p camera, and on top of that, it’s a tiny webcam at 2.25mm, which was designed this way to keep the bezels as small as possible. That means image quality isn’t very good, even for a 720p camera. The Dell XPS 15 still supports Windows Hello facial recognition, but the Blade 15 is significantly better in this regard.
Design: The Dell XPS 15 is more portable and professional
Moving on to the design, the Dell XPS 15 reinforces its position as a better work laptop. The XPS lineup is known for being very compact, and it’s shorter in length and width compared to the Blade 15. It also starts at a lower weight (3.99lbs vs 4.4lbs), though that will vary with your configuration. It’s also slightly thicker at 18mm compared to the 16.9mm of the Blade 15. Regardless, it’s a more portable laptop, though not by a huge margin.
The Dell XPS 15 is also a more professional-looking laptop than the Razer Blade 15 (2022), without being boring, The outside comes in two shades of silver – Platinum silver (darker) and Frost – and the inside comes in either a black carbon fiber weave finish or a white fiber glass composite material. This dual-tone look is pretty unique, but it doesn’t stick out in a bad way if you’re working in an office.
On the other hand, the Blade 15 is almost entirely black, but it has a green Razer logo on the lid that might not be to everyone’s taste. The keyboard is also RGB backlit, though there’s nothing to stop you from setting the light to white like a normal laptop would have.
Ports and connectivity: The Blade 15 is more convenient
Finally, the port selection is potentially the biggest downfall of the Dell XPS 15, and the Blade 15 is far more capable in this regard. The Razer Blade 15 has two Thunderbolt 4 ports, three USB Type-A ports, HDMI 2.1, an SD card reader, and a 3.5mm combo headphone jack. That covers just about any need you might have, and all those ports are fast, too.
The Dell XPS 15 relies heavily on Thunderbolt and docking. It has two Thunderbolt 4 (USB Type-C) ports, one standard USB Type-C port, a headphone jack, and an SD card reader. To be fair, Dell ships a USB Type-C to Type-A and HDMI adapter in the box, so if you need those ports, you’re not completely out of options. But the Razer Blade 15 is certainly more convenient with all the ports being built-in, and more of them at that. If you want to have an office setup with the XPS 15, you’re probably going to need to buy a Thunderbolt dock.
As for wireless connectivity, the Razer Blade 15 is a bit more modern, but that’s something the XPS 15 will catch up with when it gets its own 2022 refresh. The Blade 15 (2022) supports Wi-Fi 6E, while the XPS 15 still comes with Wi-Fi 6.
It’s evident that the Razer Blade 15 is a better laptop on many technical levels compared to the Dell XPS 15. It has newer and faster processors, far better graphics, high refresh rate displays, a better webcam, and way more ports. These are all clear advantages, but some of them are also a result of the Blade 15 being refreshed first. The Dell XPS 15 will probably get those new processors sometime soon, and it’s possible that other things will improve, too.
But even in its current state, the XPS 15 does have some advantages. For one thing, it has taller 16:10 displays which are great for productivity. Plus, it gives you a stunning OLED option or an Ultra HD+ panel with 100% Adobe RGB, if you plan to work on color-sensitive projects. It’s also a more professional-looking laptop and potentially easier to carry around. And as far as internal specs go, you can configure it with a lot more RAM and storage right out of the box if you don’t want to upgrade it yourself later.
The Dell XPS 15 also has a much lower starting price, naturally because it also has less powerful specs in its base model. If you need as much power as you can get, it’s clear that the Razer Blade 15 is a better laptop, and it’s especially hard to recommend the XPS 15 with its now-outdated specs. It’s still a fantastic laptop, though, and if you don’t need all that power, it’s a great choice, though we’d recommend waiting for a 2022 refresh of the XPS 15 before making a purchase.
If you can’t afford to wait, you can buy the current Dell XPS 15 using the link below. The Razer Blade 15 (2022) isn’t available to buy yet, but preorders will open on January 25th. If you want to check out other options, we have a list of the best laptops you can buy right now.