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2024 Dell XPS 14 reviewed: a best-in-league PC

Quick review

Dell XPS 14 (9440) - from $2999
The good
An absolutely stunning design
Brilliant screen
Excellent performance
Dedicated graphics
microSD card slot
The not-so-good
Keyboard and mouse design choices mightn't appeal to all
Battery life isn't always spectacular

Sleek and sexy, the Dell XPS 14 is a stunner that shines in ways other laptops haven’t tried. It’s a little expensive, but about as premium as a PC gets.

Thin and light machines tend to get all the credit for portability, but that go-anywhere approach can come with the odd compromise or two: performance. While some laptops are built to deliver oodles of capability in a slim design, not everything nails it.

That’s partly where Dell’s “XPS” line has come in. Launching back in 1993 as one of Dell’s premium computer offering, the Dell XPS laptops cater for premium performance in a portable form-factor.

We’ve seen them before and we’ll likely see them for some time, because this is clearly one of Dell’s big sellers, targeting folks who want one of the better experiences a Windows laptop can have to go.

They’re not quite the gaming breed that an Alienware delivers, nor do they carry the workstation-specs of a Latitude, but they get bits in between. They get the design, the hardware, and the screen to make premium count.

And in the company’s latest efforts, Dell is ramping it up a notch.

The Dell XPS 14 provides a take on laptop aesthetics we’ve not seen before, and marries to a premium spec putting it amongst the best of the best. Is this the best-in-league Windows PC you’ve been looking for?

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With a look that is unmistakably like anything else out there, the Dell XPS 14 is a sexy laptop. That’s not a phrase we’ve used often, but there’s something remarkable about this design. It’s different. It’s special.

While most laptops sport a black keyboard inside a light or dark chassis, Dell’s XPS 14 offers a choice of a darkened graphite machine like normal or something much more light.

Our review model Dell XPS 14 arrived in that typical XPS silver aluminium “platinum” option with the inside pristine and white. The keyboard is cut perfectly into the tray with touch-sensitive function buttons up top. It’s a sleek look that stands out, and there aren’t many other machines like it.

You can tell Dell is going for brownie points in design, and frankly it has nailed it. The Dell XPS 14 is sleek and sexy. We’re in love.


Under the hood, there’s one of Intel’s latest processors, the Core Ultra 7 (155H), and there’s a generous amount of RAM, too. It’s the same chip we saw in the Acer Swift Go 14, and the only Intel chip you can find in the XPS 14 (though other Dell XPS models have other options).

The base model XPS 14 includes 16GB, so of course Dell supplied 32GB RAM for the review model it sent. In either situation, that’s a solid amount of memory, matched with as little as 512GB SSD (or 1TB in our review variant).

You also get a choice of Intel graphics or something a little more extreme, with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050, which our review model arrived with, plus a decent sport of connections, as well, with three USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 ports, one 3.5mm headset jack, and a microSD card slot for good measure, too.

There’s also support for 802.11ax WiFi 6E if you have it, plus older WiFi standards, as well as Bluetooth, too. You can’t have a laptop without Bluetooth these days.

Four speakers can be found in the Dell XPS 14 as well as two microphones, support for Dolby Atmos playback (virtualised), and a Full HD webcam at the front above the screen, as well.

The XPS 14 is encased in aluminium and comes with a 100-watt Type C charger, which given the fairly compact size makes us believe it’s built with Gallium Nitride (GaN).

ModelDell XPS 14 (9440)
ChipIntel Core Ultra 7 155H
RAM/Storagefrom 16GB RAM; from 512GB storage
Screen14.5 inch 3.2K (3200×2000) OLED touchscreen
OSWindows 11
ConnectionsWiFi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, 3x USB-C/Thunderbolt 4, 1x microSD
Size/Weight18mm, 1.74kg
PriceStarting from $2999 AUD


Practically edge to edge with little in the way of bezels, the XPS 14’s 14.5 inch OLED panel delights and impresses all at once. The frame is ever so slightly thinner than anything we’ve seen on a Mac (!), and the 3.2K (3200×2000) OLED panel was beautiful on our review model.

Our review XPS 14 supported touch, too, something that seems to be gradually disappearing on laptop designs on Windows PCs that lack a 360 degree hinge. The XPS 14 isn’t a laptop with a 360 hinge, so the OLED touchscreen was bit of a bonus we didn’t expect.

It’s worth pointing out that a 14.5 inch OLED isn’t your only option here. There’s also a Full HD LED-backlit option without the touch. It probably won’t be as sexy, but it’s an option.


Using the 2024 XPS is a little different from other computers, largely because your row of function keys isn’t tactile and the mouse appears hidden.

You still get a big keyboard and spacious trackpad, but Dell has made some interesting design changes that make seeing these a little less obvious unless you know what you’re looking for.

Take the function keys: rather than rely on obvious buttons, these are touch sensitive and built into the top row above the keyboard.

They lack the firm press of a proper button, and may bug some, but it definitely makes for a slick aesthetic, almost as if Dell was trying to improve upon the Touch Bar Apple gave up on years ago. They’re not exactly satisfying to press, but they’re definitely slick.

The trackpad is a more interesting and deliberate design change. While every laptop includes the frame for the trackpad in its design, Dell has hidden it in the body.

You probably know exactly where it is — under the space bar, just like any other laptop — but this specific design change may throw some off and make you go… where exactly is it?! (The trackpad is exactly where you think it is, even if it doesn’t appear obvious).

Over time, it just becomes muscle memory to glide your finger over the surface beneath the space bar, which also has a tactile button working for it, as well.

It can feel a little slow at times, but it’s definitely unique and makes for an appealing design, to say the least.

In terms of size, the touchpad and button run from just under the Alt key on the left to under the Copilot key on the right. It’s a relatively wide surface, and certainly wide enough to know that if you place your fingers on the slick white panel of the Dell XPS 14, you’re going to land digits in the right place.

2024’s contribution to Windows keyboards: the Copilot key.


Unsurprisingly, being armed with the latest Intel Core Ultra chips means the 2024 Dell XPS is a beast and can handle pretty much anything you throw its way. The fact that Dell has included an Nvidia discrete graphics chip in this model only strengthens that, because now you have two capable components in the one system, CPU and GPU alike.

The combination of Core Ultra and GeForce RTX4050 means you get a lot of grunt, which we certainly found in our benchmarks.

Without the GPU, it handles much the same as other Core Ultra laptops we’ve tested, but with it, there’s just more to work with. It’s a sign that you can do a little more with this thin and light machine, and that is largely the point.

The Dell XPS 14 isn’t just a MacBook Air competitor, but one that can handle what the MacBook Pro can do, as well.

In real world testing, we found it handled productivity efforts no worries, and thanks to that graphical grunt, you could even play the odd game, as well.

We ran “No Man’s Sky” and found the game fairly playable, too, running at high settings. In moments of action, lag crept in, reminding us that it would probably be more ideal to turn the graphical settings down, but it definitely worked, and a lot better than we expected.


The battery is where things start to go awry for the XPS 14, because it’s not a stellar delivery. We watched the Windows battery meter inform us of changes, ranging from 3 hours to roughly 7, but never really hitting above it.

Seven hours is fine, sure, but isn’t quite the 15 maximum of the M3 MacBook Air, or even the 22 hour maximum of the M3 MacBook Pro. Both are possible for the comparative Macs, but you’re more likely to see closer to 10 to 12 hours on each dependent on what you do, but the extremes are possible.

On the Dell XPS 14, hitting above seven was a rarity. Throughout testing, we found the battery life largely sat between 4 and 7, which is acceptable, but not exactly fantastic. It could be — and we’d argue should be — a whole lot better.

The one upside is the port situation: you’ll charge this laptop from USB-C, which means if you have a massive GaN charging block, it should recharge fairly quickly. That’s a win of sorts, even if it’s so much of a standard these days, it’s not much of a win.

The USB-C cable doesn’t pop out from the charging block, but that’s about the only bad thing. Everything else about the Dell charging block is compact, something Windows laptops don’t usually get right.


The price is where things get interesting, largely because of the area Dell’s XPS 14 is trying to tread. On the one hand, it’s a clear MacBook Air competitor, providing a thin and light laptop with looks to kill. And yet on the other, the processing and graphical prowess makes it seem more like a dead ringer for a MacBook Pro model. Where do you place it?

Nearly two decades of reviewing experience suggests this is Dell’s attempt to bridge that gap, providing a totally capable machine that could more or less cover anything, whether it’s productivity, gaming, or some of the more complex tasks you might need.

And yet the price is still hard. The price is awkward. The starting price of the XPS 14 without an OLED panel, without touch, and without the Nvidia graphics chip is $2998.60. Just under $3K for what was ostensibly a stock 16GB RAM, 512GB storage, Core Ultra laptop with no touchscreen.

The model we reviewed? That was a lot more, hitting $4298.80 for a 14 inch laptop with 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD, Nvidia graphics, and touch-capable OLED. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a prohibitively expensive price for the feature set we reviewed, but at the same time, it’s still up there.

We’re not sure we’d call XPS 14 value driven. You get a lot of tech and a slick style, but you definitely pay for it, too.

Dell XPS 14 closed shut

What needs work?

So price is clearly an issue, albeit a contentious one. It’s not overpriced per se, but Dell could price the laptop better overall.

The battery life could be improved upon, too, but if you have an external battery pack for powering a laptop, you might not really care.

However, the trackpad may throw you at times, and can force you to look down at where your fingers are placed.

Worth noting that we admire what Dell has done with its design here. Blending in the trackpad with the glass wrist pad is clever, and gives the XPS a style unto itself.

No one else is doing this, and it really does deliver a finished look of professionalism. You just might need to look down every once in a while, particularly if your mouse cursor doesn’t go where you’re trying to make it go.

Dell XPS 14 reviewed

Final thoughts (TLDR)

We’re regularly spoiled by some of the best machines, and the Dell XPS 14 continues that.

If it sounds like we’re doting on the XPS 14, we’re suitably impressed. There’s a lot to admire and love in this laptop. It’s a pretty machine that you can fall in love with.

There are quibbles, sure, but most are so easily forgotten about, particularly since the laptop is so premium and well thought-out. Over the past few weeks, we’ve found the trackpad’s creative design eventually becomes muscle memory with only a glimmer of the occasional misplaced hand, while the battery is something we can live with; few companies hit the spoiled battery lengths we’ve seen on a Mac.

Ultimately, there’s something about the XPS 14 which is just so, so different in such a lovely way. The Dell XPS 14 really leaves an impression on you. It’s such a delightful machine.

It’s fast, capable, and built beautifully. The Dell XPS 14 is a best-in-league PC. It’s pricey, but it’s also very, very good. Recommended.

Dell XPS 14 (9440)
Ease of use
The good
An absolutely stunning design
Brilliant screen
Excellent performance
Dedicated graphics
microSD card slot
The not-so-good
Keyboard and mouse design choices mightn't appeal to all
Battery life isn't always spectacular
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