Dell XPS 15 9530 Review: Portable Power for DJs

One of the biggest dilemmas in laptops for DJs and audio production overall is that there is usually some level of compromise when balancing performance with portability. Dell’s XPS 15 9530 is an answer to that problem.

It’s got the juice, a screen that's perfect for audio and creative work, and it’s mobile enough to be convenient to take on the road or from session to session without feeling like you’re lugging around a really expensive cinder block.

Dell XPS 15 9530 Overview 

Dell XPS 15 9530

Overall Average Rating: 4.4/5

Why I Like It:

  • Clean OLED display for visibility in dark environments
  • Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB good tandem for audio production
  • Portability for gigs

What Could be Improved:

  • GPU is a little underpowered
  • USB-C ports only, but two are Thunderbolt 4


  • Processor: Intel Core i7-13700H
  • RAM: 32 GB
  • Screen Size: 15.6 inches
  • Graphics Processor: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Laptop GPU
  • Graphics Memory: 8 GB
  • Weight: 4.2 lbs
  • Operating System: Windows 11

Compared to other top laptop models like the Microsoft Surface Pro 9 or Apple’s MacBook Pro M3, the XPS more than holds its own.

The sleek design of Dell's XPS line makes them a go-to choice for audio production, video editing, and content creation, and the XPS 15 is no different.

It comes loaded with all of the specs that creating music calls for – processing power, the right amount of RAM, long battery life, soft-touch carbon fiber keyboard, dependable build quality, and screen space and resolution for even the most complex sessions.

The biggest feature holding the 15 9530 back is the limited port connectivity. Though it does sport dual Thunderbolt 4 connections, a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port, and SD card slot, if you want to use more traditional USB devices like audio interfaces and MIDI or DJ controllers you’ll need to integrate adapters. Luckily, Dell includes a USB-C to USB-A adapter with it.

Let’s dive into some of the most useful specs of the Dell XPS 15 9530 with specific regard to audio production.

Features & Benefits 

Dell XPS 15 9530

Processor (4/5)

Ask anyone what the most important element of a computer is for working with digital audio and they’ll almost always say a fast processor. Dell went with a middle-of-the-road but by no means inferior Intel Core i7-13700H with eight Efficient cores and six Performance cores for the CPU in this model.

It’s a tried and true processor for digital audio that’s fast enough for real-time processing like pitch correction and virtual instruments and can handle sessions with a high plugin count without the overkill of more advanced models that would drive the price of the computer up.

RAM (4.5/5)

Audio production is a very resource-intensive process. Just like a powerful and fast processor is one of the most important specs, RAM is right behind it. Having enough of it allows your machine to multitask by running all kinds of software like plugins and virtual instruments smoothly. 

RAM reduces load times and ensures that audio files are loaded from your drive and into your DAW without any hiccups. It’s also critical for real-time processing so you can work in the moment smoothly and efficiently.

The 16GB of included RAM reduces latency and lag so creativity doesn’t have to wait for your computer to catch up to the moment. And if you need more, you can always upgrade.

Display (5/5)

Screen size and display quality might not be the first features that come to mind when researching the best laptops for DJs or for music production. But once you get those sessions going with plugins and automation lanes all over the place you’ll soon find that screen real estate is at a premium.

Dell went with an edge-to-edge design has great display brightness and makes use of as much physical screen space as possible, and the 3200 x 1800 pixel resolution is as detailed as it gets compared to other laptops.

A vibrant OLED touch screen adds some of the tactile feel back into the recording process, but if this feature is useful or not depends on each individual piece of software you’re running. Still a nice option to have for purposes outside of recording, like gaming performance or video streaming.

The 15.6” screen powered by a Nvidia GEFORCE RTX 4070 is a great compromise of space without making the laptop too bulky, so you get a great GPU while still being easy to use on the go. It doesn't have an HDMI port, but as mentioned an adapter is shipped with purchase.

Portability (4/5)

The freedom that laptops provide to make music on the go, anywhere has always been one of their most appealing qualities. Dell’s aren’t known for being the sexiest laptops aesthetically, but the contoured design isn’t bulky like some of their other models. 

Thanks to the sturdy aluminum chassis it’s not the lightest laptop on the market, but the powerful models always have some weight to them.


It’s one of the better off-the-shelf music production laptops, but the Dell XPS 15 9530 isn’t the only player in the game. Whether you prefer the customization options Windows offers or the “set it and forget it” style of Apple, these are some of the best alternatives.

Dell XPS 15 9530 vs Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro

Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro

The Galaxy Book4 Pro has the same Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB of RAM. At 2880 x 1800 the Galaxy’s 14” display isn’t quite as good, but it is 3K and is also a touchscreen. It also has two Thunderbolt 4 ports, a USB-A 3.2, SD card reader, and a headphone jack.

Dell XPS 15 9530 vs Microsoft Surface Pro 9

Microsoft Surface Pro 9

The Microsoft Surface Pro 9 is a great budget-friendly alternative. It only has an i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, the screen size is smaller at 13”, and the hard drive storage space is only 256GB. It doesn’t stand up to the power of the Dell 15 9530, but it’s streamlined and even more portable at one of the best prices in the category.

Dell XPS 15 9530 vs Apple MacBook Pro M3

Apple MacBook Pro M3

If power is what you’re after – and price isn’t a factor – this is by far one the best alternative premium laptops to the Windows operating system. The M3 processor is about as fast as it gets, and at 36GB of unified RAM, you’ll never have to worry about adding more.

And the Liquid Retina XDR display provides some of the highest resolution, picture quality, and color accuracy of anything on the market.

For a more affordable alternative, check out our Asus Vivobook S15 review.

Another alternative well worth our review is Lenovo ThinkPad P15s laptop.


Dell XPS 15 9530

Even with the modern laptop options for music production, it seems users always have to sacrifice a powerful laptop or one with a lot of mobility. The Dell XPS 15 9530 is an answer to that dilemma.

The fast, reliable Intel Core i7 processor keeps sessions flowing without a hitch, and the 16GB of RAM means you don’t have to worry about being able to run large plugin counts or resource-heavy virtual instrument applications. And it’s expandable if you need more.

A large edge-to-edge OLED display gives you plenty of space to work with while keeping the machine as mobile as possible, and the battery life is ideal for DJs and music producers on the go.

If the lack of USB-A ports is an issue for integrating with your other gear, the Samsung Galaxy Book 4 Pro is a comparable option. It has two Thunderbolt 4 ports, a USB-A, is just as mobile friendly and comes in at a few hundred dollars less.

The 15 9530 is one of the best Dell XPS laptop models in the category and finds itself at the perfect intersection where strong performance meets portability. And it's one of the best laptops to use as a centerpiece for recording – if the lack of versatility in connection ports isn’t a deal breaker for you.

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