DisgustedXPS15V
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Pro Photographers Beware! XPS 15 has worst display I have ever seen

I just spent a lot of money buying an XPS 15. It has easily the worst display i have ever seen in my whole life. And yet, the Dell hype says the XPS 15 screen is good. They say it's very good. In fact, they rave about it. What is wrong with Dell's people? The screen is rubbish! Over the top red and zero shadow detail. That is a very very poor screen, Dell. Not a good one. The display on my old Inspiron is just so much better than the XPS's very poor excuse for a display. What's worse than the display? Only one thing. Dell's absolute lack of customer support by phone or chat. Why is Dell's Support completely useless? Two reasons. 1) They don't speak English - and 2) They don't know anywhere near enough about the XPS 15. Utterly, disgustingly pathetic support. This is my fifth Dell computer. It is by far the worst. The others were great. This one is a defective piece of rubbish and that is obviously how Dell intended it to be. Some person <attacking> at Dell decided they could sell more laptops by making the display stupidly red. The "simple" Windows Mobility fix doesn't work because the setting is not visible. Re-calibrating the display with a Spyder doesn't work. Dell's Support can only suggest getting a refund. Utterly pathetic, Del. You should be ashamed.

2 Replies
n8turepix
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RE: Pro Photographers Beware! XPS 15 has worst display I have ever seen

In response to your earlier post:

how did you actually calibrate it? When I tried to calibrate it with my Spyder4Express, it showed the same ugly Dell Splendid Color. When I switched back to the "old" profile, it was the beautiful calibrated one I want - but there's no way to get back to that profile...

I calibrated with i1Profiler software from xRite with their i1Display Pro instrument.  It gives a decent result, though not perfect.  The middle gray tone still appears a bit red.  I've reviewed a number of images I trust on prepress monitors, and for a laptop it's OK for my needs, though I want to wring better performance out of the display if I can get it similar to what AnandTech was able to achieve. 

It's likely the software you're using installed the profile that's causing trouble.  You'll need to go into Color Management (do a Windows Search to find it) and delete all profiles the Spyder software created.  This should take you back to the uncalibrated state. 

Once you're there, try recalibrating using settings such as these: 

Native white point brightness

White point:  D65 or 6500K

Display type:  White LED

If your software has an option to set gray balance priority, turn that on. 

Be sure to have the laptop plugged in.  Power management will otherwise change display brightness unpredictably with disastrous results.  Do not have any external lighting shining on the screen during calibration. 

See what this does.  You can also create a second profile with 120 cd/sq. m white point brightness.  This will be darker but more accurate for judging print output. 

Before getting a Mac, it might be worth changing the calibration instrument and software, or at least checking with the customer service for it to see if they know of setup issues that could give a better profile.  Because the display is very high resolution, be sure to center the calibration sensor exactly over the color patch test area if it's not covering the entire screen.  If it's too hard to do this, the fault lies with your calibration software.  I1Profiler uses the entire screen. 

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DisgustedXPS15V
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RE: Pro Photographers Beware! XPS 15 has worst display I have ever seen

Hi...

I sorted it! Amazing... I totally gave up on Dell Support because no-one there had even heard of Splendid Color. What's with that??? Anyway, I just went into color management and there were two profiles. The one named Spyder4Express (which one would assume was the calibrated one) was giving me the horrible Dell Splendid Color result. I selected the other profile and it gave me realistic colors and shadow detail!

Only took a week and a half and about fifteen to twenty Dell Support people to get no closer to an even halfway decent display. Glen, the Unisys technician who drove 250 km and worked on it into the night, is a great guy and he did good work on it. He stopped it freezing and crashing every few hours (which is how it arrived) - but he couldn't help fix the display at all - and he tried to for ages.

Apart from Greg at Unisys and Boris at Datacolor (who was also very helpful), no-one else was able to provide any useful support whatsoever. They were all nice and friendly and patient - but they just didn't know anything about fixing it.

In the end, I just had to fix it by myself and it was simple.

So, it seems the fix for disabling Splendid Color is this:

(1) Recalibrate the screen (with a Datacolor Spyder4Express in my case).

(2) On finishing the recalibration you will see no improvement.

(3) Go into Color Management and set the other color profile as default.

I don't know how long this fix will last and I have no idea what will happen when I next recalibrate but there is light at the end of Dell's stupid Splendid Color tunnel.