When reviews started trickling in, I heard some people saying that you are unable to open the unit, but I've seen some conflicting reports on forums and such of people looking to upgrade RAM and have seemed to be able to do it.
Can anybody confirm whether this is possible or not?
Thanks, but that isn't even the correct manual. I've tried a search and can't find information on this?
Quick answer - yes, it can be opened. I've seen it done on mine. First, remove the obvious screws and then with a slim tool (don't know what it's called), one that you use to slip into absolutely tiny gaps to pry the 2 sides open, go all around the base of the laptop. It's easier said than done because it is one tough nut to crack open. The technician who did it broke the chrome trimmings, chipped his nails and grumbled incessantly about not being paid for the job (for breaking my laptop - the cheek!), while trying to pry it open. But he did, eventually. From the point on, there's nothing obstructing the RAM modules.
That is the correct manual. L511z is Dell's model number for the XPS 15z.
Here's the index for the manual
Removing base cover:
Re: "..broke the chrome trimming.." So did the tech replace it with a new one? How is the trim affixed, assuming you saw it being removed, albeit forcefully? Is it just glued on all the way around, or does it have "hinges" that slot into little hole to hold it in place? My chrome trim is "unglued" in several places and the chrome worn off after just having it for 5 weeks! Thx in advance for the reply.
@stingcoach It is being replaced in a couple of days. From what I can tell there is likely no adhesive. There are hinges spaced out every inch or so. If what I assume about the adhesive is true, then it is probable that you have broken hinges on yours for the trimming to come loose in certain parts. I see it on mine as well where the technician pried the wrong bits and lifted the trimming instead (it was difficult to watch that sort of brutality being inflicted on a brand new laptop - I should have stopped the entire engagement then and there itself - he was competely inexperience with this model - even referred to the manual, the same one attached in this thread, to open the case). I had to help hold up the laptop while he went at it as if he had a crowbar in his hands.
From the interactions I've had with the support centre, they keep referring to the broken part as the palm rest, which leads me to think that the trimming is not a part in itself. I have a suspicion that they will have to change the entire "plate". If this is the case, it will be another harrowing experience for me to watch. The motherboard is attached to the bottom of the keyboard as the metal cover / base will fall away. I imagine changing the "plate" will require dismantling of every single major component, including the screen as the hinges are slotted through the "plate".
I hope I'm mistaken.
I shouldn't...but I did LOL...sorry...but imagining the tech trying to pry the machine open with a crow bar is kinda funny. But seriously, thanks for the reply and insights. Would love to hear how this turns out for you and your laptop. I think I'm going to stick to using some crazy glue and avoid the tech altogether. Thanks again.
You think I'm kidding? The broken piece is now changed... but he broke something else again! DANG! I have to repeat this unpleasant experience all over again.
Anyhow here's the observation. The entire "plate", that is the palm rest + speaker vents + etc, has to be changed i.e. there is no separate part for the chrome trimming. To do that, EVERY single component has to be dismantled as they are all screwed on to the reverse side of the "plate". The screen has to be removed too. I wouldn't recommend doing this oneself, for the uninitiated. And as for how the trimming is attached to the "plate", imagine rivets (permanent fasterners) - basically you hammer and deform the buck-tail once the rivet is placed through the holes. Likewise, the "hinges" for the trimming is deformed to hold the piece in place. For the trimming to lift, the deformed pegs would have broke off. Sorry.
I concur it's no easy task and you need to be extremely careful or I can imagine you will break the base cover and/or silver trim. I made it through OK with only a cut finger - DO NOT use fingertips to try and separate base cover - the edge will cut you. I resorted to a credt card to pop the tabs. Here is the key I found to work. Once all 10 screws are out the back is loose. I was then able (after trying and cutting finger) to use a credit card and pop the tab at the corner where the power plug is first. Once that tab popped, the reast of the sides were loose and all that remained was the front. I very, very carefully wiggled the front and it too popped loose. RAM replacement is a snap and the base cover went back on no issues. Just don't force anything while removing or re-installing base cover.
Thank you so much for this post!!!
After breaking several of the tabs on the chrome trim around the front, I came across your suggestion of using a credit card and starting at the back. Everything came apart fairly easily using this method. The Dell 15Z website page should be updated to include these instructions.
Now I just need to pick up some super-glue to put the trim back in place :-(
Glad to hear it helped. Just wish you had found it sooner. Cheers.
This is the correct manual for the laptop covering all part removals. BUT it sucks when speaking about the most important part: the base cover. It says to use "your fingertips". That is complete garbage. You will NEVER get this off with your fingertips:
Sit the laptop vertically in your lap resting against a cloth/towel on a table. This will guard against scratching the lid. The best way, I have found to remove the base cover after removing the screws on the bottom:
1. The cover over the USB, HDMI, etc. ports is a separate piece and must be removed before the base cover
2. By two Spudger tools (en.wikipedia.org/.../Spudger) with the finest tips you can find and pry the piece off (Step 3 on the Base Cover portion of the manual). A credit card may work but seems to thick in my opinion for this
3. Carefully pry it up from under each opening for the ports (USB, HDMI, etc.) where the clips are (you can see them) and then pry at one side until it bows out and then pops out. There will be two more screws once it's out.
4. You can bend this piece but only so far. Bend it until the piece pops out of one side. I did it from the left/back part that is closest to the NIC
5. Then begin using the spudger to pry in at the sides. You will hear each clip pop as you go.
6. I found that two spudgers work best. One to hold your progress as you move along the sides. This is hard to describe
7. Poke in one spudger and then once you have it in, stick the other one in next to it and push along until the clips begin to pop out. Move each spudger along until you go all the way around. The one holding your progress should be slid along within the gap you're making and not removed if it can be helped
8. I found it easier to start at one side (either side) from the back near the exhaust fan, move along until about 1/4 of the way through the front side of the laptop and then begin from the other side. Your popped out clips should stay out once you're that far along. Rotate the laptop in your lap as you go
9. It opened about halfway through starting on the other side and just popped off
Notes: Yes, the silver trimming is extremely delicate. Before I used the spudger, I tried a very thin flathead screwdriver. Do not do this! The silver trimming will pop out. It can be glued back but that must be carefully done. I used super glue with a fine tip. Buy a spudger if you're planning any hardware upgrades to this laptop. I was doing an SSD upgrade, which I must say increased performance about five fold!
Good luck! Hope this helps someone out there!
I am still going to emphatically disagree. I have now taken my 15z, as well as a few others, apart for hardware replacements: System board, keyboard, RAM and cd/dvd.
Fingernails DO NOT work. Use a spudger if you want to do it right.
of course, you can upgrade, for more information go to