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Ultrabook reviews, guides and comparisons
Dell XPS 15 9560 Douglas Black Rating: 4 out of 5

Dell XPS 15 9560 review – Core i7 CPU, Nivida 1050 graphics and UHD screen configuration

43 Comments

  1. Lance

    March 6, 2017 at 4:15 am

    Good review, thanks.
    You say the keyboard is horrible. I've been having repeated characters with mine, something like 1/10 times writing something like 'same' I'll get 'samme', is that anything you noticed?

    • Douglas Black

      March 6, 2017 at 4:17 am

      Hi Lance,

      I've never experienced anything like that. Is it always the same key? You could try taking the caps off and cleaning it. If not, it sounds like you should have it serviced

  2. Tom

    March 6, 2017 at 4:57 am

    Good review,

    I can't describe how frustrating the XPS 15 series have been. They're so close to perfection but Dell consistently has (the same) issues on product release. Combined with questionable QC (improper heatsink contact… still) and horrific customer service (you're right, pay for the premium service or you will regret it). It's just annoying for what should be a premium product. It should not just be good, it should be exceedingly good in every aspect.

    I'm in the same boat as you, It's still the best Windows laptop for my use case by a country mile.

    • Douglas Black

      March 6, 2017 at 4:59 am

      Agreed. I will give the Yoga 720 a very good look on release

      • Tom

        March 6, 2017 at 5:36 am

        Aesthetically I think the Yoga 720 looks.. bad.

        It'll almost be a shame if it's good in every other regard. No excuse not to get it.

        T

  3. Kyle

    March 6, 2017 at 5:08 am

    Good review. But I believe the new thinkpad P51 is directly comparable to the XPS 15, not the thinkpad t470p as it is only 14" and doesn't pack a dGPU. As a matter of fact, I don't recommend the t470p at all as it has serious cooling and power draw issues, resulting in an abysmal battery life and performance, not to mention heavier weight and lower quality materials used on the chassis compared with other thinkpad X,T and P series released in 2017. If you're looking for a quad-core ultrabook with no need for dGPU, look into Dell Latitude 14,15 5000 series (kaby lake – e5480,e5580) with the largest capacity battery configuration. Holiday discounts for these two laptops go up to 35%.

    Dell XPS 15 9560 vs Lenovo Thinkpad P51

    I don't own a desktop or a tablet so a laptop is my main and only device. Thus, it needs to be both portable and powerful, with battery life of at least 10 hours.
    config preference: fhd non-touch, 97/90wh battery, i7/xeon
    anti-4k reasoning: scaling issues, 25-30% shorter battery life, reflective display on the xps, poor color accuracy and brightness with pwm flickering on the P51 (although it does come with an aes wacom pen)

    similarities: kaby lake quad core, 4GB VRAM GPUs of similar caliber, ddr4-2400 dual channel slots, m.2-2280 pcie 3.0 x4 nvme ssd slots, 15.6" fhd non-touch matte IPS displays, 1x usb type-c 3.1 gen-2 thunderbolt-3, large batteries, realistic 10hrs battery life, under 2.6kg, better than average build quality, precision touchpads, fingerprint sensors & IR cameras for windows hello sign-in, better services than other lines of laptops from same/different manufacturers

    respective pros & cons (not in any order of importance)
    XPS 15 pros:
    1) better gpu performance with pascal GTX 1050 4GB vs Quadro M2200M 4GB on the P51 (better gaming)
    2) slimmer bezels = smaller footprint
    3) lighter (2kg vs 2.6kg)
    4) slimmer (20mm vs 30mm)
    5) slighly better battery life (97wh vs 90wh)
    6) better display (brightness:350nits/contrast:1500:1/color gamut:98% sRGB,63% adobeRGB)
    7) slightly better internal dac chip and much better speakers
    8) 5-level battery level indicator lights vs tiny 1 on the P51 on the back (very hard to see)

    XPS 15 cons:
    1) terrible keyboard (in terms of travel, actuation force and layout)
    2) 2 lane thunderbolt-3 vs 4 on the p51 (currently using GTX 1080 eGPU and will definitely use a thunderbolt-3 NAS and a portable pcie-nvme ssd when it comes out)
    3) chin-cam (lots of conferences and skyping to do)
    4) slow display response times, a.k.a the 'ghosting issue' (plays mostly fps games)
    5) quality-control & stability issues, both hardware and software wise e.g. coil whine, defective screen, uneven clickpad, broken hinge, unrecognized sd-card, buggy drivers on many, many components
    P51 pros:
    1) business grade durability (possibly the best in the market at this price point) with 'MIL-STD 810G' certification and engineering with great attention to detail & ergonomics
    2) better cooling & lower power consumption = less throttling under sustained load
    3) easily user-replaceable/upgradable parts + removable battery (e.g. three batteries = 30hrs battery life)
    4) better keyboard (lots of typing to do)
    5) trackpoint – useful when the touchpad occasionally fails me
    6) touchpad with two rows of dedicated left/right/middle buttons vs clickpad on the xps
    7) hinges can open 185 degrees vs 130 degrees on the xps
    8) one hand openable lid
    9) 4x ram slots = max 64GB ram vs 2x on the xps
    10) don't have to compromise between battery life and extra drives 2x m.2-2280 pcie-nvme slots + 1x 2.5" 7mm drive bay + 90wh battery vs 1x nvme slot + 97wh battery or 1x nvme slot + 1x 2.5" 7mm drive bay + 57wh battery
    11) great i/o ports selection – 1x usb type-c 3.1 gen-2 thunderbolt-3, 4x usb type-a 3.0, 1x hdmi 1.4, 1x minidisplayport 1.2, 1x rj-45, 1x 3.5mm audio combo, 1x sdxc uhs-2 sd-card reader, 1x smartcard, 1x expresscard 34mm (can buy a 2x usb type-a 3.0 ports adapter card should you need more usb ports), 1x thinkpad dockingstation port, 1x kensington lock vs 1x usb type-c 3.1 gen-2 thunderbolt-3, 2x usb type-a 3.0, 1x hdmi 1.4, 1x kensington lock, 1x 3.5mm audio combo, 1x sdxc uhs-1 sd-card reader
    12) optional pantone color-calibration sensor
    13) array of 'business security features' – win10pro bitlocker, opal ssd, computrace tpm, vpro, expresscard, smartcard etc (although definitely vulnerable to determined criminals/organization/feds/agencies)
    13) optional WWAN LTE modem
    14) better wifi stability & performance (intel wireless-ac 8265 vs killer wireless-ac 1535)
    15) has gigabit-ethernet
    16) sd-card reader is uhs-2 vs uhs-1 on the xps, meaning the read/write speeds are 2x<
    17) very silent fans compared to the xps during load
    18) better cpu performance with selection of i7-7700hq/i7-7820hq/xeon e3-1505-v6(i7-7820hk equivalent)/xeon e3-1535-v6(i7-7920hq equivalent) vs i3-7100h with no dGPU/i5-7300hq/i7-7700hq on the xps
    19) customizable hardware configuration during purchase vs no customization on the xps
    20) can buy and use with thinkpad docking stations

    P51 Cons:
    1) noticeably worse screen (brightness:250nits/contrast:700:1/color gamut:58% sRGB,37% adobeRGB)
    2) noticeably heavier unit
    3) keyboard backlight bleed
    4) dreadful speakers
    5) larger and heavier default charger
    6) although not as many as on the xps, minor stability issues do exist but are mostly fixed within 3 months with bios updates

    negligible factors:
    1) bezels – simply don't understand all the hype with thin bezzels. Samsung&LG laptops had thin bezzels for a decade. Thinkpad P51 makes good use of extra bezzels as keybaord keys are big, key space is wide, and they've managed to put two rows of dedicated click buttons, along with (though disappointing)front-facing speakers. Plus I've always found thick bottom and side bezels to be very useful when opening the lid and when adjusting display angles.
    2) aesthetic appearance

    *Note: For the XPS 15 9560 the non-touch fhd ips-display with 97wh battery option is only available in the US and some selected countries, in only one configuration – i7/16GB-memory/512GB-ssd(1750USD). However, I'd rather buy either the i5 or lowest i7 configuration at the official dell US website, then swap out the 2.5" hard drive and 57wh battery with a 97wh battery through either trade/backorder/ebay.
    Also, the Thinpad P51 battery is rated 90wh but comes with either 90, 93 or 96 according to the battery manufacturer. So if you're lucky, you get the big one.

    approximate cheapest total price possible for similar configs purchased within the US market and directly imported from overseas:
    1) XPS 15 9560: i7-6700hq cpu/gtx1060 gpu/fhd non-touch display/97wh battery/16GB memory/512GB ssd/backlit keyboard/fingerprint reader = i7/1060/fhd/8GB/256GB(1450USD – 250USD holiday discount = 1200USD) + 97wh battery(110USD) + used/holiday sale Samsung sm961/960 pro 512GB ssd(280USD) + used/holiday sale 16GB ddr4-2400 so-dimm g-skills/crucial memory(85USD) – 8GB stock memory (likely samsung/sk-hynix ram) resell(60USD) – 256 stock ssd (likely either samsung pm961/toshiba/lite-on) resell(140USD) – 2.5" hdd and caddy with 57wh battery resell (90USD) = total 1385USD for buyers in the US
    1200USD + 25% approx import tax + shipping(120USD) + all other parts = total 1805USD for international buyers

    2) Thinkpad P51: i7-6700hq cpu/quadro m2200m gpu/fhd non-touch/90wh battery/16gb memory/512gb ssd/backlit keyboard/fingerprint reader/expresscard slot/smartcard reader = i7/m2200m/fhd/8GB/512GB 7200rpm hdd(1650USD x 57/100(43% holiday discount) = 950USD) + used/holiday sale Samsung sm961/960 pro 512GB ssd(280USD) + used/holiday sale 16GB ddr4-2400 so-dimm g-skills/crucial memory(85USD) – 8GB stock memory (likely samsung/sk-hynix ram) resell(60USD) – 512GB stock hdd resell(25USD) = total 1230USD for buyers in the US
    950USD + 25% approx import tax + shipping(120USD) + all other parts = total 1587.5USD for international buyers

    My pick is the P51, mainly because of the much superior build quality, ergonomics, removable battery and the incredible percentage-based price drop during the holidays.

    Obviously they're quite similar yet very different machines. With the right choices however, users can purchase either at a very affordable price.

    Three other big refreshes are around the corner in mid 2017 as well: HP ZBook 15(15",m2000m,2.5kg,96wh), Asus Zenbook Pro UX501VW(15",960m,2.2kg,96wh) and Dell Precision 17 5000 – 7510(15",m2000m,2.6kg,99wh). The ux501 is even rumored to pack a 1060, which would potentially put it on par with high-end lightweight gaming laptops such as the Razer Blade 14(14",1060,1.8kg,75wh), Gigabyte Aero 14(14",1060,1.8kg,94wh) and the Aorus X3-V7(14",1060,1.9kg,94wh). Of course, if all you need is a 1060 card in a slim and light body and don't need more than 3 hours of battery life, then the MSI GS43VR and GS63VR should be your top budget picks.

    • Douglas Black

      March 6, 2017 at 5:17 am

      Wow Kyle, thanks for that in depth comment! For me I'm not willing to go over 4.5 lbs

      • Kyle

        March 6, 2017 at 5:47 am

        Well for one thing, I live in remote Asia and in here, any electronics manufacturer services are terrible and overpriced. But with business laptops I never need to opt for any warranties, other than the default 1-year-depot. If something breaks by some miracle, I can order parts from china which arrives in 2 days.

        The build quality alone for those workstations are totally worth it. Before last year, I always thought thinkpads denting the floor and breaking doors was a big bluff. Until I got my P50, which slipped from my lap one sleepy night and made a crater on the floor. Made my landlord pretty mad haha.

    • Kyle

      March 6, 2017 at 5:33 am

      Okay, I know it looks real long and boring but in my defense, the comment system ate indentations and spaces.

    • KurtB

      March 8, 2017 at 12:21 am

      Kyle, is it possible you're talking about the Lenovo P50? Because the P51 isn't released yet…

      I really can't wait till the P51 is reviewed. My finger is already floating above the 'Buy me' button of the XPS 15 9560, but all the issues I'm reading is holding me. For now, the only two announced devices that can persuade me away from the XPS are maybe the Lenovo 720 and possibily the Lenovo P51. But I can't keep waiting. Really a shame that reviewers aren't getting their review devices way before the release…

      • Douglas Black

        March 8, 2017 at 12:27 am

        The p51 would be great if it had a smaller footprint/bezels and a centered keyboard

  4. Yahtadi

    March 7, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    Nice review as always, one thing i really wanted to know. Please answer anyone

    This kind of laptop use 2 internal fans for cooling right? If i go to this laptop with i3 and no dGPu configuration, how many fans will stay? 1 or 2? if 1, the mainboard will be different with the 2 fans right? whats the rest? I mean, 1 fans and the bigger mainboard that replacing the other fans's place, whatd component that be? another M.2 SSD slot?

    Thanks, any answer would satisfy my years thirsty of this question

    • Douglas Black

      March 7, 2017 at 7:41 pm

      That's a very good question. I've never seen anyone review the i3 version. The precision allows the i5 without a GPU as well. I'd guess that it would be a different board and heatsink design.

  5. Bryant

    March 10, 2017 at 12:08 am

    Where's your article about what you had to do to get the i7 and GPU to not throttle themselves? I'm having that issue with mine pretty badly.

    • Douglas Black

      March 10, 2017 at 12:15 am

      Bryant,

      I've solved it in mine by changing Nvidia setting "pre-rendered frames" to 2 and padding *only* the VRM chokes to the case bottom. I haven't written the article yet because I'm still trying to confirm the exact problem and ensure that it's a reliable method.

      • Bryant

        March 10, 2017 at 12:16 am

        Cool thank you very much. I'll keep an eye out for the article.

  6. Fabio

    March 11, 2017 at 10:59 am

    I'm really interested in this machine but all those flows that might be present in such a premium machine make me question if it's good or not. I'm interested also in the new HP Spectre X360 15, that is a bit cheaper with specs almost on par with this that is better on some aspects (keyboard, webcam in the right place but still with small bezels, touchscreen with a pen), but it has a low power processors. Can't HP and Dell merge their products in a perfect one?

    However, are the 16 GB of ram one in one stick with an internal slot free or not?

    • Douglas Black

      March 11, 2017 at 11:01 am

      The memory will be 8×2 paired. They told me it would be 1×16, so I complained and got 100 USD back

      • Fabio

        March 12, 2017 at 9:51 am

        Too bad, just a single 16 GB would be great for upgrades. Thank you!

  7. Mastafu

    March 17, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    Great review, good to hear about coil whine. To bad that such expensive laptop still has so silly issues with keyboard and camera.
    As to best possible option, how about ASUS Zenbook Pro UX550. It will be great option with even better GTX in it.

  8. bitkahuna

    April 7, 2017 at 9:18 am

    really great review, thank you. i've been on the fence about the 9550 and now the 9560 for a long time. as many have said, so great in so many ways, but many stubbed toes for dell, with dumb webcam position (not a deal breaker for me), very buggy drivers and bios, and a few other issues, but it's still a great laptop (size/weight/speed/screen).

    did you ever compare to dell precision 5520? they're obviously very similar, but i read that getting the 'class 50 ssd' assure you'll get the much faster samsung drive vs the craptastic toshiba one.

    with added warranties and dock this is over $3K so not a small purchase (for me), so don't want to have buyers remorse…

    • Douglas Black

      April 7, 2017 at 9:36 am

      I would say the precision will have faster cpus but slower gpus (for gaming) compared to the XPS. Beyond that, there is only the fingerprint scanner that differentiates them. The customizability of the 5520 is nice, but the fingerprint and GTX 1050 make the XPS so much sweeter…

      • bitkahuna

        April 7, 2017 at 10:57 am

        thanks for the reply. having had a macbook pro before too, i'm also considering one of those – even though hugely expensive the quality is pretty impeccable. i don't really care about having a touch screen. the mac's screen is also more matte than the super glossy uhd xps one which is a plus. but back to the xps, it really does suck about the toshiba drive vs. the samsung one. granted, i suspect in 'real world' use i probably wouldn't even notice the difference – it's easy to get hung up on specs i suppose. i'll probably just wait a while before deciding…

  9. Louis

    May 23, 2017 at 11:13 pm

    I was a fan of XPS and when i saw it in the shop, the UHD version with spectacular screen, I knew I had to have one. I read all the reviews and decided to ignore the numerous flaws warnings.

    I bought it a month ago and I have just rang Dell to arrange for a refund. The machine is absolute crap. I don't know where to stop complaining about it. The keyboard is a huge disappointment. The keys degrade before your eyes. What to say about the absence of the numbers keypad on the right? For a programmer like myself it's a MUST. I thought I'd get used to not having it but I just can't. But these are not the reasons for the refund.

    First, the windaz 10 does its own thing and it screws your computer good. VERY good. You have no idea what is the OS doing in the background, and that's a bad thing. There are a few updates that stuff the OS up and you have no idea what went wrong. Neither do Dell technicians. Then, the machine shuts down on its own in the middle of your, by default extremely important and urgent, work. You see the blue screen and the "Ooops… something went wrong. We need to restart your machine. We are collecting some data and will restart in a moment" pops up. You are, obviously, dumbstruck and will never find out what went wrong and why. And whether it was fixed. And by whom, IF it was fixed. I had this blue screen popping up 3-4 times a week.

    Dell "experts" were baffled and suggested SSD replacement, plus" when that is done, call us on the phone to install some firmware."

    WTF…???

    And what is the "technician" coming to mu place for then????? Yo know, the infamous "24 hours on-site service" guaranteed service. What sort of "technician" are they sending if I have to call the AFTERWARDS in order to install the firmware for the new SSD? Can't their technician sort that out while servicing my brand new disaster of a laptop???

    Well you better wake up for there is no such thing as 24 hours on-site service guarantee. I was left to wait 8 days before they finally found a new SSD and a replacement charger.

    Then they called to arrange for a visit three days into the future.

    Not to mention that their charger for the laptop blew up on me when I plugged into the wall socket.Lucky me it was not in my hand but on the floor.

    Yes, I know, I should charge them for carpet repair (it burned it a bit, where it lay on it), but who's got the time to chase them for that? Screw them (Dell).

    I also had problems with installing some of my professional software on win 10 as it was recognising it as not-registered/illegal copy. I purchased my software and it's completely legit. But does the win 10 give a flick? No.

    Admittedly, that's not necessarily Dell's problem, although I suspect they would have a thing or two to answer to still, but it added to already infuriating annoyances.

    Build is almost great. Solid aluminium yes, but the carbon plastic gets easily greasy from your hands and it's, not so surprisingly, hard to clean. I have 4 years old Acer M, and it's keyboard looks like a brand new. Hard to get dirty, sweaty and greasy, and super easy to clean.

    The pad is NOT glassy and easy to glide your fingers across. It is matte and rather difficult to use fingers on it. No gliding here. You can feel the grip and how it tries to stop your finger actively while you are trying to scroll or move the mouse.

    The illumination of the keyboard is a full on joke. It lasts a minute or two and you have to look on internet for a solution to have it on for 5 minutes. Ethernet port is missing and there are only 2 USB ports.

    Seriously Dell?????? Even $500 plastic Acer toys have 3 USB ports!!!!!

    The laptop is absolutely nowhere near even a good machine. And service from Dell makes chinese service look like not such a bad option after all.

    Make no mistake, chinese service is AWFUL.

    So, in short, Dell managed to turn a fan of Dell laptops against their laptops, probably, forever.

    Yes, the overall feeling is good, and that screen is f&^$#n fantastic.

    But, that's all. The laptop is not worth even the half of the asking price and it WILL let you down fairly quickly. All those complaints you can find on internet about the Dell laptops are true. Ignore them and you are gambling with a lot of money and all the time you will waste on wrestling with their "24 hours on-site guarantee" repairs which will NOT happen.

    If you are lucky it is about 5 working days, just as everybody else.

    And that's just not worth the price. I declare Dell XPS 15 a total and irreparable failure. Maybe they should ask real professionals for help when designing functional and useful computers.

    • Douglas Black

      May 30, 2017 at 8:07 pm

      Hopefully Dell fixes their QC and stops outsourcing everything in the near future. After the problems I faced with my FHD model I would rather spend twice as much on a macbook pro that was properly inspected

      • Louis

        June 1, 2017 at 6:09 am

        I hear you Douglas. But personally I doubt that Dell will change (QC).

        A friend of mine bought Gigabyte Aero 15 and I am, after Dell, rather impressed with it. For now. Will give it a few months to see if it'll start breaking down and/or falling apart. The finish and the build are not as bad as some reviews make it to sound. Not as solid as Dell, but full aluminium body nevertheless. Still very, very good.

        It does have all the ports I need and it costs as much as Dell. It has fantastic 4K screen and the numerical keypad on the side. It is THIN and LIGHT, and just a fraction bigger, overall, than Dell.

        Another thing I forgot to mention in my tantrum is the Dell's battery life. Forget about their 9 hours claim. That's a maybe if you leave it idling. 3 hours was max I would get out of it when working (programming, graphics, 3D). Sometimes even just browsing the net would drain it in under 4 hours. The longest I had it on battery was about 4 hours and 20 mins.

        • Douglas Black

          June 1, 2017 at 6:13 am

          I really like my Aero 15. The more I use it, the more I find I like it. The only weakpoint is the trackpad, which is an annoyance at worst. What kind of battery life are you getting with your Aero 15? I just do browsing and word processing and get about 6:30.

          • Luis

            June 4, 2017 at 9:41 am

            Not mine. A friend's of mine. I am now observing it as I like the way it looks. I asked him and he reckons about 4:30, but he plays a lot while commuting in the train, so that needs to be considered.

            I do not see the trackpad any worse than the dell's is. It's almost good. But I haven't used it for long. It fails (relatively speaking) where all trackpads fail for me: it's out of the centre. Fingers gliding is for me on par with Dell's. Where it wins for me is the number keypad on the right, the ethernet socket and the sheer mumber and diversity of connections available. Dumbplucks in Dell don't seem to understand the need a serious user has for these little things. Be it a gamer or a programmer like myself. Aero is more expensive than XPS and ordinarily I would not go to that extreme, but I so want to send the message to Dell that I couldn't care less right now.

            Besides, the screen is just as fantastic, and the build is seriously good. I am only waiting for Asus Zenbook Pro to see if Asus came to their senses and re-introduced the sockets (ethernet, 3-4 USB 3, etc.). It looks like it'll be cheaper than Aero 15.

  10. Ryan

    May 29, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    Nice review
    I also have a XPS15 9560 with i7, UHD, 16G and 1TB SSD,and the only problem I am facing to is the overheat. I can't play Cs:go because the cpu frequency will be as low as 0.8Ghz or something in just few minutes. I can't enjoy LOL with friends because it could face the same problem. Even when I am working with Autodest Inventor 2017, with the ray tracing function on, it happens too!
    I mean, why should I buy an i7 and 1050 with the performance I cannot fully use? When this laptop gets overheat, it's performance is at an even lower level than my old Dell latitude e6440 with i5 4200.
    I heard that Dell has changed the EC software for XPS15 9550 by publishing a newer BIOS update last year, which helps 9550 totally get away from overheat without any DIY or CPU voltage configure.
    I just hope this happen to my 9560 very soon.
    I bought this laptop this Feb. it's should be a great system, but it has failed me so far.

  11. Louis

    May 30, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    Yes, the overheating is also a problem, thanks for mentioning it. I forgot to include it. There's too much to complain about the XPS15 9560.

    The "extra power" the hardware supposedly provides serves for nothing. The moment one opens a 3D program, or a game, the XPS goes nuts. The cooling gets noisy but it does nothing to stop the processors from overheating. And it gets seriously hot.

    The heat reduces the efficiency of both, the video card and the processor to the point where your old computer suddenly doesn't look much slower, if there's any difference.

    I read all these "reviews" glorifying Dell's XPS and its performance, including the above review and wonder whether these "reviewers" just got lucky (most unlikely), or are simply licking Dell's arses so that they send them future models (for free) to review too.

    Above review claims "strong performance". That's a lie. Dell XPS15 9560 with i7, UHD, 16G and 0.5TB SSD (my config), does NOT perform even remotely to what it should with the hardware installed.

    It's just a garbage wrapped in nice, glossy paper. Well, aluminium in this case, but you get the picture.

    To my own dismay and despair, for the money and the time wasted on Dell XPS, I am back to my old Acer M ultrabook and am appreciating this effort from Acer more by the second. It must be said that Acer nowadays makes crap too. This laptop was a moment of bliss and inspiration in Acer R&D. A moment that has not resulted in any further development for the better 5 years on. So I'll be clinging on to it for as long as I can.

  12. Jurgen

    May 30, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    Great reviews by the readers. Completely different to the above review by D. Black (the site owner?). I too fell into the trap and bought it. XPS15 9560, UHD 4K, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD.

    It is what others say. A half-product. There are many, many bugs and defekts. Too many for the laptop with this name, Dell, to be acceptable. Very good screen, nice design, solid aluminium housing. That is all.

    Despite all the specs it doesn't perform, it gets hot, it is bizarre (keyboard) to use, the pad is not slick and easy to glide the fingers on, contrary to what D. Black says above, the plastic top is supposedly of carbon, but it strongly attracts the sweat and the grease, and it is almost impossible to clean it off. Cooling fan is noisy although they all say it is quiet, and it does nothing to cool the laptop. What slows down the heat is the thick aluminium plate between you and the processors. Put your hand at the heat vent and you'll see what I mean. Your hand will get burned with the heat!

    I will return mine too. Asus has a nicer and better model, which is also 2 years old now, but still better. A new version is coming out soon so I'll wait for it. Dell is just not good, despite the name and the fame. Deficient in every way. And I ahevn't even commented on the lack of the connections (USB, ethernet, everything)It is a disaster really…

  13. Tim

    July 1, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    FANTASTIC review, thanks! Your honesty and thoroughness are much appreciated. I got just over 2 years from my 9550 (including UHD touchscreen), and while I loved it, the bugs were frustrating. I replaced the modem, the hard drive, the keyboard, and the inner receptacle for the AC adapter. I should have replaced the audio jack too, and the flickering screen issues never went away. Still, I didn't have to look around long to decide that the only thing out there I saw that was even close to what I wanted was the 9560. LOL

    So I bought the maxed-out version (i7, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD, etc., although I passed on the fingerprint scanner), and I have to say, I'm loving it. Absolutely worth the upgrade from the 9550, imo. Everything about it feels like what I wish the 9550 had been. No hesitation,, my favorite computer yet — which I say while also completely agreeing with everything you said. The Toshiba hard drive is stupid. I wish they'd just offered an option to pay more for the Samsung, which I may do anyway…but again, I'm not currently feeling the need. I think you're right about Dell being afraid of the possibility of their own perfection — TB3 is a real selling point, but hardwiring TB2 speeds is a buzzkill.

    But here in the real world, every computer I've ever owned has called for some kind of compromise. In this case, the tradeoffs are completely worth it to me. We'll see what happens if it starts bugging out, but so far, I'm genuinely impressed by the step up. My 9550 is just back from the shop (the last time I'll ever repair it), and even though they look identical on the outside, both even with brand new keyboards, I can immediately tell which one is which is by the feel of the performance.

    Perfection would be nice, sure, and it's exasperating that some of Dell's fumbles could so easily have been avoided. But to me this was an easy call, even coming from a 2.5 yr old 9550. ESPECIALLY coming from the 9550.

    • Douglas Black

      July 1, 2017 at 8:37 pm

      Appreciate the kind words, Timothy. I myself have comeback to the XPS 15 after trying the Yoga 720, gigabyte aero 15, and macbook pro 15. This time, though, I went to a microsoft store to buy and inspect it in person for issues :)

  14. Luis

    July 6, 2017 at 11:30 am

    If anything I saw/read about the Asus ZenBook Pro UX550 about to hit the stores where I live, is true Dell should start losing the sleep.

    For almost the same specs (Asus maxes out – for now – at 16GB RAM, which is the only real letdown when compared with Dell), Asus will come at a much lower price. We are talking almost 700 euros, and that's a LOT in my world.

    A quick update on my dramas with dell "24 hours premium service promise": I returned the laptop three weeks after I reported the problems and asked for service. Two weeks after I had returned it I received the spare parts.

    The best part is not that they didn't bother to cancel the delivery. It's the fact that it was sent to me by overnight courier TWO days AFTER I had returned the laptop. Even the "overnight" delivery took nearly two weeks. For your orientation in space, I happen to live 12 kilometres away from the Dell's warehouse.

    Go figure what is going on in Dell. Whatever it is, it's not good and I would respectfully disagree with those who claim it is a good machine. For the money Dell asks for it, it is just a piece of aluminium that does nothing right. If you think it's good and it works fine, you are either just a lucky one in a million, or you are a basic user who does not know how to use it.

    Every single Dell XPS15 9560 screen flickers like there's no tomorrow. Just that one issue is a deal breaker. Not to mention the gamble with the speakers, which seem to have been bought as factory seconds and mostly do not work as advertised. QC in Dell lets every third (I wish I kept the page where I read this) laptop through with serious speed and/or overheating issue.

    It's a gamble and if you aren't noticing these – and many other issues with it – you are not using it for more than a bit of browsing and word processing.

    That's fine, but I do not have the money to waste on a laptop that I need for some serious work. And Dell simply doesn't deliver on that front. There's no way anyone can sugarcoat that half-product and claim that it is good.

    Dell is just not even close to good. And most certainly it is nowhere near any sort of "perfection" as mentioned above. Dell is a glorified crap for the money buyers pay. The only thing that deserves any positive word is the screen and the aluminium housing. The rest is a total disaster.

    Unless all you do is view your social media and write a few word docs, or an email or two. But then you are being fleeced off, for there are many cheaper options, but just as good, out there for that.

    • Douglas Black

      July 6, 2017 at 8:14 pm

      I ended up returning a MBP 15" 2017 2 days after buying it, then I went to the MS store and bought, I think, my 4th XPS 15. I still just couldn't find a better overall package *when it is properly checked*. I had to look at two models before getting one that was right. Screen flicker is better with latest BIOS and drivers – I think I saw a 1/8th second flicker 3 days ago but nothing the last 2 days. In the future, Dell needs to sort out their entire business structure, however. They need to take a role in their own QC, not outsource everything to save a few bucks.

      Regarding the ZenBook Pro UX550, it looks good, but I'm concerned about the QC like Dell and the keyboard, which looks like it's as springy as a mattress. The other Areas the UX550 can't match the XPS 15 are footprint, screen quality, memory, and battery life. The chassis is also thicker and more uniform. It is a laptop that I will keep an eye on for certain, though.

      • Luis

        July 8, 2017 at 10:25 am

        Asus UX 550 claims 14 hours of battery life, while dell 9650 claims 10 hrs. I would agree about the keyboard's layout as it is the same as the dell's (no keypad on the right side). I haven't seen it yet in the shops so can't comment on its' softness. The chassis is definitely really good in dell's product. As I said, it is one of the two good things about the XPS. The other being the screen. It is a really good screen.

        I would also agree, and I said that already above, the XPS 9560 is relatively good general package for a regular user. It is, however, way too expensive for general use. And it is not a machine I would use as an IT professional. It's hardware is plagued by bugs and (autocensure) hardware/software setup and configuration. It screwed me up way too many times in the month I had it for me to say that it can be fixed. If I pay 1400 euros for the thing, I am not taking excuses when it starts falling apart on me and blasting away my work in the process, including autodeletion of the files I was working on.

        dell can take that to the toilet and wipe its backside with all their excuses.

        Asus never had the level of incompetence and unfinished configurations on the level dell does it. It may be now emulating the dell, as the latest Zenbook shows from the external point of view. Hopefully it won't go to the internal config levels of dell too. We will find out very soon.

        • Douglas Black

          July 8, 2017 at 10:31 am

          agree on all counts except that you're not getting 14 hours of battery life with the UX550's 72 whr battery :p

          • Luis

            July 31, 2017 at 7:37 am

            Hehehe… It might get there if you leave it on stand-by though. And shut down the screen. But otherwise, yes. 4-5 hours of actual work is probably max battery life expectancy.

        • Andrei Girbea

          July 8, 2017 at 3:10 pm

          Like Doug said, those 14h are far from what you should expect, which is about 4-5h of daily use and somewhat longer for video. Regardless, we'll have a review of the UX550 here on the site in the next couple of weeks.

        • James

          August 26, 2017 at 7:11 pm

          Yeah, 14h like their fake 4k screens? Sorry but I can't buy a product form a company that lies.

  15. David K.

    July 30, 2017 at 11:44 am

    My wife and I were about to buy 2 of the XPS 15 16Gb of ram 1tb ssd yesterday… so, after reading some issues with the battery folks were having with this and the 9550 I thought before I bought a $2400 notebook I want to know what the replacement cost of the 97 watt battery was… and I have to say, I was floored…. According to both models web pages on Dell under accessories they state the battery is no longer Available… then I went to amazon… Product Discontinued… What the heck do you do with a $2500 Laptop when the battery is dead and not available anywhere… It becomes a $2500 anchor for you next boat… I Cancelled orders for 2 of the machines immediately…. That is CRAZY that Dell has discontinued selling the replacement batteries.. I'm sure glad I found out before we took delivery.. By the way, the Battery is Not Warrantied by Dell Either so your screwed.

  16. N0name

    July 31, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    Question regarding noise.
    I do own XPS 15 9530 (UHD + 512GB SSD + i7) and did returned XPS 9550 (UHD + 512 GB SSD + i7) due to noise (and other issues).

    Problem that I had with 9550:

    When running on battery everything was fine, fans did spin down and turned off on 1-5% (variable) CPU utilization, but when connected to AC, at same 1-5% CPU load (aka. only desktop + OS background apps), fans did kick in to around 1k-2k RPM making it audible. This issue is not present in my old 9530 unit and fan profile behave exactly same on battery and AC.

    Question:
    Does fans in 9560 behave on AC and battery same or do they have problem like described above?

    Reason why this is important for me is that I do work usually in night (programmer) and having audible noise is both distracting and irritating (of course I do talk about light use cases).

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