Dell XPS 15 9550 review – sleek, yet still buggy


  1. Ubaidullah Nubar

    November 30, 2016 at 4:00 am

    The precision models are heavier in comparison. I was hoping that there would be a comparable latitude. Seems like Dell is not using the latitudes at the same pace.


    • Douglas Black

      November 30, 2016 at 4:28 am

      Hmm, other than the Precision 5510, have you looked at the Thinkpad P series? They're just under 5lbs.

      • Ubaidullah Nubar

        November 30, 2016 at 7:32 am

        How is the aesthetics of Thinkpad P Series compared to a Latitude? The Latitudes have very comfortable keyboards and touchpads. I am a developer and these things are important in my selection.

      • Douglas Black

        November 30, 2016 at 9:36 am

        Well in my opinion the original is best: the trackpoints, clickers and especially keyboards are better with ThinkPads. I think those might be worth it for a developer


    December 1, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    I purchased and XPS 13. The reason I purchased a new computer is that my Venue 11 Pro is a piece of junk. In the two and one half years that I have had it it has been back to the depo at least 10 times. During one of those trips, the Venue was sent in, returned, it did not work on the return, resent the next day, returned, did not work, and sent again the next day and then returned and work for a short period of time. Almost every component has been replaced at least once. So recently, the junk would not turn on. I made the decision to purchase another computer even though this Venue still had more than 6 months left on the warranty. I was waiting for an on site repair that took over two weeks to get the part and have them come and fix the Venue. I made the dumbest mistake in my life as I purchased a XPS 13.

    The XPS 13 arrived Wednesday before Thanksgiving. My computer person loaded all the necessary programs so I could get use to it over the holiday. Dell sure didn't care about my holiday as when I attempted to connect to the wifi at home it would not connect. My computer person came to the house on Thanksgiving and spent hours trying to get it to connect. He could not. Later that night I spent hours with the technicians through chat to get it to connect. They could not get it work either. Their solution was to wipe the hard drive. Why would you wipe a hard drive on a new computer just from the factory? Dell solution to everything I guess as they have done that more than fifteen time with my Venue. But anyway, the next day I went to my office to call and see if I could connect to the office wifi. I got to my office and turned on the XPS 13 and it did a self diagnostics. That self test said that the motherboard was defective. How do yo send a computer out with a defective motherboard? I don't know how but, Dell sure does.

    So I cancelled the order through my credit card. Dell has not even bothered to pick up for a week after the cancellation and removal from my credit card. Guess it is going in the trash where it belongs on Monday if not picked up. DO NOT BUY DELL AS YOU WILL GROW TO HATE IT TOO.

    • Ace01

      January 8, 2017 at 6:46 pm

      I bought the XPS 9550 December 2015. I wanted to love it but for a few different reasons I just don't feel like it was the right machine for me even though it had no hardware problems for me. Now a year later after mostly keeping it unused on a shelf in my home office, I'm now using it as my main/only machine. I've learned to love it. I had been using both a 13" Samsung Spin and an HP Spectre x360 15. I just sold the x360 and have listed the Spin for sale. The updates that Dell has released over the past year, have taken care of the issues that I first noticed. No more slow to sleep and wake. battery life has increased. A year later and I can't find any real issues with my 9550. I never had touchpad issues as some people have mentioned. The touchpad worked very well a year ago and still does for me today. I use Chrome and browsing was not an issue at all then nor now.

      I've never been a big fan of the design of the XPS. I don't prefer the sandwich body design and the keyboard gets dirty too quickly. But typing on the XPS feels just fine to me. I am not willing to ever go back down lower than 15" for my main PC. As far as I'm concerned, the XPS 15 and the new Macbook Pro 15, are the two best overall 15" laptops on the market. I've ordered a Macbook Pro 15, highest spec and will compare it to the XPS. I will also try the XPS 9560 as soon as it is out. After looking around and trying different laptops, it comes down to the XPS that I have, the XPS 9560 or the MBP 15 for me in 2017.

      BTW' your post loses all credibility for me with your last paragraph. Cost is of little concern to me these days but not even I would ever "trash" a laptop.

    • Hristo

      September 26, 2021 at 9:15 pm

      My opinion for Dell is a bit mixed. The quality is very good, but some things are not so smart designed.
      First, this is not a mac. this means that the win os makes the things harder for the customer. For example the 4k downscale of the menu of some programs is sill not fixed. Secondly, every time the mac will beat windows in terms of battery usage on sleep. But this is not problem of Dell.
      I had M3800 Precision. Briliant display, good cpu, a decent videocard. But the trackpad was awful. The connection to usb hard drives was very unstable, maybe because of a software bug, which brings very little amperage to the HDD. Very annoying and still not fixed for a huge line of Dell products.
      I bought a 7710, which is build like a tank. this is totally different beast. I love it. But the weight of this thing makes it a desktop replacement rather than a laptop. But… the M5000M video does EVERYTHING you want.
      So, small laptops from Dell have their issues, the big models are a different story.

  3. JC

    January 25, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    Hi Douglas and anyone who could help advise me on this,

    Thanks for your article. Im hoping to get some advice from you regarding the 9550 and 9560

    I recently just received my XPS 15 9550 with 4k touch and i5-6300HQ which I purchased on a Boxing Day sale. After using it for a few days, I realized that I have absolutely no need for a touchscreen laptop, which I assume also drains my battery life. The FPS I'm getting while gaming is also much less than expected (60 on Dota2 with lowest settings), which I've read is caused by the 4k display?

    Also, a little while after I placed my order on the 9550, the 9560 version was launched!! Guess thats why they had the sale for the 9550 model.

    I'm considering returning this 9550 version (since there is a full refund option available), and purchasing the newer 9560 non-touch model with 7th generation i7 and a GTX 1050. It will cost me an extra 200CAD for the switch though. Is it a worthwhile switch?

    • Douglas Black

      January 25, 2017 at 7:42 pm

      Well first, you aren't meant to game at 4k. Almost no laptop can. Stick to 1080p. Dota 2 will run fine on max settings. The 4k display does look incredible and (for myself) I find touch screens very useful for writing and reading because of scrolling and zoom. If you never used a touch screen maybe give it a go and see how you feel.

      The 9560 is worth the upgrade at only 200 CAD more, but I'm assuming that's with FHD and a smaller battery, right?

      • JC

        January 25, 2017 at 9:00 pm

        Yup, youre right, the 9560 would have a FHD monitor and 56 Whr battery compared to the 84Whr on my touchscreen model, but I've read that the non touch would still have longer battery life regardless of its smaller battery, do you know if this is true?

        Honestly though, the touchscreen serves absolutely no purpose to me which is the main reason as to why I wanted to change it for a better processor and graphics card, but after tinkering around with 4k and 1080, I really noticed the difference between the resolutions :/

        Even with the FHD screen and smaller battery, do you think I should make the switch if I have no need for the touchscreen?

      • Douglas Black

        January 25, 2017 at 9:02 pm

        It will depend on your usage. If your CPU is idle then the FHD will use less energy. If you're doing CPU-heavy tasks, then the larger battery will be more important.

        If you go for the new one (I'd probably do it), keep in mind that you should be able to later buy a 90Wh battery on eBay or Dell and swap out your smaller one.

      • JC

        January 25, 2017 at 9:39 pm

        You're absolutely right! Haven't thought about changing the battery. Somehow the idea that everything in the XPS 15 cannot be manually changed myself was in my head. This leaves only the difference between the FHD and UHD model, and I am probably going to go ahead and change the laptop. Thanks again for your advice!

        Also, any idea if you'd do a review on the 9560 model? I'd love to see what you think of the difference in performance due to the upgrade and if the GPU would cause a heating/battery problem.

      • Douglas Black

        January 25, 2017 at 10:04 pm

        I would love to do a comparison, but I don't think I'll be buying a 9560 for some time (if I ever do buy it). Dealbreaker for me at the moment is the half-speed TB3 port, as I use an eGPU. Because performance, size/weight, TB3, and quality are all important for me, I am going to wait to buy my personal laptop. HP ZBook studio G4 and the Kaby Lake refresh of the MBP 15" (with a price cut) would be my future hopes.

    • N00b

      January 27, 2017 at 9:54 am

      Be careful with XPS 9560. I purchased the 9550 almost immediately after it was released (more than a year ago) and I experienced many hardware issues with the machine, including overheating (all resulted in BSODs). The most annoying thing was, that I was not the only one who experienced these hardware issues with the new model (in the beginning I thought that I just got a "lemon"), but I noticed that people all around the world reported about similar issues even with brand new replacements – what made me think that, probably, something was wrong with the XPS 9550 series, at least with the first units which were sold (eventually, since Dell were unable to repair my machine, and they had been trying for more than a month, I received a refund).

      If I buy Dell again, it probably will be Dell Latitude or Dell Precision.

      Good luck.

  4. Mic De Marco

    February 27, 2017 at 1:27 am

    "Besides this, I couldn’t get my Bluetooth speakers to work at all until I removed the terrible Dell/Broadcom software, which looks like it was last updated in 2003"

    You are a legend! speaker is finally working after removing the Bluetooth Broadcomm software. Thanks!

  5. Hussain

    August 5, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    Dell xps is such a great great laptop if following issues are fixed.

    1. Extreme heat (which causes thermal and power throttling)
    2. Proper heat exhaustion
    3. No throttling of any kind
    4. Improvement in battery for 4k
    5. slow boot

    If these problems are fixed I bet you no manufacturer in the world can beat dell xps.

    • Douglas Black

      August 6, 2017 at 12:05 am

      That sad thing is even without those issues fixed, it's still unbeaten by any manufacturer :p

  6. Alberto

    October 17, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    Hi, I am just thinking to buy a second hand XPS 15 (9550). I would like to ask if by now all that bug have been fixed or if I may be still going to get troubles.

  7. Eric

    October 18, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    The battery is swelling after a year. Dell issued a 'recall' but they aren't honoring it for those out of warranty. Recalls are issued when a defect is systemic, way beyond the boundaries of occasional 'manufacturers defects' since the broad nature of failure creates liability outside of warranty. I think the FAA needs to consider adding this product to its no-fly list, due to the risks involved with the battery since dell is not commenting on whether any danger exists with the product.

    • Alberto

      October 19, 2017 at 4:20 am

      Do you have any reference for what you are saying, Eric?

      • Douglas Black

        October 19, 2017 at 4:33 am

        Lots of people discussing this on r/Dell

      • Alberto

        October 19, 2017 at 9:56 am

        Where do you mean for r/Dell? Do you have any link for me please?

        In any case, I just bought it last night!

      • Mavis

        January 11, 2018 at 10:28 am

        He's talking about the Dell subreddit,

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