Dell XPS 15 Review (9560) – GTX 1050 + Kaby Lake = ???
Hey, how’s it going? This is Dave 2D, and this is the new XPS 15, the 9560. So the previous generation, the 9550, was my daily driver for over a year. I used that thing a lot. So when this new one came in, I was pretty excited to give a good run. Now looking from the outside, not much has changed from the previous generation. It’s still one of the best built Windows laptops. So a lot of devices that use aluminum are pretty to look at, but they’re delicate. This laptop is less focused on aesthetics I mean It’s still nice to look at, but it’s also a tank. The exterior surface holds up well — The hinge holds the tension perfectly after a year, and the soft-touch Carbon [fiber] finish — when I first looked at this stuff I thought for sure it will wear down, or at least get scuffed over time. But it doesn’t at all. The build quality on this thing is awesome. Another thing I really like is the 4K screen.
It’s probably the best part about this laptop inch IPS touch panel, amazing color gamut, amazing color accuracy, great viewing angles super thin bezels, and it’s got good software to switch between the color spaces I consider this to be the best screen on the market for what I do. And if you’re a professional gamer And you need crazy-fast refresh rates Then maybe not. But if you’re a content creator, or if you just want an awesome display, this one is really really good The webcam still looks up your nose, but if this is the price for an ultra thin bezel, I’ll take it any day It’s also easy to open for upgrades and when you’re in there You can do your standard stuff, like adding more RAM or swapping out drives.
The stock RAM is faster than last year It’s still DDR4, but now it’s running at 2,400 megahertz. The stock drive speeds are great, better than last year as well The battery has been upgraded, it’s now a 97 Watt-Hour battery, which is actually near that 99 Watt-Hour legal limit. And if you take this big battery and you combine it with that Kaby Lake chip that’s inside here, you get really good battery life. You’re comfortably hitting seven and a half hours of battery life with the screen at 250 nits It’s pretty awesome. That’s a full day battery. You can bring it to work, leave your charger at home And then just charge it when you come back home And if you want to, you can actually remove this big battery, get some parts on Amazon, and replace it with a inch drive, and a smaller battery. I’ll link these stuff below, but I didn’t know my older XPS 15 could have two storage drives.
So other stuff that I like — the keyboard is pretty good. It hasn’t changed I like the layout a lot. Backlighting is white. There’s nothing I really dislike about it And it’s pretty easy to get used to, but it’s not a keyboard that you’ll fall in love with. It’s good It’s just not excellent The trackpad is unchanged. Glass surface performs really well because of the Windows precision drivers and the button mechanics are nice Now, if you’re coming from a Macbook, and you’ve never used anything other than Apple’s trackpads You’re probably not gonna love this one. But seriously, this is as good as it’s gonna get for Windows trackpads It’s really good, but Apple’s trackpads are better So those are some things that I really liked about the 9560. But there are some things that I didn’t like in the previous generation that haven’t changed.
So first, I know this is really petty, but the color of the device — I wish it came in more colors It has one of the best looking interiors with that carbon fiber finish. But the exterior is silver, and you can only get it in silver You can get skins, I’ll link this one below But it would be cooler if Dell made a dark grey or a black version of this laptop The second thing are the speakers. They have good volume, but they don’t have the best location. They’re underneath the keyboard Even though they kinda face the user, the audio isn’t as clear as I’d like it to be I wish these were repositioned, maybe up to the top or something.
The third thing is a little more important It’s the ports. The port selection is decent. There’s a bunch of USB ports, audio jack, HDMI, and an SD Card slot I think it’s a better selection than some other pro laptops I do wish it had more USB type A ports, like when we have a mouse plugged in, there’s only one of those ports left And it can be a little bit cramped. The other thing is that the Thunderbolt 3 port only uses two PCIe Lanes, not four. So instead of the full 40 gigabit per second pipe You only get half: 20 gigabits per second. So most users won’t be affected by this at all But because it has two lanes, you can only run a single 4k 60 Hertz display from the port and if you want to run an external GPU, the speeds will be about ten percent slower than it should be.
The new Kaby Lake CPU gives a bit of a performance bump. This system feels snappier when opening apps and games, same with Adobe Premiere. Stuff is just a bit quicker Partially due to the faster clock, and partially due to the new speed shift tech The GTX 1050 is a nice performance upgrade from the older 960M It’s a faster GPU And now it has 4GB of RAM instead of just 2. On benchmarks we’re looking at a 25% increase in graphical performance From the 960M. Render times in Adobe Premier aren’t that much faster, but I’m noticing smoother playback and editing using the GTX 1050 Light and moderately demanding games will be able to comfortably hit 60 frames per second with a GTX 1050 if you want to see more details about gaming performance, I made a pretty comprehensive gaming Benchmark video, which I’ll link below It’s a quiet laptop on idle, often silent. Fan noise under maximum load still isn’t that loud There’s a bit of thermal throttling during benchmarks, so when I’m playing games or if I’m editing video It doesn’t happen. I’ve never noticed actual in-game throttling. but when i run benchmarks for long enough we do see clock speed reduction.
Thermals on the surface look good There’s nothing uncomfortable to use. The carbon fiber deck really helps with keeping surface temperatures down. Alright, with the new 9560 XPS 15 you’re still getting amazing build quality from the aluminum and carbon fiber materials. The 4K touchscreen is unchanged from last year, and it’s awesome It’s literally my favorite laptop screen right now The backlit keyboard is easy to get used to, and comfortable to type on. The glass trackpad is one of the best in the business On the inside, the Kaby Lake i7 and the GTX 1050 are nice upgrades from last year’s models. Cooling could be a little bit better The stock RAM and the SSD have good speeds But if you want, they’re easily replaced, and there’s a 97 Watt-Hour battery that will last you around seven and a half hours Now the XPS 15 starts at a $1000 But once you add the GTX 1050 And the 4K panel, which I highly recommend, you’re looking at $1600 dollars and up.
It’s really not cheap But it’s a fantastic machine. Is it perfect? No. I mean, there’s other machines that are really good in this price point, like the Razer Blade comes to mind That’s equally awesome in its own kind of realm But if you’re looking for a machine that has great build quality, like really really great build quality Fantastic screen, and you don’t need like a super powerful video card, take a look at this one I think you’ll like it. That’s the end of this video, thumbs if you enjoyed it, sub if you loved it. See you guys next time..