The Dell XPS 9560-7001SLV-PUS is a premium laptop sporting nothing but the best features and design. It has a powerful Core i7-7700HQ processor, large RAM, decent graphics chipset (Pascal-based Nvidia GTX 1050 GPU), decent battery and an excellent RGB display screen. It might cost more than your ordinary run-to-the-mill laptop, but it makes a good case to support the price. We recommend it as a viable option too for the Apple MacBook Pro 15 (retina with Touchbar.
- Ample sized 15-inch screen
- Stunning WQHD display
- Great Core i7-7700HQ performance
- Decent gaming performance – Nvidia graphics 1050
- Great design, features and port system
- Webcam position isn’t the best
- Less than 6 hours of battery life
There has always been a widely known rivalry between Dell and Apple, and the battle for the title has been waged for a while now. It all started when Dell made its first run to unseat Apple from the throne. Dell’s concerted effort to assault Apple’s MacBook Pro started with the Dell XPS 13 but didn’t quite succeed (in 2015). The XPS 13 had many flaws which only worked against it, leaving the MacBook Pro soaring towards stardom. The release of the Dell XPS 15 (9550) months later (late 2015) lit our hearts with hope for a masterpiece to rival the MacBook Pro, and we were not disappointed in our anticipation.
Dell has since then revamped and revisited the Dell XPS 15 (9550) and the goal to outdo the MacBook Pro is, a bold attempt indeed, and a successful one too. The revised Dell XPS9560-7001SLV-PUS Laptop has adopted a bunch load of burgeoning technologies whole cloth and is now officially the 15-inch MacBook Pro’s best competitor, at least in our books.
Design and Feature
The Dell XPS9560-7001SLV-PUS Laptop shares a stunning look, build and material with its predecessor XPS 9550. It still has an aluminum chassis (lid and underside), slim modern bezel and carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic deck that makes for a comfortable wrist rest. It weighs 4.5 pounds which while being heavy isn’t as much drudgery as the 8 to 10-pound gaming notebook-class laptops.
Our reviewed model came with 15.6 inches 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) pure goodness (fitted with the industry-renowned InfinityEdge touch display). Images are clear and vivid and playing games on this screen is fantastic. The display is also a touchscreen that works neatly with documents and images. However, there is a lower-tier option for Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution which sells for slightly less. Our tested unit boasts of unrivaled high AdobeRGB coverage of 98% which is a great choice for professional graphics designers who require AdobeRGB98 gamut coverage. With the 4K advantage, you get to view your content in 1:1 which in many ways is a pretty sweet deal.
If gory details are anything to go by, the Dell XPS9560-7001SLV-PUS shares visually almost everything in terms of port placement and availability. Just like the Dell XPS 15 9550, it has a thriving selection of ports to get you through your connection needs. The left edge houses the AC Power-in, USB 3.0 Type-A port with PowerShare capability, a single HDMI port for external monitor coverage, a state of the art Thunderbolt 3 Type-C port and finally a headphone jack.
- 1 x Thunderbolt
- 2 x USB 3.0
- A single HDMI-out
- 1 x COMBO audio jack
- Single SD/XC/HC card reader
Other connectivity options include Killer 1535 wireless card (2×2 802.11ac) and built-in Bluetooth.
The XPS 15 came to us packaged with 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ Quad-Core Processor, 16 GB of DDR4 memory (2 x 8GB) with speeds of 2400MHz and 512 GB Solid State Drive. With such a feature-packed system, we didn’t expect anything less than top-notch performance as seen in other entry-level gaming laptops announced at CES (Jan 2017) (I’m looking at you Samsung Odyssey NT800G5M-X78S and Samsung Notebook Odyssey NP800G5M-X01US ). I’m glad the XPS 15 didn’t disappoint here either. Thanks to the Kaby Lake architecture H and RAM it could handle a dozen of tabs simultaneously without worry of choking, which is a better and efficient performance than the Skylake architecture, Intel Core i7-6700HQ.
The predecessor had the Nvidia GTX 960M which had issues handling modern titles. But the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (4GB GDDR5) on the revised Dell XPS 9560 handles maximum settings like a charm at high native FHD resolution. It is a massive step forward and a very significant leap in performance, especially for gaming. We played some new titles to put it to the test and most of them played for extended sessions without much performance drops.
- FIFA 17 (2016) ~ 139 fps on ultra-high settings
- Need for Speed (2016) 63.4 fps on high 1920×1080 settings.
From these results, you can deduce what we concluded too. The XPS 15 9560 didn’t play as hard or gobble up as many gaming titles as the leading gaming laptops. We recommend the Alienware 17 if you want a serious gaming rig.
Keyboard and Keypad
The keyboard is no different from the Dell XPS 13. It still has a good set of firm individual keys with decent travel and comfort for long typing tasks. The keyboard is backlit but Dell doesn’t mention anything about it being spill-resistant. The former however should be compulsory for all high-end laptops in our view.
The touchpad was still a marvel borrowed from the Dell XPS 13. It measures 8.5 x 10.5 cm (~3.3 x 4.1 in) and comes adorned with a glass surface. We had no problem using it as it was very responsive to clicks and appropriately precise. There is no fingerprint scanner for this model though.
Dell XPS9560-7001SLV-PUS Battery life
The XPS9560-7001SLV-PUS’s battery life for the 1080p HD panel is not at all the same compared to the more power demanding 4K display. The former affords you more work time hours which comes in handy for every 9-5 user. On our battery rundown, the Dell XPS9560-7001SLV-PUS managed 5 hours 46 minutes. The Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch complete outsmarts the XPS 15 here with 11 hours plus of battery life. The only chance the Dell XPS has against the MacBook Pro in a battery contest is with Dell XPS 13 *which is ideally better at conservation and will afford you longer runtime.
Dell XPS 15 9560 Specs
- Screen Size 15.6 inches 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) InfinityEdge touch display
- Processor 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ Quad-Core Processor
- Processor speed 2.8 GHz (up to 3.8 GHz, 6M cache)
- Screen Resolution 3840 x 2160 pixels
- RAM 16 GB DDR4-2400MHz
- Memory 512 GB PCIe Solid State Drive
- Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 with 4GB GDDR5
- Number of USB 3.0 Ports 2
- Item model number XPS9560-7001SLV-PUS
- Operating System Windows 10 Home 64bit English
- Weight 3.9 pounds
- Product Dimensions 9.3 x 14.1 x 0.7 inches
- Color Silver
- Processor Count 4
- Optical Drive Type None
- Batteries 97WHr battery. (Lithium-ion).
- Wireless Connectivity Killer 1535 802.11ac 2×2 WiFi and Bluetooth
- Card reader 3-in-1 SD Card Reader and USB 3.0
In hindsight, the Dell XPS9560-7001SLV-PUS Laptop was not and still isn’t the thinnest, lightest or even remotely the most powerful. But it sure ticks all those three boxes with a large portion of all those worlds – a remarkable all-rounder of sorts. It also brags of a powerful Quadcore processor, stealthy modern up-to-the-task graphics card, an amusingly good battery and a great display (InfinityEdge screen) to crown it all. It also comes with a smaller 13-inch configuration if you need to hit the road which makes it that much easier to throw into the bag at moment’s notice
With these specs it can easily fit the mold of both casual users and professionals across the board, a task the MacBook Pro seeks to also address. While the difference between the two brands is simply a thin line, the Dell XPS9560-7001SLV-PUS Laptop adopts a healthy set of new tech that helps it stand out and it has pricing on its side (for the lower tier). For that reason, we easily recommend it as an Apple MacBook Pro alternative and also for visual artists, designers, engineering professionals, businessmen or students who come in contact with intensive graphics programs like CAD.