Near the end of 2015, Dell rolled out their new XPS styling cues, that were so successful on the XPS 13, to its larger sibling, the XPS 15. Thanks to the Infinity Edge display, Dell’s new XPS 15 packed a full 15.6-inch display into a notebook closer to the size of a 14-inch model. Perhaps the size reduction is not quite as dramatic as the XPS 13 when it first launched with the thin-bezel design, but Dell also kept the performance heart of the XPS 15 intact with the change, keeping a quad-core 45-Watt CPU, and NVIDIA GTX 960M graphics.

Dell has since done a revision from that XPS 15 9550 model to the latest 9560 version. The small model number change might signify that this is a small revision. On the exterior that is certainly the case, with the overall XPS 15 design remaining relatively unchanged, but under the hood there are some more impressive changes awaiting.

The first is a move to Intel’s 7th generation Core processors. Although performance per clock did not change from 6th to 7th generation, a new, improved, 14nm process does allow higher frequencies without blowing through the thermal design power restraints. This allows a small boost in performance over the same designation CPU from the previous design.

More importantly, NVIDIA announced newer graphics to replace the outgoing Maxwell based GTX 960M. The Pascal based GTX 1050 is a significant upgrade, dropping the M branding. Pascal offers much more compute, thanks to the new architecture based on 14nm FinFET, and the GDDR5 capacity doubles from the 2 GB on the GTX 960M to 4 GB on the GTX 1050. The XPS 15 was never a gaming laptop, but a much more capable graphics card certainly helps propel it closer to those dedicated machines, and also can play a big role in compute tasks that can leverage the GPU.

Dell XPS 15 9560 Configurations
  Core i3 Core i5 Core i7
(Model Tested)
GPU Intel HD 630 Intel HD 630 +
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 w/4GB GDDR5
CPU Intel Core i3-7100H (35w)
Dual-Core w/HyperThreading 3.0 GHz
Intel Core i5-7300HQ (45w)
Quad-Core 2.5-3.5 GHz
Intel Core i7-7700HQ (45w)
Quad-Core w/HyperThreading 2.8-3.8 GHz
Memory 8-32GB DDR4-2400 RAM
Two SODIMM slots, 32GB Max
Display 15.6" IPS 1920x1080 sRGB 15.6" IPS 1920x1080 sRGB
Optional 3840x2160 IGZO IPS w/Adobe RGB color space and touch
Storage 500GB 7200 RPM Hybrid w/32GB NAND 1TB 5400 RPM Hybrid w/32GB NAND 256/512/1024 GB PCIe NVMe SSD
Networking Killer 1535 Wireless-AC 2x2 + Bluetooth 4.1
Optional Intel 8265 Wireless-AC 2x2 + Bluetooth 4.1
I/O USB 3.0 x 2 w/Powershare
SD Card reader
1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C w/Thunderbolt 3 (2 lanes PCIe)
Headset Jack
HDMI 1.4
Dimensions (mm) : 357 x 235 x 11-17
(inches) : 14.06 x 9.27 x 0.45-0.66
Weight With 56 Wh Battery
1.8 kg / 4.0 lbs
With 97 Wh Battery
2 kg / 4.5 lbs
Battery 56 Wh 56/97 Wh
Price $999+
As tested: (Core i7-7700HQ, 3840x2160, 512 GB, 16GB) $1850

Dell didn’t stop there. The previous model offered either a 56 Wh battery, or a stout 84 Wh version. With the latest 9560 version of the XPS 15, that larger battery is bigger again, boasting a 97 Wh capacity, which is right near the 99 Wh limit allowed in a notebook. Dell claims the 9560 is the class leader in battery life for a 15.6-inch notebook, at least when doing productivity tasks, with up to 19.5 hours of battery life.

The battery life will be impacted significantly by the choice of displays though, and just like the 9550 model, Dell is offering both a 1920x1080 (FHD) non-touch version, as well as a 3840x2160 (UHD) panel with touch. The higher resolution also targets 100% of the Adobe RGB color gamut. With both a higher resolution, and wider color gamut, the UHD version is not the one to get if you need the longest battery life, but may be the optimal version if Adobe RGB is important for your workflow.

Not all of the changes are for the best though. Dell has dropped the 3x3:3 Broadcom wireless option for the 9560, which is a shame since Dell was one of the few PC suppliers to offer a 3x3:3 solution. They’ve opted to go with the same Killer Wireless-AC 1535 as they use in the smaller XPS 13. This is a 2x2:2 solution, which is definitely going to impact transfer speeds.

There’s also lots of connectivity options, with Dell supporting HDMI 1.4, USB 3.0 with PowerShare, a SD card reader, and a USB-C port supporting Thunderbolt 3. The last port allows for a single cable docking solution, which can drive up to two UHD displays, as well as charge the laptop.

The inside has changed a lot, but the outside has stayed mostly the same. That’s not a bad thing either, since the XPS 15 was already one of the sleekest looking large display productivity notebooks around.

Design
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  • Garrett S. - Monday, July 31, 2017 - link

    How on earth is everyone using these Dell XPS 15 9560 models?
    I have purchased 2 brand new factory sealed models from Amazon, and both had defects. If you look under my name (Garrett S.), you will see that the screen shuts off, on/off rapidly like a strobe light in a club. Both laptops did this.

    So, I recently ordered a factory refurbished unit from Dell, from a different reseller (again, because brand new factory sealed units were always defective), and the new one has the same issue. Screen randomly shuts off and flickers after a couple of hours. 3 laptops in 1 month.

    Don't believe me? I've posted videos of the problem, on amazon, as a verified purchase under product review. Can't fake that...

    Already sent off laptop number 3. Here goes laptop number 4, 5, 6, etc...
    Reply
  • linster - Tuesday, August 01, 2017 - link

    When I read user horror stories like yours, I can't help but think other issues may be involved. Sure, you could be the anti-lottery winner, someone has to be on the other end of the luck spectrum. However, 3 laptops all having the exact same problem? Unless it was a bad batch, statistically highly unlikely. Have you thought maybe of testing to see if it's your environment. I don't know, maybe some type of electronic interference? Something other than just spectacularly bad luck? Reply
  • Garrett S. - Tuesday, August 01, 2017 - link

    It's not my power strips, electricity, humidity, environment, or anything else. Other users on amazon are posting similar images and videos of the exact same problem.

    The funny part is, these are brand new factory sealed laptops directly from dell, and even the refurbished ones from dell have the same issue, but it doesn't replicate itself immediately (it takes 2-3 hours of usage before screen starts flickering).

    Users on reddit are posting the same thing. Users on amazon are showing verified purchased review videos of the problem. The Dell XPS 15 9560 laptop on amazon has 3 out of 5 stars which is a great improvement, compared to when it was released. When laptop was released earlier in the year (march?) the laptop had 2 out of 5 stars. Guess what? Not one review had a "manufacturer's response" posted which other computer makers often do.

    That leads me to believe that dell doesn't give a flying **ck.

    Because all of the brand new laptops have the same problem, I tried dell manufacturer refurbished. Same problem. Customers are returning defective laptops to dell (which is why it's labeled refurbished on the bottom), and the same problem exists.

    Why? Most likely, the dell "technicians" are simply turning on the laptop, and if the screen turns on, they immediately ship the device. However, the problem occurs after 2-3 hours of regular web browsing or word processing usage. The screen shuts off and on, and off, and flashes and gets progressively worse, similar to a strobe light. Perhaps the dell "technicians" can't/won't test longer than 5 seconds verifying if the screen simply turns on? The problems *ALWAYS* show after a couple of hours use.

    If there is something wrong with my environment, then why do all the product reviews of this laptop on amazon show 3 out of 5 stars (previously 2 out of 5 stars)?

    Perhaps everyone's environment is terrible around the world! My environment consists of a very clean table in the dining room. You can see my dining room table on the video posted on amazon, under garrett, in the amazon verified reviews, along with everyone else's. Just be careful you don't have a seizure from watching the strobe like effect that the laptop screens display.

    It's ok. Shipping is free.
    If I were you guys, I would buy stock in UPS. They are beginning to know me on first name basis. I see this happening all year on this model of laptop from dell.
    Reply
  • ddriver - Tuesday, August 01, 2017 - link

    Bad karma. I've had lots of dell products, laptops included, never ever had a problem with any of them. Not a single unit manifested any kind of problem during the warranty period, most were working well after double the time until they were sold on the cheap. Reply
  • Garrett S. - Tuesday, August 01, 2017 - link

    Once again... respectfully ddriver...

    Why on earth does the product have 3 out of 5 stars (2 out of 5 stars in first month during release) on amazon for this dell xps 9560 laptop, with verified purchase reviews? Most people buying the product on the most popular online retailer in the U.S. is having the same problem I am having. Review the Dell XPS 9560 on amazon. 3/5 is the review, which is better than it was a short while ago, 2/5. That's the lowest I've ever seen of any product on Amazon.

    How is this karma directed towards me? Why is everyone else having the same problem? Check out reddit. There are hundreds of negative reviews of the same thing.

    Oh wait a minute... Maybe everyone purchasing these Dell 9560 XPS 15 laptop models have a specific vendetta against Dell and they all want to get even at Dell... Strange that everyone was waiting for years, and they are all choosing now, and only 1 specific newly released model, and they are all showing pictures and videos of the problem... verified purchases...

    You're right! It's a conspiracy.. You are onto something here bro....
    Reply
  • Glock24 - Wednesday, August 02, 2017 - link

    From what I've read in forums and other people's experiences, Dell's QC is pretty bad. If you are lucky, you'll get a good unit and it may last over 10 years. But a lot of units have faults and are very problematic. Reply
  • rrinker - Wednesday, August 02, 2017 - link

    You know what they all have in common? They were purchased through Amazon. You know what is really really bad? Amazon's shipping and packing. They actually sent me a hard drive which was in the static bag LOOSE IN A BOX with just one piece of crumpled paper for packing. It was, as I expected, DOA. When contacting them for a replacement, I specifically mentioned the poor packaging. Replacement one came - PACKED EXACTLY THE SAME WAY! Luckily this one worked, although what sort of life span it will have is still up in the air. It's multiply backed up so it's just an annoyance at having to tear the box apart if (when) it dies. I left two blistering packaging feedbacks. That takes some kind of special to pack a hard drive like that. At the same time I bought a power supply. It was encased in foam inside the OEM box, PLUS they placed that inside another larger box totally packed with air bags. Really boggles the mind. Wonder if Amazon's involvement with shipping the laptops is causing an issue. I hope Amazon doesn't warehouse these - even here in the northeast there are reports of the inside of the local Amazon distribution center getting well over 100 degrees on a sunny day. Reply
  • Glock24 - Wednesday, August 02, 2017 - link

    I've had many problems with Dell laptops in the past, from cheap Inspirions to expensive Latitudes. The problems include keyboard failing, motherboard dying, one Latitude melting, LCDs failing, etc. Luckily the client had extended 3 year warranty, and Dell repaired or replaced the units, but even the replacements failed in less than a year. Those were systems from 2012 to 2015. Since then I don't recommend Dell anymore.

    Seems like they are no better now.
    Reply
  • Sancus - Tuesday, August 01, 2017 - link

    I bought an XPS 9560 and had zero problems with it. I've used my display for 12+ hours at a time and no flickering or anything like this.

    I suspect a software issue if it's that reproducible, though. I'm not saying that the rate of defects on the 9560 is acceptable, just adding a report of someone who has had no problem.
    Reply
  • Rc1138 - Wednesday, August 02, 2017 - link

    In my case screen flickering issue was solved with uninstall of dell premium color software that was incompatible with new gpu drivers (though that was on 9550) Reply

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