Dell XPS 15 (9560) Review: More Performance, Same Killer Good Looks

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Dell XPS 15 (9560) User Experience And Software

There are more affordable notebooks than the XPS 15 and there are more powerful notebooks as well. The XPS 15, instead, represents a cross-section of luxury class of notebooks, not unlike Apple’s Macbooks that is more than the sum of parts in a spec sheet.
dell xps 15 9560 front view
The carbon fiber interior provides a soft feel that we have yet to see replicated by other manufacturers. The durability is excellent with even my personal XPS 13 9343 from 2015 still showing no signs of wear.
dell xps 15 9560 rear three quarters
The milled aluminum chassis similarly echos the fact that this is built to last. The lid resists much of the contortions that plague other ultralight notebooks, and in fact, does not flex at all without applying specific pressure to opposite sides. Speaking of the lid, it can technically be opened with a single finger, but given how the bottom lifts up initially we would stop short of actually designating it a "one-finger hinge."

dell xps 15 9560 waves maxx audio pro

One pain point the XPS 15 has out of the box is less than stellar audio. There is no reason to be discouraged though, as this is easily remedied. The XPS 15 includes an application called Waves MaxxAudioPro. Open it up, click the first tab for “Playback”, and pop the switch to enable. With this on, the sound instantly transforms into the full and rounded experience we expect from a notebook that costs two grand. Why this is not enabled by default is beyond us.

The XPS 15 also appears to occasionally have an issue with the Internet browser and other applications stuttering or freezing. This is a graphics driver issue with the Intel HD 630 integrated graphics block, which is resolved with the driver linked here (Version 15.45.14.4590). At the time of this review, the Dell Support website is listing an older driver version, so we'd advise not to use it. Driver updates are always important to check on a new system, hopefully Dell will update their site in the near future.

Another important application to familiarize yourself with is Dell’s PremierColor. On a basic level, PremierColor enables users to tailor the display’s color space coverage to their personal tastes or needs. By default, the full color space is enabled, which slightly over-encompasses Adobe RGB.

xps 15 9560 premier color basic

Using default profiles, the color space can be stepped down with presets including Cinema (DCI-P3) for movies and good old sRGB for web content. These presets can be set to apply on a per-application basis if desired.

xps 15 9560 premier color display splitter

PremierColor can also be used to subdivide the screen. With Windows 10’s built in screen quartering this is not as useful as it used to be, but is still nice to have for less conventional screen splits.

Let's move on to see how the XPS 15 9560 performs, shall we?

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