Dell XPS 15 (9550) Review: Pushing The Infinity Edge (Updated)

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Dell XPS 15 Performance Summary And Final Analysis

The performance and capabilities of Dell's new XPS 15 can be summed up fairly easily with one word: "balanced." This is a notebook that has no real weakness and a lot of strengths. In standard compute tasks, the Intel quad-core Core i7-6700HQ processor in the machine we tested makes quick work of virtually any workload you'd throw at it. Further, the XPS 15's NVMe PCIe SSD offers gobs of bandwidth to go with its full-fledged Skylake/DDR4 configuration. Finally, its GeForce GTX 960M GPU offers discrete graphics punch for competent 1080p gaming and graphics. No matter what we pushed on this machine it sailed through. In terms of battery life, the XPS 15 is respectable, especially when you consider we tested a top-end config with a quad-core processor, discrete graphics, and a bright 4K panel. Your battery milage my vary, potentially for the better, if you opt for a lower-end config.

Dell XPS15 front lid open left angle

All told it’s hard not to be enamored with the new Dell XPS 15. It’s a gorgeous combination of cutting-edge mobile technology, coupled with premium build materials like machined aluminum and carbon fiber. What’s not to love? If that weren’t enough, Dell’s breakthrough Infinity Edge display technology is now finally available in a 15-inch format that allows it to be accommodated in a super-compact, high quality, essentially 14-inch chassis design. Not to mention the IPS panel itself that Dell went with is probably one of the best looking notebook displays we’ve ever seen. Again, it’s stunning. Power users and mainstream consumers alike, when you first set eyes on the XPS 15, the reaction is definitely a “wow” sort of moment.  We try not to get too enthusiastic and maintain balance here, but the new Dell XPS 15 really is a thing of beauty. 

Dell XPS15 lid back

Beyond its high-end build quality and top-notch performance, you're probably considering the XPS 15's price tag. At $2229 as configured and tested here, the SKU we put through our process is definitely pricey. However, when you consider other yardstick machines that the XPS 15 will be measured against, Dell's offering is competitive. As much as we hate to keep comparing to Apple, the XPS 15's premium build quality will inevitably invoke that frame of reference. In that light, a fully loaded, similarly configured MacBook Pro 15, with its lower resolution Retina Display, retails for $2499 currently. That's a $270 premium. There are other, similarly configured 15-inch premium notebooks on the market for less of course, but they don't come with that gorgeous Infinity Edge display or its delicious carbon fiber. And with that, we feel comfortable that the premium Dell is commanding is justified, especially in light of the former comparison.

Dell's new 2015 XPS 15 is a complete no-brainer for a HotHardware Editor's Choice award. It's currently my personal favorite laptop on the market, bar none.

hothardware editors choice
 hot  not
  • Gorgeous 15" 4K IPS Infinity Edge Display
  • Carbon Fiber And Machined Aluminum
  • Great Performance
  • Powerful, Light, Stylish
  • Relatively Pricey

*Editor's Note:
This article was updated on 12/24/15 to reflect current pricing on Dell.com


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