Few questions regarding dell's new XPS laptops

mobusta1

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I've had my sig rig (a laptop) for nearly 5 years and it's time to upgrade. It looks like that the best all around laptop these days in dell. The last dell I bought was over 10 years ago. FYI, I'm really looking for longevity, I only buy laptops once every 5 years and I'm hoping this one will last me even longer.

I'm looking at their xps line in the 15 inch form factor (I'm coming from an 18 inch but that a desktop replacement laptop and just doesn't suit my needs anymore) and had a few questions. One thing I don't like about Dell and actually give HP points to is that Dell doesn't really allow you to fully custom figure a laptop but HP gives you a ton more options in configuration wizard.


  1. How is the battery life and does the higher end i7-6700HQ give worse battery life? I've always noticed that the battery in laptops needs replacing in about 8-12 months as it loses it's charge by at least 50%.
  2. Is the SSD upgradeable that comes in these? It looks like they're packing a PCIE based ssd. I'd rather buy a baseline laptop from them and then upgrade the RAM and SSD myself as that will be a lot cheaper than buying from dell directly. Additionally, if I order the laptop with just a HDD will there still be a PCIE connection to add a samsung 950 pro?
  3. Also any reason to get 4k on a 15 inch? I tried one out at BBY yday and without scaling (imo this completly defeats the purpose of 4k) the cursor was barely a spek. I'm just wondering if this is something I'll regret later not getting.
  4. Touch screen or not and why?
  5. Are there any other brands I should look at? HP seems somewhat comparable but they still aren't as thin and light as the XPS's. Also, I've had such horrible luck with HP in the past.
I've been out of the laptop game for a long time now so any advice would be really helpful.
 
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sidpost

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I'm in a similar situation. I'm specifically looking at:
HP ENVY - 15T Best Value Laptop
6th Gen Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-6500U Dual Core Processor
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M 4GB Discrete Graphics
16GB DDR3 - 2 DIMM
15.6-inch diagonal Full HD WLED-backlit IPS Display (1920x1080)​
model #M9U51AV_1 which runs ~$1100 delivered

I would like a better quality screen and wonder about the newer Dell XPS15 and similar laptops. Better battery life wouldn't hurt either but, I don't want to lug a ~15 pound laptop through airport terminals either.
 

A15G

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All of your guys questions can be answered here at the forums at notebookreview.

I can also give input once I finally put mine to the test. I never really paid attention to battery life but I don't remember charging mine often either.
 

Aurelius

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  1. How is the battery life and does the higher end i7-6700HQ give worse battery life? I've always noticed that the battery in laptops needs replacing in about 8-12 months as it loses it's charge by at least 50%.
  2. Is the SSD upgradeable that comes in these? It looks like they're packing a PCIE based ssd. I'd rather buy a baseline laptop from them and then upgrade the RAM and SSD myself as that will be a lot cheaper than buying from dell directly. Additionally, if I order the laptop with just a HDD will there still be a PCIE connection to add a samsung 950 pro?
  3. Also any reason to get 4k on a 15 inch? I tried one out at BBY yday and without scaling (imo this completly defeats the purpose of 4k) the cursor was barely a spek. I'm just wondering if this is something I'll regret later not getting.
  4. Touch screen or not and why?
  5. Are there any other brands I should look at? HP seems somewhat comparable but they still aren't as thin and light as the XPS's. Also, I've had such horrible luck with HP in the past.
I've been out of the laptop game for a long time now so any advice would be really helpful.
Can't answer battery life first-hand, but I know users who say Dell's battery life claims are optimistic. You're still looking at several hours, though, at least if you stick to the 1080p screen (4K hurts the battery life, unsurprisingly).

On upgrading the RAM and SSD: it looks like you can, but you're going to be stuck buying those stick-shaped SSDs.

There's no reason to go 4K on a 15-inch system running Windows, at least. Many Windows apps are still pretty bad about scaling to high-DPI displays.

No touch. Not so much for the interface as battery life and portability, since touch both requires the 4K display (thus lowering battery life) and increases the weight.

What's your budget? I'd steer you toward a 15-inch MacBook Pro if money isn't a major concern. It's not using the latest processor (that'll likely happen early next year), but it's one of the few laptops that packs both a greater-than-HD display and long real-world battery life. Best keyboard and trackpad in the business, too. Of course, this also assumes that you're willing and able to try OS X -- obviously, the XPS 15 would be a better pick if you need Windows.
 

mobusta1

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Can't answer battery life first-hand, but I know users who say Dell's battery life claims are optimistic. You're still looking at several hours, though, at least if you stick to the 1080p screen (4K hurts the battery life, unsurprisingly).

On upgrading the RAM and SSD: it looks like you can, but you're going to be stuck buying those stick-shaped SSDs.

There's no reason to go 4K on a 15-inch system running Windows, at least. Many Windows apps are still pretty bad about scaling to high-DPI displays.

No touch. Not so much for the interface as battery life and portability, since touch both requires the 4K display (thus lowering battery life) and increases the weight.

What's your budget? I'd steer you toward a 15-inch MacBook Pro if money isn't a major concern. It's not using the latest processor (that'll likely happen early next year), but it's one of the few laptops that packs both a greater-than-HD display and long real-world battery life. Best keyboard and trackpad in the business, too. Of course, this also assumes that you're willing and able to try OS X -- obviously, the XPS 15 would be a better pick if you need Windows.

Thanks a lot for your reply (and all the repliers). Since making this topic I have done a bit of research on this laptop and it honestly seems like it's the "holy grail" of windows laptops atm. My prefence windows and I need a windows keyboard as a lot of work I do is in excel (the shortcuts on OSX version of excel are COMPLETELY different).

I was seriously questioning whether or not to get the 4k screen but it looks like the IQ pixel for pixel is far greater on the 4k version than the 1080p. The 4K uses 100% adobe RGB and something around 95% NTSC. I'm not sure if the 1080p screen has this because I can't find any literature on it. I may be completely wrong in this but I think the 1080p version also doesn't come with as thin of a bezel as the 4k one does. Also, with the FHD version you only get a 56whr battery and with the 4k you get an 86whr (as needed because of the better display).

Someone had mentioned that I get this laptop I'd be stuck using the "stick size SSD's" in reference to NVMe. From my understanding these PCIe based SSD's that are in laptops now are far superior (such as the samsung 950 pro) to the standard 2.5 inch SSD. However, it should be noted that this laptop DOES have an additional HDD/SSD bay. All you need is a sata cable. I'm assuming it's SATA 3 but have not read anything to confirm.

In conclusion after looking at all the laptops that are for sale this new 9550 xps from Dell is hands down probably the best laptop ever made and beats the pants off it's competition such as the HP envy, lenovo, sony etc. It's a 15.6inch laptop in a 14inch shell and maxed out weights 4.4 lbs. Making it the lightest 15inch laptop on the market (even lighter than the MBP)

The ONLY issue I have with these laptops is the price. There is a huge huge premium that you are paying. If you buy one with an i7, 4k, 16gb and 512SSD config you're looking at $2K from dell or $1900 from Microsoft (which is the way to do since you will recieve the signature edition which doesn't have any bloatware installed). A similarly priced HP envy will you almost half less.

The only question I have left is is there a big difference, practically speaking between the i5 6300 vs the i7 6700?
 
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Erasmus354

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The 2.5" bay is incompatible with the 86WHr battery. Basically the larger battery uses the space of the 2.5" bay.

The SSD being used in these is the OEM version of the SM951 I believe.

Battery life should be much better with the lower resolution screen, which I believe is still very good. Here is a review of the 1080 screen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=IpSdfPQK9eA


EDIT: http://www.mobiletechreview.com/notebooks/Dell-XPS-15-Late-2015-Infinity.htm

Decent review there. They mention battery life comparison between the displays: ~6.5 hours for 4k, ~8.2 hours for 1080 a bit anecdotal on their review instead of scientific though.

I would go with the i5 and 1080 display if it were me.
 
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A15G

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Don't play shooters on it?
I rather send it back and get something that I can do everything on.

I wouldn't want to be telling people I can't play racing/FPS games on my $1000+ laptop because it came with a screen that has horrible ghosting, just saying.

You can see the ghosting when just dragging windows across the screen or watching a movie. The cursor looks like I turned on trailing lol..
 

mobusta1

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I rather send it back and get something that I can do everything on.

I wouldn't want to be telling people I can't play racing/FPS games on my $1000+ laptop because it came with a screen that has horrible ghosting, just saying.

You can see the ghosting when just dragging windows across the screen or watching a movie. The cursor looks like I turned on trailing lol..
Can you post a video? I really want to see that.
 

A15G

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Can you post a video? I really want to see that.
The laptop is already boxed up and ready to go back to dell tomorrow morning once I get out of work. I tried capturing it on camera (galaxy s6) but the phone didn't do a very good job so I never bothered to post it.

But here. http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...me-issue-of-dell-xps15-9550-fhd.785197/page-3

Post #24. I went to the same website and sat the xps by my dell u2410 and you can clearly tell the xps was ghosting pretty bad.

Black to White: 40ms (90% of all screens they've tested were faster then this! average for all notebooks: 30ms )

50 % grey to 80% grey: 62ms (86% of all screens they've tested were faster then this! average for all notebooks: 45,3ms )
Quote from this source.

With so many people having ghosting issues I doubt I got a faulty screen. So if you don't plan to play games or make use of a GTX 960M, get a XPS 13.
 

Rav3n

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Of the thousands of posts I've seen regarding the new XPS 15's, and after reading more than 10 major review sites, I have to say your posts in the last week are about the only ones I've seen complaining.

I tested a fhd model at a friend's house, and found that I could not see visible ghosting. Even while gaming. Not to mention MANY of the nit picky major review sites dispell or flat out disagreed with the ghosting claims.

Maybe you can see it more than others. Maybe you had a bad panel. That happens.

Otherwise it's been a very solidly reviewed and tested machine.
 

A15G

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Of the thousands of posts I've seen regarding the new XPS 15's, and after reading more than 10 major review sites, I have to say your posts in the last week are about the only ones I've seen complaining.

I tested a fhd model at a friend's house, and found that I could not see visible ghosting. Even while gaming. Not to mention MANY of the nit picky major review sites dispell or flat out disagreed with the ghosting claims.

Maybe you can see it more than others. Maybe you had a bad panel. That happens.

Otherwise it's been a very solidly reviewed and tested machine.
Where did you read the thousand posts or so at so I can read them too?

I am not complaining? I stated that I would keep the laptop if it weren't for the ghosting. Seeing as to how others have encountered the same issue I have, I am not the only one. NBR has already reviewed the laptop and it gave back a horrible response time. I guess they received a bad panel too?

http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/serious-response-time-issue-of-dell-xps15-9550-fhd.785197/

Some have said they don't notice the ghosting in which I believe them. I never said all fhd xps 15's all came with bad panels, so I don't really see why you told me maybe I got a bad panel or that I see it more than others.. I've already said that myself many times that maybe it's just me who has gotten a bad panel. Not once did I complain other than share my experience with the "faulty" XPS 15 I was sent. Should you buy an XPS 15? Sure. Would I recommend you to buy one? No.
 
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Rav3n

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Where did you read the thousand posts or so at so I can read them too?

I am not complaining? I stated that I would keep the laptop if it weren't for the ghosting. Seeing as to how others have encountered the same issue I have, I am not the only one. NBR has already reviewed the laptop and it gave back a horrible response time. I guess they received a bad panel too?
Some people notice ghosting others do not. This was not sold or marketed as a gaming exclusive laptop. It is a production machine.

I have all ips panels on my desktop. Maybe that's why I don't notice it? Either way in my opinion like almost universally all major review sites have said, it's a great machine. But hey best of luck finding what you want.
 

A15G

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Some people notice ghosting others do not. This was not sold or marketed as a gaming exclusive laptop. It is a production machine.

I have all ips panels on my desktop. Maybe that's why I don't notice it? Either way in my opinion like almost universally all major review sites have said, it's a great machine. But hey best of luck finding what you want.
I say my screen has bad ghosting and my XPS 15 has some flaws and to you that translates to...

- It's not a gaming laptop, damn...
- It's a bad machine, horrible, everything about it is bad.

All I said was the screen I had with my XPS 15 is bad. Why are you even talking about anything else? I wish dell would have offered to replace the panel and confirmed no ghosting and then send it back to me because i'd gladly keep the beauty.
 

Rav3n

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I say my screen has bad ghosting and my XPS 15 has some flaws and to you that translates to...

- It's not a gaming laptop, damn...
- It's a bad machine, horrible, everything about it is bad.

All I said was the screen I had with my XPS 15 is bad. Why are you even talking about anything else? I wish dell would have offered to replace the panel and confirmed no ghosting and then send it back to me because i'd gladly keep the beauty.
Totally understandable. As I said good luck finding what you want.

I was impressed with it and had no issues. I used it for a few days before I bought my own.
 
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