Dell XPS 9550 Laptop Review

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8.9

Value for Money Score

8.9/10

Reliability Score

9.0/10

Performance Score

9.0/10

Specifications and Features Score

8.7/10

Design Score

8.9/10

Pros

  • Light in weight
  • Dedicated graphics
  • Thin bezel
  • Sleek and slim design
  • Large trackpad

Cons

  • Odd camera and mic placement
  • No optical drive
  • Pricey
  • No separate number keypad
  • Average webcam

Verdict

As an alternative to the MacBook Pro, the Dell XPS 9550 is one of the best Windows-based laptops. It has a high price performance ratio with relatively high horsepower, a decent HD screen, and good enough RAM and storage. However, one area that it seriously needs some improvement is its battery life.

Dell XPS 9550 Laptop & Variants Price

Dell XPS 9550 Laptop Overview

Dell XPS 9550

In the Dell XPS 9550 you will get a powerful laptop in a sleek and slim chassis.

The design is attractive enough but more significant is its reliability in performance and durability due to its aluminum and carbon fiber body.

It is good for basic and advanced computing tasks such as game development and photo editing and will also support playing quite a few modern graphics intensive games.

Apart from a reasonably high viewing pleasure you can also rely on its great audio quality that will enhance your multimedia experience by manifolds.

The system stays quite cool when used for long hours, though the fans are noticeably loud on moderate load and are even louder when you play games on it.

The specs of this computer are quite good to support all your computing needs but it seems to throttle on battery power.

This can reach noticeable heights when you put more stress on the CPU as well as the GPU.

Buy for: Great audio, durability, good keyboard, better performance.

Beware of: Battery quality and life, loud fans, shorter viewing angle, CPU throttling.

Best Uses for: DJing, music production, game development and other purposes.

Design and Build

The design of the laptop is attractive but there is nothing gaudy that will create an eyesore. It is light in weight and easy to carry anywhere and start working pretty fast.

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There is a power and battery indicator at the front of the chassis to show its status, where solid white indicates that the power adapter is connected to the device and the battery is charging and the solid amber color indicates low battery power.

The display of the laptop is quite large and it even looks larger due to the very narrow bezel all around.

The images are displayed at full HD or 1920 x 1080 pixels at a refresh rate of 60 Hz and at a pixel pitch of 0.18 mm.

The viewing angle of the screen is however limited to 135 degrees. The best part of the design is that the brightness of the screen can be easily controlled through the shortcut keys on the keyboard.

The keyboard is good to type on due to its good key travel and feel. The backlights allow easier typing in poorly lit settings.

However, there is no separate 10-key number pad which may hold you back a bit during data entry.

Nevertheless, the well placed and well-designed function keys allow better control of the system as well different operations, especially audio and display control.

The design of the touchpad is also quite good which is large enough and quite responsive.

Performance

The processor of the laptop supports all types of basic and most of the advanced computing tasks, including gaming, most efficiently.

This Intel Core i7 processor belongs to the 6th generation but is a good and powerful one that comes with 4 cores and 8 threads that results in faster processing of data.

The base frequency of the processor happens to be 2.60 GHz, and, to enhance its performance, you can max this frequency up to 3.50 GHz with the Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 technology.

The other features that make this processor good and competitive enough are its 6 MB smart cache, the 8 GT/s bus speed, and TDP up and down of 45 W and 35 W respectively.

The dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M graphics comes with up to 2 GB of GDDR5 memory which allows it to deliver the images with better color accuracy, sharpness, at a much faster rate.

It will ensure that there are no lags in the image production process that may result in screen tears.

The Windows 10 Home operating system is familiar to all users and the useful features of it ensures faster performance, easier operation, and a higher user experience.

RAM & Storage

The amount of RAM in the system is 8 GB which you may feel a bit low being actually half the standard of today, but the DDR4 memory with its 2133 MHz memory is good enough to allow you to multitask easily on this system.

The 256 GB storage is quite enough to store quite a large number of files and is also at par today’s standards.

This SSD storage ensures faster boot up of the app and quick access of the files stored in it.

Ports & Connectivity

As for the varied number and type of ports included in the system, on the left side you will find the power adapter port.

There is also a USB 3.0 port with PowerShare technology to charge your devices even when it is turned off and to connect different devices such as printers, external storage devices and more.

It also supports data transfer at a speed up to 5 Gbps. There is also a headphone and microphone combo jack on the left.

In addition to that, there is one HDMI port to connect an external monitor or a TV, and the Thunderbolt 3 USB Type C port that supports USB 3.1 Gen 2, DisplayPort 1.2, and also allows connecting external displays by using dongles.

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Data transfer is also allowed at the rate of 10 Gbps for USB 3.1 Gen 2 and at a speed of up to 40 Gbps via Thunderbolt 3.

On the right side there is a media card reader which supports SDHC, SDIO, and SDXC with or without UHS.

There is also a USB 3.0 port with PowerShare and data transfer support at speeds up to 5 Gbps, apart from a security cable slot.

The 802.11ac wi-fi network standard as well as the Bluetooth 4.1 technology that this system comes with ensures a faster and stronger internet connection and data transfer.

Battery Life

This model comes with a battery with 3 cells and 56 watt-hour capacity.

This will typically last for about 6 to 8 hours but can significantly be low depending on the power intensive operations as well as the operating conditions.

It will also take a long time to recharge, which is approximately 4 hours, that too when the system is off.

Additional Features

The left and right microphones integrated at the front of the system design are dedicated for recording audio and making voice calls and provide digital sound input of high quality.

There is a 720p camera integrated but on the lower bezel which may cause inconvenience in taking pictures if you do not position yourself properly during video chatting or recording a video.

The diagonal viewing angle of this camera is however only 74 degrees. There is a light on the left of the camera that indicates that the camera is in use.

The audio system includes two speakers that come with Waves MaxxAudio Pro technology to ensure a reasonably good sound output with its 2 watts capacity on an average and 2.5 watts at its peak.

The volume can be controlled by the shortcut keys on the keyboard as well.

This device comes with a warranty on its parts and any manufacturing defects for a period of one year, which you can upgrade up to 3 years if you wish.

Specs:

  • Brand: Dell
  • Screen: 15.6 inches
  • Display: Full HD (1920 x 1080)
  • Storage: 256 GB
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Storage Type: SSD
  • RAM Type: DDR3 SDRAM
  • Processor: 6th generation Intel Core i7 6700HQ
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M Graphics
  • Processor Speed: 2.60 GHz
  • Processor Brand: Intel
  • Product Dimensions: 9.27 x 14.06 x 0.66 inches
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home

What Do Users Think about Dell XPS 9550?

This is a powerful machine, and there is no doubt about it, said a lot of users.

It runs almost all software and apps pretty well, easily and smoothly, providing a lot of value in return to their investments.

The design is good and attractive. The touchpad is roomy and the keyboard is good enough to type on.

However, the battery, which is located directly under the touchpad, is really bad and needs a lot of work to be done on it by the maker to make it appreciable.

It swells up as more pressure is put on the trackpad to make it work. There seems to be a calamitous design flaw in the system, they said.

The system could not meet the expectations of a few users, especially for those who use this device to run multiple programs on it for their business computing needs.

They said that the system cannot handle more demanding tasks as the CPU starts to throttle and the system itself seems to heat up though the fans operate in full power and with a reasonable loud noise.

It takes quite a long time to load the software they need to get them going. To them, this is a substandard laptop that costs a lot.

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Based on the specs, overall performance and design, this is a great laptop for people in the IT field or in professional tasks such as game development, felt other users.

Apart from the power issues, this is a good enough laptop to use even by the newbies who know nothing much about computers.

It produces desired results most convincingly and quickly with fast boot up and processing power.

Some unique features and a few minor downsides, which are certainly not a deal breaker, make this laptop a good one to recommend to others, said a few people.

It is good for home or office and it works in the best way possible for a long, long time, if handled properly.

If price is not an issue, then this is also a very good laptop to own by the students as well as the aspiring professionals, they said.

It can also be considered as a good laptop for gaming by adults as well as the kids, said those people who like carrying a decent laptop with good taste and design.

It is fully functional and quite fast in gaming performance. Check out XPS 15 9550 Manual.

However, they also said that it would have been very nice if the numbers were on the right side of the keyboard instead of at the top but then, they felt, this is done due to the small size of the chassis.

There are lots of areas in this laptop which could have been better, said a few users, who, however, pointed specifically at a few points of the seemingly pleasant keyboard with good keystrokes.

The keys, they said, are a bit shallow, hard, and probably a bit too short for a 15-inch laptop.

Apart from lacking a separate number pad, they feel that larger arrow and return keys would have been much better and very welcome.

They were also complaining about the too-sensitive touchpad buttons that resulted in a few missed clicks.

However, considering its overall performance, they feel that this is a fairly decent gaming and working laptop.

This offers a good enough modern desktop experience, said others, with its fast enough processor and other specs, a superb chassis, and great looks.

It signifies aesthetic prowess and elegance. The images are vibrant in keeping with the reputation of Dell, which this system certainly justifies.

Other Expert Views

But for the fan noise, Notebook Review did not find anything majorly wrong in this laptop not to call it a fantastic piece. The premium features ensure a strong and consistently high performance from this durable and portable device.

This laptop has an unrivaled performance, says Ultrabookreview. It comes with fast and good hardware and an attractive design. However, they feel that Dell still has got a lot of work to do to ensure a reasonably high battery life.

TrustedReviews, on the other hand, feels that this is one of the ultimate Windows laptops Dell has produced. Though not cheap, it is good enough to provide a near-desktop level of experience in computing or gaming.

About Taylor Swift

Taylor SwiftTaylor Swift, a UOPEOPLE graduate is a freelance technology writer with in-depth knowledge about computers. She loves to play video games and watch movies when she has no writing assignments. Follow Her at Linkedin