Dell's Inspiron 15 7559 is bigger, heavier, and has a cheaper build quality than the flagship XPS 15, but its features and lower price make it a smart choice for those looking for a budget gaming laptop.
The base model that starts at $799 already has respectable specifications, including the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4GB video card, but it's easy and inexpensive to add an SSD drive, double the RAM, and still stay well below $1000. Upgraders will be happy to know that the entire back panel comes off with a single screw.
Should you buy it? If you're a gamer on a budget, the Dell Inspiron 15 7559 offers a lot of value for the money. You won't be disappointed. Read on for the review with video.
Starting at $799.99, the base model of the Dell Inspiron 15 7559 includes:
- 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare LED-Backlit Display
- 6th Generation Intel Core i5-6300HQ Quad Core 2.3 GHz (6M Cache, up to 3.2 GHz)
- 8GB Single Channel DDR3L 1600MHz (8GBx1)
- 1TB 5400 rpm Hybrid Hard Drive
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4GB GDDR5
- 74 WHr, 6-Cell Battery (Integrated)
- 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.0, Dual Band 2.4 & 5 GHz
There are other configurations available at higher prices. You can get the top of the line model for $1299 with these upgrades:
- 15.6-inch UHD (3840 x 2160) Truelife LED- Backlit Touch Display
- 6th Generation Intel Core i7-6700HQ Processor 2.7 GHz (6M Cache, up to 3.50 GHz)
- 16GB Dual Channel DDR3L 1600MHz (8GBx2)
- 128GB SSD + 1TB 5400 rpm Hard Drive
Our review unit is the base model in black with red accents. You can also get it in Hibiscus red or gray. Our first impression of the Inspiron 15 7559 is that it's large and heavy. It weighs 5.67 pounds and an inch thick. However, that's still thin by gaming notebook standards.
The laptop's exterior has a combination of a soft rubber material that feels nice to touch, with harder plastic panels surrounding the keyboard, display, and the bottom. One thing we're worried about is the flexing below the display. Our model doesn't have a touchscreen, so we rarely touch that part, but that's something to keep an eye on.
The left side of the Dell Inspiron 15 7559 includes:
- Power port
- Fan exhaust
- Two USB 3.0 ports
- Headset/microphone combo port
The right side includes:
- Kensington lock slot
- Ethernet Jack port
- Full-size HDMI
- USB 3.0 port
- SD card slot
We don't have any major complaints about the 15.6-inch 1080p IPS display on the Inspiron 15 7559. We'd like higher resolution, and a touch screen, but that costs extra and also affects battery life. We're not bothered by reflections thanks to the matte display, and it is bright enough at the maximum setting. The viewing angle is fine too. However, we notice light leaking from the bottom of the display. It's most noticeable when the screen is showing a dark background.
Above the display is a wide-angle HD (720p) webcam with dual microphones. They're great for video calls.
The keyboard feels fine to type on. The key travel feels shallow but adequate for writing documents. There's a backlight button with settings for high, low, and off. Towards the right is a numeric keypad. We didn't think we would need it, but it's nice to have for entering pin numbers, calculations, and it's another set of keys you can customize your gaming controls. There's enough room to fit them in, so why not?
The trackpad on the Dell Inspiron 15 7559 is large, and we found no issues at moving the pointer or scrolling through documents and web pages. Right-handed users might find the trackpad's position towards the left a bit uncomfortable. We're also not a fan of the texture on the trackpad. We wish it felt smoother. It might not bother most gamers since they'll be using a mouse or a controller.
Above the keyboard are dual front-facing speakers. They're loud and sound fine. There's also the subwoofer at the bottom panel. We have no complaints about it either. The bass isn't enough to make our desk shake, but a laptop with a built-in subwoofer offers richer audio than a laptop without one.
The Dell Inspiron 15 7559 comes with Windows 10 Home. It also comes pre-installed with Dell software such as Dell Help & Support, Dell Shop, and Dell Audio. There's also an offer for 20 GB of Dropbox space free for 1 year and a free 30-day trial for McAfee LiveSafe. You can expect to see everything else that Windows 10 has to offer like Cortana, Microsoft Edge, Office, Windows Store, and more. Unfortunately, Windows Hello isn't supported trough an iris or fingerprint scanner.
When it comes to performing tasks such as checking emails, browsing the web, listening to Pandora, or watching Youtube, the Inspiron 15 7559 expectedly ran smoothly. The main problem was the loading times we encountered when opening more serious apps. For example, Adobe Photoshop CC takes about 50 seconds to load on our review unit. The main blame goes to the slow 5400 rpm hard drive. For comparison, the Lenovo Yoga 700 we recently reviewed with the same processor and RAM, but faster SSD drive, can open Photoshop in about 10 seconds. This performance issue can be fixed by adding an SSD drive and moving the system files there. Adding RAM will also boost performance. Both of those options, though, cost money.
If you're looking for numbers, here are the results from the CrystalDiskMark and Geekbench 3 benchmarks:
The Dell Inspiron 15 7559 has an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4GB video card, which works well with recent games. We've installed Just Cause 3 and Call of Duty: Black Ops III on our review unit and they run fine at 48 to 60 frames per second at medium to high settings.
The dual fans on the Inspiron 15 7559 help keep it cool, but you can hear the whooshing noise even at arm's length when playing games, editing in Photoshop, or even when using the web browser. If you're playing a game, we suggest increasing the volume to drown out the fan noise. After about 20 minutes of gaming, the laptop hits about 95 to 100 degrees. The hot spots are in the middle of the keyboard and the vents at the bottom.
With a 74 WHr 6-Cell Battery, the Inspiron 15 7559 gets about 5.5 hours until we have to plug it in. With gaming, it's about 2.5 hours. Fully charging the Inspiron 15 takes about 2 hours.
The laptop comes with a huge charger and cable that's about 9 feet long. It bundles up somewhat, but still takes up a good amount of space in a bag. Then again, we're talking about a 5.7 lb 15-inch laptop here, portability is not the highest concern
The Dell Inspiron 15 7559 is a great laptop if you're looking to play demanding games, but don't want to spend a lot of money. If you're not a gamer, it's also a cheaper alternative to consider if you're interested in the Dell XPS 15. The specs are similar, but there are some sacrifices. The Inspiron is bigger and heavier. The XPS 15 also has aluminum and carbon fiber materials as opposed to plastic on the Inspiron 15 7559.
Starting at $799, the Dell Inspiron 15 7559 already includes the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4GB video card that is capable of playing recent games like Call of Duty: Black Ops III and Just Cause 3. A Dell XPS 15 with the same RAM and CPU costs about $1200 and only has 2GB for its GeForce GTX 960M video card.
The downside on the Dell Inspiron 15 7559 is the slow loading times when opening apps and games, but that can be fixed by upgrading to an SSD drive. You can also add more RAM for more performance. Upgraders can easily add these two components by opening the bottom panel with just one screw.
Overall, we think you'll be happy with the Inspiron 15 7559 if you're looking for a budget gaming laptop.
Already own this machine? Do you agree with our review? Let us know in the comments!