Dell's refreshed XPS 15 gets a larger battery, fingerprint reader, and powerful GTX 1050 GPU

Dell XPS 15
Dell XPS 15

Dell's XPS 15 is no slouch when it comes to computing. In fact, it goes down as my powerhouse 15-inch laptop due to its quad-core CPU, dedicated NVidia graphics and the jaw-dropping 4K InfinityEdge display.

For 2017, Dell is not shaking things up with its flagship laptop, but it is bringing some very welcome refinements, as expected. The biggest one is a shift from the NVidia GTX 960M GPU to the much more powerful NVidia GTX 1050 with 4GB of video memory.

What's new at a glance

  • 7th Generation Intel Kaby Lake processors
  • NVidia GeForce GTX 1050 with 4GB GDDR5
  • Optional fingerprint reader for Windows Hello
  • Killer 1535 Wireless 2x2 + Bluetooth 4.1
  • 97Whr battery (up from 84Whr)

Like previous versions, Dell is offering the XPS 15 with many variations that let it hit an initial $999 price point. Of course, that's no discrete GPU, a Full HD non-touch display, a dual-core Core i3 processor with a hybrid rapid drive (HDD + SDD), and 8GB of RAM, but that's still a sweet deal.

Maxed out you're talking a 350-nit 15.6" UltraSharp 4K Ultra HD (3840x2160) InfinityEdge Touch display, 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD, 32GB DDR4 (2133MHz), GTX 1050, quad-core Core i7 at 3.8GHz, and a massive 97Whr battery.

Speaking of CPUs, it's no surprise to see refreshed quad-core 7th Generation Kaby Lake processors now included. That includes the dual-core i3-7100H (up to 3GHz), quad-core i5-7300HQ (up to 3.5GHz), and the top-end i7-7700HQ quad-core with 6M Cache and blistering speeds up to 3.8GHz.

Dell XPS 15 (9560) Specifications

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CategoryDell XPS 15 9560
ProcessorIntel Core i3-7100H (3M Cache, up to 3.0 GHz)
Intel Core i5-7300HQ Quad-Core (6M Cache, up to 3.5 GHz)
Intel Core i7-7700HQ Quad-Core (6M Cache, up to 3.8 GHz)
Storage Options500GB HDD + 32GB Flash or 1TB HDD + 32GB Flash with Intel Smart Response Technology
256GB, 512GB, or 1TB PCIe SSD
RAM Options8GB, 16GB, or 32GB DDR4 at 2133 MHz
2 x SoDIMMs
Display Options15.6" FHD (1920x1080) InfinityEdge
15.6" UltraSharp 4K Ultra HD (3840x2160) InfinityEdge touch
Edge-to-edge Corning Gorilla Glass NBT on 4K Ultra HD display
GraphicsIntel HD 630
NVidia GeForce GTX 1050 with 4GB GDDR5
PortsHDMI, USB 3.0 (x2) with PowerShare
Headset Jack
SD card reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC)
Kensington Lock slot
USB Type-C Thunderbolt 3
WirelessKiller 1535
Bluetooth 4.1
802.11ac (Miracast enabled)
Windows HelloFingerprint scanner (optional)
Battery56 or 97 WHr
AC Adapter130W
Weight4lbs (1.8kg) with 56WHr
4.5lbs (2.0kg) with 97WHr
DimensionsHeight: 0.45-0.66 inches (11-17mm)
Width: 14.06 inches (357mm)
Depth: 9.27 inches (235mm)
ColorsSilver with Carbon Fiber

Pair that up with the optional NVidia GeForce GTX 1050 with 4GB GDDR5 graphics and you have a powerhouse laptop that weighs only 4.5lbs (2kg). If you want to skip on the dedicated GPU, the system falls back to the default Intel HD 630 graphics.

That's not all that was upgraded, though. Dell bumped the battery on the high-end model from 84WHr to a boundary-pushing 97Whr – just shy of the legal FCC limit for air travel. Combined with the efficiencies with Kaby Lake and battery life should be outstanding.

There is also now an optional built-in fingerprint reader in the base to log into the OS using Windows Hello's bio-authentication.

Finally, for ports you get the now-standard HDMI, USB 3.0 (x2) with PowerShare; Headset Jack; SD card reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC); Kensington Lock slot; and a single Thunderbolt 3 USB Type C to handle whatever you throw at it.

Pricing starts at $999 for the XPS 15 (9560) but goes up to around $2650 for a maxed-out system and everything in between. That's still cheaper than a 15-inch MacBook Pro too.

Availability has not yet been announced, but we'll keep an eye out and review one as soon as we can.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

  • Looks like they are prepping the website. They have the "new" XPS 15 but it takes u to the older model. I need a date quick, getting this.
  • I need to win the lottery. So much good stuff coming out at CES and over the holidays
  • Dell has finally answered my prayers. A sexy gaming laptop that supports Windows hello with a 4k touch screen display.
  • You didn't just say it isn't powerful did you? Of course it is. It's nothing like a desktop 1080 but it's still fantastic especially for a non traditional gaming laptop. This is perfect for on the go 4k video editing mmmmmm.
  • You didn't just call 1050 "powerful" did you?  Better than IGP's?  Definitely but far from powerful... lol
  • Nvidia 1050 is quite powerful, the last version with 960M also had decent performance and the 1050 has much better performance than a 960M.
  • But we can't compare it to anything just yet.  I'd imagine it being more powerful than the 965m that resides in the Surface Book Performance base and most other ultrabooks out there.
  • Daniel, Correction:XPS 15 9560 (not 9650)  
  • Where is the Developer Edition? This is a MacBook Pro killer, but not so much with Windows. Ubuntu 16.04 LTS would be a perfect fit!
  • Just install it yourself. It's free, after all.
  • How does 1050 compare to 1060? I was thinking of picking up the Razer Blade, but this looks interesting.
  • I put these two in different categories.  The XPS15 will most definitely give you more battery life.
  • No PEN?!!!
    Forget about it.
    This would be perfect a 'wacom mobile studio 16' competitor , give it a freakn PEN!
    All the other pen abled stuff is tooo small by far!
  • Wouldn't they need to also make it a 2-in-1? What would you do with the keyboard while you're trying to draw on it? Making this thing pen-abled would create even more design challenges and compromises, for an already small target market.
  • You're soooo right!
    Hate those 2 in 1 crap
  • I take it, neither of you draw?
  • Oh look at that, all the features missing from the MacBook Pro.
  • Holy yes. Getting.
  • Not quite so sure about the finger-print reader. There seems to be an inconsistency in their images as well, some feature a sensor below the arrow keys, others don't. Considerign that Dell might be offering discounts on the previous 9550 (with the 960m), does it make sense to get the kaby lake version?
  • The 9550 has design flaws. All models suffer from a pitch sound coming from the hardware. There is a big chance that if you order the 9550 you will get one from the pile of returned units they have.
  • "Not quite so sure about the finger-print reader. "
    I've confirmed with Dell prior to publishing this that there is an optional fingerprint reader.
  • Does anyone know if you have to have the discrete NVidia GPU to get the 4k touch screen? I don't do any gaming on my work laptop, so less weight and less power consumption would be ideal! I have an XPS 15 9530 now, and at that time you couldn't get QHD (touch) without discreet graphics
  • The questions is; did they fix all those damn issues that plagued the last XPS 15 and XPS 13? The last XPS 15 I ordered had zero quality checking and a bunch of issues including STILL coil whine.
  • Do you guys think that the Chasis the same as the previous generation XPS 15? If so, it is possible to just buy a motherboard and the bigger battery in a few months time from the 9560 and just plop it in the 9550?
  • Thing is top notch! The only thing it lacks is the Windows Hello compatibility with the camera. Although that should satisfy with the fingerprint scanner. But still no windows hello cam...
  • It's got Windows hello fingerprint scanner but it's camera is still not compatible with Windows hello :/
  • Damn, has anyone heard of a release date??  The turn around for the XPS 13 2in1 was almost immediate.  Wish Dell would hurry i up. 
  • A 1050 can't do 60fps on new games. It's like buying a sports car that can only go 40mph on the highway. Point being, if you're not going to game, why even get a 1050. Just use integrated graphics. Why pay for something that's almost there but not? If you are going to game, you need at least a 1060. This is almost exactly the same size and weight as the 14" Razer Blade, though, which is impressive.
  • if you're not going to game, why even get a 1050?
    The XPS line isn't designed for dedicated gaming, it's more of a business machine. Content creators and graphic designers will appreciate the GTX 1050 horsepower for rendering. Adobe CC applications utilize GPU acceleration.