Dell’s XPS lineup has always appealed to me from a pure power perspective. The company continues to stuff its laptop line with power-user features like Thunderbolt 3, 4K displays, and the like.
Prior to the 2016 MacBook Pro refresh, I was considering the purchase of a 15-inch XPS machine for my video needs. That would mean switching over to DaVinci Resolve or Premiere Pro, and as a die-hard Final Cut Pro X fan, that was something I was honestly dreading.
Thankfully, Apple has reversed its course and is now strongly considering the needs of its professional users again. It’s almost like its done a 180-degree turnaround with products like an 18-core iMac Pro on the horizon.
Although I’m no longer outright forced to consider switching to a Windows machine thanks to Apple’s change of gears, that doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate what companies like Dell are doing. The 2017 XPS 15 (9560) is a beast of a machine with a built-in 4K display that’s perfect for editing UHD video. Have a look at my brief hands-on walkthrough as I discuss 10 things that I appreciate about the XPS 15.
The best wireless keyboard for the Mac?
Having a 4K display on a laptop is a definite luxury, but as someone who regularly edits 4K video and uses a 4K desktop display, it’s a luxury that I quickly got used to. Not only does the display feature a copious amount of pixels for a 15-inch panel, it also features really good viewing angles.
The MacBook Pro’s bezels seem downright huge when compared side-by-side with the XPS 15. The extra slim bezels (dubbed in marketing speak as “InfinityEdge” by Dell) make the device’s 4K display stand out even more.
I’m not totally sold on touchscreen-enabled laptops and desktops, but I appreciate the fact that it’s available in the off chance that I want to use it. Simply having the option of interacting via touch is a good thing in my opinion.
Subscribe to 9to5Toys on YouTube for more videos
The built-Nvidia GTX 1050 isn’t a gaming beast, but it’s more than capable for light gaming and video editing without being too power hungry.
Sadly, the XPS 15 only features a single Thunderbolt 3 port, so it’s quite lacking when compared with the 2016 MacBook Pro on this front. The good news is that this lone Thunderbolt 3 port can still be very useful. For example, you can connect an eGPU box to drive the internal 4K display, making games run even better than they do with the native GTX 1050. You can also connect to Thunderbolt 3 displays like LG’s UltraFine Display, or NAS units like QNAP’s TVS 882ST.
Quad Core i7 7700HQ
The 7th-gen Kaby Lake Intel i7 features a base 2.8 Ghz clock with boost speeds reaching 3.8 GHz. It’s a fairly efficient chip with enough multi-core power to easily power through most 4K video editing workloads.
SD Card slot
I never knew how much I missed the SD Card slot on my MacBook Pro until I was forced to go without it. Although I rarely interface with SD Cards anymore after adopting the Atomos Ninja Inferno in my video workflow, the lack on an SD Card was one of the things that made me consider using an external SSD recorder to begin with.
Who would have ever thought that having mere USB-A ports on a laptop would be considered a luxury? Welcome to 2017.
Although you can technically interface with HDMI displays via dongles connected to the Thunderbolt 3 port, having a full sized HDMI port is a convenience worth noting.
Battery life button
The XPS 15 proudly sports battery life indicator lights and a battery status button on its side. It makes it so that you can check the machine’s battery life without opening the display. There was once a time when laptops from a certain fruit company featured a similar battery life indicator, but that’s been several years ago.
If you’re a Windows user looking for a new laptop, then the Dell XPS 15 (9560) 2017 model may be worth considering. It has the power, conveniences, and quite a few modern niceties to make it a compelling package for those in the market for a new machine. You can configure a model on Dell’s website starting at $999.99 for the low-end 1080p version.
Now that Apple has presented a convincing argument as to why it hasn’t abandoned pro users, I’m no longer entertaining the thought of switching to a Windows laptop. But if I was, the XPS 15 would be high up on my list of machines to consider.