Notebookcheck

Dell Inspiron 15 7559 Notebook Review

Sven Kloevekorn (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 11/29/2015

Maintenance miracle. Unfortunately, this is pretty rare nowadays: The maintenance hatch, which is very easy to remove, allows access to all major components of the new multimedia notebook from Dell. Another highlight is the high-resolution 4K touchscreen and thanks to its GTX 960M GPU, it should also attract gamers. Unfortunately, some issues affect the initial good impression.

For the original German review, see here.

With a weight of almost 2.7 kg (~6 lb), the 15-inch Dell Inspiron 15 7559 is a multimedia notebook that is not particularly mobile. The most noticeable feature is the high-resolution 4K touchscreen with 3840x2160 pixels. Sufficient performance is ensured by a new Skylake processor with four native cores and Hyperthreading, Intel Core i7-6700HQ, which is supported by 16 GB of DDR3-RAM. The integrated SSD with a capacity of 128 GB is important for smooth user handling, which is complemented by a conventional hard drive with a capacity of 1 TB. The impressive package is rounded off by the performance GPU Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M, even though this will be the limiting factor in games. The lack of an optical drive is unusual for this class of devices. Our review sample from Dell was equipped with a U.S. keyboard.

The RRP for our review configuration is 1299 Euros (~$1376); at the time of this review, other versions were not listed on the website of the Dell. You can find other notebooks from the 7000 series, but they do not have a lot in common with our model. There was also some confusion because a search with a large price comparison in Berlin resulted only in a model with the designation "7602" that was equipped with a conventional Full HD display and only 8 GB of RAM.

Two of our 15.6-inch comparison devices this test, the Asus ZenBook Pro UX501JW-FI218H (no price available) and the MSI PE60-2QEi581 (around 1100 Euros/~$1060), use the same GTX 960M (2 GB) and comparable, albeit older CPUs. On the other hand, the particularly slim Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro VN7-572G-72L0 (around 1200 Euros/~$1271) is equipped with the slower GTX 950M and a frugal dual-core i7 processor with Hyperthreading. The MSI PE60 is the only notebook in this comparison that uses a conventional HDD.

Dell Inspiron 15 7559
Processor
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M - 4096 MB, Core: 1097 - 1176 MHz, Memory: 5000 MHz, GDDR5, ForceWare 353.62, Nvidia Optimus
Memory
16384 MB 
, DDR3L 1600, Dual-Channel, both slots occupied
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 3840x2160 pixel, 10 points, LG Philips LGD04D9 / 156UD2 / Dell P/N: 53FC4, IPS, glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel HM170 (Skylake PCH-H)
Storage
SK hynix SC300 M.2, 128 GB 
, + 1 x Seagate ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
Soundcard
Intel Skylake PCH-H High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: combined 3.5 mm stereo jack, Card Reader: SD/SDHC/SDXC/MMC
Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 25.3 x 383 x 265 ( = 1 x 15.08 x 10.43 in)
Battery
74 Wh Lithium-Ion, 6 cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD 720p
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo + subwoofer, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.67 kg ( = 94.18 oz / 5.89 pounds), Power Supply: 514 g ( = 18.13 oz / 1.13 pounds)
Price
1299 Euro

 

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Case

Dell Inspiron 15 7559 fan construction (Picture: Dell)
Dell Inspiron 15 7559 fan construction (Picture: Dell)

The design of the black plastic chassis with some red elements is obviously a matter of taste and should be appealing to male users in particular, but we liked it. Both the lid as well as the palm rest have a silky and grippy soft-touch finish, which is not very susceptible to fingerprints and can be easily cleaned. Unusual: The Dell 7559 has three carefully designed fan exhausts. Two of them are located at the back and one on the left side. Despite the absence of metal, the 15-inch device is not really light at 2.7 kg (~6 lb).

Even though the lid, which is easy to open with one hand and tends to bounce, is not really thin, you can see picture distortions at some spots when you apply pressure. As with most touchscreens, the display glass covers almost the entire display frame. It does not require a lot of force to twist the base unit and there was also some unhealthy creaking, which affected the strikingly flawless impression of the chassis. However, we did not notice any build quality issues like uneven gaps or protruding edges.

Dell Inspiron 15 7559
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
Dell Inspiron 15 7559

Since there is no optical drive, Dell could have located the ports further at the back and not at the center of the sides. At least they are not at the front, so attached cables and devices are not a huge problem. Despite the higher price, you only get the essentials as well as three USB 3.0 ports, which however should be sufficient in practice. The HDMI 1.4 output has to be used to connect to external monitors, therefore, it is only possible to use one monitor besides the internal screen. We measured transfer rates of around 100 MB/s at the USB 3.0 port with an external hard drive. 

We also checked the performance of the SD-slot in combination with our reference SD-card Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II. The maximum transfer rate is up to 84 MB/s when you copy large files, while you can expect up to 58 MB/s when you handle typical jpg. files (each around 5 MB).

Right: SD-card, USB 3.0, HDMI, Ethernet, Kensington
Right: SD-card, USB 3.0, HDMI, Ethernet, Kensington
Left: Power, fan exhaust, 2x USB 3.0, combo audio
Left: Power, fan exhaust, 2x USB 3.0, combo audio
Maintenance
Maintenance

Maintenance

Finally! One large maintenance cover at the bottom secured by only one screw and is very easy to remove, allows access to the following components: Battery, HDD; Wi-Fi module, RAM slots and SSD. What more can you want? The Inspiron 7559 is the most maintenance-friendly notebook that the author has reviewed so far. Only one thing is missing for perfection: A battery that can be removed from the outside. 

Communication

As the name suggests, the features of the Wi-Fi module Intel Dual-Band Wireless-AC 3165 are actually quite clear. If the 2.4 GHz band is pretty crowded at your location, you will be happy to hear that 5 GHz networks are supported as well, even though you will obviously need a corresponding router. The standard IEEE 802.11ac (“Gigabit-WLAN”), which is not really new anymore, ensures potentially high transfer rates. Because of a defective router, the author had to change his individual test environment, so we cannot compare the results with old reviews at this time. In combination with a new Asus RT-AC51U router and an alternative firmware version, web browsing on the Dell 7559 was still smooth at a distance of two floors and through several walls in a 2.4 GHz network.

Accessories

In addition to the mandatory power adaptor, the box contains only the usual quick-start and warranty information. Recovery drives are not included, which means that you will have to rely on the recovery partition. 

Warranty

We have included a screenshot for the scope of warranty and the possible warranty extensions.

Dell warranty extensions
Dell warranty extensions

Input Devices

Touchpad settings
Touchpad settings

Touchpad

The conveniently sized touchpad of the Inspiron 7559 is implemented as a ClickPad without dedicated mouse buttons. We really like the slightly roughened surface that is surrounded by a red stripe. Neither the gliding capabilities, nor the feedback give any cause for criticism. Unfortunately, the lower part of the surface was not sitting perfectly on the button mechanics, so even slight pressure often resulted in a clattering. 

However, there is no criticism for the response and the precision. Even quick swipe gestures were perfectly executed, and drag-&-drop via double tap was no problem. Subjectively, the two mouse button replacements provide a well-adjusted feedback with a firm pressure point and a clearly perceptible acoustic feedback. The limited functionality is rather disappointing (see picture). The input will actually recognize only two fingers at the same time, so you can hardly use any gestures. Even in the 400 Euros (~$424) price range most notebooks offer more in this respect.

Keyboard

Dell has provided us with a review sample of the Inspiron 7559 with a U.S. keyboard layout. Large hands might have some problems with the narrow number pad. Visually, the first impression of the well-integrated keyboard is good. Unfortunately, it can be easily dented in the center, which should not happen especially when you consider the price of the notebook.

The spongy typing experience is less inspiring. You can feel the pressure point, but it could have been more defined, in combination with the soft stroke. Positive aspects of the keyboard are the subtle and even illumination, even though there is just one setting, the flat and anti-slippery keys with a clear lettering, the status LEDs for some keys as well as the very restrained noise development of the large keys.

Display

Subpixel array
Subpixel array
Scaling issues
Scaling issues
Scaling issues

Dell has followed the trend towards higher resolutions and equipped the Inspiron 15 7559 with an IPS UHD display with a native resolution of 3840x2160 pixels. This results in a pixel density of 244 PPI on the 15.6-inch screen, which means that the pictures are very sharp and you cannot see individual pixels at a normal viewing distance of around 50 centimeters (~20 in). Even higher pixel densities are usually reserved for mobile devices, like the Samsung Galaxy S6 (5.1-inch, 2560x1440 pixels) with 576 PPI. The very glossy surface is a result of the touchscreen functionality. Dell does not offer other displays within the Inspiron 7000 series in Germany.

276 cd/m² (center) is a good, but not an excellent value for the maximum brightness. It is sufficient for all indoor scenarios and only the Acer Aspire VN7 is noticeably brighter within the comparison group. The poor black value of 0.78 cd/m², which is even too high for IPS standards, results in only a mediocre contrast ratio of 354:1. The situation is similar to the Asus ZenBook Pro, but the other two notebooks manage much higher values thanks to their better black values (~0.3 cd/m²). Subjectively, black (RGB 0, 0, 0) does not even appear very rich compared to brighter picture contents, which is quite rare. A brightness distribution of 85% is just average, but we could only notice minimal backlight bleeding at the lower edge of the panel.

There can still be massive issues due to the high resolution with some applications in Windows 10 (see pictures). The tiny font in Origin, for example, required a magnifier to be used comfortably.

284
cd/m²
282
cd/m²
299
cd/m²
260
cd/m²
276
cd/m²
275
cd/m²
259
cd/m²
254
cd/m²
270
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 299 cd/m² Average: 273.2 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 85 %
Center on Battery: 276 cd/m²
Contrast: 354:1 (Black: 0.78 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.05 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 4.68 | - Ø
90% sRGB (Argyll) 58% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.55

Now we are looking at color deviations, which are represented by DeltaE values. Lower values indicate a lower deviation from the ideal value and the results should be smaller than 3 for professional purposes. Only the MSI PE60 manages this ex-works, while the other comparison devices, including our review sample manage average results for IPS screens between 4 and 5, which is still sufficient for private users. The MSI display is not suitable for (semi) professional picture editing, because it covers only 64% of the wider AdobeRGB color space. However, it is the best result within the comparison and slightly ahead of our Dell. Our review unit does not suffer from a visible color cast.

CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps
Dell Inspiron 15 7559 vs. AdobeRGB
Dell Inspiron 15 7559 vs. AdobeRGB
Dell Inspiron 15 7559 vs. sRGB
Dell Inspiron 15 7559 vs. sRGB
Dell Inspiron 15 7559Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0Asus Zenbook Pro UX501JW-FI218HMSI PE60-2QEi581
Screen
32%
-10%
42%
Brightness273310
14%
307
12%
282
3%
Brightness Distribution8586
1%
87
2%
90
6%
Black Level *0.780.33
58%
0.79
-1%
0.35
55%
Contrast354994
181%
382
8%
857
142%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *4.054.74
-17%
5.4
-33%
1.8
56%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *4.683.15
33%
5.99
-28%
2.18
53%
Gamma *2.552.512.322.37
CCT6871 95%6336 103%6670 97%6837 95%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)5854
-7%
45
-22%
64
10%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)9082
-9%
71
-21%
97
8%

* ... smaller is better

Dell Inspiron 15 7559 outdoors
Dell Inspiron 15 7559 outdoors

Even on cloudy days, the  use of the notebook in the outdoors can be problematic due to its very glossy screen, and the decent luminance does not really help. Nevertheless, it is possible to work when you can avoid direct reflections, for example, from bright buildings behind you.

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
26 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 9 ms rise
↘ 17 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 39 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (28.3 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
32 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 13 ms rise
↘ 19 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 172 (maximum) ms. » 16 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (43 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 56 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 519 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 10420) Hz was measured.

If you want a perfect presentation and move around a lot in front of the display, then there is no alternative to the IPS technology. However, there are also differences in this class, which are noticeable by brightness and contrast loss from extreme angles. The display of the Dell Inspiron 15 7559 is average in this respect, but on a high level.

Performance

Thanks to the i7 quad-core processor and plenty of fast dual-channel RAM, the Dell Inspiron 15 7559 provides more than enough performance for all common scenarios including HD video editing and 3D rendering. Even heavily parallelized games that benefit from four physical cores should never be limited by the CPU. We have already mentioned that the GPU will be the limiting factor in this case. The SSD ensures a smooth handling in practice, and 128 GB is sufficient for the most important games. Media files and other games can be stored on the additional HDD.

Processor

Clocks Cinebench R15
Clocks Cinebench R15

The fast quad-core Intel Core i7-6700HQ (4x 2.6 to 3.5 GHz, Hyperthreading, TDP 45 watts) is based on Intel’s current Skylake generation. Similar to the Broadwell processor, the chip is manufactured in a 14 nm process. Thanks to several architectural improvements ("Tick"), the new CPU manages a 5 to 10% higher per-MHz performance compared to its predecessor. Skylake replaces both Haswell as well as Broadwell and has an efficiency advantage over the 22 nm Haswell chips in particular, which should result in a better Turbo utilization under load. The standard configuration of this chip has a specified TDP of 45 watts, which means that it is suitable for larger notebooks, but the TDP can optionally be reduced to 35 watts by the manufacturer (and by the user via power settings), which will obviously affect the performance.

The processor has a nominal clock of 2.6 GHz, but four active cores can reach up to 3.1 GHz (3.3 GHz for two active cores) via Turbo Boost. A very similar performance is provided by the slightly higher clocked 47-watt chip i7-4720HQ (4x 2.6 to 3.6 GHz, Hyperthreading, Haswell), which is soldered as well. The cores could not maintain the specified 3.1 GHz in our Cinebench loop (R15, multi-core) and usually executed the test at 2.8 GHz. This means that there is no throttling, although the Turbo utilization could be better.

Two out of three Cinebench tests determine the expected performance results, which are not reduced on battery power. The diagram below shows that the single-core performance of the different CPUs is very similar, while the quad-cores manage the expected lead over the dual-cores in the multi-core benchmarks.

Cinebench R11.5
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.29 Points ∼41%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
Intel Core i7-6500U
3.63 Points ∼21% -50%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX501JW-FI218H
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
6.76 Points ∼38% -7%
MSI PE60-2QEi581
Intel Core i5-4210H
3.64 Points ∼21% -50%
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.55 Points ∼72%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
Intel Core i7-6500U
1.49 Points ∼69% -4%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX501JW-FI218H
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
1.52 Points ∼70% -2%
MSI PE60-2QEi581
Intel Core i5-4210H
1.5 Points ∼69% -3%
Cinebench R15
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
673 Points ∼43%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
Intel Core i7-6500U
329 Points ∼21% -51%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX501JW-FI218H
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
606 Points ∼39% -10%
MSI PE60-2QEi581
Intel Core i5-4210H
324 Points ∼21% -52%
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
146 Points ∼80%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
Intel Core i7-6500U
132 Points ∼73% -10%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX501JW-FI218H
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
131 Points ∼72% -10%
MSI PE60-2QEi581
Intel Core i5-4210H
131 Points ∼72% -10%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
20320 Points ∼58%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
Intel Core i7-6500U
11050 Points ∼32% -46%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX501JW-FI218H
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
18678 Points ∼54% -8%
Rendering Single 32Bit (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
5316 Points ∼75%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
Intel Core i7-6500U
4924 Points ∼70% -7%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX501JW-FI218H
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
5114 Points ∼73% -4%
MSI PE60-2QEi581
Intel Core i5-4210H
5055 Points ∼72% -5%
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5316
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
20320
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.55 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
7.29 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
673 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
146 Points
Help

System Performance

The results in PCMark 7 and 8 are slightly confusing. Why is the PCMark 7 overall score of the less powerful Acer Aspire VN7 36% lower compared to our Dell, but 53% higher in the Productivity benchmark? Moreover, why is the similarly equipped (in terms of CPU) Asus ZenBook Pro 77% better? PCMark 8 result is no less erratic, because the least powerful device, the Acer, comes out on top. And that the MSI PE60 with its conventional hard drive is ahead of our Inspiron 15 7559 is yet another unexpected result.

Nevertheless, the subjective performance in practice left a very good impression. Windows 10 boots very quickly, applications launch immediately and even excessive multitasking is not a problem for the quad-core.

PCMark 7
Score (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, SK hynix SC300 M.2
5636 Points ∼71%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
GeForce GTX 950M, 6500U, Lite-On CV1-8B128
3624 Points ∼46% -36%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX501JW-FI218H
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, SanDisk SD7SN3Q128G1002
5616 Points ∼71% 0%
MSI PE60-2QEi581
GeForce GTX 960M, 4210H, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
3275 Points ∼41% -42%
Productivity (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, SK hynix SC300 M.2
2816 Points ∼26%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
GeForce GTX 950M, 6500U, Lite-On CV1-8B128
4303 Points ∼40% +53%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX501JW-FI218H
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, SanDisk SD7SN3Q128G1002
4975 Points ∼46% +77%
MSI PE60-2QEi581
GeForce GTX 960M, 4210H, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
2014 Points ∼18% -28%
PCMark 8
Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, SK hynix SC300 M.2
2907 Points ∼51%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
GeForce GTX 950M, 6500U, Lite-On CV1-8B128
3447 Points ∼61% +19%
MSI PE60-2QEi581
GeForce GTX 960M, 4210H, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
3114 Points ∼55% +7%
Work Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, SK hynix SC300 M.2
3840 Points ∼63%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
GeForce GTX 950M, 6500U, Lite-On CV1-8B128
4435 Points ∼72% +15%
MSI PE60-2QEi581
GeForce GTX 960M, 4210H, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
4169 Points ∼68% +9%
PCMark 7 Score
5636 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
2907 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
3840 points
Help

Storage Devices

Nowadays, many modern SSDs are limited to sequential read transfer rates of around 500 MB/S because of the SATA-3 interface, which is also the case for the drive in our test model. If you look at the reading performance of small random files (4K Read), which is important for the launch of the OS and applications, you can see that the Dell Inspiron 15 7559 manages a good 25 MB/s according to AS SSD. This result is close to 30 MB/s, which is what the fastest SSDs manage (Asus ZenBook Pro).

Surprising: While the Acer Aspire  manages only 10 MB/s, it has a massive advantage over the other SSD based notebooks when it reads 4K files in multiple threads (4K-64 Read). CrystalDiskMark does not confirm this behavior, so it is either an error on our part, or an oddity that we cannot explain. The ZenBook Pro has a clear advantage in terms of the not so important write performance. Overall, the rather slow Lite-ON CV1-8B128 in the Acer is at the bottom of the ranking, while the SSDs in the Asus and the review unit are pretty much on par on a high level. Far behind all these devices is obviously the MSI PE60, even though the results are actually pretty good for a conventional hard drive.

AS SSD
Seq Read (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
SK hynix SC300 M.2
508.78 MB/s ∼17%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
Lite-On CV1-8B128
465.33 MB/s ∼16% -9%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX501JW-FI218H
SanDisk SD7SN3Q128G1002
485.87 MB/s ∼16% -5%
4K Read (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
SK hynix SC300 M.2
25.01 MB/s ∼32%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
Lite-On CV1-8B128
9.83 MB/s ∼13% -61%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX501JW-FI218H
SanDisk SD7SN3Q128G1002
29.14 MB/s ∼37% +17%
4K-64 Read (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
SK hynix SC300 M.2
310.3 MB/s ∼17%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
Lite-On CV1-8B128
689.74 MB/s ∼37% +122%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX501JW-FI218H
SanDisk SD7SN3Q128G1002
310.31 MB/s ∼17% 0%
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
Read Seq (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
SK hynix SC300 M.2
489.9 MB/s ∼15%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
Lite-On CV1-8B128
435.3 MB/s ∼13% -11%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX501JW-FI218H
SanDisk SD7SN3Q128G1002
471.9 MB/s ∼14% -4%
MSI PE60-2QEi581
HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
140.4 MB/s ∼4% -71%
Read 4k (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
SK hynix SC300 M.2
27.84 MB/s ∼46%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
Lite-On CV1-8B128
13.7 MB/s ∼23% -51%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX501JW-FI218H
SanDisk SD7SN3Q128G1002
31.19 MB/s ∼52% +12%
MSI PE60-2QEi581
HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
0.63 MB/s ∼1% -98%
Read 4k QD32 (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
SK hynix SC300 M.2
348.2 MB/s ∼37%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
Lite-On CV1-8B128
121.1 MB/s ∼13% -65%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX501JW-FI218H
SanDisk SD7SN3Q128G1002
331.8 MB/s ∼35% -5%
MSI PE60-2QEi581
HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
1.086 MB/s ∼0% -100%
SK hynix SC300 M.2
Sequential Read: 489.9 MB/s
Sequential Write: 205.1 MB/s
512K Read: 354.3 MB/s
512K Write: 211.5 MB/s
4K Read: 27.84 MB/s
4K Write: 68.04 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 348.2 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 198.4 MB/s

GPU Performance

The familiar Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M, which is based on the even more familiar GTX 860M (both Maxwell) but with a slightly higher clock, is a performance-class GPU and here we have the highest configuration with 4 GB of GDDR5-RAM. In terms of performance, there is actually a rather big gap to the high-end chips 970M980M and 980 (desktop), which have more shaders and wider memory interfaces in particular. On the other hand, the GTX 960M is easier to keep cool (quieter) and consumes less power.

The GM107 chip runs at up to 1202 MHz and is compatible with DirectX 12 (Windows 10), but only supports feature level 11.0. Nvidia has put a lot of work into the power efficiency of the Maxwell generation. Thanks to the PureVideo-HD engine, 4K videos in the native resolution are not a problem, but external monitors can only be driven at 30 Hz in 4K due to the absence of HDMI 2.0. More information about special features from Nvidia like Battery Boost, ShadowPlay and GameStream are available here. Except for some very demanding games, the GPU can manage smooth gameplay in all current games with high to maximum settings, as long as you do not use resolutions higher than Full HD (1920x1080).

Compared to other notebooks with the same GPU, the performance of the GTX 960M in our review unit is usually average in the benchmarks (includes results of the 2 GB VRAM version) and therefore on the expected level. The other 960M chips only have a slight advantage of 5 to 12% in 3DMark (2013) Cloud Gate. The 3DMark 11 overall score does not change on battery power.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
5337 Points ∼18%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
4198 Points ∼14% -21%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX501JW-FI218H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
5135 Points ∼17% -4%
MSI PE60-2QEi581
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
5405 Points ∼18% +1%
3DMark (2013)
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
28666 Points ∼19%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
20049 Points ∼14% -30%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX501JW-FI218H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
21686 Points ∼15% -24%
MSI PE60-2QEi581
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
28308 Points ∼19% -1%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Standard Graphics (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
4339 Points ∼19%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
3147 Points ∼13% -27%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX501JW-FI218H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
4197 Points ∼18% -3%
MSI PE60-2QEi581
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
4355 Points ∼19% 0%
3DMark 11 Performance
5572 points
3DMark (2013) Cloud Gate Standard Score
16805 points
3DMark (2013) Fire Strike Standard Score
4026 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Our small benchmark table below shows that older, but still demanding games like “BioShock: Infinite” from 2013 and even modern, but less complex games like “GRID: Autosport” from 2014 can be played smoothly at the highest settings and Full HD. On the other hand, the technically problematic console port “Batman: Arkham Knight” (2015) is limited to the medium preset at 1366x768 pixels, which is also the case for the brand-new and quite demanding “Anno 2205”. Since we could not select the correct resolution, the corresponding fps value is missing. More benchmarks for the Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M are available here.

low med. high ultra4K
BioShock Infinite (2013) 119.743.6fps
GRID: Autosport (2014) 52.7fps
Batman: Arkham Knight (2015) 633424fps
Anno 2205 (2015) 117.124.610.29.9fps
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (2015) 72.136.231.510.4fps
Fallout 4 (2015) 9655.631.924.710fps
Star Wars Battlefront (2015) 88.441.134.411.8fps
Assassin's Creed Syndicate (2015) 59.147.530fps
Discussion

Emissions

System Noise

The Dell Inspiron left a negative impression with its aggressive-chaotic CPU fan behavior, at least with the activated power profile "High Performance", which we use for our measurements. Even small workloads will occasionally result in a fan that suddenly spins up and can be clearly heard one meter (~3 ft) away. Increasing the load even further (as with Prime95) will reveal new and intermittent fan speeds, sometimes with high-pitched noises. Overall, it is an acceptable murmur, but it is too loud for the  performance level. Add FurMark and the overall noise will drop noticeably after a while, which is probably caused by the throttling.

We recommend activating the power saving profile if you want to work with a quiet notebook. Dell has set the power and acoustics level to 1 (instead of 5) and the passive system cooling guideline also helps to take care of your nerves.

Noise Level

Idle
32.6 / 32.6 / 32.6 dB(A)
HDD
32.8 dB(A)
Load
40.5 / 49.1 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)

Temperature

Clocks Prime95
Clocks Prime95
Clocks Prime95 + FurMark
Clocks Prime95 + FurMark

The Dell Inspiron 15 7559 gets pretty warm under load compared to other notebooks with the same CPU-GPU combination. We were able to measure up to 53 °C (~127 °F) at the bottom, which can be uncomfortable when you want to play games while the laptop is sitting on you lap. This should not be a big problem when the device is standing on the desk though. We can even measure 54 °C (~129 °F) at the top of the base unit (center), but the important area around the palm rest never exceeds 29 °C (~84 °F). The similarly powerful MSI PE60-2QEi581 is noticeably cooler under load, but not while idling.

Max. Load
 41.5 °C47.4 °C32 °C 
 40.7 °C54 °C33.4 °C 
 26.2 °C25.4 °C26.1 °C 
Maximum: 54 °C
Average: 36.3 °C
27.7 °C53.4 °C27.2 °C
34.4 °C50 °C38.3 °C
27.1 °C28.8 °C28.7 °C
Maximum: 53.4 °C
Average: 35.1 °C
Power Supply (max.)  51.4 °C | Room Temperature 23.7 °C | FIRT 550-Pocket

Speakers

Despite the integrated subwoofer, the sound of the Dell Inspiron 15 7559 puts too much emphasis on the medium and high tones ex-works (see pictures), which is sometimes more and sometimes less evident depending on the title and can even be a bit obtrusive at times. Really deep bass is missing, but the small subwoofer at the bottom does create a richer sound compared to notebooks without an additional subwoofer. The sound is clear, mostly free of distortions, pretty dynamic for a notebook and there are no annoying volume fluctuations at the decent maximum volume, which is sufficient for medium-sized rooms. Bass-focused Metal music with multiple guitars and drums will bring the sound system from Dell to its limits and it will tend to blur the individual instruments. The sound menu provides an equalizer as well as numerous tweaks and presets for gaming, movies and music.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Can you actually notice the improved efficiency of Skylake over Haswell in practice? If you ignore the slower Acer and look at the idle results, you will get just this impression, because the similarly powerful Haswell CPUs inside the Asus ZenBook and MSI PE60 consume much more power, even though a part of that additional consumption of the MSI is caused by the conventional HDD.

The powerful components are still noticeable under load, where the review unit consumes more than the rivals with Haswell quad-cores and (almost) the same GPU. We cannot really explain the difference. The higher resolution will hardly be the reason. The power adaptor is not powerful enough to cover the maximum consumption, so the battery is drained.

Dell Inspiron 15 7559
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, SK hynix SC300 M.2
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
GeForce GTX 950M, 6500U, Lite-On CV1-8B128
Asus Zenbook Pro UX501JW-FI218H
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, SanDisk SD7SN3Q128G1002
MSI PE60-2QEi581
GeForce GTX 960M, 4210H, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
Power Consumption
36%
-17%
-55%
Idle Minimum *9.45.2
45%
15.6
-66%
21.8
-132%
Idle Average *14.49.4
35%
20.5
-42%
26.1
-81%
Idle Maximum *1510.8
28%
21.2
-41%
26.6
-77%
Load Average *10260
41%
75.8
26%
88.5
13%
Load Maximum *12080.9
33%
72.9
39%
119.7
-0%

* ... smaller is better

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.3 / 0.8 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 9.4 / 14.4 / 15 Watt
Load midlight 102 / 120 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy

Battery Runtime

First, we have a look at the battery capacities of the four notebooks in this comparison. Dell Inspiron 15 7559: 74 Wh, Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0: 52.5 Wh, Asus ZenBook Pro UX501JW: 96 Wh (!), MSI PE60-2QWi581: 42 Wh. A direct comparison of the battery runtimes does not really make much sense when you consider these differences, but the results represent the different CPU-GPU combinations and capacities pretty well. The exception is the surprisingly bad result of the battery monster ZenBook Pro in the realistic Wi-Fi test (how we test).

Battery Runtime - WiFi v1.3 (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15 7559
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, SK hynix SC300 M.2
232 min ∼9%
Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0
GeForce GTX 950M, 6500U, Lite-On CV1-8B128
359 min ∼13%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX501JW-FI218H
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, SanDisk SD7SN3Q128G1002
159 min ∼6%
MSI PE60-2QEi581
GeForce GTX 960M, 4210H, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
168 min ∼6%
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
11h 49min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
3h 52min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 16min

Pro

+ stylish chassis
+ convenient surfaces
+ no obvious build quality issues
+ great maintainability
+ good touchpad, but limited functionality
+ illuminated keyboard
+ 4K IPS display with touch support
+ very good gaming and application performance

Cons

- not very torsion-resistant
- loud creaking when you try to twist it
- no optical drive
- mediocre keyboard
- touch not always useful
- very glossy screen
- suboptimal Turbo utilization
- sometimes annoying fan control
- (too) high power consumption under load

Verdict

In review: Dell Inspiron 15 7559. Test model courtesy of Dell Germany.
In review: Dell Inspiron 15 7559. Test model courtesy of Dell Germany.

We have already mentioned that the pretty good initial impression of the rather expensive Dell Inspiron 15 7559 (RRP: 1299 Euros/~$1376) suffered a bit during our review. The touchpad, which is actually very good, revealed a build quality issue, and the very soft keyboard disappointed the author. The visually flawless chassis does look pretty great (matter of taste), but should have been sturdier. Optical drives might be less popular, but we expected one due to the size and the multimedia orientation. The touchpad driver is a bad joke, and the pulsating fan control can only be turned down with performance restrictions. The author also thinks the use of expensive touchscreens, which have a glossy surface, does not make a lot of sense for a non-convertible. Another question is whether you can really benefit from the high resolution on a 15-inch device or if there are only drawbacks like scaling issues and the high price.

Positive aspects include the good display with the wide viewing angles, high performance and the very maintenance-friendly construction, where you can actually access all important components including the fan by simply removing the maintenance hatch.

Many notebooks, including some gaming machines, should take this as a role model. The final rating is "just" 82%, so we cannot really recommend this notebook since the Acer Aspire VN7-572G-72L0 (85%) is, in our opinion, the more attractive package for the same price, despite the conventional, but matte Full HD display and just two GB of VRAM.

Dell Inspiron 15 7559 - 03/10/2016 v5
Sven Kloevekorn

Chassis
73 / 98 → 75%
Keyboard
76%
Pointing Device
89%
Connectivity
45 / 81 → 56%
Weight
59 / 67 → 83%
Battery
74%
Display
79%
Games Performance
84 / 85 → 98%
Application Performance
87 / 92 → 94%
Temperature
87%
Noise
78 / 95 → 82%
Audio
70%
Camera
35 / 85 → 42%
Average
72%
79%
Multimedia - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Dell Inspiron 15 7559 Notebook Review
Sven Kloevekorn, 2015-11-29 (Update: 2015-11-30)