Pros Premium construction. Stunning 4K Ultra High-Definition (UHD) screen. USB-C port with Thunderbolt 3. Large-capacity solid-state drive. Excellent performance, thanks to Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor and Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M graphics card. Cons Pricey. Sealed chassis. Less than 6 hours of battery life. Bottom Line The Dell XPS 15 Touch (9550) might cost a pretty penny, but it's one of the best high-end desktop-replacement laptops for photo and video work, whether you're a hobbyist or a professional.
By Joel Santo Domingo The latest Dell XPS 15 Touch ($2,129.99 as tested) answers one of the questions I get asked quite often: Which laptop is the best for visual arts like photography and video? With its brilliant 4K screen and the power to make quick work of multimedia-creation tasks, this desktop-replacement laptop is the answer. Yes, it's pricey, but it's worth it when you consider its build quality, top-notch features, and excellent performance on our benchmark tests. As such, the XPS 15 Touch is our Editors' Choice for high-end desktop-replacement laptops.
Design and Features With a premium construction that you'll want to show off the The XPS 15 Touch's lid and base are made of aluminum, with carbon fiber in the palm rest and the keyboard deck. Using the same body and screen as the Dell Precision 15 5000 Series (5510) mobile workstation, the XPS 15 Touch looks and feels expensive. The case measures 0.66 by 14.06 by 9.27 inches (HWD), and weighs a relatively light 4.48 pounds. That's smaller than both the Asus ZenBook Pro UX501J-DS71T, a top pick, and the Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch with Retina Display, though all three are similar in weight.
View All 5 Photos in Gallery The 15.6-inch, 3,840-by-2,160-resolution touch screen is big enough to comfortably watch 4K Ultra High-Definition (UHD) videos in native resolution. The display is also ideal for web design and working in large spreadsheets. It comes with a 100-percent Adobe RGB color gamut and PremierColor software that can adjust the display to match the DCI-P3 standard, so photos and films show accurate colors. That trumps screens like the one on the Asus ZenBook Pro UX501J-DS71T, with its 74-percent Adobe RGB fidelity.
The display has a thin bezel, which makes it seem larger than the screens on other 15.6-inch systems, like the 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro, the Toshiba Satellite P50T-BST2N01, or the Toshiba Satellite Radius 15 P55W-C5212-4K, even if their LCD panels are the same physical size. Because of the smaller bezel, the system's HD webcam is situated below the display, next to the laptop's hinge, instead of centered above the screen.
The chiclet-style keyboard has full-size keys that feel solid, though their key travel is a little shallow compared with the previous version of the Dell XPS 15 Touch. The keys are quite visible in the dark, thanks to two levels of backlighting. The XPS 15 Touch's one-piece touchpad is comfortable to use and supports Windows 10 multitouch gestures. The system's speakers are loud and clear, and their volume will fill a medium-size room.
There's a 512GB PCIe-based solid-state drive (SSD), which is a large capacity for flash-based storage. That's double the space of the Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch, though the same as the Asus UX501J-DS71T and the Toshiba Satellite Radius 15. There are a few preloaded apps, like Adobe Photoshop Express and Flipbook, but much less than the bloatware we saw on the Asus UX501J-DS71T.