Dell Inspiron i7559 Review – 15.6 Inch UHD Touchscreen Laptop (7512GRY, 3762GRY, 5012GRY)
Dell’s Inspiron i7559-7512GRY is definitely one powerful piece of portable computing technology and offers up one of the best notebook processors in the market as a serious performance booster. Other specs for storage, RAM and CPU power complete the picture to deliver a laptop that’s distinctly a cut above what we often see in this market. Thus, if you want a machine with some serious kick and plenty of solid specs, the Inspiron i7559-7512GRY delivers on most of the goods you’d need.
On the other hand, 4K display rendering is as always a processing-heavy task for any hardware package and in a laptop it still has plenty of room for improvement. Thus, while the i7559-7512GRY can definitely handle a wide range of graphics and computing needs, it certainly won’t perform with the same quality as a full-blown 4K PC gaming rig if you’re about more serious ultra HD gameplay or heavy-duty video rendering in 4K. For these things, desktop and dedicated 4K-capable GPUs are still the way to go and the i7559-7512GRY, like all of the 4K laptops we’ve reviewed so far, doesn’t quite manage that level of power.
Despite a lack of serious 4K game-processing capacity (something still common to almost all 4K laptops), there’s still plenty to recommend in the powerful i7559-7512GRY notebook and it offers several key features that shine.
For starters, the single biggest and most obvious selling point for this particular Dell laptop is its impressive screen. In the i7559-7512GRY we have a 15.6 Truelife LED Backlit 4K Ultra HD display that’s bright, vivid and delivers some stunning colors and contrast. And since we’re talking about a display size of just 15.6 inches, giving it 4K resolution means some very serious pixel density, enough so that even close scrutiny of on-screen graphics with the naked eye would leave you hard-pressed to make out any actual pixilation.
Dell has also gone ahead and turned the i7559-7512GRY’s display into a touch screen, so navigation and Windows use becomes easier than ever and more tablet-like while still preserving all the qualities of mouse or touchpad control. What works best here, as far as the touch screen and native screen resolution both go is the inclusion of the latest Windows 10 in the i7559-7512GRY. While many PC market consumers have certainly made their preferences for Windows 8.1 clear by deriding problems in Windows 10, for handling native 4K resolution and touch displays, the latest Microsoft OS is definitely the superior performer, with a touch-friendly, 4K-oriented design baked right into it.
Moving beyond its essential display qualities, the i7559-7512GRY is also no slouch in the audio department for a tiny little laptop. Dell has included Waves MaxxAudio Pro into this laptop’s speakers and there’s even a sort of “Subwoofer” technology at work in the i7559-7512GRY which delivers more sound depth and richness than we would have expected to hear from a notebook. Of course, none of this means the speakers in the i7559-7512GRY are powerful by any normal means. Distinct bass notes are still a bit hazy and we’d recommend a full set of external speakers
Next up, this 15.6 inch Dell 4K laptop is definitely no slouch in the hardware department, and we wouldn’t expect it to be so given the fact that its carrying the display weight of 8.29 million pixels. For processing, a powerful Intel Core i7 6700HQ processor chip offers some seriously powerful desktop-worthy CPU power and clocks a robust 2.6GHz of performance. GPU issues aside, the 6700HQ is definitely up to the task for pretty much any graphics and performance workload, even by non-laptop standards.
Dell has also packed in a massive 16GB DDR3L RAM with a low-voltage design and the RAM is more than good enough for most types of heavier tasks like heavy ultra-high resolution photo editing, running virtual machines or even doing video editing with UHD graphics. The Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M GPU helps things along still further with a dedicated 4GB memory that’s more than powerful enough for handling the 4K display even if it’s not quite up to the task of real 4K gaming GPU power.
Finally, we like the battery life in the i7559-7512GRY. Dell has crammed in a 74WHr 6-cell battery pack which Dell claims can handle up to 10 hours of charge-free performance. This however should be taken with a heavy grain of salt and if you’re running heavier graphics in 4K, enjoying lots of video and music with sound and browsing, we found that you could expect only about 5 to 6 hours of battery life. With really heavy graphics-related tasks, closer to 3 or 4 hours. But even these battery-life specs are impressive so we definitely consider them to be bonuses.
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For starters the i7559-7512GRY is not a real 4K gaming laptop by any measure if you’re serious about real ultra HD PC gaming in any way. This isn’t really Dell’s fault since they’re hardly advertising the i7559-7512GRY as such a device and pretty much no laptop we’ve reviewed to-date has the capacity for advanced PC game rendering with 4K graphics at anything like high or let alone Ultra detail settings. Even full-blown PC rigs struggle with this at times and while Nvidia produces some superb 4K GPU’s the GeForce GTX 960M isn’t one of them, even if it is a powerful little machine.
Additionally, the soft-touch plastic skin of the i7559-7512GRY’s body is a complete fingerprint magnet. Even if you’re obsessive about keeping your hands clean while you use it, smudges on the plastic appear quickly and this can make the i7559-7512GRY look a bit grimy pretty soon, as if you ate a platter of friend chicken while browsing the web.
Finally, we weren’t too happy with the overall weight of the i7559-7512GRY. Dell never claimed this was an ultra-light machine by any means but at 6 lbs, it’s a heavy bugger by almost any modern measure. This isn’t a big deal but it’s a bit cumbersome nonetheless.
Screen size: 15.6 inches
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Included OS: Windows 10 Pro
Battery life: variable, depending on processor and GPU usage, nominally 7.5 hours
Processor: Intel Quad Core i7-6700HQ 2.6 GHz Processor
RAM: 16 GB DDR3L SDRAM)
Weight: 5.71 lbs
Storage (Hard drive): 256GB SSD [256GB Solid State Drive] + 1TB 5.4k HDD [1TB 5400 rpm Hard Drive]
GPU (Video card): NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M graphics card with 4GB of GDDR5
Connectivity: WiFi, Ethernet, Bluetooth, Gigabit Ethernet, 3 x USB 3.0 ports, 1 HDMI v1.4a with 4K Display support (1.2), 1 x Headphone/ 1 x microphone jack, integrated stereo speakers
As we said, even though this is a 4K laptop, it’s not quite a 4K gaming laptop in our books. Playing some high-end Full HD games with high or Ultra settings but with overall graphics set to 1080p HD works pretty well in all but the most detail-heavy games but if you want to go whole-hog and crank up the real 4K UHD resolution, the GTX 960M GPU from NVIDIA isn’t quite up to the task at any sort of decent 35fps or more frame rates. Furthermore, while the display offers great rendering of native 4K graphics, with vibrant colors, sharp contrast of almost 1000:1 and some very nice realism, it can sometimes shrink the graphics of software and items which haven’t been properly scaled for 4K resolution. Luckily, Windows 10 is definitely designed for well-sized 4K UHD scaling but older software user interfaces you might download sometimes aren’t and this can result in almost comically tiny onscreen presentation in the midst of 8.29 million pixels.
Not much to say here. The speakers on the i7559-7512GRY are not bad by laptop standards but you’re definitely better off with some heavy-duty external speakers connected to the i7559-7512GRY if you want to really hear any games or videos you watch on this laptop in all their detailed audio glory.
Physically, the Dell Inspiron i7559-7512GRY looks great. It’s not rakishly stylish as some 4K gaming laptops we’ve seen are and could just as easily be used in a serious office environment as it could in a gamer’s den. The completely plastic external body does feel just a little bit flimsy compared to some of the metal laptops we’ve seen but the plastic is nonetheless strong enough and makes the surprisingly large weight of the i7559-7512GRY all the more unusual when felt in the hands. We also loved the one-screw access to all of the internal hardware underneath the i7559-7512GRY. This is convenient and makes for some easy opening and closing of the body as needed.
Finally, the cooling fans in the i7559-7512GRY are nicely quiet while also robustly doing their job of keeping things cool under intense processing conditions. Even after prolonged use, the Inspiron stays quiet and manages to avoid becoming blisteringly hot.
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NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 960M GPU is a serious performer for high-quality HD gaming and will easily manage a majority of conventional graphics rendering needs you might have with photos, some video and animated graphics projects on the i7559-7512GRY. However, once again we repeat, this is not a GPU for serious 4K gaming at high detail and reasonably high frame rates. For that we recommend you go for a full-blown 4K desktop PC rig.
On the other hand, we loved the truly exceptional Intel Quad Core i7-6700HQ 2.6 GHz Processor. This is one seriously powerful piece of PC processing technology by any standards and to have it in a compact little laptop like this is downright great, especially in combination with the NVIDIA 960M GPU.
Finally for hardware, the i7559-7512GRY offers a pretty robust combination of 1 TB HDD mechanical hard drive storage and a 128GB SSD drive for essential software and OS storage. We’d have preferred 256GB of SSD but the 128GB SSD component in the i7559-7512GRY delivers some superbly fast OS management and startup.
As for connectivity ports, the i7559-7512GRY offers some decent basics, with 3 USB 3.0 ports, which we certainly appreciated, and a single HDMI 1.4a port, which would have been nicely served by a twin of the same spec. There is also 4K-capable DisplayPort 1.2 for connecting the i7559-7512GRY to a PC or other external device if you want to experiment with 4K gaming more deeply.
Not much to say for software in the Dell Inspiron i7559-7512GRY. The most professional version on sale from Dell offers Windows 10 Touch PRO and we think it’s the perfect OS for this 4K laptop and its touchscreen display. Furthermore, we love that the laptop doesn’t come with much in the way of bloatware. Except for MacAfee antivirus and a few other not so major programs, the i7559-7512GRY is a pretty clean piece of PC technology internally.
As we’d said, the i7559-7512GRY is remarkably low on major flaws for the most part but we’d have loved to see a lighter weight, a different type of plastic surface design and maybe a pair of slightly more robust speakers. We also state once again that 4K UHD gaming is not a serious option for the i7559-7512GRY if you’re looking for reasonable frame rates and high detail levels. This is more of HD gaming machine.
Dell’s Inspiron i7559-7512GRY sells for a remarkably decent price compared to many other 4K ultra HD laptops we’ve seen and reviewed on 4K.com before. It’s retailing now on Amazon.com for $1,219.92 and this is for the model with 16GB of RAM.
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• Solid overall performance
• Great hardware specs
• Lots of RAM
• Excellent Core i7-6700HQ CPU
• Great display contrast and colors
• Excellent price
• Overly heavy at nearly 6 lbs
• Plastic body is a fingerprint magnet
• Not superb for 4K UHD gaming
• Speakers could have used a bit of improvement