decent laptop for work/gaming and lots of skyping


Jul 10, 2016
1. What is your budget?
- not buying in the US, so it's gonna be hard to judge. 1500?

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
- 15 inch. 17 would be nice, but is also harder to carry around

3. What screen resolution do you want?
- i'm already happy with about 1600x900, but higher is better

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
- portable

5. How much battery life do you need?
- due to nr 4, a couple of hours would be nice. but 3 would already be sufficient, i plug my machines often

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?
- yes i want to play games, but i am usually years behind the current trend. so.... atm i am playing e.g. D3 (any medium+ setting is enough) and i hope to find the time to play skyrim in the future.... i never had any good experience with intel graphic cards, so i'd prefer not have one there neither. any low-end nVidia can (in my experience) do more than the shiniest intel.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
- video editing: yes. but low end, using virtualdub etc.
- skype. skype is a very important part of my (sometimes long distance) relationship, so the notebook needs a good microphone, a good camera and the computing power to deal with having skype running while gaming or watching some movie. also some skype calls have been going on for 24h+ on a weekend.....

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
- SSD: 256-512, rather 512. in total there should be 1000+

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
- no. but i am currently in switzerland, so there will be restrictions.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
- 3-5 years.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
- none needed

12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.
- not really any preference.

13. What country do you live in?
- switzerland

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
- all provided :)

Perhaps the Dell XPS 15 might be a good enough match for you. It is close to you max budget of $1,500 USD. It is currently being sold for 1,449 CHF. The only requirement which you listed that the Dell XPS 15 does not meet is that it only comes with a 1TB HDD with a 32GB SSD cache. However, you can always remove the 32GB SSD and replace it with a M.2 format SSD later on.

This 15.6" laptop is actually close to the size of a 14" laptop because of very thin bezels around the screen. It is also pretty light at about 4lbs / 1.8kg. It comes with a quad core i5-6300HQ CPU and a nVidia GTX 960m which is a pretty powerful GPU.

One thing that you may not like about it is the placement of the camera in the lower left corner of the screen rather than around the top middle of the screen. Such is the trade off for a laptop with a thin bezel. On the plus side average use tests indicates that the Dell XPS 15 has a 7 to 9 hour battery depending on what you are doing (no gaming).

Here's a review by MobileTechReview:

Here's a follow-up review by MobileTechReview 6 months later:


Jul 10, 2016
hi jaguarskx,

many thanks for the advice. I was already doing a bit of research on that model since i saw it in various reviews. the small 32gb ssd can be replaced? ok.... that sounds interesting.
also the fact that the 32gb are used as cache should make most operations in the hdd rather fast nonetheless.

one thing, however, that i read, makes me wonder: this is a very thin notebook. if the notebook is very thin - does that not mean that it is harder to create a decent circulation? those skype calls, even though video calls are low demand compared with games, do cause heating and should not be underestimated. the notebook i used now, a macbook pro 2013 edition (i.e. rather high end when i got it) got used up within less than 3 years. some sensor inside broke and caused a myriad of energy issues. i actually think that skype was probably the culprit :) (back then the calls were active every night for 8+ hours).

am i wrong in that assumption about the circulation? if yes i will probably heed your advice since everything else about the laptop looks indeed great (i can live with the camera. center up is also not perfect)
I do not recall reading about any issues regarding heat in the Dell XPS 15 9550; or at least none that raised even a small concern. It is a laptop that I also interested in buying. Just waiting for the right moment to pull the trigger.

Note that there are other models of the Dell XPS 15 from different years. The Dell XP 15 9550 was released in 2015.


Jul 10, 2016
thanks for the help, jaguarskx, i just bought the xps 15.
i got one with 512GB SSD though, i decided that i might not be fine with just the 32gb cache thing. 1580 CHF with some current ongoing promotion.