Dell’s Inspiron 15 7000 gets a GTX 1060 refresh

Dell is refreshing its Inspiron 15 7000 gaming laptop with an updated look and some minor connectivity tweaks. Most importantly, though, the company is sweetening the machine with a GTX 1060 graphics chip at the top end of its option sheet, courtesy of Nvidia's Max-Q technology.

The current model, the 7567, is a pretty capable machine, and it recently earned a spot in our mobile staff picks. With this refresh, Dell is doing a few interesting things. Where the previous model offered a GTX 1050 as its base option and topped out at a GTX 1050 Ti with 4GB of RAM, the new Inspiron 15 7000 lets gamers bring a GTX 1060 6GB graphics chip to bear on demanding titles. All of these graphics chips attache to an IPS display available in both 1920×1080 and 3840×2160 variants. Like the previous model, both a seventh-gen Core i5-7300HQ and a Core i5-7700HQ are on offer, and the system can be purchased with as much as 16GB of RAM from Dell. The machine can address as much as 32GB of RAM, but buyers will have to add those SO-DIMMs in themselves.

Along with the beefier GPU, the system is getting changes to its battery, Wi-Fi, and port loadout. While the graphics card is getting bumped up to a GTX 1060, Dell has made the interesting decision to drop the battery down from a 74 Whr battery to a 56 Whr four-cell battery. The battery is a quick-charge pack, meaning that it can go from a claimed 0% to 80% charge with just an hour of plug time. While Dell didn't offer any battery life specs on the previous iteration of the 7000, the company is promising seven hours of battery time (at least from Mobile Mark 14's battery life test) in the machine's highest-end configuration. Expect a small fraction of that if you're going to load up Dota 2 and play a round.

Why Dell chose to go with a smaller battery in the updated machine could be chalked up to a couple reasons. Bigger heatsinks for the GTX 1060 could've demanded a smaller battery to balance out weight and internal space, for example. An IPS display and Thunderbolt 3 are both more expensive base specs, so it may have been a pure cost-cutting measure, as well. Nvidia's Battery Boost 3.0 and Whispermode could mitigate the drain the graphics chip puts on the battery, and that may have helped justify the smaller, lighter cell, too. Still, we'd have rather not seen this spec cut.

The 7000's Wi-Fi offers 802.11ac, but its being bumped up from a 1×1 config to a 2×2 antenna array for improved wireless connectivity and signal strength. The port loadout is pretty similar to previous models, but Dell is adding a Thunderbolt 3-compatible USB Type-C port with support for 10Gbps USB 3.1 Gen2 transfer speed, 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 throughput, and DisplayPort connectivity.

The outside of the system has been given an overhaul, as well. It's a bit thinner than its forebear, and it doesn't so much scream "gamer" as it just mentions it in passing. The housing remains available in a subdued matte black and in an eye-catching red, depending on your tastes.

Alongside the hotter graphics chip comes bigger price tags. Where the previous Inspiron 7000 started at about $850 and maxed out at $1200, Dell is now asking for $999 for the base model and $1,449 for the new system at the top end. We're interested to see how Max-Q tech and that scaled-down battery end up working out in the real world. Dell says the new Inspiron 15 7000 will be available starting September 12.

Comments closed
    • Chrispy_
    • 2 years ago

    The problem with the old version of this model was terrible screens;

    The IPS was beautiful but landed you in DPI-scaling hell and there was no way the GPU could handle 4K even in older games.

    The desirable-for-gaming 1080p option had one of the worst TN panels I’ve seen in a while. It was bad by cheap-TN standards, which is already dire.

    • Voldenuit
    • 2 years ago

    What, no Geforce 940MX? Son, I am disappoint.

    • GrimDanfango
    • 2 years ago

    In other Dell battery-related news, I’m loving my recent XPS 15 purchase… sure, the 1050 doesn’t have the same class of grunt as a 1060, but the combination with a 97Wh battery makes for a laptop on which I can do light gaming for an entire long-distance flight, and even a solid 3-4 hours of 3D gaming before plugging in. The only real downside is the patented Dell NostrilCam™.

      • tipoo
      • 2 years ago

      I think I’ve used my webcam twice in as many years. Nostricam honestly seems a pragmatic optimization for those thin bezels and 14″-like footprint.

    • chµck
    • 2 years ago

    Still no display-port :c

    • tipoo
    • 2 years ago

    Sweet. Last (current?) gen was a good value, but even among TN panels that TN panel was godawful.

    I’m curious too why the battery had to get smaller, the last one had an m.2 slot and 2.5 inch slot and plenty of room to spare around its 74Wh battery, now it’s nearly a third smaller for not much weight or size shrinkage.

    Is 40Gb/s Thunderbolt 3 confirmed? The XPS’s use 2x rather than 4X PCI-E lanes on TB for half the bandwidth.

      • smilingcrow
      • 2 years ago

      I think that’s because the XPS 13 with a 15W CPU is optimised more for efficiency than performance whereas this has a 35/45W CPU with a different priority.

      Dell are weird with batteries as for example the Latitude 7370 is available with either a 34W or 43W battery. You can even buy the 1080P version with 43W, which I have, or the QHD+ touch screen with a 34W.
      Even though it’s Core M, with a high density touch screen and a 34W battery I hate to think how poor the battery life is compared to the XPS 13 which has a similar size chassis; tiny bezel.
      They have cut the battery life too much on the Latitude as I think 50W should be standard.
      Then they have middle of the road 14 or 15.6″ bulky laptops with 15W CPUs and 65W PLUS batteries.
      They do cover a lot of bases, they’re like an inverse-Apple in that sense.

        • tipoo
        • 2 years ago

        If it’s fullspeed TB3 that’s really a cherry on top for a budget gaming laptop, in 2-3 years when the 1050 starts hurting maybe TB3 boxes will be a cheap fix.

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