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Inside Dell XPS 15 (Skylake, 9550) – disassembly, internal photos and upgrade options

Despite the obvious advantages of Dell XPS 15 like superb screen and impeccable build quality and design, as we stated in our full review, there are a few drawbacks that should be considered. When we first opened the notebook, we were quite disappointed by two facts. Firstly, the notebook offers too small M.2 SSD stick for the asking price of little more than €2 200 and also, the model we got was with considerably smaller battery capacity than it should have been. Let’s see what else is under the hood.

You can lookup Dell XPS 15 and its available configurations at Amazon.com.

1. Removing the bottom plate

This one is quite easy like most XPS devices up to date. You just need to remove the internal torxes around the casing on the bottom. Don’t forget to lift up the XPS cap in the middle as it hides another two normal frearson bolts.


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2. Cooling system design and hardware arrangement

After you’ve removed all the screws, carefully pry up the bottom piece with a plastic tool or a thin card should do as well. The bottom part contains the 56Wh battery, which we will talk about later, and the 2.5 HDD. The center has the RAM slots and on the left side resides the M.2 SSD slot.


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The cooling system resembles some notebooks like Y50, Y700 and other high-end gaming notebooks on the market, but the effectiveness is far from good, though. As we saw in our full review, the notebook easily throttles under heavy load and doesn’t utilize the Turbo Boost feature of the CPU very well. Also, the extremely thin chassis doesn’t allow enough airflow and Dell has sacrificed cooling capabilities for mobility.

3. Upgrade options

We can’t expect anything less than a 2.5-inch drive slot and an M.2 SSD slot for storage options. And the Dell XPS 15 delivers. Unfortunately, though, the provided M.2 stick is 2242 with just 32GB of storage capacity. Originally, the motherboard is compatible with M-edge key or B&M connectors for the SSD with 2280 standard, but the extension here makes the 2242 mount possible.


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The HDD is 2.5-inch by Western Digital with 1TB of storage capacity spinning at 5400 rpm. And finally – the battery. On Dell’s official website is listed that the high-end 4K model comes with 88Wh battery, but it seems that this isn’t always the case. Probably the whole eastern European region gets the UHD screen variant with the smaller 56Wh, which is a huge letdown. So be careful when buying the XPS 15 and ask your retailer specifically for the battery capacity.


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You can lookup Dell XPS 15 and its available configurations at Amazon.com.

List of hardware inside

  • 2.5-inch Western Digital Blue 1TB HDD @5400 rpm
  • M.2 2242 SSD with 32GB storage capacity by Lite-on
  • Dell 3-cell 56Wh battery