Dell XPS 17 evaluate: A cell workstation in disguise
“The Dell XPS 17 is unequalled in additional giant, highly effective laptops.”
Vibrant, lovely display
Implausible construct high quality and design
Efficiency is spectacular
Snug keyboard and touchpad
Mediocre battery life
For those who work primarily from dwelling, the concept of a big, 17-inch laptop computer may sound enticing. The screens on these laptops are only some inches smaller than some exterior PC screens, packed right into a single bundle that may be taken on the go.
However the Dell XPS 17 is extra than simply that. It’s a powerhouse by way of efficiency, hoping to copy not solely the large-screen format of a desktop setup, but in addition the facility. The newest mannequin comes with an Nvidia RTX 3060, an Intel Core i7-11800H, and a 4K decision touchscreen. That individual configuration comes at a mighty price of $2,800, however in case you want the dimensions and efficiency, the XPS 17 stays one of many best possible laptops you should buy.
The Dell XPS 17 is a really giant laptop computer. I begin there, because it’s essentially the most defining characteristic of this laptop computer from the remainder of the XPS lineup.
The dimensions of the XPS 17 is even distinctive aside from the XPS lineup. Different 17-inch laptops such because the LG Gram 17 or HP Envy 17 are a lot smaller than the XPS 17, however that’s hardly a good comparability to make. These laptops run on decrease wattage processors and might’t be configured with high-end discrete graphics playing cards.
The XPS 17 shares extra in frequent with fashionable workstation laptops, such because the Asus ProArt Studiobooks or the HP ZBook Fury 17. However even there, lots of the choices you’ll discover haven’t been up to date shortly and aren’t almost as slick because the XPS 17.
By way of dimension (and efficiency), the Razer Blade 17 is the closest rival to the XPS 17. The XPS 17 is barely smaller in most dimensions apart from thickness, the place the 2 laptops are nearly equal.
It feels premium and appears smooth, similar to different XPS laptops.
Likelihood is, in case you’re out there for a bigger creative-focused laptop computer, you’ll even be taking a look at 16-inch laptops. Following within the footsteps of the MacBook Professional 16-inch, laptops that match on this class embody the Lenovo Legion 5 Professional, ROG Zephyrus M16, and the Dell Inspiron 16 Plus. The XPS 17 is wider, thicker, and heavier than most of those laptops, regardless of every little thing Dell has finished to trim down the chassis, weighing 5.three kilos and measuring zero.77 inches thick.
However Dell has caught to its weapons with the XPS 17, making it a reasonably distinctive providing in 2021. The taller 16:10 side ratio display makes the laptop computer really feel much more expansive — even with the insanely skinny bezels wrapping across the show.
The XPS 17 is heavier, wider, and thicker than the MacBook Professional 16-inch, and is bigger in nearly each means in comparison with the LG Gram 17. However making dimension comparisons in opposition to laptops like these is hardly truthful, particularly contemplating how far more energy you possibly can pack into the XPS 17.
The XPS 17 in any other case seems to be almost an identical to the XPS 15. Whereas a lot of the interior construction is exclusive, the aluminum shell, ultra-thin bezels, and black carbon-fiber palm rests will look very acquainted. It feels premium and appears smooth, similar to the smaller variations of this similar laptop computer.
It’s considered one of my very favourite designs. I want Dell supplied the white variant (as seen within the XPS 13), however I’m not about to complain in regards to the aesthetic. Ever since its preliminary launch, it has been one of many best-looking laptops you should buy.
The Dell XPS 17 retains its ports easy: 4 Thunderbolt four ports and a full-sized SD card slot. These ports inform you a large number about the place the XPS 17 will get its inspiration and who it primarily is for. For those who’re irritated by the restricted ports within the MacBook Professional, the XPS 17 gained’t give you a lot assist. Notably, there’s no HDMI port or USB-A.
Fortuitously, Dell tosses in a USB-C adapter with each USB-A and HDMI totally free, which makes me glad. Laborious to complain when Dell does the soiled give you the results you want.
The total-size SD card slot, in fact, is there for photographers and videographers. With the ability to go straight from a digital camera to a pc is vastly handy, even for hobbyists and dabblers. Having one will make your mates and colleagues with MacBook Professionals jealous.
Keyboard and touchpad
No surprises right here — the XPS 17 has a superb keyboard and touchpad. The keypresses are springy and don’t characteristic any tomfoolery round low-travel nonsense. Typing is quiet and comfy.
The keycaps are the spotlight of the keyboard although. They really feel sturdy underneath your fingers, as an alternative of wobbly. I additionally love how giant the keycaps are, leaving little or no empty area in between keys, and good vast keys on the edges. You discover wider Shift keys on one other laptop computer.
The touchpad is equally vast. Somewhat than simply use the same-sized touchpad on the smaller XPS laptops (as different producers do), this touchpad is designed particularly to utilize the 17-inch type issue. Monitoring is exact and the clicking is good and quiet.
Show and audio system
The Dell XPS 17 is all about its display. The 17-inch display is within the 16:10 side ratio, which is ideal for this dimension of laptop computer. It makes for a big workspace to broaden home windows on and multitask throughout. The decision is 3840 x 2400, which is much more pixels than a typical 4K display. The result’s a perfectly crisp show with contact capabilities.
The bottom mannequin is a 1920 x 1200 mannequin, and it doesn’t include a touchscreen. It’s a $400 distinction in worth, so that you’ll wish to select correctly. I don’t suggest want a 1080p decision on a show this huge, as you’ll begin to select the pixels.
Just like the port choice, this high-resolution display is made with creatives in thoughts. It’s a brilliant and colourful display with almost excellent coloration saturation, hitting 100% in each sRGB and AdobeRGB coloration areas. Colour accuracy is on level too. It’s a stunning display by way of and thru.
The temperature of the display is moderately heat, although. In lots of circumstances, the hotter tint is welcomed. However whereas watching movies or motion pictures, I seen some pores and skin tones with an oddly orange glow. Dell consists of only a single coloration mode within the Home windows settings.
The 720p webcam, which is located within the bezel above the show, is terrible.
Talking of leisure, the audio system are first rate. For a laptop computer of this dimension, I hoped to listen to extra bass, however the XPS 17 does characteristic a pleasant stereo picture and might get fairly loud with out crackles. For those who’re desirous to hearken to some background music or podcasts whereas working, these audio system ought to do the trick with out too many complaints.
I’ve loads of complaints, nonetheless, in regards to the webcam. The 720p webcam, which is located within the bezel above the show, is terrible. It’s a part of the trade-off with having such a slim prime bezel. It’ll get you by on the occasional video name, but when you must be on digital camera all day, this isn’t the laptop computer for you.
The Dell XPS 17 begins at $1,550. What you get in that base mannequin is the Intel Core i5-11400H, built-in Intel UHD graphics, 8GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. That mannequin is a little more inexpensive, but it surely doesn’t lean on the strengths of the XPS 17.
Upping to eight cores (and including in a discrete graphics card), the Dell XPS 17 turns into a way more succesful performer. My unit got here with the Core i7-11800H, 16GB of RAM, an Nvidia RTX 3060, and a 1TB SSD. However in change to your $2,800, you’ll get a laptop computer that excels in heavy duties akin to artistic utility efficiency and gaming.
3DMark Time Spy
Fortnite (1080p Epic)
Civilization VI (1080p Extremely)
Dell XPS 17 (Core i7-11800H)
1568 / 8801
Dell XPS 17 (Core i7-10875H)
1315 / 7959
LG Gram 17 (Core i7-1165G7)
1312 / 3912
1503 / 4606
Lenovo Legion 5 Professional (Ryzen 7 5800H)
1430 / 11195
1460 / 7227
The XPS 17 was already a strong laptop computer, however the bump to RTX 30-series graphics crank up the efficiency. It’s straightforward to see the advantages when evaluating 3DMark scores, the place the newer mannequin is 18% quicker in the identical take a look at. You may write off the RTX 3060 in comparison with the 3070 or 3080 featured in gaming laptops, however names will be misleading. The system can ship 70 watts of energy to the graphics card, which is greater than what many non-gaming laptops can do. To place issues in perspective, although, the Razer Blade laptops can push as much as 100 watts of energy to the graphics.
That leads to quicker body charges within the video games I examined. Exterior of the heaviest video games, the XPS 17 can hit over 60 fps (frames per second) in video games at 1920 x 1200. Exterior of a lighter, extra processor-heavy recreation like Civilization VI, you gained’t wish to try and play video games at native decision, in fact. The 60Hz refresh fee can be a limitation on how pleasurable the gaming expertise shall be. For that cause, it’s not a laptop computer that ought to be bought primarily for the aim of gaming. However it’s one heck of a perk, that’s for positive.
The improved graphics in addition to higher efficiency in artistic purposes. I examined the laptop computer’s video modifying capabilities in PugetBench’s Premiere Professional benchmark, which exams every little thing from 4K video playback to timeline exports. It outperformed the final Intel-based 27-inch iMac that I examined, which featured a desktop Core i9-10910. It’s the very best scoring laptop computer I’ve examined on this benchmark, and also you’ll seemingly see comparable efficiency in lots of different content material creation purposes.
After all, processor efficiency can be extraordinarily necessary in these exams, and the 11th-gen Intel Core i7-11800H on the coronary heart of the XPS 17 performs admirably. The CPU hummed alongside at round three.2GHz, often boosting as much as four.19GHz. Its PCMark 10 scores had been improbable, which exams each day duties like net searching, video conferencing, and spreadsheets. It ought to be famous, although, that laptops operating on AMD’s Ryzen 5000 platform are each bit as sturdy on this benchmark, even on smaller 13-inch laptops just like the Asus ROG Circulation X13.
A lot of the spectacular efficiency of the XPS 17 comes from its good thermals. Floor temperatures by no means get too scorching, and inside temperatures keep pretty cool. I seen occasional jumps as much as the max of 100 levels Celsius (for each the GPU and CPU), however temperatures primarily stayed underneath 70 levels throughout nearly all of my testing.
The battery life on the Dell XPS 17 isn’t nice. Dell packed in a 97 watt-hour battery inside — you possibly can’t safely pack in a battery a lot bigger. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t count on all-day battery life. The mixture of the big, high-resolution display, 45-watt CPU, and RTX graphics are all power-suckers, and it exhibits by way of how lengthy the battery lasts.
In our gentle net searching take a look at, the laptop computer lasted simply over 5 hours. It fared a lot better throughout video playback, the place it lasted nearly 10 and a half hours in whereas looping a 1080p film trailer till the battery died. It’s uncommon to see such an enormous discrepancy between these two exams, however no matter what you’re doing, you possibly can’t count on the XPS 17 to final a full day on a single cost.
The 1080p mannequin with out RTX graphics will seemingly last more, in fact. The XPS 15 may also web you a pair extra hours of battery life.
The Dell XPS 17 is in a category of its personal. If a big display is all you need, the worth and dimension of the XPS 17 is likely to be overkill. However in case you want an even bigger display and further efficiency, the XPS 17 is tough to beat.
Are there any alternate options?
The closest actual different to the Dell XPS 17 is the Razer Blade 17. These are the one two 17-inch laptops that may be configured with highly effective graphics, 4K screens, and highly effective 45-watt processors. The Razer Blade 17, although, is dearer.
The LG Gram 17 or HP Envy 17 are each cheaper and extra moveable choices, however they will’t be configured as excessive because the XPS 17.
Lastly, in case you just like the design and efficiency of the XPS 17, you also needs to think about the smaller XPS 15. It’s a bit cheaper, will get higher battery life, and is simpler to hold round.
How lengthy will it final?
The Dell XPS 17 ought to final you 4 or 5 years, assuming you handle it. Sadly, the entire elements are soldered on, so updating or repairing the system your self isn’t attainable. Fortuitously, Dell lets you add tons of RAM or storage whereas configuring it — you’ll simply must pay for that each one upfront. The XPS 17 can deal with as much as 64GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD.
Must you purchase it?
Sure, particularly if you can also make use of the additional efficiency and sensible display.