Dell’s do-it-all laptop computer would not disappoint

The Dell XPS 17 belongs to one of many households that helped to outline what a contemporary Home windows laptop computer seems like. It is all about government model, and has been one of many few Home windows sequence that has managed to lure some punters away from MacBooks.


Current Dell XPS strains have lastly began to deviate from the model the sequence has hooked into for a decade — however the Dell XPS 17 is a stalwart. How you’re feeling about that’s going to affect whether or not you assume this laptop computer is a tremendous alignment of all issues laptop computer, or a not fairly clearly “new” sufficient, contemplating its value.

It begins at $2049/£2299, however for the extra workstation-like machine I’ve right here, you may pay $3149/£3499. Or a number of hundred {dollars} much less judging by near-constant gross sales Dell appears to run. Must you purchase it? This is how I obtained on with it.

Dell XPS 17 (2023)

A potent mixture of energy and magnificence makes the Dell XPS 17 maybe probably the most compelling direct Home windows different to a MacBook Professional 16. However it has the value to match.

Professionals

  • Basic XPS top-grade construct high quality
  • All-day gentle use battery life
  • Sharp, colourful display
Cons

  • 720p webcam
  • Predictably, makes use of a decrease energy GPU iteration
  • Expensive

Design

  • Aluminium casing
  • 2.44kg
  • 374 x 248 x 19.5mm

In case you’ve ever owned or used a Dell XPS laptop computer earlier than, the XPS 17 might properly appear acquainted. It has the sequence’ staple mixture of aluminium and carbon-fibre strengthened polymer.

You get steel on the lid and underside, and a softer, warmer-feeling ultra-tough strengthened plastic for the keyboard encompass.

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This pairing screams high quality and a kind of government toughness — nevertheless it is not out to provide the slimmest and lightest laptop computer round. If that is what you’re after, check out one thing just like the LG Gram 17. It’s not a hybrid both, with a hinge that solely opens as much as the conventional laptop computer angle, not 180 levels.

The Dell XPS 17 is rather more just like the MacBook Pro 16, a laptop computer the place that sense of substance and stiffness is all a part of the attraction. It additionally results in weight of two.3-2.44kg (relying on spec), manner too heavy to be ideally suited for moveable use.

Nonetheless, the Dell XPS 17 will match into a traditional rucksack in contrast to the 17-inch giants of outdated. Simply look across the display — small borders at each facet imply the footprints of those XL laptops should not as imposing as they as soon as had been.

You aren’t getting any basic fats USB-A ports, however the 4 USB-Cs are all ultra-fast Thunderbolt 4 connectors. And Dell does chuck an adapter within the field that turns one among these ports into an HDMI and USB-A. Moreover, the XPS 17 has a full-size SD card reader and headphone socket, rounding off a fairly complete clutch of connections for this type of laptop computer.

Show

  • As much as 4K LCD show
  • 500-nit most brightness
  • Touchscreen

The Dell XPS 17 about nearly as good a display as you possibly can hope for with out leaping to what could be this sequence’ subsequent level-up: OLED. It has an LCD display with both a 16:10 Full HD panel or the 4K one I’ve right here.

No OLED means no good blacks, and you’ll discover this in darker rooms, the place blacks tackle that slight gray glow. Distinction is first rate however not more than that.

Every part else is nice, although. The Dell XPS 17 reaches about 500 nits maxed out, sufficient for comfy use open air within the solar even when it’s only half the rated brightness of a MacBook Professional, which may get even brighter when taking part in HDR video.

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Color depth is superb. It is wealthy and correct sufficient for pro-grade picture work, regardless that Dell would not make an excessive amount of noise in regards to the high quality of its XPS shows.

The excessive decision is right for productiveness apps too, greater than gaming. It makes interface components look sharp and crisp even at this measurement.

A touchscreen is the large win the Dell XPS 17 has over its arch rival the MacBook Professional 16. Nevertheless, you don’t get an energetic pen stylus within the field – that is one thing you may must fork out individually for.

Touchpad and keyboard

  • Textured glass touchpad
  • White keyboard backlight

Elsewhere within the XPS vary, Dell has began to experiment a bit with modernising components just like the keyboard and touchpad. The XPS 17 stays, fortunately, untouched by these.

There are all the time teething issues with these younger interface tech modifications, which is why I say ‘fortunately’. The Dell XPS 17 has a basic mechanical clicker touchpad, somewhat than the stylish haptic model, and it feels nice.

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Its clicker has a barely darkish vibe that appears extra substantial than a vibrant click on, and the touchpad floor is clean textured glass. There’s loads of it too.

The Dell XPS 17 keyboard is a bit more peculiar. Its really feel is not miles off that of Apple’s newest keyboard design, however with a little bit extra key journey and a barely softer actuation. There’s nothing fallacious with both of those modifications, however, as ever, if you would like a fair meatier keyboard you would possibly need to try Lenovo’s nerdiest ThinkPad laptops. Or perhaps a gaming mannequin with a mechanical keyboard.

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There’s two-level white backlight right here although, serving to in direction of simpler use within the night.

Efficiency

  • Up To Intel Core i9-13900H CPU
  • As much as 64GB RAM (32GB reviewed)
  • As much as Nvidia RTX 4080 GPU (RTX 4070 reviewed)

The Dell XPS 17 is a severe efficiency laptop computer, inside cause. It is available in an entire heap of specs and my evaluation pattern is likely one of the most high-end. It packs an Intel Core i9-13900H processor, 32GB RAM, a 1TB SSD and the Nvidia RTX 4070 graphics card.

That is about as highly effective as laptops of this sort get, and the CPU specifically is identical monster chipset utilized in the most costly gaming laptops. It makes the Dell XPS 17 ideally suited for jobs like video modifying, for those who do not need to make the leap to a desktop PC.

There are a few little weaknesses right here. The Dell XPS 17 doesn’t have the identical model of the RTX 4070 graphics card as a high-end gaming laptop computer, it is the lower-power model. Why? If you would like the really super-powered GPU, it’s a must to put up with a thicker laptop computer as a result of it would want a cooling system to match.

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The Dell XPS 17 is simply 2cm thick. It might have uncompromising efficiency by way of some eyes, however there are limits. I noticed it draw as much as 70W, 60W persistently, the place some fashions attain 140W.

You may nonetheless play video games like Cyberpunk 2077 simply positive, notably as this newest technology of graphics playing cards helps Nvidia’s jaw-dropping body technology tech. It may well actually greater than double the body price, with out inflicting the type of ugly outcomes seen within the frame-creating movement smoothing utilized in TVs.

A cooling system appropriate with an actual sense of fashion additionally means there is a increased pitch tone to the fan noise too, which may be extra apparent than a the decrease tones of a meaty workstation or gaming PC. You solely want to fret about this an excessive amount of for those who plan on driving the Dell XPS 17 arduous all day, and take into account the slick design right here a mere ‘good to have’.

Battery life and webcam

  • 97Wh battery
  • 130W USB-C charging
  • 720p webcam

The Dell XPS 17 has a large 97Wh battery. That is nearly as giant as a laptop computer battery can get whereas nonetheless being allowed aboard a aircraft.

Even this type of capability would not go that far in loads of the gaming laptops by which it’s used, however the Dell XPS 17 teases fairly stable light-use stamina out right here. Regardless of utilizing a comparatively energy hungry Core i9 CPU and a 4K show, which regularly use much more juice than a 1080p different, I noticed nearly lifeless on 10.5 hours of use between prices.

This was when performing an artificial benchmark, although, so in case your browser tab etiquette is horrible otherwise you need to really pressure the processor a bit, that stamina will take a nosedive. It is an space the place Dell simply cannot compete with Apple but: stamina beneath stress. Apple’s processors are at the moment unbeatable at preserving energy consumption low even when doing robust jobs.

I did see the Dell XPS 17 final round six hours of sunshine writing work when the display brightness is maxed-out. Watch out and you will get the laptop computer to final a full day’s work, which is spectacular contemplating what’s inside.

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This isn’t a foul laptop computer to tackle occasional work journeys or holidays, regardless of its relative heft. And it has a great set of audio system for film streaming in a resort too.

They’ve a small serving of precise bass, loads of quantity and a pleasant vast sound picture. Apple’s MacBook Professional 16 sounds higher, however the first time I heard that it appeared remarkably shut in high quality to an honest small wi-fi speaker.

The webcam of the XPS 17 is much less of a powerful level. It is a 720p digital camera, in an period when nearly all new and costly laptops have converted to 1080p, or one thing even higher.

Certain sufficient, the net chat picture is sort of delicate and stodgy, a problem highlighted additional by the massive show. Dell must type this subsequent time round, nevertheless it ought to have actually executed so with this technology.

Verdict

The Dell XPS 17 is a laptop computer that may tackle a number of personalities. It is a model PC, it is a workstation, am leisure unit when there is not any TV close by, and a more-than-respectable gaming laptop computer.

Certain, it prices a fortune, and would not characterize the reducing fringe of tech that the XPS sequence is supposed to be all about. This design, whereas good-looking, could seem a bit lengthy within the tooth to some. And the usage of a comparatively low-spec webcam is disappointing when nearly all the opposite big-name releases this yr use higher-res sensors.

You in all probability shouldn’t purchase this laptop computer for daily moveable use both. Whereas I’ve executed so throughout testing, upwards of 2kg can be a bit heavy for this job. Have I beloved utilizing it, although? Completely.

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