Dell XPS 15 VS Dell XPS 17! Is BIGGER Always BETTER?!

by birtanpublished on November 21, 2020

Dell has now totally revamped their xps line with a series of three laptops the smallest 13-inch 9300 the mid-range shockingly small 15-inch 9500 and the big boy of the bunch the 17-inch 9700 if you were looking for one with a dedicated graphics card you really are though limited to the 15 and the 17 inch options so which of these two should you get if you were looking for a travel productivity laptop let's find out okay i'll slam one down what's up everyone i'm the everyday dead if i can figure it out you can figure it out

These two laptops are actually pretty exciting for me you probably know that because i talk about them constantly now these are the first laptops that i've considered to replace my macbook and as a pretty big apple user for the past three years that's no mean feat that is no mean feat i've never actually considered straying from my path before these two computers came out now they are very similar very similar inside but there are some key differences that we'll cover today and i will give you my recommendation at

The end of the video since these are similar yet different computers i'll actually be able to make a recommendation that isn't pick your ecosystem hooray we'll have closure today first up though let's very briefly cover the internal specs and display for both of these tiny yet powerful computers the xps 15 does have a couple of levels but at its base model this comes equipped with a quad core 10th generation intel i5 processor 8 gigabytes of ddr4

Ram integrated intel graphics and a 256 gigabyte internal solid-state drive you can take this demure package and spec it all the way out to an eight core 10th gen intel i7 processor 64 gigabytes of ram an nvidia gtx 1650 ti and a two terabyte solid-state drive that's pretty beefy for such a small laptop i do have some complaints on the 15-inch model specs though and it mainly revolves around that 1650 ti that graphics card is built on an older

Nvidia technology and it doesn't have access to all of the new video encoding advances that nvidia has been coming up with if they'd even put the 1660 version that would have been so much more preferable in my eyesight the biggest that's the biggest weakness of the 15-inch model i'm okay with the lack of an i-9 processor option because i do think that would be too much for the thermals to handle much more on the thermals later the xps 17 on the other hand

Is very similarly spec'd at the base model with practically the exact same option the four core i5 8 gigabytes of ram integrated graphics and 256 gigabyte solid state drive and though i'm like the base model person i always recommend base models i do not recommend the base model of the 17. if you just want an i5 get the 15 inch unless you just love like if you love just having a bigger laptop sure go ahead and get the 17. but if you're looking for any kind of power don't get the base model you can spec

The 17 much like the 15 with a few notable exceptions you can get up to that eight core intel i7 10875h gigabytes of ram but an nvidia rtx 2060 max q and a 2 terabyte solid state drive something that's not mentioned on the spec sheet but another upgrade you get if you do pick the 17 inch model with a dedicated graphics card you get a much much beefier cooling system which as i'm learning about laptops as i start to talk more about laptops and use

Laptops more in my workflow investing in the cooling system might be the most important thing that you can invest in period if you have the option always get the better cooling system okay blah i hate talking about specs are boring let's compare these against the key things that i look for in a laptop first off obviously let's talk about portability the main differences between these two laptops besides the internal specs is the size the xps 17 is much much smaller than the 17 and that's not

Surprising right it's got a smaller number i even i can understand smaller numbers but it's just it's like a lot smaller like no i don't consider the xps 17 to be an overly large laptop it's just barely bigger than my 15 inch gaming laptop but the size here is strikingly different but i don't know that i would consider it that much now hear me hear me out i've been able to get the 17-inch xps into a standard 15-inch laptop backpack

So if the weight difference is about a pound and you can fit it into the same backpack i don't know that you'd really be able to tell the difference unless caveat that with if you travel long distances under a pack well then yes ounces equal pounds and you would definitely have to make a tougher decision here but walking across campus or walking from the car to your office and back that pound just isn't going to be that big of a deal one thing that you will have to note

About both laptops is obviously they are both windows machines they will both suffer when unplugged from the wall in the same way so that's pretty even here it was a big advantage for the mac it's not as big of an advantage here i don't know i'm kind of torn when it comes to portability the xps 15 is so much smaller so i'll probably have to give the portability category to it but you really do get you really do get used to the extra size of the 17 really quickly don't be scared and you

Think that this is too big of a laptop next up let's quickly touch on the battery because that's like an addendum to the category regarding portability if you're always going to be plugged into the wall then i don't know maybe just get a desktop the battery sizes on the two devices match up with their bigger size chassis the xps 17 has a 97 watt hour battery and the xps 15 has a smaller battery but because this has bigger specs bigger screen bigger stuff you're gonna get a pretty even battery life

On both of these but like i said earlier you will suffer a hefty performance penalty if you are going to be running strictly off that battery both of these computers though do charge through usbc between their three and four usbc ports which i think we can all like as humanity agree that usbc charging needs to be that needs to be the standard from now on i don't even mind that usbc has replaced most other sorts of ports except the one that we'll talk about here in a second

Well okay we'll talk about it now the sd card it's important i love that it's on here moving away from portability kinda sorta either way let's talk about the display on both of these machines they're amazing the displays on hand here are amazing there is no other way to put it i absolutely love what they've done here the display on the xps 15 and 17 come in two flavors of 16 by 10 aspect ratios a 1080p ish and a 4k ish touchscreen panel and it's in these really thin bezels that it really lets the

Computers be as small as they are the bezels are almost like nothing and while it looks darn great on the 15 it's mind blowing on the 17 inch i don't mean to overly hype these displays because i talk about them a lot in these videos but seriously the best part about these computers and i think a large part of the allure and buying decision if you're going to be looking at one of these as a laptop is how small of a

Bigger laptop you can get the 17-inch display is big enough that when you sit down to work on it you do not see the edges you have to pull your attention away from what you are doing to notice that this screen has an abrupt plastic edge to it i'm telling you the lower the resolution on the display the less power the panel will consume so i also do not recommend going with the 4k option as from this viewing distance the odds that you'll actually be able to

See the difference in the pixels that's pretty small but you will absolutely notice the difference in battery life and again laptops are meant to be portable another thing that's really turned into a battleground in the portable computing experience is the speakers both of these do have very similar audio setups with side mounted top firing speakers now i do think both of these sound perfectly fine i'm not an audiophile

For spoken voices though like editing this video both of these speakers are perfectly fine and i think they sound fantastic and they do have enough clearness and bass i haven't been using my headphones here in the studio to edit on these i would use them if i was out and about traveling if i could travel right now and thankfully both computers do have a 3.5 millimeter headphone jack built into them while we're talking about the speakers since they're so close to them

Let's move a little bit into talking about another huge aspect of laptops the keyboard and the typing experience okay i need you guys to buckle up here because as an office worker and somebody that types several thousand word scripts many times a week typing is kind of my wheelhouse that's kind of the thing that i have experience in and i really am a connoisseur of both of these keyboards are the exact same they have the exact keys

The exact same size and they have the same travel and the same color you could take one replace it with the other and you would not notice they both do feel a little mushy if you're used to typing on a macbook but it's not all that bad and once you get into a typing rhythm it doesn't feel sluggish or slow anymore and thankfully i mean the keyboard itself like these keys are not gonna hold you back while you're typing but there is a difference and it is notable and i do want to mention it here

And it's because of the size of these computers both these computers while we're talking about it they are covered with a black carbon fiber that looks and feels amazing this stuff is wonderful and i like how it feels so much more than my macbook's aluminum and that difference does sound obvious right the xps 17 is the bigger body so it has the bigger palm wrist but because of this bigger palm rest i for me personally i find that it's less comfortable to

Type on now this will come down to how big your hands are i have pretty standard size hands and it's just i don't like typing on this keyboard face with the way this edge is really kind of sharp and the way my hands and wrists sit on this the 17 just it digs into my forearms while typing and i do find it an uncomfortable experience over here on the 15 though the way that it's set up like i've got this crook for me like right here that where when my hands are set on the keyboard

It's much much more comfortable to type and i actually the xps 15 might be in the running for my favorite typing experience of all time and it's right up there it is right up there with the macbook pro 13 which is my absolute favorite typing experience on a computer let's quickly mention while we're talking about like the body of the computer let's talk about the track pad that they share between them this is much bigger than any other windows

Laptop that i've ever seen it's this is about as macbook as you can get without actually having a macbook now there have been some quality control issues that i've seen on the internet between the two models but dell has promised that all future models that if you buy today that you won't have a problem with the trackpad now personally my 15 inch works great and i haven't had a single problem with this trackpad but the 17 does feel a little loose to me i mean this does feel

Like a little loose in the trackpad area and i will probably return this to try to get a model with a better trackpad and that's i mean that's disappointing but that's why i always recommend that you buy your gear from a company with a reputable return policy it's very important that when you have issues like this you're not stuck i don't feel stuck with this laptop i'm going to return it to get a better one so overall overall i will give body of the computer to the xps 15.

Something to note quickly but i don't want to dwell on is both of these computers have upgradable ram and m.2 nvme slots they both have two while that sounds similar under the hood it's actually a little different and it's a little different in a big way the xps 17 actually has two fully featured drive holders on both of its m.2 ports where the 15 has one and it's for the included solid state drive but you have to source a holder or a screw yourself if you do want to

Put a drive in that second slot and that's kind of a pain if you're going to have those ports available please just give me the holders like give me the ability and the capability to upgrade the device if you're going to say it's upgradable make it so i don't have to buy something additional i mean i do have to buy the drives but the drives don't come with holders have this come with it now that's not to say that upgrading either computer is difficult it's not it's very very easy and we've done it twice now here in the

Channel we've upgraded both of these computers but i am absolutely going to give the upgradability category win to the 17 because of those pre-included covers with the pre-installed thermal pads since we're already under the hood let's talk about another thing that's really key for computers but absolutely this is absolutely a buying decision level difference in laptops and that's the thermal performance like we mentioned in the spec overview the

Biggest difference thermally between the two is the xps 15 no matter what model you buy has a more traditional heat pipe running system that has a heat pipe from the fan running over the components that need to be cooled and it's worked perfectly fine for me in the last month but it does dance really closely to the edge of thermal performance sometimes touching 90 degrees while video editing before the fans really kick in and it has it has thermal throttled a couple of times for a few seconds on me the xps 17

Has a new vapor chamber cooling system design that takes up most of the bottom and back of this computer and it works fantastically well now i was concerned that my 17 inch might have an issue because it has a more powerful cpu and a dedicated gpu unlike my base model 15 but i shouldn't worry at all i've had excellent thermal performance out of this machine and even when doing both 4k video editing and rendering in premiere pro the thermal temperature stays very

Consistent and well under what i would consider to be a problem the only i have had this thermally throttle in one occasion that's when i tried to play some 4k h.265 10-bit files from a canon 1dx mark iii and then that just that just ramped the cpu to 11 while trying to play it back and it just nothing the computer did not enjoy that so i do not recommend doing that for obvious reasons and the last major thing that i want to talk to you about today is if you can only have one

Computer that does double duty as a travel machine but also your only home computer how do they stack up like we said earlier the xps 15 has two thunderbolt 3 ports and one non thunderbolt 3 usb-c port that you can use for charging while the 17 has four ports that are all thunderbolt 3. now both of these because they have thunderbolt 3 ports they will work with something like my cal 3 dock and i have been plugging them into that dock for all of that and i think with the port selection

Additional thermals and even the more powerful gpu options the xps 17 is clearly a better desktop replacement if you just refuse to have a desktop but at the end of the day so what right which of these laptops comes out on top i've said that i like both which one do i prefer when i first got the 15 inch in i was legitimately and still am impressed but how powerful this could be despite being basically a 14 inch or even smaller laptop and when the 17-inch came in

It did seem too big to me when i first started using it but after a week of solid use i think the 17-inch is one of the best computers i've ever used it's very powerful fits in even 15-inch laptop bags the thermals are great and if you can get one with a good track pad i easily easily recommend this over the 15 inch because you're going to spend about the same amount to get the same components i easily recommend the 17 inch unless you just have to have the

Smallest lightest option around the 17-inch i love this computer and if you like this video and you want to see how the 17-inch stacks up against my current laptop of choice the macbook pro 16 click here to find out which one comes out on top click click click click click click click thanks for watching

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