Dell XPS 17 Review

by birtanpublished on October 4, 2020

This is lisa from mobile tech review and finally this is the dell xps 17 their first 17-inch xps in god a long time so as you might expect well the xps 15 kind of got swole but not really so much swell it's not really thicker or bulkier it's just a little bit bigger in footprint it's not that much bigger though surprisingly it's currently delso is the smallest 17-inch laptop on the planet and i don't think that they're lying about that and it's 5.53 pounds which is two and a half kilograms so it's not much heavier than xps 15 pretty darn light especially for

Something with the usual robust cnc aluminum casing nice rigid 4k display with a touchscreen all that sort of stuff we're going to look at it now so first off this is a laptop for creators and creators with some money too we'll talk about pricing in a minute this is not supposed to be a gaming laptop they make the alienware line for that sort of thing if you're looking for a gaming laptop what does that mean it's very thin and relatively very light so

The thermals here that means we have a vapor chamber cooler which is a good thing nice effective thing but it's not like so thick that you can have a whole lot of cooling solution inside it's perfectly adequate for things like well video editing which is one of the target purposes for this for doing photo editing seriously because gorgeous gorgeous 4k to screen we'll also talk about the screens in a minute and obviously if you're doing some 3d renders and all that sort of thing because uh-huh the top-of-the-line gpu option for this

Is the nvidia rtx 2060 max-q now that is not going to put you over the top if you're playing metro exodus or something like that you could do better with an rtx 27 or 80 obviously for serious gaming again not a gaming laptop but that's just enough for those of you who are doing content production unless you're doing immense renders professionally and then you're still going to want a mobile workstation with something even more powerful maybe a quadro gpu even but you get the idea

The display on this you've got two options here and neither of them is bad which is a refreshing change the full hd plus it i say plus because this has a 16 by 10 aspect ratio just like the other xps models in 2020 but that one is 500 nits and it's got full srgb coverage not too bad that one's not touch and the display we have is a 4k wide gamut so we're talking 100 of adobe rgb coverage here and it's touch screen it's glossy but it's got an anti-reflective coating on it not that you can really see it but when you look

At you think well that's not really very glary for a glossy display it's pretty effective at cutting reflections that one's also rated at 500 and it's according to dell though we measured a little higher the first thing i said when i opened that was like oh my god the screen and you know i've reviewed hundreds of laptops i've seen a lot of nice displays but they did a very good job with this display not a disappointment to say the least and great for content creation or anybody who enjoys pretty screens wide gamut

Yeah it's an ips family display sharp it's probably a sharp exo display it's not oled i don't think there's a 17-inch oled on the market samsung hasn't put one of those out but anyway there's color accuracy and other things that are involved that make me and power management issues make me prefer actually an ips class display over oled even if oled's pretty inside is pretty expandable which is a good thing you have two ram slots you can get with as little as eight gigs or as much as 64

Gigs of ddr4 29 33 megahertz ram so yay that it's upgradable alienwares aren't upgradable these days unless you go to the big chunky area 51m and we have two m.2 ssd slots supporting nvme so not bad recently this thing in this light and that's good because this is something you're going to invest as much money in as this you're going to want to be able to upgrade those things afterwards if need be now the lowest end configuration is the core i5 only intel uhd 630 graphics

And 8 gigs of ram and a 256 gig ssd and full hd display you can get that for around thirteen fourteen hundred dollars so you know dell they always they have every configuration possible including it's very low end that most of you probably won't want there is a middling configuration that is under two thousand dollars that one gets you a core i7 the nvidia gtx 1650 ti graphics card and 16 gigs of ram and a 512 gig ssd that's starting to sound better still the full hd display our model is three thousand dollars as

Much as an area 51 mr2 big honky gaming laptop and that gives you this lovely 4k display the eight core i7 these are all 10th gen 45 watt cpus and it gets you 16 gigs of ram and a terabyte ssd so that's looking better there that's pretty nice and of course the rtx 2060 max-q so who's this laptop for you can guess already it's very premium and it's quite nice for the money it's not like you're getting

Crap for the prices put it that way but obviously it's going up against the 16 inch macbook pro and also for dell xps 15 upgraders who always want a bigger display but don't want to carry a lot more and maybe even want more horsepower like that rtx 2060 max q that you know well wow by the way this is also available with an eight core i9 cpu thermally speaking i'm not sure if i would recommend that i think the eight core i7 is the sweet spot for those you're looking for a lot of

Horsepower and performance this says killer wi-fi six which is really an intel based card is the 1650s inside a white backlit keyboard with dell's usual 1.3 millimeters of key travel it feels more tactile though than some of the previous xps keyboards and so at least there's that it's not just like harsh abrupt you're bottoming down and making you very aware of the fact of short travel it's it's decent enough and you have a microsoft precision trackpad seems to be the exact same one that you get on the

Xps 15. it's large here it doesn't look as immense as it does on the xps 15 of course and there's no rattling no clicky weirdness that we saw in early xps 15 units for 2020 but it ours in particular i don't know if they're all like this but it's a little bit weird if you click dragging or something like that so you really have to keep pushing down the trackpad or it thinks you've let up on it which can make things like screen captures and drawing rectangles in photoshop that sort of thing for selections they're

Kind of maddening hopefully it's just our unit that has that problem for biometrics it has both the windows hello ir camera and it has a fingerprint scanner that has its own dedicated button on the keyboard both of them work quite well and are pretty fast so nothing to complain about there the port situation is just about as bad as a macbook pro but a little bit better you have four thunderbolt 3 usbc ports and you've got at least a full-size sd card slot as

A non to creators and there's a headphone jack happily at least dell does include a small dongle in the box that has a usb a hdmi set of ports on it battery life on this it's going to depend obviously which gpu you get and what you're doing with it but say you're doing light to moderate productivity work and not calling on the gpu we have this 97 watt hour battery in here that's pretty darn nice in fact there's a lot of thin like gaming laptops that won't give you that much battery power

So as you can see you can guess battery life is pretty good for something of this performance level for our rtx 2060 max q edition with the eight core i7 inside battery life's much like the xps 15 that we have in for review that we reviewed a while ago you can find that on our channel as well which means about six hours so it's not going to beat out say the 16 inch macbook pro but that's still pretty good for something this powerful obviously if you really dropped your

Brightness and did all sorts of little things to try to manage your power you might get more out of it or if you're doing something more demanding or up the brightness it'll be worse this uses a usb c based charger very compact so what's unusual here is that it's a 130 watt charger usbc maxes out at 100 watts so dell had to do something special here to get that working so some folks have noticed when you're doing things like playing games and really demanding stuff that keeps the cpu and the gpu activated that

The battery level might actually go down some so you play metro exodus for an hour you might see it go from 95 percent down to 82 percent so apparently the system can draw more than even 130 watts or so dell says so therefore there are times when it might actually hit the battery as well for some power not the end of the world to me depends on just how much time you're going to spend gaming for a laptop whose primary purpose in life isn't gaming if you do want a game though hey i can't blame you the 2060 max q is good

Enough especially with this cpu didn't play certainly today's triple a titles on high for the most part there's a few that are a little bit more piggish like control and you know sometimes metro accidents that will get you a bit lower frame rates but generally speaking fine and given the fact that this is a 60 hertz refresh display and it's not fast in terms of milliseconds you know it's about a 40 second millisecond display this is not primarily a gaming display and

There's no point to playing at over 60 frames per second if your display isn't supporting it anyway unless you're using an external monitor and well then the world's your oyster try to get as many frames as you can you should certainly exceed 60 on high saying far cry or something like that so how about thermals the bugaboo for dell well the vapor chamber cooler certainly does help and they're supposedly using higher quality vrms and all this sort of thing and for our model with the eight core i7 which is a demanding in a cpu in terms

Of thermals and performance and the rtx 2060 max cube it does pretty well now you just have to get used to the way dell does things both with their alienwares and with their xps laptops if these are high performance they pretty much don't put much of a thermal limit on these so even doing something like uh fire strike or time spy benchmarks or something like that it's happy to let those cpus ramp up if they need to the 99 centigrade so yes they can get high

Most of the time when doing the kinds of work this was intended to do like say adobe premiere then the cpu temperatures were typically 80 to 85 degrees when doing things like exporting 4k footage and all that sort of thing that's acceptable certainly it doesn't make me worry about the longevity of the machine playing something like the witcher 3 which granted is an older game but a demanding game well then you'll see temperatures certainly if you're playing on higher ultra settings going up there to

90 95 centigrade which isn't actually any worse than some gaming laptop so there's that to get the bottom cover off you remove the torx t5 screws very easy it's all downhill from there i say that because this thing this bottom lid is on there so tight which gives it a seamless unibody look which is really nice but i mean it's user hostile kind of design there that it's so hard it chewed up some of my plastic guitar picks so i had to resort to the old ifixit clam knife very carefully to pry this off also this is very sharp

Around the edges i mean i have steak knives that are not as sharp as this these edges right here be very careful when you take that off and don't stick your finger in between because you just might lose part of your fingernail there okay enough complaining here we are inside there's the 97 watt hour battery taking up quite a lot of space yay to have that size battery here's our speaker drivers right here good size and the sound on this is pretty decent

They do vent and fire upward not too bad sounding at all not amazing but pretty good two m.2 ssd slots right here so yeah you can have two that's our boot ssd under there this cover is included even though we don't have a drive under there and our two ram slots love to see that hope that comes back someday with the alienware m series of laptops too i'll take off the mylar heat shield covers ram ram two good size fans here they're 10 bigger i believe than the xps 15 makes

Sense they got about 10 more space to work with and put those fans in and one very large vapor chamber cooling assembly when you put the bottom cover on just be mindful the display cable does route out the back here and there's a little cutout in the cover so that it won't be pinched razer's not the only one doing that sort of thing and the wi-fi card is over here the leads are held down over here by this metal cover this is soldered on so that's not

Upgradable it's a good card that's a good wi-fi six killer card so shouldn't be a problem so that's the dell xps 17 their first really big boy in a while and it is a nice laptop as it should be for the price right you've got a variety of configurations available that could bring the price down but let's face it we all want that rtx 2060 max q no and maybe even an eight core i7 uh the thermals on this are good enough for what they're intended for which is content creation mostly and some occasional gaming

Again if you want a gaming laptop go get a gaming laptop there are pretty socially acceptable looking ones for example the gigabyte aero 17 hdr with a wide gamut 4k display for those who really want more powerful graphics and fans that are designed for it but anyway gorgeous screen on this very good build quality nice expandability so for those who like the xps 15 but just want a bit more screen real estate well this is exactly what you wanted or if

You were thinking about a 16-inch macbook pro but you prefer windows well obviously yeah this is probably a good choice for you i'm lisa from mobile tech review be sure to subscribe to our youtube channel for more cool tech videos and thumbs up if you like this vid

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