Dell XPS 17 review: Big Screen Dream
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17-inch laptops are often too big to carry around easily or use on your actual lap like you might want. They also have many of the same compromises as smaller models, especially when it comes down to power and performance in comparison with desktop computers.
Working from home can be difficult if you don’t have enough space or are constantly battleground your workspace with other tasks. But this all changes when using the latest version of Dell’s XPS 17 (the 9710 model), which nearly obviates any need for an external monitor due to its spacious 16:10 aspect ratio, 17-inch and powerful components that make coding/ engineering work on the go easy while still being able to provide sharp visuals in professional settings! When you’re working from home and have limited space or your typical workspace shares duties with other tasks that make having an external monitor, mouse, and keyboard in the way very annoying, the XPS 17’s all-in-one package that’s easy to stow away might be an appealing proposition.
DELL XPS 17 9710
The newest version of Dell XPS 17, which came out in fall 2021 is a powerful laptop with an 11th Gen Core i5 processor and 8GB RAM. With Intel’s integrated graphics, it also has 512 GB of storage for your files or games without any hassle!
I’ve been using a higher-specced version. It has an 11th Gen Core i7-11800H chip, 32GB of RAM and 1TB storage for all your data needs on whatever game you’re playing! The screen offers higher resolutions than before with Nvidia RTX 3060 GPU running at only 70 watts–what more could anyone ask from their device?
You can get a Core i9 processor, more RAM and storage for your money. Either way, this laptop is firmly in the premium territory!
The 2020 Dell XPS 17 is identical to its predecessor on the outside but has some key differences inside. It has a 5.53-pound silver aluminium body with a soft-touch keyboard deck and minimal bezels; four Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports, and a full-size UHS-II SD card slot.
The lack of USB-A ports and other video connections like HDMI is a drawback to this device. You’ll need adapters or dongles in order for you to plug in almost anything that isn’t USB-C ready (a USB-A and HDMI dongle does conveniently come in the box).
The Dell XPS 17’s footprint isn’t much larger than some 15-inch laptops, thanks to those trim bezels around the display. But it’s bulky, heavy and not as portable. I can’t use this when trying to do some work from the couch because of its size!
The keyboard is a comfortable and quiet place to type, though the travel could be improved. Having said that most people would prefer having a full Numpad on their laptop in this size category but I don’t ever use one so it didn’t bother me at all! The centred position below your display paired with an above trackpad makes perfect sense as well and a Numpad would certainly mess up that alignment.
This laptop has a large, sturdy trackpad that feels normal for Windows users. I didn’t have any problems using it with palm rejection and multi-finger tracking worked as expected!
The star of the show here is still the display, which can be had in either a 1920 x 1200 pixel non-touch version or the 3840 x 2400 touch model I’ve been using. Both screens are bright and colourful, but I’d probably swing towards the higher resolution model myself since the text is very crisp on it. I wouldn’t upgrade just for the touch screen — this is a large, traditional clamshell laptop that doesn’t lend itself well to poking the screen with your finger — but you can’t get the resolution upgrade without touch, so it comes along for the ride.
The big difference between the Dell XPS 17 and 15 is that it has enough room to allow for multitasking, which makes this computer perfect if you want an ergonomic keyboard. As Monica Chin pointed out in her review of the prior model, the Dell XPS 17’s screen makes it very easy to put two windows side by side for comparison. There’s no reason for me to zoom the text in Google Docs as I do with almost every other computer (and on my big external monitor). It’s just a roomy screen, reminiscent of a Cadillac Eldorado of Laptops. You can finally stop wasting money on external monitors! The screen on your laptop is big enough for everything you need it to do, and there’s almost no reason not to use one anymore.
The 720p webcam is a huge letdown on the Dell XPS 17, and its poor video quality will leave you feeling frustrated every time it tries to capture your face. It’s hidden in the top bezel above the display (fortunately, Dell ditched the low-mounted “nose cam” a couple years ago) and supports Windows Hello facial login too. Even the Windows Hello feature is surprisingly hit or miss but fortunately the keyboard deck of this laptop has a reliable fingerprint scanner you can use instead.
The deck-mounted, top firing speakers are better than the webcam. But I suspect most people will still use this computer with headphones anyways. Should you need to use them, they get plenty loud enough but don’t expect wonderful bass reproduction.
As Dell’s top-tier Dell XPS laptop, With the best internal components in its class, Dell XPS 17 is a great laptop for productivity tasks. I never once ran into slowdown or sluggishness when switching between dozens of tabs with multiple windows opened at once while streaming music background on Spotify Playing Through My Speakers.
The Dell XPS 17 was one of the more capable laptops we tested, but it didn’t rank at the top spot in any category. It finished our 4K video export test with a time of 3:35 – which isn’t bad for a big bulky gaming laptop! On PugetBench Premiere Pro benchmark rated 940- another strong result that doesn’t quite take lead from best possible scores. Fan noise is present, but it’s never obnoxious, and the large chassis does a good job keeping temperatures manageable.
The Dell XPS 17 has two USB-C ports on each side and a full-size SD card slot on the right but lacks USB-A or other ports.
While the Dell XPS 17 is not designed as a gaming laptop, I was able to play games on it with moderate success. The discrete graphics card in my review unit allowed me enough power and performance it can play games fairly well, so long as you’re willing to turn down the resolution and detail settings. On Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 1920 x 1200 resolution, the XPS 17 pulled 75FPS at the highest detail settings, complete with ray tracing. Red Dead Redemption 2 scored 58FPS with the same settings, while Horizon Zero Dawn managed a similar 59FPS at 1920 x 1200 resolution and Ultra details.
Trying to play any of those games with the full 4K resolution would result in a choppier experience, though as frame rates quickly fell to the 20s and 30s, even with the help of Nvidia’s DLSS when available.
While the XPS 17 is not designed for gamers, it can still be used as a casual gaming machine.
With the brightness set to just under 50%, I got about six and a half hours on average before having to the plugin. This is plenty bright enough for comfortable use even when working near an outlet–though you’ll want something more portable if your job requires moving around or away from outlets often!
The difference between the XPS 17 and other laptops is vast. Other computers tend to be huge gaming rigs with poor battery life, whereas this device offers both powers as well size for those who need it! LG’s Gram 17 is unique in that it has a large screen, but it doesn’t pack the performance chops of the XPS 17.
Apple’s latest 16-inch MacBook Pro is probably the closest option, with a slightly smaller screen, better performance (outside of gaming), and a lighter chassis at a slightly higher price. But if you don’t like MacOS or just want an even bigger screen, the XPS 17 stands alone. It might just be the ideal work-from-home laptop for those without dedicated desks to work on.
AGREE TO CONTINUE: DELL XPS 17 9710:
We all know that we can’t read every single agreement before using our smart devices, but what if there was a way to avoid the pop-up window and automatically agree? This might be possible with some tweaks.
The number of times you have hit “agree” while browsing through apps or downloading them may sum up as high as 300% according to my own research on this topic!
To start using the XPS 17, you’ll need to agree to the following:
You can also say yes or no to the following
That’s four mandatory agreements and 11 optional agreements to use the XPS 17.
Related: The Best 8K TVs of 2022
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