- 1 Dell XPS 17 (2020) review
- 2 Verdict: Dell XPS 17 (2020) review
- 3 DELL XPS 17 (2020) specs
Dell is bringing back to life a laptop size that we were no longer used to seeing in the XPS range: the 17.3-inch, here is our review about it.
Dell XPS 17 (2020) review
The XPS 17 is the most compact in its class, according to Dell, with measurements close to a 15.6-inch. Its configuration, however, is not undersized.
Dell XPS laptops had a blast in recent years. The ultraportable XPS 13 has been at the top of the ratings for the last couple years. The 15-inch version, which until now has been the most prestigious and reserved for creators, has fulfilled its role well. It will now be able to delegate part of its burden to the newcomer, the XPS 17.
A machine that is the most compact of its kind, because it has – more or less – the same dimensions as a 15.6-inch machine. When it comes to power, there’s no compromise, Dell has put in the right amount of power to make it all run, and not so much more. That’s why the price is so high…
Aluminum alloy, carbon fiber and magnesium: These three materials that have been used on the XPS for years and that still make a good impression. Dell did not want to set the biggest XPS apart from its little brothers in terms of aesthetics, and that is a good thing. The impression of solidity, sobriety and discreet luxury that emanates from the machine is very successful.
Keyboard is a little bit compressed…
Its backlit keyboard occupies a rather congruent place. And these keys – the same as on the XPS 15-inch – are actually a bit small although very pleasant to navigate. But why are these keys so tightly packed together? On the left and right, they’re surrounded by two speakers of almost fair quality and, underneath, by a large touchpad. Why so big?
A thicker than usual case
With a larger and thicker housing (2.22cm maximum) than the 13.3 and 15.6 inch models, Dell could still have made the effort to place some full-format connectors on the sides. Unfortunately, this is not the case. There are only four Thunderbolt 3 connectors in USB Type-C format. All of them can be used to charge the battery, transmit data and a video signal to an external display.
There is also an SD card reader and a headphone jack. Not to mention the Wi-Fi 6/Bluetooth 5.1 modules that will take care of wireless communications. However, if you want to connect a mouse and a monitor without using a USB Type-C adapter, you can’t do it. Fortunately, for the price, Dell offers an adapter in the box. It consists of a full-format USB 3 socket and a classic HDMI video output and only uses a Thunderbolt 3 socket. If you need more sockets, Dell sells more adapters or even docking stations for XPS on its website.
To secure your Windows 10 session and your data, in addition to the fingerprint reader, you can also use Windows Hello. The webcam (0.9MP) on the top edge of the screen is compatible with the MS facial recognition algorithm. Next to the camera are other sensors such as the one that adapts the brightness of the screen and keyboard according to the lighting of the room.
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Ultra HD screen is great for content creators, but don’t hurry!
The XPS 17 adopts a 16:10 image ratio. In other words, you have a little more pixels in height, which means that the definition of the 17-inch touch screen is slightly higher than that of the classic 4K computer. It’s 3840 by 2400 pixels instead of 3840 by 2160, which makes working on documents or large tables super pleasant. Same observation when you put two windows side by side. The very thin screen borders also contribute to immersion, both when working and when viewing multimedia content of all kinds.
The maximum average brightness of the slab is almost 500 cd/m2, which is great. With such brightness, one expects a low contrast ratio but it measures almost 2000:1. These are both great values for a laptop.
On the other hand, it spoils in terms of color reproduction. For example, the red tints are distorted and even overflow to the other colors if there are any neighbouring. Concerning the good coverage of the colorimetric spaces DCI-P3 and the sRGB, it is not ensured at 100% in both cases. And some shades are even out of palette.
Better use Full HD for content and gaming
We used a Core i7-10875H model with 8 cores at 2.3 GHz and hyperthreaded. It is backed by 16 GB of memory, which is not soldered to the motherboard and can therefore be upgraded if you need to do so.
For storage, a 1TB SSD is already in place and, good news, there is a free slot on the motherboard that will allow, eventually, to expand if you want. It has a Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q which also provides sufficient graphics and processing power for media software.
According to our tests, the laptop ranks near 2019 MacBook Pro 15 and MacBook Pro 16 using Studio drivers. And if you use Games Ready drivers, Dell XPS 17 turns into a little gaming machine. You will be able to take advantage of the RTX 2060 Max-Q’s computing units to display games with DLSS and ray tracing. But not in 4K.
For games, keeping the resolution at Full HD will provide better details and a very high FPS (in our tests, you can get over 65 fps in recent games).
It gets heated but doesn’t burn
This laptop heats a little (up to around 50°C) and when under heavy load, can be a little bit noisy (over 40dB), but when using for daily tasks, it is quiet (28dB).
Dell XPS 17 comes with a 97 Wh battery which can be charged to 50% in 58 min and to 100% in 140 minutes. It can run up to 10 hours of daily usage, and in our video test with full brightness it ran 8 hours. This is very good for a daily use and its 2.4kg weight is one of its best sides, compared to its size, this is a good weight. So you might not need to carry the adapter with you which can save you from extra 468 grams.
Verdict: Dell XPS 17 (2020) review
The Dell XPS 17 is a good laptop for content creators if you don’t care for the color reproduction or gamers if you are OK with Full HD on a 4K laptop. Also it is expensive compared to its rivals. It looks good, doesn’t weigh much and has a good battery life.
|Processor||Intel Core i7-10875H|
|Primary storage capacity||1000GB|
|Primary storage type||SSD|
|Primary storage interface||M.2, PCI-Express|
|Screen resolution||3840 x 2400 pixels|
|Graphics chip||Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q|
|Graphics memory||6144MB dedicated|
|SD / MMC||Yes|
|Bluetooth support||Bluetooth 5.1|
OS & Software
|Software provided||McAfee LiveSafe|
|Operating system||Windows 10 Pro 64-bit|
Dimensions & Weight
|Weight (including battery)||2.484kg|
|Power supply weight||468g|