In May of 2020, Dell has caught us along with their competitor brands completely off-guard by revealing their Dell XPS 17 lineup as well as refreshing the existing Dell XPS 13 and Dell XPS 15 (both of which we have reviewed). Till this year Dell had only been offering the Dell XPS 13 and Dell XPS 15 with the same old design from 2016.
It may have become a recent trend for the laptop makers to make thin and light ultrabooks with a larger display as we have seen Apple releasing their new 16 Inch MacBook Pro, offering desktop-class performance in a thin and light ultrabook. And this strategy has been very successful for most of the manufacturers so far.
What makes the new Dell XPS 17 different from the rest in the competition. Can the new Dell XPS 17 replace your desktop? In this review, We’re going to find out.
The Detailed Dell XPS 17 (2020) Review
Our Short Review of Dell XPS 17
- Most compact 17 inch laptop.
- Very good cooling and thermal performance.
- Noise level is relatively low compared to other high performing laptops.
- Great keyboard and trackpad
- Better speaker setup compared to other windows laptops.
- Best in class build quality and design.
- Very Pricey, especially the base model compared to the base model of the 15 inch.
- As a 17 inch laptop it is less portable than the 13 and 15 inch siblings.
- The Wi-Fi card is not upgradeable.
But in our thought, if you are someone professional who needs a thin and light ultrabook with a big display for productivity works and multitasking or someone who wants a macbook pro 16 level performance and build quality in a windows ultrabook and budget is not an issue, than Dell XPS 17 is the way to go.
Dell XPS 17 (2020): Design
The new Dell XPS 17 is a laptop we have never seen before. There are very few numbers of laptops in the market featuring a 17-inch display because of their weight and portability issues apart from a few gaming laptops. But, you can forget about carrying them (better to carry a desktop instead!).
On the other hand, the new Dell XPS 17 gives you a 17-inch laptop in a package that has a smaller footprint than even most 15-inch laptops. Dell has done this by making the display almost bezel-less which they call the “InfintyEdge” display.
The dimension of this device measures 14.74 in x 9.76 in x 0.77 in and weighs only 4.65 lbs for the lower-spec model and 5.53 pound for the higher-spec one.
The device has a stunning look with unibody chassis made from a single block of Aluminium with CNC machining giving it more strength and rigidity. You can open the lid with one finger like the XPS 13 and XPS 15. Upon opening the lid, you will be greeted with a nice black carbon fiber finished keyboard deck and a gigantic trackpad.
Looking on the right you have a headphone jack, SD card reader, and two USB-C ports. Going on the left you have two more USB-C ports. All USB-C ports feature Thunderbolt 3. We were a little disappointed to see no HDMI or USB-A ports; Dell probably ditched them to make it more aesthetic and make it inline with XPS 13 and XPS 15.
But in the box, you will find a USB-C to USB-A and HDMI dongle for those who need it. For security, you have a fingerprint scanner embedded in the power button and an IR webcam featuring windows Hello face recognition system.
Dell XPS 17 (2020): Specs
With the release of The new Dell XPS 17 2020 they have made this model as their flagship offering. So, of course it will also come with a premium price tag.
But, after announcing their initial pricing which would start at $1,499 however, Dell decided to cut a hefty $100 off that premium tag to be more competitive.
Even though that’s not cheap by any means, what you are getting is a topnotch 17-inch laptop in a 15-inch shell with the latest Intel 10th Gen processors and all the goodness of the XPS lineup.
However, if you want to step up your game, you might want to spend a little more in order to get a dedicated GPU like the GeForce GTX 1650 or the GeForce RTX 2060, also the more powerful Core i7 or Core i9 offering.
Here are all the Specs in a glance:
|Processor||Intel Core i3-10300H (4 Core)|
Intel Core i5-10750H (6 Core)
Intel Core i7-10875H (8 Core)
Intel Core i9-10885H (8 Core)
|Graphics||Intel UHD integrated GPU|
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650TI Max-Q with 4GB GDDR6 RAM
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 with 6GB of GDDR6 RAM
|Ram||8 GB/16 GB/ 32 GB DDR4 RAM @ 3733MHz|
|Storage Option||256 GB/ 512 GB/ 1TB/ 2TB M.2 NVMe SSD|
|Display||17-Inch 1920×1200 Anti-Glare (Non-Touch) IPS Display17-Inch 3840×2400 Anti-Glare (Touch) IPS DisplayAspect Ratio: 16:10|
|Battery||56 WHr/ 97WHr|
|Camera||720p, Located on Top of The Display|
|Other Connectivity||Wi-Fi 6, HDMI, Thunderbolt|
Dell XPS 17 (2020): Display
The new 17-Inch displays offer 93.7% screen-to-body ratio which is the highest we have seen so far. Dell also claims it to be the smallest 17-Inch laptop in the world. You have the option for a 1920×1200 resolution IPS and an optional 4k screen.
But we suggest the 4k screen with a touch screen because it will provide you with much more screen real estate helping you with multitasking and internet browsing. The display is also big enough to take advantage of a higher resolution panel.
The displays offer 1600:1 contrast ratio with 100% sRGB, 100% Adobe RGB, and 94% DCI-P3 color gamut. From productivity to media consumption to internet browsing, this display will offer a great experience in all categories.
Dell XPS 17 (2020): Audio
Dell is offering the same speaker setup as their new XPS 15, but in our test, we found them a little better than its smaller siblings. This could be because of the bigger size of the chassis and the cavity in it but still is not on par with the MacBook Pro speakers (Apple seems to nail some sides that other companies can’t even come close).
The speaker is an 8W quad upward-firing system with two 2.5W woofers and two 1.5W tweeters. In our opinion, this is one of the best you can find in any windows ultrabook.
Dell XPS 17 (2020): Keyboard and Trackpad
Dell offers the same keyboard and trackpad for XPS 15 and XPS 17. Dell has improved the keyboard, now offering 9.7% larger keycaps and 1.3mm key travel. The keyboard is a pleasure to type on with nice key-separation and good feedback. If you are someone who needs to type frequently you will enjoy this keyboard very much. The backlight is also good to type in the dark.
The trackpad is a gigantic (62% larger than the previous model) one measuring 5.9×3.5 inches. It’s a glass trackpad with windows precision driver and Windows 10 gesture support. The tracking is smooth and accurate, the palm rejection is excellent, and the buttons are also very nice.
Dell XPS 17 (2020): Performance
Dell Provides 10th Gen Intel H series CPU offering up to 8 cores and for GPU up to a RTX 2060. With this much spec in a small chassis, Dell needed to come up with some unique thermal design. XPS 17 features a big Vapor Chamber which can move heat way more efficiently than other solutions we have seen so far.
With this thermal design, you can do productivity tasks if you get the specced up model without worrying about thermal throttling or heating issues. You can even do moderate gaming in this device, though Dell doesn’t market it as a gaming laptop.
Dell XPS 17 (2020): Battery life
For battery you have two options 56WHr for the base model and 97WHr for the dedicated GPU model. The 56Whr version comes with a 90W USB-C adapter and the 97Whr version comes with a 130W USB-C adapter. Battery life in our test has been good with approximately 8hrs of battery life (your mileage may vary). But the new XPS 13 has a much better battery life if that is what you are after.
Dell XPS 17 (2020): Upgradability
The new Dell XPS 17 offers good upgradability with 2 ram slots and 2 M.2 NVMe slots. But unfortunately the Killer Wi-Fi card is baked on the motherboard.
Dell has offered a whole new kind of laptop with its XPS 17. We haven’t seen any laptops so far offering such a power to size ratio. If you are creative or professional and want a desktop replacement and don’t want to cut corners in portability, then Dell XPS 17 is absolutely for you.
The only downside is that it’s expensive. Our suggestion is to upgrade the model to higher spec with at least a six-core processor, a dedicated GPU, and 16GB of RAM to make it more cost-effective and future-proof. If you can’t afford the cost, then XPS 15 comes out as a better choice.
Also keep in mind that the 16-inch MacBook Pro which starts at $2,399 with ninth-generation Core i5 & Core i7 variants, the Dell XPS 17 2020 doesn’t look like a bad deal. Of course, it isn’t right to compare both of them as they both run on a different platform but this is as close as it gets.
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