Dell goes big with the XPS 17: Everything you need to know

PCWorld|July 2020

Dell goes big with the XPS 17: Everything you need to know
It’s not your typical 17-inch laptop. Dell has built in a number of distinctive features.
GORDON MAH UNG
With the debut of the Dell XPS 17, the company will bring its popular XPS brand to a 17-inch laptop this summer, with a bezel-less design, H-class 10th-gen CPU, and up to RTX 2060 graphics. There’s an updated XPS 15, too.

While the laptops were officially announced May 13, we actually got a sneak peek at prototypes of the XPS 17 in late 2019. We’ll walk you through everything we know about it.

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY

Dell said the XPS 17 9700 will go on sale this summer with a starting price of $1,499. Starting obviously means a version that doesn’t include the top-end components.

Dell’s XPS 17 9700 is smaller in physical dimensions than some 15-inch laptops, but its display is a 17inch, 16:10 aspect ratio, 4K UHD+ screen.

SCREEN OPTIONS

The XPS 17 9700’s most distinctive feature is its 17-inch screen, and not just because of the size. While most 17.3-inch displays have a wide, 16:9 aspect ratio best suited for video, Dell’s is a custom panel with a 16:10 aspect ratio, far taller and more pleasant for people who need to get work done.

Two display options are available both of which are 60Hz. The first is a 1920x1200 resolution FHD+ screen that can hit 100 percent of sRGB color space. Although not exactly high-resolution, it’s plenty bright at 500 nits. The screen comes with an anti-glare finish.

Those who value pixel density will likely prefer the touch-enabled 4K UHD+ screen with a resolution of 3840x2400. It’s rated to hit 100 percent of the Adobe RGB color gamut and greater than 94 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut. It also complies with the HDR 400 spec for luminance and color depth, and can hit 500 nits of brightness. The panel features anti-smudge and anti-reflective features.

Anti-reflective isn’t the same as anti-glare, which is typically a matte finish. Anti-reflective screens are designed to be glossy or shiny to maintain image crispness, but they typically have internal coatings to minimize reflections.

Both screens offer 178-degree viewing angles and support both the Dolby Vision HDR 4K video format and the Eyesafe standard for reducing blue emissions from the screen—without that horrible brown tint that makes it look like you’re wearing As Seen On TV Blue Blocker sunglasses (go.pcworld. com/blbk). Eyesafe screens essentially look “normal,” but without the blue emissions that disturb your sleep and hurt your eyes.

SIZE AND WEIGHT

Dell likes to say the XPS 17 9700 is smaller than “half the 15-inch” laptops available. Measuring 14.7 x 9.8 x 0.77 inches. It’s definitely smaller than Gigabyte’s Aero 17 HDR at 15.6 x 10.6 x 0.84 inches, or Razer’s Blade Pro 17 at 16.7 x 11 x 0.88 inches, or MSI’s GS75 at 15.6 x 10.2 x 0.7 inches. All three of those laptops are gaming laptops or feature fairly beefy GPUs, but the XPS 17 has a hefty spec list too (see below). The weight of the laptop is good, starting at 4.65 pounds but increasing to 5.53 pounds depending on the options.

The XPS 17 is about an inch narrower than many other 17-inch powerhouse laptops.

SPECS

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July 2020