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Dell XPS 17 9730: The Ultimate Large Laptop

Pros:

  • Remarkable performance
  • Stunning design
  • Expansive, vivid screen

Cons:

  • Configurations escalate in cost rapidly
  • Limited portability
  • Webcam resolution capped at 720p

In summary, the Dell XPS 17 excels in performance and design but may not suit those prioritizing affordability or extreme portability.

Dell XPS 17 9730: The Ultimate Large Laptop

Quick Overview

The Dell XPS series sets the bar for laptops, known for quality and elegance. The Dell XPS 17 9730 maintains this reputation, excelling in various aspects.

Transitioning from smaller XPS models sacrifices some portability for size and power. This laptop leans towards the heavier, bulkier side, weighing five pounds.

If your priority is size over portability, the Dell XPS 17 offers top-notch performance and sleek design. Its power rivals desktops and can even compete with gaming laptops when customized.

However, customization inflates the price significantly, potentially exceeding $4k. Despite the cost, upgrading to features like the UHD+ resolution enhances the already impressive screen quality.

While lacking a high refresh rate, the screen’s sharpness and color accuracy satisfy most users, especially those involved in editing work.

Consider the Dell XPS 17 if you need a larger, powerful laptop with ample screen space, akin to a desktop replacement. Just be prepared for the higher price tag and consider investing in an external webcam.

Price & Availability

SpecificationPrice
Starting Price$1,599
£2,698.99
AU$4,398.90

The Dell XPS 17, while not officially an Ultrabook, inherits the premium pricing of the category, mirroring the XPS 13’s standards.

The base model, priced at $1,599, packs impressive specs like an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050. However, this starting price is far from budget-friendly. Notably, the RTX 4050 model is exclusive to the US market, with international variants sporting the RTX 4060 GPU, albeit at a higher cost.

In Australia, the base model includes a 13th gen i7 processor, RTX 4060 GPU, 16GB DDR5 RAM, and 512GB SSD for AU$4,298.80.

In the UK, the base model offers similar specs but with a minimum of 32GB DDR5 RAM and 1TB SSD, priced at £2,698.99.

For the review unit with 32GB RAM, a slightly more powerful RTX 4060, and a UHD+ screen, expect to shell out $1,949 or £3,099 (approximately AU$2,990).

While premium 17-inch laptops typically command a high price, alternatives like the LG Gram offer a lighter, more portable option for around $1,400.

Alternatively, if gaming prowess is a priority, budget-friendly options like the Acer Nitro 17 start at $1,249.99, albeit with a less refined design.

Specs Overview

Specs Overview

ComponentBase ConfigurationReview ConfigurationMax Configuration
Price$1,599.00$1,949$4,299
CPUIntel Core i7-13700HIntel Core i5-14600KFIntel Core i9-13900H
GPUNvidia GeForce RTX 4050Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080
RAM16GB LPDDR532GB LPDDR564GB LPDDR5
Screen17-inch, FHD+ 1920×1200, Non-Touch, Anti-Glare, 500 nit, InfinityEdge17-inch, UHD+ 3840×2400, Touch, Anti-Reflect, 500 nits, InfinityEdge17-inch, FHD+ 1920×1200, Non-Touch, Anti-Glare, 500 nits, InfinityEdge
Storage512GB M.2 PCIe SSD1TB M.2 PCIe SSD8TB M.2 PCIe SSD
Ports4x Thunderbolt, 3.5mm Combo-Jack, SD card reader4x Thunderbolt, 3.5mm Combo-Jack, SD card reader4x Thunderbolt, 3.5mm Combo-Jack, SD card reader
WirelessIntel Killer Wi-Fi 6 1675 (AX211), 2×2, 802.11ax, BluetoothIntel Killer Wi-Fi 6 1675 (AX211), 2×2, 802.11ax, BluetoothIntel Killer Wi-Fi 6 1675 (AX211), 2×2, 802.11ax, Bluetooth
Camera720p @ 30Hz webcam720p @ 30Hz webcam720p @ 30Hz webcam
Weight5.10 lbs. (2.31 kg)5.37 lbs. (2.44 kg)5.37 lbs. (2.44 kg)
Dimensions19.50 x 374.45 x 248.05mm (0.77 x 14.74 x 9.76 inches)19.50 x 374.45 x 248.05mm (0.77 x 14.74 x 9.76 inches)19.50 x 374.45 x 248.05mm (0.77 x 14.74 x 9.76 inches)

Design Overview

The Dell XPS 17 is undeniably large, emphasizing power over portability. Weighing over five pounds, it’s not the ideal choice for constant travel.

Featuring components typically reserved for larger laptops, such as dedicated GPUs like the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050, 4060, 4070, and 4080, and options to upgrade to 64GB RAM and 8TB storage, it caters to users needing high-performance computing.

With its platinum silver aluminum exterior and black carbon fiber keyboard cover, the Dell XPS 17 exudes elegance akin to a luxury car.

Its expansive 17-inch screen, adorned with ‘Infinity edge’ bezels, offers a premium viewing experience, especially with the touch-enabled UHD+ version.

The port selection leans towards Ultrabook standards, with four Thunderbolt ports and an SD card reader. Despite limited variety, Thunderbolt ports support power delivery and DisplayPort capabilities.

While the large keyboard and trackpad may require adjustment for users accustomed to smaller laptops, their quality remains top-notch. The keyboard’s positioning, set further back, maybe a personal preference adjustment.

Performance Overview

Performance Overview

The Dell XPS 17 delivers powerful performance, boasting impressive color accuracy and coverage. However, its webcam resolution is limited to just 720p.

Benchmarks

Here’s how the Dell XPS 17 9730 performed in our benchmark tests:

BenchmarkPerformance
3DMark: Fire Strike21,588
3DMark: Time Spy9,467
GeekBench 6: Single-core2,504
GeekBench 6: Multi-core13,214
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI122fps @1080p
25GB File Copy12.9
Handbrake 1.65:10
CrossMark: Overall1,895
CrossMark: Productivity1,776
CrossMark: Creativity2,115
Cross

As someone familiar with gaming computers, the Dell XPS 17 surprised me with its performance capabilities, suitable for editing work, and more. Equipped with a 13th-Gen Intel Core i7, 32GB RAM, and Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060, it offers ample power for various tasks. Scaling options range from 16GB RAM and RTX 4050 GPU to 64GB RAM and RTX 4080, catering to diverse user needs.

While some may find its performance specifications overkill, especially for casual use, the high-resolution UHD+ panel ensures sharp, vibrant visuals with excellent color accuracy and coverage, ideal for photo and video editing or multimedia consumption.

Sound quality is satisfactory for a laptop, although not suitable for professional mixing despite Dell’s claims.

A notable drawback is the inclusion of only a 720p webcam, falling short of expectations for a device of this caliber.

Battery Life

Battery life is average, but it charges quickly. Despite its powerhouse performance, the Dell XPS 17 falls short compared to the latest MacBooks or Ultrabooks. It lasts just over nine hours in our battery informant benchmark, considering its high-res display and GPU requirements. Additionally, it seems to lose some charge over time when the lid is closed, although this is typical for many laptops. However, its Thunderbolt power delivery ensures quick recharging.

Should You Buy the Dell XPS 17 9730?

Buy it if

  • You want power: This laptop packs serious power, suitable for both work and gaming.
  • You want a premium-looking and feeling laptop: True to the Dell XPS name, it exudes elegance in design.

Don’t buy it if

  • You’re trying to save money: It’s not a budget-friendly option.
  • You need portability: Heavy and bulky, it’s not ideal for constant travel.

Also, Consider

SpecificationDell XPS 17 9730Dell XPS 13 (2022)Acer Nitro 17
Price$1,949 / £3,099$1,049 / £1,004 / AU$2,299$1,249.99 (around £980 / AU$1,860)
CPUIntel Core i5-14600KFIntel Core i5-1230UIntel Core 7-14700HX
GPUNvidia GeForce RTX 4060Intel Iris XeNvidia GeForce RTX 4060
RAM32GB LPDDR516GB LPDDR532GB DDR5
Screen17-inch, UHD+ 3840×2400, Touch, Anti-Reflect, 500 nit, InfinityEdge13.4 FHD+ (1920 x 1200) InfinityEdge Non-Touch Anti-Glare 500-Nit Display17.3-inch QHD+ (2560 x 1440), 160Hz
Storage1TB M.2 PCIe SSD512GB PCIe SSD2TB PCIe 4 SSD in RAID 0
Ports4x Thunderbolt, 3.5mm Combo-Jack, SD card reader2 x Thunderbolt 42x Thunderbolt 4 USB Type-C port, 1x Ethernet port, 1x power port, 1x HDMI 2.1, 1x 3.5mm headphone/microphone combo jack, 3x USB Type-A, 1x microSD reader, 1x Kensington port
WirelessIntel Killer Wi-Fi 6 1675 (AX211), 2×2, 802.11ax, BluetoothWi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2Wi-Fi 6 AX 1650i, Ethernet, Bluetooth 5.2
Camera720p @ 30Hz webcam720p @ 30Hz webcam720p @ 30Hz webcam
Weight5.37 lbs.(2.44 kg)2.59 lbs (1.17 kg)7.05 lbs (3.2 kg)
Dimensions19.50 x 374.45 x 248.05mm (0.77 x 14.74 x 9.76 inches)11.63 x 7.85 x 0.55 in (295.4 x 199.4 x 13.99 mm)15.76 x 11.55 x 1.14 inches; 400.2 x 293.25 x 28.9 mm

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