Dell launches sleek new XPS 17, refreshed XPS 15

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Dell just released two new XPS laptops.
Image: Dell

Dell’s XPS laptops are arguably some of the best on the market. Whether you need a reliable device for working from home or a laptop for entertainment, the XPS line is a safe bet. On Wednesday, Dell unveiled some big changes to its lineup.

The most notable addition is a new XPS 17 that has been a decade in the making. Dell also announced a redesigned version of its XPS 15 with an edge-to-edge display. The new releases follow the company’s recent trend of upgrading its machines with a sleeker profile and powerful features thanks to cutting-edge hardware. They are certainly laptops that consumers won’t want to miss.

Larger at Last

Dell is no stranger to making large laptops. In fact, that’s something that has traditionally set it apart from other device makers in the past. However, the XPS line hasn’t seen a new 17-inch model in nearly 10 years.

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With that extra size comes plenty of extra benefits. Dell describes its new 17-inch notebook as its “most powerful XPS laptop ever.”

On top of this, the new XPS 17 is the smallest 17-inch laptop available to consumers today. Thanks to its incredibly thin bezels and a compact frame the new machine is sleek despite its large size. Interestingly, Dell touts the fact that the XPS 17 is smaller than almost 50 percent of all 15-inch laptops on the market.

That’s an impressive accomplishment. Larger laptops have fallen out of favor in recent years as consumers opt for more portable machines with comparable performance. However, plenty of people still prefer the increased screen real estate of a 17-inch laptop. As such, the return of that model to the XPS line is welcome news for many. Its compact form factor certainly won’t hurt either.

XPS 17 Internal Specs

While the outside is what draws the most attention for the new XPS 17, its internal specs are nothing to laugh at. In fact, they are quite impressive.

The large laptop will come with Intel’s 10th Gen processors, keeping pace with most other device makers. Meanwhile, it can be configured with up to 64GB of RAM and 2TB of solid-state storage. These specs put it in the running with companies like Apple and HP who sell large, powerful laptops.

Notably, top-end models of the new XPS 17 feature Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card with Max-Q design. That’s an extremely powerful GPU that is capable of handling resource-intensive rendering and editing tasks.

Due to its power, the XPS 17 needs an efficient heat dissipation system. Consumers will find a dual opposite outlet fan for this purpose which provides better airflow and decreased temperatures. There is also a custom vapor chamber for more efficient chip cooling.

Likewise, powerful components and more screen tend to drain battery life from larger devices. Although it won’t be able to keep up with smaller devices, Dell notes that its XPS 17 can last up to 20 hours on FHD+. Whether or not that holds true will be discovered once consumers are able to get the laptop in their hands.

XPS 17 External Features

As mentioned, a spacious screen is one of the XPS 17’s major selling points. It utilizes Dell’s new 16:10 aspect ratio thanks to its extremely thin bezels. The laptop will ship with either a Full HD+ screen or a 4K UHD+ panel if users are willing to pay for the upgrade. Notably, the more expensive display configuration offers HDR400 support and renders 100 percent of the Adobe RGB color spectrum.

For its port selection, Dell has decided to abandon USB-A in favor of four USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports. That’s an interesting feature in light of the fact that a major security threat regarding Thunderbolt was just discovered that allows physical hackers to easily gain access to a device. It isn’t clear whether the new laptop features Intel’s Kernel Direct Memory Access Protection.

Aside from the USB-C ports, the XPS 17 also has a full-size SD card reader, which is a nice touch for creative professionals.

Sadly, the XPS 17 isn’t here just yet. Dell plans to launch the large laptop this summer at a starting price of $1,499.

Is Smaller Better?

When it comes to laptops, many argue that one with a compact size is the better choice. When looking at the recently refreshed XPS 15, it’s easy to make a case for that. Even though a 15-inch laptop isn’t exactly small, this one feels compact. Like its larger sibling, the new XPS 15 features tiny bezels that make room for a larger screen inside a smaller case.

Although the 15-inch model of the XPS line didn’t have to wait a decade for a major overhaul, it did wait for nearly five years.

The new laptop will also feature Intel’s 10th Gen processors and consumers will be able to configure it with Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q graphics card. These things combine to make this another very powerful laptop. Like the XPS 17, the 15.6-inch model can have up to 64GB of RAM and 2TB of storage.

As a nice touch, Dell has finally decided to get rid of the bottom chin bezel that the XPS line has suffered from in recent years. It makes the whole device look sleeker and more attractive.

The new XPS 15 features three USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports, a regular USB-C 3.1 port, and a full-size SD card reader. By ditching legacy ports like USB-A and HDMI, Dell was able to shrink the XPS 15’s thickness down to just 18mm.

It also notes that the smaller laptop features “the longest battery life of any 15-inch laptop” with up to 25 hours.

Unlike the XPS 17, which consumers have to wait for, the XPS 15 started shipping on Wednesday. It retails for a starting price of $1,299.

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