Some 2020 Dell XPS 17 9700 machines appear to be unaffected by charger issue
The Dell XPS 17 9700 is undoubtedly an excellent laptop. As we wrote in our review of the Core i7-10875H and GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q model from earlier this month, Dell has pushed the limits of a multimedia laptop beyond the comfort zone of most other OEMs. With that said, our unit suffers from charging issues, whereby the device can drop from 100% to 65% charge when plugged in.
As we have covered previously, the route of the problem appears to lie with Dell's implementation of 130 W charging over USB Type-C. For reference, Thunderbolt 3 can deliver up to 100 W, but Dell found a way around this. However, many units can only draw a maximum of 105 W from the wall, 30 W short of their peak power consumption.
While Dell is currently reproducing this phenomenon internally, some new units appear to be capable of pulling 130 W from the wall. According to two details threads on r/Dell, these machines can draw up to 130 W from any of their four Thunderbolt 3 ports. These units may well still be only receiving 120 W though, which is 15 W less than they can consume.
Interestingly, some people have reported that their units do not always pull 130 W, with one unit warning that it had been attached to a 90 W power supply even though it was using its standard 130 W adapter. A reboot apparently remedies this, though.
It remains to be seen whether Dell can replicate the issue or whether it can fix those machines that are affected. We should also stress that we cannot confirm the veracity of the information contained in the links below. However, they do go into depth to demonstrate that their machines consume up to 130 W.