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The base model of the XPS 17 9700 is just too expensive

Dell XPS 17 9700
Dell XPS 17 9700
Dell charges almost 2000 Euros for the base model of the XPS 17 9700. You still get the great chassis and a very good FHD panel, but also a slow quad-core processor from Intel with an outdated iGPU.

The Dell XPS 17 9700 is a high-end and expensive multimedia notebook. Contrary to many other manufacturers, Dell also offers a base model without dedicated graphics card. This is basically a good thing, because you often do not really need a dGPU when you do not want to play games. The XPS 17 is such a device, and it offers sufficient performance for most common tasks (including high-resolution video playback), but the performance is just not competitive due to the limitation to Intel's current Comet Lake processors. 

Despite the high price, the base SKU only includes a quad-core processor (i5-10300H, H-series, 45W), which is hardly faster than most modern ULV processor. There is no criticism for the single-core performance, but AMD's modern Ryzen processors are just much faster when you can use all cores. We also would have liked to see at least a modern 6-core processor from Intel for the high starting price.

The integrated GPU is the bigger problem, because the UHD Graphics 630 is a couple of years old. Both Intel's as well as AMD's modern iGPU have a big advantage and can even handle some light gaming. This problem will probably only be resolved with Intel's upcoming CPU generation.

The matte FHD panel (16:10, 1920 x 1200 pixels) leaves a much better impression and easily surpasses the advertised brightness of 500 nits. The color accuracy is also good and sRGB is covered completely, so you can use the panel for picture/video editing. The FHD panel is also consumes much less power compared to the 4K touchscreen, so the battery runtime is much longer. We record more than 10 hour in our Wi-Fi test, even at the maximum luminance of the panel, and more than 15 hours at 150 nits.

Dell unfortunately limits the configuration options of the XPS 17 9700 in some regions, where the matte FHD screen cannot be combined with the fast RTX 2060 Max-Q GPU or the 8-core CPUs. These components often require the 4K touchscreen.

Considering all the information we have right now (including the throttling of the RTX 2060 Max-Q), the sweet spot for the XPS 17 9700 is most likely the FHD panel in combination with the 6-core Intel CPU and the GeForce GTX 1650 Ti for around 2400 Euros.

Please see our two reviews for more information about the Dell XPS 17:

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 11 > The base model of the XPS 17 9700 is just too expensive
Andreas Osthoff, 2020-11- 3 (Update: 2020-11- 1)