Dell XPS 17 9710 Review – Worth the Upgrade
Well, i think you can fully guess where this is going, how about a dell xps 17.? This is the brand spanking new one. The 9710 so its the 2021 refresh, as is this, which you may have seen my review for a couple of days ago. You can see the size difference between them, uh visually, identical other than the fact that we dont have a white version of the 17 and also well weve got a bigger screen, but between the two. This is basically just a bit bigger, a bit more powerful and also more expensive, so whats new well like the 15 inch, were also getting the latest intel. 11Th gen h45 series of cpus were also getting nvidias brand new rtx 3000 series of cards uh. We get the option between the 3050 and 360 as well as integrated graphics, if you want to go for the entry level model faster ram now up to 3200 megahertz thunderbolt 4 ports up from thunderbolt 3 and its about 100 grams lighter, although youd be hard pressed To really tell but its the exact same aluminium chassis that were pretty used to on these dells now, as well as the carbon fiber track pad, which looks quite snazzy uh. As i say. Unfortunately, there is no arctic frost white version of this. Only on the 15 and also bizarrely uh theres, no oled screen option on here again only on the 15., so you either go for a full hd plus non touch 17 inch or a 4k plus touch which, as you can see, is what i have here and Surprisingly, that makes quite a difference to the weight it adds about 200 grams, so were topping out at 2.
42 kilograms for the 4k down to 2.2 kilograms for the full hd plus. So you really are getting a big screen. Experience on this laptop and as dells marketing suggests, this is kind of like a 17 inch screen in a 15 inch form factor because of those razor thin bezels and just how compact it is. Overall, this is brilliant. Ports are nice and simple theres, just four thunderbolt 4s, along with a and a half mil headphone jack, a v6 sd card reader, thats a full size, reader, same lovely, chiclet style keyboard, no numpad on this 17 inch or anything. They just use the extra space for slightly wider speaker grilles. This is uh, probably one of the better speakers ive heard on a laptop. We get windows, hello, supported, face, unlocking in the webcam and also a fingerprint reader built into the power button, and also this gargantuan precision touch pad, which is just lovely to use. Although its a very small niggle but ive noticed on this particular xp17 ive got its a bit kind of like clacky the left side of the touchpad it sort of makes a noise when you tap it, whereas on the right side it doesnt again. One of those famous dell quality control issues now before we get to the performance tests, because really that is what this is all about: uh its pretty much a spec bump this year with those new graphics cards, new processors faster ram uh.
But the big question is: how much is this gon na cost and im sure you can guess its not cheap, so the 17 starts at about 1550 or 1850 pounds, but its about 250, more than the new xps 15.. Now, having just reviewed the 15, we are getting a few extra options here in the uk store at least it doesnt seem to be the case for the us, but we have this i911 980 hk option, which is actually the fastest tiger lake cp you can buy And its also the only chip thats unlocked, so you can go into intels xtu and modify the clock, multiplier and some other stuff, but im not convinced. This is really worthwhile in a laptop form factor like this. I would probably just stick to the regular i7 or i9 and save a bit of money, but really the biggest upgrade are these new gpu options, and so you can either have intels integrated graphics. If you just want a 17 inch laptop to do some basic work or watch netflix, but really youre going to want either the 3050 or the 60, which i have in here and is a 70 watt tgp variant of the card. And so not only are we getting an extra 2 gigs of vram over the 350 ti that we get in the 15 inch model, but its also that higher tgp 70 versus 45? So this should be on paper at least quite a bit more powerful than the 15 inch, and also a good step up from last years, rtx 2016 max q, which was a 65 watt tgp variant, ive, also specced this with 64 gigs of ram and one terabyte Of storage – although importantly, you can upgrade these yourself if we open it up, youll see that we have the two ram slots and also two m2 ssds, so theres quite a lot of room for expandability here, and you can also see we have this big vapor chamber.
Cooler: okay, just a quick mention of our lovely sponsors, avira, free security for windows, the all in one cyber security solution for security, privacy and performance. All you have to do is download the avira free security for windows, app which, as it says on the 10, is completely free, run. Their smart scan and itll show you any issues or threats on your pc and also suggest how you can improve performance. We also get a handy password manager, driver updater and a file shredder to delete sensitive stuff permanently. Plus you can use their free vpn to help keep you safe online. So, if youre after an all in one security hub that does everything you need, then definitely give a vera free security for windows, a try, click the link in the description to get started. The thing is, though, i dont think the 17 inch is as big of an upgrade this year as the 15 inch is which im using for some notes here, because the difference is with the 15. We went from the gtx 1650 ti last year to the rtx 3050 ti, which means we have all those extra rtx features like ray tracing, which is a bit pointless really on these kind of laptops, but importantly dlss, which makes a big difference to frame rates in Games that support it and also nvidia broadcast and reflex all those kind of extra things on top of the raw performance increase. However, with the 17, we already had the rtx 2060 max q last year with those rtx features.
No doubt this will be faster and well test this now, but i dont think its going to be quite the same jump as weve seen with the 15. okay lets get to the good bit. Lets talk about performance and in terms of the processor, were looking at an average of about 20 optic uh between single core and multi core, and i havent made any attempt to overclock this further and then in terms of graphics. Coming from the 2060 to the 30, 60 were looking at about 25 average boost. So how does this translate to real world use? Well, lets start with a few games, because, while you could argue this isnt a proper gaming laptop, it certainly got the specs on paper and actually, coming from last year, were looking at anything between a 3 and a 52 performance boost which is pretty insane. Considering both cards in both laptops have those rtx features like dlss and considering were getting triple digits in three of the five games on test and even in cyberpunk at ultra settings, although without ray tracing running at full, hd plus were getting over 60 fps. For me, though, i spend about half my life in premiere pro editing videos. So really that was the main reason i bought this and impressively the new 9710 knocked off about two and a half minutes or 26 off my 10 minute, 4k h.264 export, which is actually double the improvement. I saw with the xps 15 coming from last years, one to the new one.
So quite a big improvement there so across the board were looking at about a 25 to 30 boost over last years, xps 17 uh, which is pretty nice, although not really enough reason to chuck your old one in the bin and buy this, but certainly if youre Coming from a two or three year or older laptop, then this is going to be a big upgrade for you. However, when it comes to cooling, theres, good and bad news on the outside, it gets very toasty. I recorded a peak of 60 degrees celsius above the keyboard, which is about 10 degrees hotter than the new xps 15, with the keyboard and touch pad in the palm sweating. Mid 40s, so hot on the outside. But the vapor chamber does a good job of keeping throttling to a minimum on the inside a 20 minute time. Spy stress test showed no appreciable drop in performance with peak gpu temps hitting about 85, and while i wouldnt necessarily recommend that top spec i9 uh the 1190 hk in here, the fact that you can get that the fastest intel tiger like cpu, along with a 3060 With a decent 70 watt tgp in here with 64 gigs of ram and 2 terabytes of storage, which you can then further expand yourself, the 17 really can be a proper desktop replacement and a little sort of portable powerhouse and obviously at two and a half kilograms. You will notice it in your backpack, but it is still a sub 20 mil and not you know a proper thick ugly, heavy gaming laptop and also the battery life is decent, which is not something you get for most laptops.
Obviously, it will vary based on what screen you go for. However, the 17 does have an advantage over the 15, because all models come with the 97 watt hour battery, which is a bit bigger than the 86, while in the 15, although bigger screen, but thats the same regardless of whether you go for full, hd or 4k, Because on the 15, if you go for the full hd, then you get the much smaller 56 watt hour battery, and that was one of my criticisms. Why cant? I have full hd with the bigger batteries, so it you know, lasts forever. So with this, while i dont have the full hd version, i would imagine that, with this huge battery will give you probably a good 10 hours of life, depending on how you use it, although with this 4k plus touch version, i have im getting about six hours Of use an hour of youtube uses about 15 of the battery, which is actually a little bit better than last year. The same test used 19 but im sure youll agree that as impressive as the specs are and whats going on under the hood. The highlight for this really is that big, beautiful 17 inch screen, so i measured a peak brightness of about 520 nits in hdr or about 430 or so in sdrs, so its plenty bright enough, but perhaps thats an area in the future that could be improved. However, color accuracy, which of course is important for creators and if youre doing any kind of photo or video editing, is insanely good weve got 100 srgb, 100 adobe rgb and 96 dci p3.
This is one of the most color accurate screens ive ever tested on a consumer laptop and then theres. This webcam, which is just terrible, considering the price – and you know the quality of everything else, its definitely one of the biggest issues i have with the laptop its serviceable and obviously they had to squeeze it into the top bezel there, but the quality is pretty poor. So that is the new xbs 17. same on the outside, faster on the inside, the latest ports still a terrible webcam, which is probably my biggest criticism of this, especially in this day and age, also standby battery life isnt great way too often i come back to This a day or two later and its completely out of charge plus theres still the odd quality control issue and also, i think, the same criticisms or comments from my 15 inch. Video apply here, and i would like to have seen maybe an amd 5000 series version of this, and also a quad hd screen would have been perfect. I just think full hd is probably not going to be sharp enough on this 17 screen. So you have to go for 4k, which is great, but then obviously that impacts your performance and your battery, so quad hd would have been perfect on this between the 15 and the 17. Well really comes down to how youre going to use it and also how deep your pockets are. They are both very expensive laptops, uh, but the 17 does take it to the next level.
Um, really. This is proper, desktop replacement level performance. The 15s a bit more of a travel companion because, of course, its lighter and smaller, for similar money. You could get the new razer blade 17, also with 11th gen and up to an rtx 3080. Yes, its a touch heavier and more gaming oriented, but the extra performance would be ideal for productivity as well, but i think the most interesting competition to this would be the upcoming macbook pro 16 refresh rumored to come out, probably in late september, with apples, new m1x Or m2 chip that is gon na be an interesting uh battle between the best laptops from windows and mac. So stay tuned for that and yeah.