Dell XPS 17 (2023) review: Big screen, big power

The 2023 Dell XPS 17 remains a beautiful powerhouse

Dell XPS 17 (2023) review unit on desk, running Cyberpunk
(Image: © Future)

Tom's Guide Verdict

The Dell XPS 17 (2023) upgrades Dell's biggest XPS laptop with the latest and greatest components, delivering great performance and a gorgeous display in a beautiful (if hefty) package.


  • +

    Big, beautiful display

  • +

    Great performance

  • +

    Good for gaming/video editing

  • +

    Solid speakers and decent bass


  • -

    Underwhelming 9-hour battery life

  • -

    720p webcam good enough, but outdated

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Dell XPS 17 (2023) specs as reviewed

Price: $2,949 as tested, $2,499 to start
17-inch (3,840 x 2,400) touchscreen
Intel Core i7-13700H
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070
4x Thunderbolt 4/USB4, SD reader, 3.5mm audio jack
14.74 x 9.76 x 0.77 inches
5.4 pounds

The Dell XPS 17 is the biggest XPS on the block, and it's been updated for 2023 with the latest Intel Raptor Lake 13th Gen CPUs and Nvidia Geforce RTX 4000 series GPUs. 

Dell sent us one of its new XPS 17 laptops to review, and after a week using it as my daily driver I'm pleased to report this beastly machine remains a powerful (if hefty) all-rounder with a big screen equally well-suited to skimming spreadsheets or sniping competitors in Fortnite

However, there are a few caveats you should know about before you consider splurging on this big-screen beauty, and I'll lay them out in this XPS 17 (2023) review.

Dell XPS 17 (2023) review: Price and configuration

  • Starts at $2,499, can cost $5k+ with all upgrades
  • 4K+ touchscreen is a $300 upgrade

The Dell XPS 17 (2023) is available for purchase right now via Dell's website and select third-party retailers at a starting price of $2,449. For that you get one with a 17-inch WUXGA (1920 x 1200 pixels) IPS screen, a 13th Gen Intel Core i7-13700H CPU, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 laptop GPU, 16GB of DDR5 RAM and a 512GB SSD for storage.

Dell XPS 17 (2023) review unit on desk, lid closed

(Image credit: Future)

You can, of course, pay extra to upgrade any of those components. You can pay an extra $300 to upgrade the display to a UHD+ (3840 x 2400) touchscreen, for example, or an extra $200 to bump the 4050 GPU up to a 4060.

If you go all out you can configure a top-of-the-line XPS 17 (2023) with an Intel Core i9-13900H CPU, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 laptop GPU, 64GB of RAM, 8TB of SSD storage and the UHD+ touchscreen. The whole thing would cost you roughly $5,199.

Every XPS 17 comes with a copy of Windows 11 Home pre-installed. You can pay an extra $50 to upgrade that to Windows 11 Pro.

For the purposes of conducting this review Dell sent us an XPS 17 with an Intel Core i7-13700H CPU, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 GPU, 32GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD and the 4K (3840 x 2400) touchscreen. If you were to buy the same laptop for yourself, it'd cost you roughly $2,949 at time of publication.

Dell XPS 17 (2023) review: Design

  • Slick, elegant design disguises the heft of this 5+ pounder
  • You really feel the lack of an easy-open lid

Our Dell XPS 17 (2023) review unit is hefty yet sleek, with slick reflective accents complementing the silver machined aluminum chassis. It sports the same eye-catching InfinityEdge design as smaller siblings like the Dell XPS 13, and when you crack it open the thin bezels make its 17-inch display even more striking.

Dell XPS 17 (2023) review unit on desk, Windows 11 showing

(Image credit: Future)

The elegant design and lightweight bezels do, however, make the 5.4-pound weight of our review unit feel like a surprise every time I pick it up. 

You get used to it, but I heartily recommend against trying to pick this laptop up with one hand—I've done just that multiple times without thinking, and each time I felt like my wrist was going to pop out of its socket if I wasn't careful. The 17-inch span and 5+ pounds of heft make this laptop a two-hander for sure.

I don't know if the extra weight has anything to do with it, but this is the first XPS I've reviewed where I had real trouble prying open the lid. I had to use both hands every time, and even then it was kind of a hassle since there's no indentation on the lip of the lid to hook your finger into as you open it.

My colleague Tony Polanco has complained about the lack of such an easy-open lid on other, smaller XPS models, but I've never experienced a similar problem—until I reviewed the XPS 17. Maybe it's the added weight of the laptop, maybe my fingers are just getting weak in old age, but either way I found it slightly irritating to open the XPS 17 every time. That said, I do think that frustration would diminish over time as the hinges weaken and you learn the trick of easily opening the laptop.

Dell XPS 17 (2023) review: Display

  • Big, beautiful display is bright and colorful
  • 4K+ touchscreen is worth the upgrade

The 17-inch 4K+ (3,840 x 2,400) LCD touchscreen on our XPS 17 review unit is big, bright and one of the main reasons to buy this laptop. While an OLED upgrade is sadly not available on the XPS 17 (unlike on the XPS 13 and 15), I never felt underserved or let down by the display while playing games, browsing the web and watching videos.

Dell XPS 17 (2023) review unit

(Image credit: Future)

When we got it into our testing lab and pointed our Klein 10-A colorimeter at it, we discovered the XPS 17 (2023) has a remarkably right display.

It managed an average brightness of 522.8 nits, peaking around 564 nits in the center of the screen, which is quite good for a laptop. It's brighter than last year's XPS 17, for starters, as well as the LG Gram 17, 17 Pro, and even the MacBook Pro 16-inch (though Apple's Pro laptops can get brighter when viewing HDR content).

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Brightness testing results
Row 0 - Cell 0 Avg. brightness (nits)Peak brightness (nits)
Dell XPS 17 (2023)522.8564
LG Gram 17 Pro (2023)437.8488
LG Gram 17 (2022)332.4362
Dell XPS 17 (2022)466509
MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023)4461,476

The XPS 17 handles color pretty well, too. In my experience it had no trouble displaying the spectrum of colors on offer in films like The Green Knight, and the oranges and yellows of Dev Patel's outfits definitely stood out from the hazy dark forest palettes which fill that movie.

Dell XPS 17 (2023) review unit

(Image credit: Future)

Our testing bore that out, as we discovered our XPS 17 (2023) review unit is capable of displaying 188.8% of the sRGB color gamut and 133.7% of the more demanding DCI-P3 gamut (100% is most accurate, higher tends to mean more saturated colors). 

That's pretty good, and actually higher than last year's XPS 17 or competitors like the LG Gram 17 Pro. Heck, the XPS 17 actually beats out Apple's MacBook Pro 16-inch in terms of the DCI-P3 color gamut, since Apple's laptop only achieves 83.7%. However, the MacBook's mini-LED display does have a slightly better Delta-E score (0.21 vs 0.24, closer to 0 is better).

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DIsplay testing results
Row 0 - Cell 0 sRGBDCI-P3Delta-E
Dell XPS 17 (2023)188.8%133.7%0.24
LG Gram 17 Pro (2023)163%115.4%0.26
LG Gram 17 (2022)171.1%121.2%0.26
Dell XPS 17 (2022)120.1%85.1%0.21
MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023)118.2% 83.7%0.21

And since our XPS 17 review unit has the upgraded 4K+ touchscreen, I should note that I never had any trouble using the display to navigate Windows 11. It never misread my taps, and it didn't pick up fingerprints either.

Dell XPS 17 (2023) review: Ports

  • Decent port selection
  • Included adapters are nice but easy to lose

You get a decent port array on the Dell XPS 17 (2023), but a laptop this large could do better. 

Dell XPS 17 (2023) review unit

(Image credit: Future)

There are four Thunderbolt 4/USB-C ports, two on either side of the laptop. You also get an SD card reader and a 3.5mm audio jack on the righthand side, near the hinge, while on the lefthand side you'll find a lock slot in addition to the USB ports.

Dell XPS 17 (2023) review unit

(Image credit: Future)

Dell also includes a USB-C to USB-A 3.0 adapter and a USB-C to HDMI 2.0 adapter in the box, so you at least don't have to buy your own to plug the laptop into older accessories or displays. Still, such adapters are easy to lose and a hassle to pack when you're on the go.

You also charge the laptop via USB-C, which means you have the freedom to plug in on either side of the XPS 17. It's a small luxury, but a welcome one.

Dell XPS 17 (2023): Performance

  • Great CPU performance vs. competing 17-inch ultraportables
  • Speedy file transfers and video editing 

We've long recommended the Dell XPS 17 as a solid workhorse that can even handle some video editing or PC gaming in a pinch, thanks to its discrete graphics card. Our Dell XPS 17 (2023) review unit gives me no cause to doubt that recommendation, powering through my daily workload with nary a hint of hitching or slowdown.

Dell XPS 17 (2023) review unit

(Image credit: Future)

If you want a big-screen laptop that can do it all, the XPS 17 is a great choice."

When we got it into the lab and put it through our battery of performance tests, our Dell XPS 17 (2023) review unit proved it's still got it where it counts. The 13th Gen Intel Core i7-13700H CPU inside helped our review unit achieve a score of 13,299 in the Geekbench 5 multi-core CPU benchmark test. 

That's good, and better than similar 17-inch laptops we've tested like the LG Gram 17 Pro (2023), which has a weaker 13th Gen Intel CPU and earned an understandably lower score of 9.945. However, it can't quite match the 15,044 earned by Apple's MacBook Pro 16-inch 2023 with an M2 Max chip.

As you can see from the chart below, our XPS 17 (2023) review unit isn't just neck-and-neck, performance-wise, with its predecessor—it actually earned a lower score than the 2022 XPS 17 we tested, despite the older model packing an older CPU.

The difference in their scores is basically negligible, and may be due (at least in part) to the fact that we switched from Geekbench 5.4 to Geekbench 5.5 in the period between testing these two XPS 17 models. Regardless, it's interesting to see that at least as far as Geekbench is concerned, there hasn't been a big jump in performance between these two laptops year-over-year.

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Performance testing results
Row 0 - Cell 0 Geekbench 5 multi-core CPU25GB file copy speed testHandbrake video editing time
Dell XPS 17 (2023)13,2992,086.65:10
LG Gram 17 Pro (2023)9,9451,393.29:55
LG Gram 17 (2022)7,5111,684.615:44
Dell XPS 17 (2022)13,7141,765.56:40
MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023)15,044N/A4:03

In our other tests Dell's XPS 17 (2023) clearly demonstrated its prowess. In our disk speed test, which tests how quickly the laptop can duplicate 25GB of multimedia files, our XPS 17 review unit achieved a top speed of 2,086.6 MBps (megabytes per second). That's quite speedy, and faster than last year's XPS 17 as well as competitors like the LG Gram 17.

And in our video editing test, which times how long the laptop takes to transcode a 4K video down to 1080p using Handbrake, our XPS 17 review unit finished in a speedy 5 minutes and 10 seconds. While that can't match the stellar video-slicing speed of Apple's MacBook Pro with M2 Max (4:03), it handily beats the older XPS 17 (6:40) and just about every other Windows laptop we've tested.

Dell XPS 17 (2023) review: Gaming performance

  • Discrete GPU and beefy internals make this a decent gaming laptop, in a pinch

When work was done and it was time to play, our XPS 17 review unit had no trouble running some of my favorite games (like Marvel's Midnight Suns) at solid framerates. Don't expect to play Cyberpunk 2077 with all the bells and whistles switched on at 60+ frames per second, but the game is plenty playable on the XPS 17, especially when you switch on Nvidia's DLSS 3 upscaling tech.

Dell XPS 17 (2023) review unit

(Image credit: Future)

When we put our XPS 17 review unit through our regimen of game performance tests, the results back up my hands-on experience. 

Since the XPS 17 has a discrete Nvidia GPU and is competitive with some of the best gaming laptops, we ran it through performance tests for Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Borderlands 3 in addition to the Sid Meier's Civilization VI: Gathering Storm benchmark we run on all laptops. These aren't the latest and greatest games, but they run on a broad variety of PCs (including MacBooks) and thus are useful for comparing performance between them.

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Game performance testing (in FPS, @ 1080p)
Row 0 - Cell 0 Sid Meier's Civ VIBorderlands 3Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Dell XPS 17 (2023)122 77.1887
LG Gram 17 Pro (2023)50.5 DNRDNR
Dell XPS 17 (2022)118.7 DNRDNR
MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023)57.9 @ 1200p (won't run @ 1080p)29.2 @ 1200p (won't run @ 1080p)57 @ 1200p (won't run @ 1080p)
Asus ROG Strix Scar 17DNR163.5176.3

As you can see from the results chart above, our Dell XPS 17 (2023) review unit performed better in our gaming tests than its predecessor, competitors like the LG Gram 17 Pro, and even Apple's MacBook Pro with an M2 Max chip onboard. 

I also included performance stats for a contemporary 17-inch gaming laptop, the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17, to give you a sense of how the XPS 17 fares against a modern gaming machine. With an AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 laptop GPU and 32GB of RAM the Strix Scar 17 is no slouch in the performance department, and unsurprisingly it outperforms our Dell XPS 17 in every test. 

But what's worth noting is how far the XPS 17 outperforms its contemporaries, and how close it gets to the performance of a top-tier gaming laptop. Our Dell XPS 17 (2023) review unit actually outperformed the 2022 Asus ROG Zephyrus G14, the best gaming laptop we recommend for most people, by a few frames per second in both Tomb Raider and Borderlands 3.

That's not hugely surprising given that the Zephyrus G14 is an older, cheaper and smaller laptop. What it does show is that while the XPS 17 (2023) can't compete with the latest and greatest gaming laptops, it does deliver competitive gaming performance in a pinch. 

If you want a big-screen laptop to work and play games on, but don't want to deal with the RGB lighting and edgy designs common to gaming laptops, the XPS 17 (2023) is a solid choice.

Dell XPS 17 (2023) review: Audio

The four speakers (a pair of 2.5W woofers and a pair of 1.5W tweeters) inside our XPS 17 (2023) review unit do a good job of blasting tunes, delivering good volume and decent bass.

Dell XPS 17 (2023) review unit on desk, bottom facing camera

(Image credit: Future)

While you probably wouldn't turn to this laptop to soundtrack your next house party, in a pinch it does a pretty good job of getting the party started. Tracks from artists like Dorothy, Open Mike Eagle and The Mountain Goats sounded clear and rich coming out of the XPS 17, and with the volume cranked all the way up it was loud enough to make me worry about neighbor complaints.

Dell XPS 17 (2023) review: Webcam

  • 720p webcam is better than I expected
  • But still, it's time to move to 1080p

The 720p webcam built into the center of the XPS 17's top bezel is a bit of a letdown on paper, since so many of the best laptops have moved to 1080p webcams.

Dell XPS 17 (2023) review webcam test pic

This is roughly how you can expect to look through the XPS 17 (2023)'s webcam. Note that while the image quality is readable, it's grainy and loses a lot of detail on stuff in the background.  (Image credit: Future)

However, I hate to say that in my regular Google Meet calls with colleagues I felt I looked pretty good through the lens of the XPS 17's webcam. While it doesn't do a great job of capturing detail in shadow, I was surprised at how decent it made me look.

While the XPS 17's webcam is far from stellar, it will get you through your video calls with coworkers and loved ones without much fuss. 

Dell XPS 17 (2023) review: Battery life and heat

  • 9 hours of tested battery life is good but far from great
  • A laptop this big should last longer

In my time using our Dell XPS 17 (2023) review unit I rarely had cause to complain about the battery life. I never felt like it was draining too fast (except while gaming) but to be honest it wouldn't be a big deal even if it did, because this laptop is so big and heavy it's hard to imagine enjoying carrying it around for more than a few hours.

That said, the flip side of that is that you also ought to expect better battery life out of a laptop this large. After all, a bigger chassis means more room for a bigger battery, and as you'll soon see, you can get better battery life from other laptops of this size or smaller.

I know because we ran our XPS 17 review unit through our battery test, which tasks the laptop with endlessly surfing the web via Wi-Fi (with its screen brightness set to a low 150 nits) until it runs out of power. Our Dell XPS 17 (2023) unit lasted a solid 9 hours and 5 minutes, which is good but not great. 

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Battery life test results
Header Cell - Column 0 Time (hours:mins)
Dell XPS 17 (2023)9:05
LG Gram 17 Pro (2023)12:02
LG Gram 17 (2022)12:34
Dell XPS 17 (2022)8:05
MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023)18:56
Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 810:10
Acer Swift 511:25
Acer Spin 512:31
Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 36011:59
Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Pro 3608:07
HP Dragonfly Pro13:23
MacBook Pro 14-inch 202314:02
Dell XPS 13 Plus7:34
Dell XPS 13 (2022)11:13

That's an hour longer than last year's XPS 17 lasted in the same test, and it's nice to see improvement on that front. However, under 10 hours is pretty disappointing because you can get that much or more from competing 17-inchers like the LG Gram or LG Gram Pro, both of which lasted over 12 hours in the same battery test.

It's not even like you're making a big trade-off to buy a longer-lasting 17-incher like the LG Gram Pro over the XPS 17. LG's 17-inch Gram Pro has the same 13th Gen Intel chips inside, and while it has an older 30-series Nvidia laptop GPU, that's still powerful enough to run plenty of games well. Plus, it's over 2 pounds lighter than the XPS 17.

At least our Dell XPS 17 (2023) review unit doesn't run too hot. When we tasked it with playing an HD video for 15 minutes and then scanned it with a heat gun, we found the laptop got as hot as 92.7 degrees on the underside. That's warm but not dangerous, and the top of the laptop clocked lower temperatures between 77-89 degrees.

In short, this laptop gets warm but it's far from a lap-scorcher. Of course, at nearly 6 pounds heavy you probably won't want to keep it in your lap for all that long anyhow.

Dell XPS 17 (2023) review: Keyboard and touchpad

  • Spacious keyboard deck and trackpad
  • Yet somehow, I wish the keyboard was larger

I spent a week typing on our Dell XPS 17 review unit, and I can tell you that the spacious deck gives you plenty of room to move. My hands are on the larger side and I often feel cramped when typing on smaller laptops, so I appreciate that the deck on the XPS 17 is large enough that I can comfortably rest my wrists on it basically all the time. Is that ergonomic or healthy? I'm not sure, but it definitely feels nice when you're using this thing in your lap.

And yet, somehow I'm a little put off by how the keyboard itself doesn't use all that space. Instead, it's indented in from the edges to make room for grilles that flank the keyboard on either side. I would have preferred to have the keyboard take up the entire width of the deck, for maximum size and space between keys, but you may not have the same hang-up.

Dell XPS 17 (2023) review unit

(Image credit: Future)

You're unlikely to have much trouble with the touchpad, a large and spacious rectangle of indented black plastic nestled beneath the keyboard. It's right in the center, and I never experienced any issues with it misreading my inputs or not recognizing my gesture commands.

Dell XPS 17 (2023) review: Verdict

It's been a little while since we had a chance to review an XPS 17, and I'm pleased to report that our XPS 17 (2023) review unit has cemented my opinion of it as one of the best laptops on the market.

If you want a big-screen laptop that can do it all, the XPS 17 is a great choice. While it doesn't excel in gaming or video editing, it can do both in a pinch, and the lush 17-inch UHD+ display on our review unit makes doing either a pleasure. The speakers are great, the port selection is decent, and while the 9-hour (tested) battery life won't astound you, it will at least ensure you can probably get through a workday without having to recharge.

However, there are some important weaknesses to know about with this laptop. The size and weight is nothing to shrug at, and the lack of an easy-open lip on the lid is a minor but recurring annoyance. The battery life isn't great either. 

If you like the idea of a big-screen laptop but hate making these concessions, a competitor like the LG Gram 17 or LG Gram 17 Pro might be more up your alley. Both are cheaper, lighter and longer-lasting than Dell's XPS 17, though only the Pro offers a discrete GPU option and neither is as powerful as the XPS 17. And of course, if you prize video editing performance above all, it's hard to beat the 16-inch MacBook Pro 2023.

But when it comes to sheer performance and big-screen gaming on the go, you'd be hard-pressed to do better than the Dell XPS 17 without straying into gaming laptop territory. And that way lies heavier, hotter, and more expensive laptops with even worse battery life.

Alex Wawro
Senior Editor Computing

Alex Wawro is a lifelong tech and games enthusiast with more than a decade of experience covering both for outlets like Game Developer, Black Hat, and PC World magazine. A lifelong PC builder, he currently serves as a senior editor at Tom's Guide covering all things computing, from laptops and desktops to keyboards and mice.