Dell XPS 17 9730 Review Big, Fast without OLED Option

Dell XPS 17 9730 Review Big, Fast without OLED Option

Dell XPS 17 9730: The Heavyweight in Content Creation Laptops

Dell XPS 17 9730

If you’re a content creator in need of a powerful, large-screen laptop, the Dell XPS 17 9730 might just be the perfect fit. With its mammoth 17-inch, 16:10 display, it stands out among its competitors like the LG Gram 17. But what sets the XPS 17 apart goes beyond just its size. It boasts an attractive, rigid design, strong graphics performance, and impressive battery life, making it the superior choice for creators who value durability, speed, and endurance.

The XPS 17 9730 outperforms the competition with its higher-powered Core i7 H-series processor and RTX 4070 discrete GPU. Its 4K, 500-nit display also offers a crisper and brighter visual experience. However, it does have some downsides. The lack of an OLED display option and the outdated 720p webcam are disappointing for a laptop at this price point. Nevertheless, if you’re willing to sacrifice an inch of screen space, the Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Ultra is still our top recommendation for content creators.

Powerful Configuration and Performance

The Dell XPS 17 9730 comes in different configurations, offering limited customization options. The baseline model starts at $2,449, featuring a Core i7-13700H CPU, 16GB of RAM, GeForce RTX 4050 graphics, a 512GB SSD, and a 17-inch display with a resolution of 1,920×1,200 pixels. Our $3,399 test system features upgrades on almost every aspect, including 32GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, a 3,840×2,400-pixel display, and an RTX 4070 GPU. There’s also the option to upgrade to a Core i9-13900H CPU or an RTX 4080 GPU.

In lab testing, the XPS 17 9730 showcased its graphics capabilities, surpassing its predecessor, the XPS 17 9720, and delivering solid frame rates on the gaming tests. Impressively, despite its powerful components and 4K display, the XPS 17 9730 excelled in battery life, lasting nearly 12 hours on a demanding online streaming battery drain test.

Sleek Design and Sturdiness

The XPS 17 9730 maintains the sleek and sturdy design of its predecessors. Though slightly heavier than the LG Gram 17, weighing in at 5.4 pounds, it still maintains a relatively slim profile at just 0.8 inches thick. The brushed aluminum lid gives it a professional look, while the carbon-fiber keyboard deck adds a touch of texture. The absence of a number pad creates a more comfortable and spacious typing experience, and the large touchpad provides a soft and quiet click response.

One standout feature of the XPS 17 9730 is its impressive speaker system. The upward-firing quad speakers deliver rich and full sound, providing an immersive audio experience. The laptop also features a quartet of Thunderbolt 4 ports and a full-size SD card slot, catering to content creators’ needs for connectivity and data transfer.

Room for Improvement: Display and Webcam

Despite its impressive features, the XPS 17 9730 falls short in a few areas. The lack of an OLED display option is disappointing for a laptop at this price point, and the 720p webcam feels outdated compared to the 1080p cameras found in most laptops today. These are minor flaws but worth considering for professionals who place importance on display quality and video conferencing capabilities.

Conclusion

Priced at $3,399, the Dell XPS 17 9730 may appear steep, especially without an OLED display option. However, Dell often offers discounts, and at a reduced price, the XPS 17 9730 becomes a more appealing option. Despite its downsides, this laptop’s sturdy build, powerful performance, and outstanding battery life make it a standout choice for content creators. So, if you’re in the market for a content creation laptop and can overlook the lack of an OLED display, the Dell XPS 17 9730 is a heavyweight contender.


System Configuration and Test Results:

Configuration as tested:

Specs Dell XPS 17 9730
Price as reviewed $3,399
Display size/resolution 17-inch 3,840×2,400 touch LCD
CPU 2.4GHz Intel Core i7-13700H
Memory 32GB DDR5 4,800MHz
Graphics 16GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070
Storage 1TB NVMe PC801 NVMe SK Hynix
Networking Wi-Fi 6 1675 (AX211), 2×2, 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.3
Operating system Windows 11 Home 22H2

Benchmark Test Results:

  • Geekbench 5 (multicore)
    • Dell XPS 17 9730: 12,355
    • LG Gram 17 Pro: 9,983
  • Cinebench R23 (multicore)
    • Dell XPS 17 9730: 13,948
    • LG Gram 17 Pro: 10,062
  • 3DMark Wild Life Extreme Unlimited
    • Dell XPS 17 9730: 17,740
    • LG Gram 17 Pro: 3,663
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (High @1920 x 1080)
    • Dell XPS 17 9730: 122 fps
    • LG Gram 17 Pro: 60 fps
  • The Riftbreaker GPU (1920 x 1080)
    • Dell XPS 17 9730: 236 fps
    • LG Gram 17 Pro: 94 fps
  • Online streaming battery drain test
    • Dell XPS 17 9730: 714 minutes
    • LG Gram 17 Pro: 664 minutes

Note: The ENBLE Labs conducted performance testing and our expert reviewers conducted extensive hands-on use to evaluate the Dell XPS 17 9730. The final verdict takes into account both objective and subjective judgments, evaluating aesthetics, ergonomics, and features.