Dell XPS 17 vs. MacBook Pro 16 Which is Better?

Dell XPS 17 vs. MacBook Pro 16 Which is Better?

Dell XPS 17 vs MacBook Pro 16: Choosing the Best Laptop for Creators

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If you’re a creator in need of a laptop with a larger display for editing photos or videos, you’ll find yourself with a wide range of choices. However, two laptops stand out among the rest – Dell’s XPS 17 and Apple’s MacBook Pro 16. Both are excellent machines, each with its own unique features and advantages.

Design and Build Quality

When it comes to design and build quality, the Dell XPS 17 and MacBook Pro 16 are in a league of their own. Both laptops are constructed with precision from CNC machined aluminum, ensuring zero bending, flexing, or twisting in the lid, keyboard deck, or chassis. The attention to detail is evident, and both laptops exude a sense of quality.

In terms of aesthetics, the MacBook Pro 16 takes a more conservative and minimalist approach, while the XPS 17 offers a sleeker and more streamlined appearance. The XPS 17 also offers the choice of a black (carbon fiber) or white (glass fiber) keyboard deck, giving it a more luxurious feel. The fiber palm rests on the XPS 17 provide added comfort compared to the MacBook Pro 16’s cold metal design. Overall, both laptops are stunning in their own right, and you can’t go wrong with either.

The Dell XPS 17 is slightly wider than the MacBook Pro 16, mainly due to its larger 17-inch display compared to the MacBook Pro 16’s 16.2-inch panel. Both laptops feature small display bezels, maximizing the amount of screen real estate within their reasonably sized chassis. The XPS 17 is slightly thicker and heavier than the MacBook Pro 16, but they still fall within the thin and light category.

When it comes to keyboards, the MacBook Pro 16 takes the crown with its shallow travel, snappy, precise scissor switches that provide excellent feedback and a light touch. The XPS 17’s keyboard is deeper and also precise, but it falls slightly behind Apple’s keyboard for extended typing sessions.

Both laptops feature large touchpads that are comfortable to use. The MacBook Pro 16’s touchpad is entirely haptic-driven and offers a seamless experience, indistinguishable from physical buttons. While the XPS 17’s touchpad is equally excellent, the MacBook Pro’s touchpad takes a slight edge in terms of technology. However, the XPS 17 does offer the option of a touch display, which the MacBook Pro 16 doesn’t have.

In terms of connectivity, both laptops have Thunderbolt ports, but Apple has taken the lead in this aspect with the added inclusion of a full-size HDMI 2.0 port and a full-size SD card reader on the MacBook Pro 16. The XPS 17 features four USB-C with Thunderbolt 4 connections and a full-size SD card reader. Neither laptop has a USB-A port, so a dongle will be necessary to connect to legacy USB devices. Both laptops also feature Wi-Fi 6E and either Bluetooth 5.2 or 5.3.

While the Dell XPS 17 features a 720p webcam, the MacBook Pro 16 steps up with a 1080p webcam. The Dell incorporates an infrared camera for Windows 11 Hello facial recognition, and both laptops have fingerprint readers.

Performance

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Performance is a crucial factor for creators, and both the Dell XPS 17 and MacBook Pro 16 excel in this department, albeit with some differences.

Apple’s transition to its own Apple Silicon CPUs has revolutionized their performance. The latest MacBook Pro 16 offers a choice between the powerful M2 Pro with 12 CPU cores and 19 GPU cores, and the even more impressive M2 Max with 12 CPU cores and either 30 or 38 GPU cores. These processors deliver unprecedented speed and efficiency, as demonstrated in various benchmarks. The MacBook Pro 16 with the M1 Pro already outperforms the XPS 17 in most CPU-intensive tasks.

On the other hand, the Dell XPS 17 comes equipped with Intel 13th-gen 45-watt H-series CPUs, offering strong performance. The XPS 17 we tested featured the Core i7-13700H processor with 14 cores, and it also had the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 GPU clocked at 60 watts. While the XPS 17 performed admirably in single-core tests, it couldn’t quite match the M2 Max on multi-core performance.

For creators with demanding workflows, the MacBook Pro 16 emerges as the clear winner in terms of performance. Its impressive GPU performance in creative apps, coupled with the powerful Apple Silicon CPUs, make it the go-to choice for professionals.

Display

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Having a high-quality display is crucial for creators. The Dell XPS 17 offers two display options – a 17-inch Full HD+ (1920 x 1200) IPS panel or a 4K+ (3840 x 2400) IPS panel. We tested the 4K+ display, and it proved to be superior in terms of color accuracy and brightness.

On the other hand, the MacBook Pro 16 comes with a stunning 16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR (Mini-LED) display running at 3456 x 2234 resolution. While the XPS 17 has better colors and slightly higher brightness, the MacBook Pro 16’s contrast and HDR support are unparalleled. Both displays are excellent for productivity and creative work, with the XPS 17 offering wider colors, preferred by some creators, and the MacBook Pro 16 impressing with its deep blacks and outstanding HDR performance.

Portability

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When it comes to portability, both the Dell XPS 17 and MacBook Pro 16 are larger, more substantial machines. However, the MacBook Pro 16 is slightly thinner and lighter than the XPS 17, making it more portable.

Battery life is a significant differentiating factor between the two laptops. The XPS 17, with its 97 watt-hour battery, managed around 4.75 hours in web browsing tests and 5.25 hours in video tests. The MacBook Pro 16, with a 100-watt-hour battery, impressively delivered 18.5 hours of web browsing and over 23 hours of video playback, surpassing the XPS 17 by a large margin. These results are some of the best we’ve seen, thanks to the efficiency of Apple Silicon. It’s no contest – if battery life is a priority, the MacBook Pro 16 is the clear winner.

The Price Factor

The Dell XPS 17 offers a wide range of configurations and starts at $2,049 for a mid-range setup. However, if you max out the specifications, the price quickly skyrockets to a premium range ($5,389 for the ultimate configuration). On the other hand, the MacBook Pro 16 starts at a higher price point of $2,499 for the base model and can go all the way up to an eye-watering $6,499 for the top-tier configuration. The MacBook Pro 16’s higher cost can be attributed to Apple’s attention to detail, build quality, and powerful Apple Silicon.

Conclusion: MacBook Pro 16 Takes the Crown

In summary, both the Dell XPS 17 and MacBook Pro 16 are excellent laptops for creators. They boast top-notch design, powerful performance, and impressive displays. However, the MacBook Pro 16 takes the crown, thanks to its unmatched performance and exceptionally long battery life. If budget is not a concern, the MacBook Pro 16 is the ultimate choice for professional creators. The Dell XPS 17, while outstanding in its own right, falls slightly behind in terms of performance and battery longevity.