Dell XPS 15 & 17 2023 Review: Amazing performance hindered by an aging design

Kareem Anderson

Dell Xps 15 Hero

Starting at $1,499

The Dell XPS 15 & 17 are equipped with 40 and 60W GeForce RTX 4070 GPUs but unfortunately not much else, and that distinction provides the ideal content creation laptop for some users and a throttling headache for power-hungry others. was offered review units for the Dell XPS 15 (9530) and 17 (9730) and these 2023 models offer an impressive level of GPU performance paired with the latest Intel 13th generation core processors, but the 2015 design of the chassis puts a ceiling on the amount of performance these machines are capable of and somewhat limits the PC when compared to other offerings in similar categories.

Dell XPS 15 9530 Dell XPS 17 9730
Dimensions 13.56 inches x 9.06 inches x 0.73 inches 14.74 inches x 9.76 inches x 0.77 inches
Weight 4.23 pounds (non-touch) 4.87 pounds non-touch
4.62 pounds (touch) 5.37 pounds touch
Processor Intel Core i5-13500H Intel Core i5-13500H
Intel Core i7-13700H Intel Core i7-13700H
Intel Core i9-13900H Intel Core i9-13900HK
Graphics Intel Iris Xe Intel UHD graphics
Intel Arc A370M Intel Iris Xe graphics
Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 (40W) Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 (60W)
Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 (40W) Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 (60W)
Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 (40W) Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 (60W)
Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 (60W)
Display 15.6-inch 16:10 Full HD+ (1920 x 1200) IPS 17.0-inch 16:10 Full HD+ (1920 x 1200) IPS
15.6-inch 16:10 3.5K (3456 x 2160) OLED 17.0-inch 16:10 4K+ (3840 x 2400) IPS
Storage  512GB PCIe SSD 512GB PCIe SSD
8TB PCIe SSD (2 x 4TB SSDs) 8TB PCIe SSD (2 x 4TB SSDs)
Touch Optional Optional
Ports 1 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 4 x USB-C with Thunderbolt 4
2 x USB-C with Thunderbolt 4 1 x 3.5mm audio jack
1 x 3.5mm audio jack Full-size SD card reader
Full-size SD card reader
Wireless Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2
Webcam 720p with Windows 11 Hello infrared camera 720p with Windows 11 Hello infrared camera
Operating system Windows 11 Windows 11
Battery 86 watt-hours 97 watt-hours
Price $1,500 $2,450+
Rating 3.5 out of 5 stars 3.5 out of 5 stars

Look and Feel

The Dell XPS 15 and 17 are premium laptops that offer a sleek and elegant design, with a platinum silver exterior and a black interior that hasn’t change much over the past seven years so the following section may feel a bit redundant to legacy owners and fans. Both the 15 and 17-inch XPS 2023 models feature Dell’s InfinityEdge display, which minimizes the bezels and maximizes the screen size. Both laptops have a 16:10 aspect ratio, which gives more vertical space for productivity and content creation. The display options include high-resolution OLED panels that deliver stunning colors, contrast, and brightness, as well as Dolby Vision support for enhanced HDR content. The non-OLED panels are also sharp and vivid, with a full HD or 4K resolution.

The Dell XPS 15 and 17 are also well-built and durable, with an aluminum chassis and a carbon fiber palm rest. They have a comfortable and responsive keyboard, with a large touchpad that supports multi-touch gestures. The laptops also have a Windows Hello IR webcam that enables facial recognition for secure and convenient login. The webcam quality is decent, but not exceptional, as it only has a 720p resolution, in 2023.

The Dell XPS 15 and 17 are not the lightest or thinnest laptops on the market, but they are still fairly portable and easy to carry around. The XPS 15 weighs 4.5 pounds and measures 0.71 inches thick, while the XPS 17 weighs 5.53 pounds and measures 0.77 inches thick. Both laptops have a wedge-shaped design that makes them slightly thinner at the front than at the back.

Screenshot 2023 07 25 161505

Part of the issue with Dell’s 2023 offerings is that the chassis trades on the performance of a full RTX 4070 with 100W for the customary sleek design of the XPS which can better hold the RTX 4070 40 and 60W.

The Dell XPS 15 and 17 have a good selection of ports, but they differ slightly in their configuration. The XPS 15 has two Thunderbolt 4 ports, one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, one full-size SD card reader, one headphone/microphone combo jack, and one wedge-shaped lock slot. The XPS 17 has four Thunderbolt 4 ports, one SD card reader, one headphone/microphone jack, and one lock slot. Both laptops support charging and data transfer via the Thunderbolt 4 ports, as well as DisplayPort output for external monitors.

However, neither laptop has an HDMI port or an Ethernet port, which may be inconvenient for some users. Fortunately, Dell does equip a USB-C to USB-A and HDMI dongle in the box to help extend port usage beyond what is built into the older design.

Screenshot 2023 07 25 161351


The Dell XPS 15 and 17 are powerful laptops that can handle demanding tasks such as gaming, video editing, graphic design, and more. They are equipped with the latest 13th-generation Intel Core processors, ranging from the Core i5-13500H to the Core i9-13900H. These processors offer fast performance and improved efficiency compared to the previous generation. They also support Intel Turbo Boost Technology, which can boost the clock speed up to 5 GHz when needed.

The Dell XPS 15 and 17 also have impressive graphics capabilities, thanks to the new Nvidia GeForce RTX 40-series graphics cards. These cards are based on the Ampere architecture, which delivers improved performance, ray tracing, and DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) features. The XPS 15 can be configured with the RTX 4050, RTX 4060, or RTX 4070 graphics cards, while the XPS 17 can be configured with the RTX 4050, RTX 4060, RTX 4070, or RTX 4080 graphics cards. The higher-end cards can run most games at high settings and smooth frame rates on the laptop’s native resolution or on an external monitor.

Screenshot 2023 07 25 172853

However, because of the choice to put a 40 and 60W version in the XPS 15 and 17 close to 40% of the gaming potential is stunted on the laptops, fortunately for pure content creators dealing in graphical editing bays, the performance ceiling isn’t felt with most settings and workflows when paired with the performance boosts from Intel’s Core i7 and i9 H-series chips.

Using 3D software tools on the Dell XPS 15 and 17 is a notable improvement over last years models despite the 40 and 60W limit on the RTX 4070s. Software such as Blender Class Room with CUDA acceleration enabled performed close to twice as fast on the 2023 models than with last years 2022 benchmarks and only about 30 seconds slower than a device equipped with the full 100W RTX 4070.

The Dell XPS 15 and 17 also have ample memory and storage options to suit different needs and budgets. They can be configured with up to 64GB of DDR5-4800 RAM, which is faster than the previous generation of DDR4 RAM. They can also be configured with up to 8TB of PCIe 4.x SSD storage (though only up to 4TB is currently available), which offers fast read and write speeds and plenty of space for files and programs.

Screenshot 2023 07 25 173547

The Dell XPS 15 and 17 maintain their 2015-dual-fan cooling system that helps keep the laptops from overheating under heavy load. However, some users will still experience some fan noise or thermal throttling when running intensive tasks for a long time because Dell hasn’t adapted its design for a proper heat sink for the more power hungry GPUs it places inside its 15 and 17 models in 2023.

The laptops also have a quad-speaker system that delivers clear and loud sound quality, with support for Waves MaxxAudio Pro tuning software.

The Dell XPS 15 and 17 have decent battery life for their size and performance level. However, the battery life may vary depending on the display option, the brightness level, the power mode, and the tasks being performed. The laptops come with a 130W or a 180W power adapter, depending on the configuration, that can charge the battery quickly.


The Dell XPS 15 and 17 are excellent laptops for anyone who needs a powerful and portable device for work or play. They offer a stunning design, a gorgeous display, a fast performance, and a good battery life. They are ideal for creative professionals, c-suite executives, students, and anyone who values quality and performance.
However, the Dell XPS 15 and 17 are also expensive laptops that may not fit everyone’s budget or needs. They start at $1,499 and $2,449 respectively, and can go up to over but are on sale for $1,299 and $2,049 right now. They also lack some features that some users may want, such as an HDMI port, an Ethernet port, or a higher-resolution webcam. However, the biggest knock on either the 15 and 17 is its ageing design has limited the way the device can keep cool more modern day GPUs.
Screenshot 2023 07 25 172512
When Dell first introduced the design of the XPS and even subsequent minor iterations, the company did so at a time when cooling GPUs in a thin design was less of a concern with integrated Intel GPU performance. However, when attempting to deliver customers the same sort of GPU performance competitors in similar price ranges were offering with more dedicated gaming devices, Dell has been stuffing the case with chips that were meant for updated cooling systems to run at full potential.
At the end of the day, Dell XPS  15 and 17 customers may experience some issues with heat and noise when running intensive tasks for a long time and if that’s a trade off they can stand, then the company’s 2023 offerings are right in line with expectations.
While the Windows market has yet to offer a one-for-one answer to Apple’s MacBook with M-series chip-levels of performance, the Dell XPS 15 and 17 are the closest options in both build quality and performance, and just like Apple’s M2 equipped models, Dell is running into performance already outpacing its design for the moment.