Dell XPS 15 vs Dell XPS 17: Dell's best go head to head

A Dell XPS 15 2022 and a Dell XPS 17 2022 facing off
(Image credit: Future)

When it comes to productivity powerhouses, the Dell XPS 15 vs Dell XPS 17 is a debate any serious shopper is going to have. Both provide incredible performance and value for the money, offering excellent hardware, outstanding design, and even fantastic battery life.

But there are some key differences between the two and it’s important that you get the right laptop for your needs and budget. Fortunately, we’ve extensively tested and reviewed both of the best Dell laptops in their class and we’re here to help you break down the pros and cons of each.

So whether you’re looking for the best laptop for work or one of the best creative workstations with a little bit of serious gaming performance on the side, we’ve got you covered with our extensive breakdown of the matchup across the most important categories for each.

Dell XPS 15 vs Dell XPS 17: price and availability

Regardless of whether you’re looking for the Dell XPS 15 vs Dell XPS 17, you’re in luck, as both laptops are available now from Dell’s website.

The Dell XPS 15 is available starting at $1,449 / £1,549 / AU$3,229, while the configuration in our Dell XPS 15 (2022) review sells for $2,253 (about £1,900 / AU$3,280). The top configuration will run you $3,899 / £3,199 / AU$6,609.

The Dell XPS 17, meanwhile, starts out more expensive (naturally), at $1,749 in the US, £2,099 in the UK and AU$3,999 in Australia. The configuration from our Dell XPS 17 (2022) review sells for $2,749 / £2,599 / AU$4,798. The Dell XPS 17 tops out at $4,143 (about £3,500 / AU$6,030).

All told, if you’re looking to save some money on an already pricey item, the Dell XPS 15 is a better bet.

Dell XPS 15 vs Dell XPS 17: design

Functionally, there is little difference between the Dell XPS 15 vs Dell XPS 17 in terms of design. Both retain the same fantastic look of their predecessors, and while the Dell XPS 17 is understandably a bit larger, the W x D x H dimensions of the Dell XPS 15 are 13.56 x 9.06 x 0.73 ins (344.4 x 230.1 x 18.54 mm), while the Dell XPS 17’s are 14.74 x 9.76 x 0.77 ins (375 x 248 x 20 mm), so there isn't that much of a difference in the end.

Both laptops have display options up to UHD+ resolution (3,840 x 2,400p), while the XPS 15 can also offer an OLED display. Probably the biggest difference is the types and amount of ports. The Dell XPS 15 (2022) features 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (with DisplayPort and PowerDelivery), 2 x Thunderbolt 4, 1 x 3.5mm combo jack, 1 x SD card slot, and 1 x Kensington lock slot.

The Dell XPS 17 (2022), meanwhile, features 4 x USB-C with Thunderbolt 4, 1 x 3.5mm combo jack, 1 x  SD card reader, and 1 x Kensington lock slot. The additional room on the XPS 17 lets Dell squeeze in an additional Thunderbolt 4 port.

Other than that, the exterior of the Dell XPS 15 and Dell XPS 17 chassis is the same beautiful, brushed aluminum shell with carbon fiber palm rests as their predecessors, and those put off by the Dell XPS 13 Plus will feel right at home with these two laptops. Both have meh-style 720p webcams, but that’s the sacrifice you have to make for the ultrathin bezels you get with the XPS laptop series.

Dell XPS 15 vs Dell XPS 17: Performance

A Dell XPS 15 (2022) on a wooden desk

(Image credit: Future)

The performance of the two Dell laptops are going to vary considerably depending on the specification you get, but in either case, you’re going to get fantastic performance that pretty much matches each other, spec for spec. 

Dell has done a fantastic job of building the two systems regardless of their configurations. And it can honestly be easier to compare the two systems against the best 15-inch laptops and best 17-inch laptops, respectively, rather than comparing them directly against each other.

For example, the XPS 17 with an Intel Alder Lake Core i7-12700H comes within striking distance of the model in our MSI Creator Z17 review, which comes loaded with a Core i9-12900H. The same could be said of the XPS 15, which comes equally close to something like the model in our Asus ZenBook 14X OLED Space Edition review, which also packed an Intel Core i9-12900H.

In terms of gaming performance and creative workloads, you're not going to get the same level of performance as you would from the best gaming laptops. But you can get an Nvidia RTX 3060 GPU in the Dell XPS 17, while the Dell XPS 15 tops out at an RTX 3050 Ti, so neither machine is a slouch when it comes to gaming. 

The edge on gaming performance and creative workloads is going to go to the higher-specced XPS 17 every time, though, so if that matters most to you, you should definitely look higher up the stack.

Dell XPS 15 vs Dell XPS 17: Battery life

When it comes to battery life, there’s not really all that much difference between the Dell XPS 15 vs Dell XPS 17. The XPS 15 model we reviewed had an 86WHr battery while the XPS 17 packed a 96WHr battery, but that extra size was pretty much negated by the larger display.

Fortunately, both XPS laptops managed to break through the 10-hour mark on our battery tests, with the XPS 15 even making it 12 hours in our PCMark 10 battery test. 

Which should you buy?

Ultimately, if you get the same spec package, the difference in performance between the Dell XPS 15 vs Dell XPS 17 is going to be pretty marginal, so the most important thing really is whether you want the extra umph on the high-end with the XPS 17 or whether the extra screen real estate (and expense) is worth it for you. 

You’ll sacrifice some of the portability afforded by the XPS 15, though, which in so many ways is a perfect balance between portability, price, and performance in the XPS line. Depending on which you want, the XPS line has a laptop to suit your needs though, and it'll look great doing it.

John Loeffler
Components Editor

John (He/Him) is the Components Editor here at TechRadar and he is also a programmer, gamer, activist, and Brooklyn College alum currently living in Brooklyn, NY. 

Named by the CTA as a CES 2020 Media Trailblazer for his science and technology reporting, John specializes in all areas of computer science, including industry news, hardware reviews, PC gaming, as well as general science writing and the social impact of the tech industry.

You can find him online on Threads @johnloeffler.

Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 (just like everyone else).