Two big-screen legends collide with the Dell XPS 17 and Razer Blade 17

It has the largest display of any mainstream laptop without having to go exotic, and due to its large chassis and improved thermal design, it typically performs better. Dell's XPS 17 and Razer Blade 17 both have Intel's 12th-gen CPUs, so they're both top 17-inch machines.

The XPS 17 and Blade 17 are similar in some ways but quite different in others. The XPS 17 is designed for mainstream creators who need a large display for creative work and sufficient performance to run demanding creative tasks. 

XPS 17's unique design features an aluminum lid and bottom chassis and a black carbon fiber keyboard deck. The display appears floating in front of the tiny bezels. This laptop looks great without being ostentatious. The lid, keyboard deck, or chassis are all solid, with no bending, flexing, or twisting, and the hinge is smooth, holding the display firmly in place. The XPS 17 is designed with care, and it shows.

As with the XPS 17, the Blade 17 features a streamlined design and a matte black chassis that looks like the darker version of a MacBook Pro. It is constructed of all aluminum and is just as rigid as the XPS 17. It doesn't have the same small display bezels as the XPS 17, so it's not quite as modern as the XPS 17. Apart from the Razer logo on the lid, the Blade 17 does not look like a gaming laptop.

XPS 17 keyboards are all-business, with ample key spacing, large keycaps, and snappy switch mechanisms that deliver a smooth bottoming action. With a comfortable switch and RGB lighting, the Blade 17's keyboard is also an excellent choice for long-term typing sessions. Neither laptop has a significant advantage in this area.

The Blade 17 we reviewed used a Core i7-12800H, a slightly faster version of the same chip with a maximum Turbo frequency of four. The XPS 17 we reviewed used a 45-watt, 14-core (six Performance, eight Efficient), 20-thread Intel Core i7-12700H.

The Blade 17 we reviewed used a Core i7-12800H, a slightly faster version of the same chip with a maximum Turbo frequency of four. The XPS 17 we reviewed used a 45-watt, 14-core (six Performance, eight Efficient), 20-thread Intel Core i7-12700H.

Each laptop encoded 420MB video as H.265 within a second of the other in our Handbrake test. Despite the different CPUs, both laptops performed similarly on these benchmarks due to their thin chassis and thermal throttling.

A much faster Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti in the Blade 17 helped it outperform the XPS 17 in the Pugetbench Premiere Pro benchmark, which runs in a live version of Adobe Premiere Pro. It's no surprise that the Blade 17 scored higher in Premiere Pro's performance mode than the XPS 17. Although the XPS 17's score jumped to 853 in performance mode, it is still excellent.

A 4K UHD+ IPS panel on the XPS 17 was one of the brightest we've tested and covered 100% of the AdobeRGB color gamut. It was also incredibly accurate, with a DeltaE of 0.58 which is among the best we've seen.

The Blade 17's QHD display ran at a superfast 240Hz, which made it a great gaming laptop. Our review of Blade 17's contrast ratio was 1,870:1, one of the best we've seen on an IPS screen. While its colors were reasonably wide and accurate, its brightness was just average for a premium laptop, and its contrast was below average.

Its display is smaller and its bezels are smaller than the Blade 17, making it narrower and shallower. At 0.77 inches, it's almost as thin as the Blade 17, and weighs 5.34 pounds, compared to 6.06 pounds. Despite being large and heavy, the XPS 17 has a meaningful advantage in weight and size.

The battery life of the XPS 17 is another advantage. 7.5 hours outperformed the Blade 17's performance in our web browsing test, which cycles through some popular and complex websites. Our video test looped a local Avengers trailer for 13 hours and showed the XPS 17 was more efficient than ever.

Overall, the XPS 17 offers more portability than the Blade 17. It may not last a full day on a charge, but it will last considerably longer than the Blade 17.

In addition to an Intel UHD graphics chip, 8GB of DDR5 RAM, 512GB PCIe 4.0 SSD, and a 17-inch Full HD+ display, the XPS 17 starts at $1,812. A Core i9-12900HK, 64GB DDR5 RAM, a 2TB PCIe 4.0 SSD, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, and a 17-inch UHD+ display set it at $3,625 when configured.

It comes with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, a 17.3-inch QHD 165Hz display, 16GB DDR5 RAM, a 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD, and an entry-level Core i7-12800H. In addition to the Core i9-12900H, the Blade 17 features a 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD, an RTX 3080 Ti, and a 17.3 UHD 144Hz display for $4,300.

Generally, the Dell XPS 17 is the better laptop for most buyers and all but the most demanding creators. It is fast enough for creative workflows and performs just as well as the Razer Blade 17. It also has better battery life. If you are a gamer or a very demanding creator, the Blade 17 has more GPU power.

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