Macbook Pro 16 and Dell XPS 17 which one is the king in 2020?

Macbook Pro 16 and Dell XPS 17 which one is the king in 2020?

Macbook Pro 16 and Dell XPS 17 which one is the king in 2020?

Macbook Pro 16 and Dell XPS 17 which one is the king in 2020?

Editor's ChoiceMacBooks will never be the same as in 2015, but Apple still heeds the pleas of users! We begged for an old-fashioned keyboard and even a physical Escape key. The MacBook Pro has become thicker - and this, oddly enough, is very good: inside there is a battery of almost 100 Wh and an unexpectedly efficient cooler for cooling the eight-core CPU.

Apple is one of those IT companies that rarely admit to bad decisions and even less likely to reverse. That  MacBook Pro design, which Cupertino put into operation in 2016, cannot be called an engineering or, even more so, a commercial failure, but the fact is that not every mac-grower, especially among professionals, embraced the changes with enthusiasm. The retina models of 2013–2015 are rightly called the most successful MacBook Pro series. For them, a lot of users left Windows and switched to Macs, but then Apple demanded to sacrifice too many familiar amenities in order to gain access to the next generation of hardware. Moreover, the problem with the "butterfly" keys, which has not been resolved for three whole years, hangs over the MacBook Pro. But times are not what they used to be. Once upon a time, the win-win bingo of a high-quality keyboard, a comfortable touchpad, and a calibrated on-screen matrix was found only in Macs.

 Fortunately, Apple has finally admitted that not all of the principles found in 2016 laptops are worth fighting for. The keyboard is clearly time to change and the ultra-thin chassis doesn't help much with cooling when eight cores are the norm in a high-performance laptop. Finally, there is a strong demand for a larger screen format than 15.4 inches. The designers of the fresh MacBook Pro took all this into account and, in addition, dramatically increased the potential performance of the machine, while remaining in the same price coordinates.

  On the other hand,  In an effort to expand on the topics covered, we've brought you the popular above-average laptop model - the Dell XPS 17... This one of the most popular models of the American company designed for the home, the 17-inch model on the Intel Calpella platform, is designed for users for whom workmanship and performance are one of the main criteria. This laptop is equipped with everything typical for a consumer class: expensive material finishing, fashionable design, powerful built-in sound, pretty good discrete video card, increased number of ports, powerful system data. At the same time, like all Dell laptops, users are provided with a wide range of components from a 3G modem and an SSD hard drive to an LED-backlit keyboard. In this article, we will make a comparison between Dell XPS 17 and Macbook Pro 16 to which one the king is.


Macbook Pro 16 and Dell XPS 17 which one is the king in 2020?

 Design & Display.

Apple computers are recognizable at first glance, and the  MacBook Pro 16 is no  exception. Austere and at the same time stylish metal case with a shiny apple on the lid immediately arouses the interest of others. The build quality is impeccable. When it’s time to update in a few years, if handled carefully enough, it may well be that the laptop will still look almost like new.

If we compare the dimensions of the new items with the MacBook Pro 15, then the computer has slightly increased in size and became 170 grams heavier. In practice, this difference is hardly noticeable. But even taking it into account, the new model still falls into the top of the most portable laptops on the market with a screen diagonal of 15-16 inches. This MacBook is easy to carry with you to work every day. The main thing is to choose a convenient case or bag.

Speaking differently, The XPS series notebooks have a distinctive Dell design applied to nearly all 2010 models. It should be noted that the XPS 17 looks very harmonious and attractive (although we were not interested in lower-end laptops with cheaper materials). The bulging body, with rounded corners with completely missing edges, combines sleek aluminum and a little rough high-quality plastic. Almost the entire outer part of the cover is metal, only the radio has a transparent insert for the antenna and a panel surrounding the keyboard.

Rich interior and style as a result of a milling edge on the entire perimeter of the inner panel, there are mirrored inserts on the touch-sensitive luminous buttons, and a chrome edging surrounds the touchpad. The lid inside has a matte finish. The side and bottom surfaces are made of inexpensive plastic (the battery is painted black). The appearance of the laptop is slightly unusual, but typical for Dell: the hinges connecting the lid are located not at the back, but on the upper edge of the case; there is a wide recess for the lid that tilts back. The battery charge indicator and the disk activity indicator are placed in an unusual way, they are located on the back of the lid, you can see them only when the notebook is closed, and not while working on it. In general, the appearance of the XPS 17 is not far from ideal - original, harmonious, expensive.

The laptop case is made of an unusually rigid and durable material, almost monolithic, with only a slight deflection under the optical drive. Unfortunately, the structure also has disadvantages. First, the keyboard backing is not stable, it squeezes when typing, and the keys themselves are loose. Second, when you press on the panels, a click is heard when the laptop is lifted by one corner. With regard to the practicality of the material, there are no special remarks, traces from the gray metal surface are easy to remove. The only concern is the bottom of the laptop, which is made of plastic, it can easily rub off or get dirty, although this will not be noticeable.

 As far as display is concerned, The screen in Apple computers is one of the aspects that is taken care of with the most attention. At one time we also had the matte models for print professionals, which I appreciated working in that sector, while now they are all glossy to favor contrast and multimedia reproduction. The choice is a bit controversial but the rendering is excellent and considering that most of the creative work is now aimed at screens it is, on the whole, "reasonable". The 16 "format is beautiful - even if it is much closer to 15.4" than the old glorious 17 "- the resolution of 3072 × 1920 pixels is very valid with standard desktop in HiDPI mode equivalent to 1536 x 960 pixels, which offers a perfect rendering that does not scale images or text.

In terms of color reproduction, we are not dealing with a screen suitable for the pre-press supply chain, but for all photography, graphics , and video works I find it really convincing. It has good stock calibration, support for the P3 extended color gamut, great viewing angles, and excellent brightness up to 500 nits. If you are not working on graphics, and therefore do not need an exact match, the True Tone and Night Shift features are also useful, which adapts the hue to the surrounding environment to reduce visual fatigue. And they work very well.

Important news for the 16 "screen is that of being able to change the refresh rate of the preferences, moving it from the default 60 Hz to 59.94, 50, 48, or 47.95. Obviously, it is a useful feature mainly for video editing professionals, for example for those who work the contents at 25fps and can see them with perfect reproduction by setting the 50Hz. It is also interesting in playback for the same reason, since it allows us to better appreciate all the contents, not in NTSC standard. 'you must then remember to then bring the refresh rate back to 60Hz to have the maximum fluidity on the desk.

Having said that, The XPS 17 we tested is equipped with a resolution of 3840 x 2400. This is slightly higher than standard 4K displays, which are 3840 x 2160. Colors looked good (on par with the MacBook Pro) with deep blacks and crisp detail. I watched an episode of Infinity War and the characters' faces were so large that I could see wrinkles in expressions and individual hair strands. Going back to smaller screens (very good screens like that of the MacBook Pro 13) made everything look miniature. The XPS covers 100 percent of the Adobe RGB gamut and is bright enough for use both indoors and outdoors (with some glare).

However, the more impressive aspect of this display is that Dell has managed to fit the display in a smaller case than most 17-inch laptops and a reasonable 15-inch model. Dell has a 93.7 percent screen-to-body ratio that says it is higher than all of its competitors. The bezels are small - especially the bottom stack that featured a large Dell logo on previous XPS models. In blunt terms, you only have a large amount of screen before your eyes.

The most exciting feature is of course the screen. I doubt you are considering buying a 17-inch laptop if you have no idea how big it is. For those who don't: it feels like using a desktop monitor. Whether it's working in Chrome, editing multiple photos, or Slacking while streaming videos, I've always split the screen between two or three open windows and was pretty comfortable. I never had to zoom out to see a complete web page. The 16:10 aspect ratio gives you a little more vertical space in addition to the space around the edges.

But if you don't do these kinds of multitasking often, the screen might be too big for you. For example, using a Chrome window fullscreen is impractical because there will be an annoying amount of white space on both sides.

One of the most important things for me was the design of a new keyboard that abandoned the failed butterfly mechanism to return to the more traditional scissor one. This is clearly a new project but it closely resembles the external keyboards of Macs, in fact, Apple has used the classic Magic Keyboard nomenclature.

Four advantages are obtained: the first is that there should be no reliability problems and in fact after 4 months I have not yet heard anyone complain about jammed keys, false contacts, and all the other problems that plagued the old models; the second is that the height of the fret is slightly higher and therefore it finally gives you (indeed again) the feeling of pressing something concrete; the third is the return of the physical Esc key; the fourth the arrow keys with an inverted T layout. So it's a nice step forward and I'm happy with it, but it didn't convince me 100%. The feedback is good and it is not too loud, however when writing at speed I often lose some letters, especially those on the sides of the keyboard, as if more strength or precision was required. The scissor mechanism had a lot of flaws, but as long as it worked, it was enough to really press on an edge to make the key go straight down. I hope that in the future we will be able to take the best of both technologies to truly achieve perfection, but in any case, I prefer to have the reliability that the new 16 "keyboard guarantees and I would not go back to the technology and layout of the 15.4. ".

I would like to emphasize how precious it is for those who use the keyboard a lot the return of the physical Esc key, which was obtained by reducing the width of the Touch Bar. This small aspect weighed heavily in the purchase decision because the virtual one of the previous models gave me a lot of problems. The Touch Bar I still consider it a nice gadget but completely useless. In my opinion, Apple should add it to the standard function key row or at least equip it with haptic feedback to give the feeling and above all a signal that something has been pressed, even if it is a "fake" key. I currently use BetterTouchToolto activate the trackpad's haptic feedback, but being distant from the Touch Bar it doesn't feel natural. However, with the screen shortened to the left for the Esc key and to the right for the Touch ID, it is now very difficult to activate inadvertent presses.

Before using Apple laptops I always carried a mouse with me to avoid using the bad touchpads on laptops. To date, there are many computers from other manufacturers that do not have problems from this point of view, especially with the Synaptic TouchPad drivers, and I also liked the one of the Surface Laptop 3 ( review ). However, the trackpad of Apple computers still remains a notch above and that of the MacBook Pro 16 "is really the best. Very large, precise, rich in comfortable and natural gestures, fluid in every movement. Furthermore, the absence of the physical mechanism makes it more reliable. and the ability to squeeze at any point is really handy.

On the flip side, A Dell laptop has a typical keyboard with flat, truncated keys. The keys are made of smooth plastic with a metalloid effect. The keys are the same shape and color as the metal panel that surrounds them. In addition, they slide under the fingers, are loose, and flex when pressed. Although the mechanism is comfortable, with a shallow elastic travel (1, 7mm), springy backing.

 Abbreviated layout (without Pause / Break, ScrLock), the row of keys at the top and four directional keys have been reduced in width. Following this, we conclude that the keyboard of the Dell laptop is not convenient for typing.

The keys on the top are specifically for multimedia and some control functions, such as turning off the wireless antenna, information about the battery status. The touchpad has an indicator and three backlit buttons: pressing the Windows Mobility Center, turning on the selected program or URL, calling up the Waves MaxxAudio panel. It seems to us that the developers did not show all the capabilities of the touchpad.

 The touchpad looks great, a fairly large area (100x55mm), a high-quality surface, pleasant to the touch, perfect sensitivity, quiet soft keys.  


Macbook Pro 16 and Dell XPS 17 which one is the king in 2020?

 Operating System and Process.

The 8-core i9 CPU model I chose has a base frequency of 2.3GHz which is not only always maintained but hardly ever drops below 3GHz, even under prolonged CPU stress. The maximum Turbo Boost at 4.8GHz remains essentially a data of a tag and is seen only for a few moments, which is completely normal for a laptop of this type, but in short operations it still gives us a bit of sprint.

If you put the GPU under pressure at the same time, the approximately 100W that the battery supplies are not able to cope with the whole system, so in these cases, the MacBook Pro must necessarily reduce the supply of current and the processor can have minimum frequency peaks of 2 GHz or lower. However, it is not about Thermal Throttling but about physical limits that cannot be overcome. However, it must be said that bringing both the processor and the graphics card to 100% at the same time is quite rare, in the sense that we would like to do it but little software exploits the hardware so thoroughly. Overall, an excellent level has been reached which only in rare circumstances penalizes the optimal potential of the laptop. And so we are far, far beyond the poor efficiency recorded by the old 15 

Maximum temperatures can be high under stress, as is traditional for Apple computers, but we are always within safe limits and The computer never gets hot under your hands. Maybe in the summer, you could re-evaluate it by keeping it on your legs, for the moment I'm fine. I still find the more powerful 2.4 GHz i9 8C / 16T processor which requires € 255 more on the top model to be of little use, while the base i7 6C / 12T already seems more than valid, even for professional use.

Final Cut is so optimized that it doesn't saturate the hardware, Premiere Pro is so under-optimized that it can't

With software that heavily exploits hardware, such as DaVinci Resolve, there is currently an excessive tendency to start the fans, which are not too annoying but not too quiet. I appreciate that the aim was to keep the performance as high as possible, but during video editing I found it necessary to use headphones. With Final Cut and Premiere Pro, this is less noticeable, even if for different reasons: the first is very well optimized and does not send the hardware into saturation, the second is so little optimized that it cannot.

 In different choices, When testing, we decided to check whether its price matches the power of the processor (Core i7) and the video card (GeForce GT 445M) and whether it is true that the Dell XPS 17 laptop, which costs much more than other models, is so good.

Dell's laptop has a 740QM processor, its frequency is 8% higher than that of the HP 720QM laptop. The result of the SYSMARK 2007 test shows this difference clearly (7-8%), except for the video processing test in which the hard disk was affected (18%). The final PCMark result, in terms of processor, RAM, and video card is 20%.

ASUS notebooks have a 2-core Core i3 processor with a higher frequency than a 4-core processor. But, unfortunately, it does not have support for Turbo Boost technology. which does not make it possible to accelerate for one threaded application. The ASUS laptop outperformed the HP laptop, but it still does not compare with Dell (5-6% in SYSMark, up to 22% in PCMark).

Now let's talk about 3D performance. We have one of the modern GeForce GT 445M video cards, which sits between the popular and mid-range mobile 3D accelerators (Dell laptop), the popular mid-range card of the previous generation Radeon HD5650 (HP), and a smaller video card from middle series (GeForce GT 415M). In the video card GeForce GT 445M, which is a smaller version of the GTX 460M, there is a high priority in the number of calculation units, bus width, which has a similar GPU clock speed and memory. As a result of several tests, the graphics card of a Dell laptop is noticeable - around 50% over the HD 5650 and 200% over the GT 415M. The XPS 17 is quite capable of playing many games at medium settings.

Macbook Pro 16 and Dell XPS 17 which one is the king in 2020?

Storage, Price, and available colors.

  Apple Macbook Pro 16 price depends on the selected variant. The basic variant of the Macbook Pro 16 with 16GB RAM and 512GB variant and  9th-generation Intel Core i7 processor Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz and AMD Radeon Pro 5300M with 4GB of GDDR6 memory will cost you about 2,399.00USD on Apple. The variant with 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD, and 9th-generation Intel Core i9 processor Turbo Boost up to 4.8GHz AMD Radeon Pro 5500M with 4GB of GDDR6 memory will cost you 2,799.00USD on Apple.  It is available in Silver and Space Grey colors.

 Meanwhile, The basic variant of the Dell XPS 17 with 8GB RAM and 256GB variant and 10th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-10300H and Intel® UHD Graphics will cost you about 1,399.00USD on Dell. The variant with 8GB RAM and 512GB SSD, and 10th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-10750H NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti 4GB GDDR6 it will cost you 1,899.00USD on Dell. While the variant with 16GB RAM and 1TB variant and 10th generation processor, it will cost you around 2,849.00USD on Dell. The same variant but with 32GB RAM will cost you about 2,999.00USD on Dell. Keep in mind that you can configure any variant with more SSD, RAM, and even processor but it will cost you much more money each. It is available in Silver and White colors.


Macbook Pro 16 and Dell XPS 17 which one is the king in 2020?

 Security and Ports.

For security, The T2 is the best security chip that only Apple could come up with. Secure Enclave, with Touch support, encrypts your data with heightened awe and connects discrete controllers to manage your privacy as easily as possible.

That being said, Dell also thinks about the security of its devices. The XPS 17 thus has a dual system to protect sessions. It combines a biometric reader on the keyboard and facial recognition via the webcam. Both work well and activate quickly.

In terms of port options, A Thunderbolt 3, introduced in the new product, was able to combine fast data transfer, super-powerful and safe charging, and video output in one connector. Its bandwidth is up to 40 Gbps, which is 2 times more than Thunderbolt in MacBook Air (Retina).

MacBook Pro 16 '' 4 high-speed ports let you connect different devices at the same time, without losing speed or performance, as was the case with the MacBook 15 '' - 13 ''. But it's worth considering that the ba have exactly four Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, the same headphone port, and a Force Touch trackpad. 

The 802.11ac Wi-Fi connection remained unchanged in the 16 '' MacBook Pro, as did Bluetooth 5.0. The camera is also unchanged and remains HD 720p FaceTime, as in the 15-inch.

Or rather, A Dell laptop contains the ideal number of ports, with the majority located on the back of the chassis. On the left, there is only one USB 2.0, on the right - one port for eSATA / USB 2.0 and three audio connectors, as well as a combined optical S / PDIF. USB 3.0 ports, as well as digital outputs for monitor and TV, a charging port, and a power outlet, are located at the rear, making it ideal for home use. Note that the laptop does not have a VGA output, although today this is not a drawback.

 The bottom of the laptop has a hole for the hard drive and RAM. There is also a battery indicator in the mode of operation without electricity.


Macbook Pro 16 and Dell XPS 17 which one is the king in 2020?

Sound System.

Even more impressive than the screen is the audio sector. There are simply no other laptops, more or less expensive, that have a better performance. With 6 speakers and a design that reduces low-frequency vibrations, Apple has managed to achieve a lot of volume, clean reproduction, and a balance that is always very pleasant. Viewing a video or listening to music with the built-in speakers of a laptop is not usually a good experience, but with the MacBook Pro 16, "it is. Difficult to need the maximum volume but it is appreciated that it is so high and without distortion. Really down the hat for Apple.

The same attention was also paid to the registration part. There are three microphones with a truly incredible performance, thanks to which you can speak clearly in hands-free calls, but also record audio for the web and even voiceover. Obviously, it is not the ultimate solution for professionals in the sector because an external microphone is always better for those who work with podcasts, videos, etc ... but for daily activities or emergency recordings without dedicated devices, it offers us the best quality in the industry.

Whereas, The Dell laptop has two JBL speakers, with an additional subwoofer located on the bottom. The location of the loudspeakers is rather strange, they are located just under the wrists, but this does not interfere with listening to music and simultaneously using it.

 The six-channel audio codec Realtek has a proprietary panel with Waves MaxxAudio control, with which the sound is adjusted for the highest quality sound on small speakers. Indeed, the clarity of the XPS 17 sound is astounding - it is balanced, powerful bass, with a pronounced stereo effect, perfectly reproduces the surround effect. This is the best acoustics of any 17 "laptop.


Macbook Pro 16 and Dell XPS 17 which one is the king in 2020?

 Battery and charging.

  Fortunately, the system's battery life under short-term explosive loads - such as flipping pages in a web browser - lengthens intelligent clock control algorithms, abrupt deactivation/waking of cores and CPU blocks, and the new MacBook Pro does not complain about battery capacity (100W ⋅h). On the other hand, when playing a video stream, most of the work is done by a dedicated ASIC inside the integrated graphics core. As a result, in both scenarios of use - of course, with reduced to 200 cd / m2 2screen brightness - the device lasted about 7 hours on one battery charge. In fact, this is almost a whole working day without an outlet, if you consider surfing the web as work, or the opportunity to voraciously watch the season of your favorite TV series while flying across the ocean.

But working applications and computer games will eat up one charge of the MacBook Pro in an hour and a half. At first glance, this is where Apple has nothing to be proud of, but we recall that MacBooks do not drop the clock speeds of the CPU and GPU in standalone mode. It's a pity that macOS does not have any power consumption profiles that could change this at the user's request. The battery is charged from scratch quickly - according to our measurements, it took 1 hour 32 minutes.

On contrast,  the XPS 17 lasts impressively long on one charge. Dell's laptop survived our battery test for 9 hours and 4 minutes, which included continuous internet surfing over Wi-Fi.

While getting more than a working day with the XPS 17, the 16-inch MacBook Pro lasted even longer in 10 hours and 55 minutes. On the plus side, the XPS 17 surpassed the 4K version of its smaller XPS 15 sibling that lasted just over 8 hours in our test.


Macbook Pro 16 and Dell XPS 17 which one is the king in 2020?


 The creators of the new 16-inch MacBook Pro did an important and decisive move: they rolled back several problematic decisions of 2016, dictated more by image than practical reasons. Apple finally gave up its attempts to shape butterfly keys and returned to the proven design of yesteryear. Thus, perhaps the main source of fear of potential buyers disappeared. The Touch Bar - which some have liked, but many have not - is still there, but while there is still no option with function keys, at least it managed to win back Escape from it. At the same time, the MacBook has become thicker again, and for good reason: under the lid, there was a place for both the old-style keyboard and the cooling system, which surprisingly effectively coped with the heat removal from the eight-core CPU. Well, the 16-inch screen instead of the previous 15.4-inch panel is just a nice bonus, for which you had to pay not so many extra millimeters. The main thing is that Apple did not raise the price compared to the base configuration of the previous generation, although the latter did not stand close to the novelty - especially in terms of GPU and storage capacity.

However, many users still protest against other controversial features of the current MacBook Pro. The rejection of any connectors, except Thunderbolt 3, combined with USB Type-C, perhaps works for the general good in the long-term perspective, but USB Type-A does not think to give up yet, and the MacVod, keeping up with the times, has to have a stock of adapters. Again, the lack of a card reader is discouraging, since we are talking about a laptop for video and photo professionals.  

Conversely, The laptop we are testing is built on the Intel Calpella platform and is equipped with an Intel Core i7-740QM 4-core process. Average size of hard drive and RAM. NVIDIA GeForce GT 445M video card, which has taken a place between the middle and top-end classes of mobile 3D accelerators. Built-in LCD - matrix with a resolution of 1600x900 (there are configurations with a Full HD matrix), the keyboard is not backlit, a standard battery with 6 cells. We believe that the laptop we are reviewing belongs to the middle class, has a powerful processor and video card, but the rest of the parts are not expensive. Its price is standard for the top end, but similar models can be found at lower prices.

Dell was able to create a laptop with good performance, an unusual external interface. The body of the XPS 17 may seem rather rough and thick to many, but it is quite sturdy and high-quality processed metal has been added to its design. Its design is well-coordinated and well-worked out in every detail, but the shortcomings are in the keyboard and strong panel heating due to the video card. The quality of the screen does not stand out either, only the built-in sound is undoubtedly excellent in its class. One of the drawbacks of a Dell laptop is its price, due to its strong completeness, it is not available to many buyers. What do you think? Do you recommend these laptops? Share your knowledge with us.


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