Dell Precision 7720 Review

CPU: Intel Core i7-7920HQ Quad Core 3.10GHz, 4.10GHz Turbo, 8MB 45W
Graphics: NVIDIA Quadro P3000 with 6GB GDDR5 dedicated memory
RAM: Up to 32GB DDR4 2667MHz SuperSpeed memory
Screen: 17.3” UltraSharp™ UHD IGZO (3840×2160) PremierColor Wide View Anti-Glare LED-backlit with Premium Panel Guarantee (100% Adobe color gamut)
Storage: M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive 512GB
Ports: 1 x SD Card Reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC, supporting up to 2TB); 1 x Thunderbolt® 3; 4 x USB3.0 with PowerShare; 1 x mDP 1.4; 1 x HDMI 1.4; 1 x Headphone and microphone combo jack; 1 x SmartCard Reader
Connectivity: Dell DW1820 2×2 801.11ac + Bluetooth 4.2, Integrated Intel 82580 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet
Weight: 3.42kg (7.55lb) with SSD
Size: Width: 16.42”/417.04mm x Depth: 11.08”/281.44mm x Height (front-Rear): Front 1.12”/28.5mm – Rear 1.36”/34.49mm

This will not win awards for being slim-line and light. Nor will it eclipse the Dell XPS for design. To put it bluntly this is a big screen laptop with all the finesse of a rhino, but all the power too.

It’s big, brash and breaks your back weighing in at 3.42kg, but once you have it on a desk all eyes are on you and not just because of the thud it makes when you set it down.

The Precision 7720, along with 7520, is the first mobile workstation to support 8K via DisplayPort 1.4 and HDR via a single cable. Astonishing. We’ve seen it on Dell’s 32-inch monitors, but this is entirely something else and goes some way to explaining the weight behind the Precision 7720.

Just a few years ago the world gasped when 8K was suggested, a year later it appeared on Dell’s UltraSharp 32 inch monitor and now you can carry it around in a bag… A very big bag, but none the less a bag. Granted the screen isn’t 8K, but we are getting there. It just shows how incredibly quickly technology is progressing.

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The build quality is impeccable and the materials used give the impression that the Precision 7720 is something special that Dell are proud of.

The tracking pad is set just a few inches off centre to the left which incredibly set off an OCD side to me I’ve never seen before and for you number crunchers the keyboard boasts its own numeric keypad on the right.

Powered by a whopping 91WHr battery, most other laptops would run for days. However, this is so jam packed full of features that Dell reports it having a battery life of 9 hours. Still very impressive once you see what it can do.

Imagine my horror when on booting up the battery at 100% showed me 4 hours of life left. Dell’s Precision Optimizer soon dealt with this, although I did tweak some settings in order to at least get to see some of the spectacular imagery 4K can deliver on the 17 inch UltraSharp UHD IGZO display screen.

A premium, innovative design delivers up to four impeccable display options up to Ultra HD with 100% Adobe RGB and 8 million pixels. To be honest, the only reason I looked at anything else apart from Ultra HD was to conserve the battery life for when I wanted to use Ultra HD. I do not see there being any other reason why anyone would want to willfully diminish the display quality even if it was a Word document. Who doesn’t want to see their essay displayed in blisteringly sharp Ultra HD.

With the exception of the Alienware series, other laptop reviews we have done state that the laptop is for business use or education. This laptop is VR ready, so that gives you an idea that there is something a little more to the Precision 7720.

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To test out the performance and screen quality I used Sky Q to stream live 4K content directly on to the screen. The picture was crisp with incredible contrast between shades of dark and light, the connection over WiFi was seamless and no buffering experienced over a 40mbps connection.

VR ready, 8K ready, great battery life, durable, well-built are all boxes which are ticked. Could you sacrifice the screen size for a little more oomph? Perhaps. Would you want to? I don’t think I would.

I don’t mean to sound Clarkson-esque, but there is an element of masculinity about carrying an extra half stone of tech around that blows the competition away with it’s power and display. If you can’t lift all that makes this laptop great, then unfortunately you can’t handle it.

And if you can lift it, you have to question what would you use it for. Otherwise the small change you receive from £2,000 is not going to console you.

The Precision 7720 is an update on its predecessor the 7710 and was announced at CES 2017. Much was anticipated and the announcement was weighted towards the 7720 being VR ready.

The quality of the detail in the display screen, accuracy and responsiveness of the tracking pad and power the laptop has makes it perfect for 3D design work, intense graphics editing using high resolution images, video editing and rendering and running a gaming news and reviews site (nice try!)

The laptop feels like Dell have essentially said “this one will have it all” and there has been little to no compromise.

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If you are on the go, this isn’t for you. This is not the sort of laptop you get out on your commute to work to have a quick catch up on Netflix, although the picture quality would be the envy of the 7:35 from Darlington. Consider the XPS 13 2-in-1 for something like that.

This is for the designers, the editors, the people who work from home and have to present hours of footage and 3D imagery to an audience wanting the best concept designs and film.

And if you want the full list of options available for the Precision 7720, take a look this treasure trove here

Confirmation that ‘the World’s most powerful mobile workstation’ is here, folks. And we await any challenge to this.

Bottom Line

This laptop is a bold statement from Dell. Take away the weight and you take away everything which they have put into this, mainly the quality of materials and components. To see a laptop which is compatible for 8K streaming is staggering, to hear that it is VR compatible too is the icing on the cake.

However, this has not been built with the family in mind, or really the average gamer – although I’m sure the gaming community will give a nod to this. As mentioned, this has been designed to show off the all-out power and quality of display available in 2018 which is why there’s a huge battery and very audible 5th generation dual cooling fans to boot. With a price tag of £2,000 though I would be suprised if anyone other than the professionals in design and editing would opt for one.