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This is dells top-flight gaming/graphic design laptop computer and I personally own one of these. The review is long and so divided up so you can find the bit you want with an overview first and specs, then detailed information.
ADDITION I would like to add that my laptop droped down a flight of wooden stairs in our house and was working fine, to my amazement! so it is tough, not even a mark!
Overview a very good, but heavy, high performance laptop that looks amazing.
For me the 7 sets of customisable lights are really eyecatching, but you may hate them! This with the stunning silver and black back cover make it look as fast as it is. I would say its made for moving about the house rather than for business needs with its wireless internet! but the strength of the shell means it will handle being carted around if your strong enough. The amazing screen makes for great gaming, film watching. It has a multitude of ports with the only thing lacking no PCMCIA slot but express cards are improving. For me its a fair price for an amazing machine, around £1200 for mine that looks the part. i would recommend the 3 year warranty, just incase (it is expensive). I have had a bad experience with a dell laptop before, but this machine makes up for it
Bottom line, if you want gaming, style and strong arms and have the money then this is for you!
Hardware Screen 1920x1200 WUXGA 17.1 widescreen CPU; core 2 duo 2.0ghz (upto 2.3GHZ which is overclockable) RAM; 2GB pc5300 DDR2(upto 4GB) Graphics; nvidia geforce 7900GS 256mb ram (up to 7950 GTX 512mb) Hard drive; 80gb 5400rpm sata ( up to 160gb 5400/100gb 7200rpm) Optical; DVDRW all formats, (blu ray possible) Wirelss a/b/g internet internal card optional bluetooth
Ports There are loads. 6x USB 2 1x 1394 firewire 1x DVI 1X analogue 5 in 1 card reader smart card network wired interne headphone microphone express card (no pcmcia which is annoying seeing as most card are this format) TV out
Design Firstly the design; the xps m1710 certainly looks the part, its siver shell is made from a magnesium alloy that feels strong and durable (the only part that isnt is just above the keyboard but his area is not load bearing), unlike many laptops the lid does not flex when the screen is opened, the silver look i personally like, its different The back screen cover of this machine features a back (or red) panel with the 'dell' logo in the middle which again is strong. The touch pad is nice, and matted so easy to move the cursor on, it features scrolling zones for left/right and up/down and is adequately wide for the screen.
LEDs The most striking part of the design is the LED lights. these are located on the lid panel at the edges and show 'XPS' when on; a set is located within the side fan grilles near the screen hinges; a set show through the front speakers; finally there is 'XPS' which appears on the touch pad. The touch pad one can only be red whereas all the rest can be 1 of 16 colours or all off if its too much for you.
Music control There are a set of quick acess buttons on the front that are accesable when the lid is down for sound control of media centre, mute volume up, play etc.
Screen For me this is the most impressive part, a WUXGA 17.1inch screen (thus 1710 in the title) that is really bright and sharp, displays pictures really well and with 1920x1200 theres alot of desktop space.
Keyboard a sort of matching silver but more grey, no full number pad but for me thats ok.
Noise/cooling since ive had mine it has been very quiet, two main fans at either edge near the back cool the system and compared to my friends laptop are really quite even when going fairly fast. It gets warm on your legs but not hot.
Sound A small subwoofer underneath and two speakers at the front give very good sound for a laptop, seeing as the speakers are at the front even with th elid closed the sound is unaffected. The sub makes alot of difference, believe me!
CPU for mine intel core 2 duo 2.0GHZ and this is very fast so far and fine, but the top spec is overclockable by the user, something to consider
Optical Mine has a dvd rw drive with all formats but you can get a blue ray as well, but this increases the cost considerably more, no HD DVD.
Graphics card is separate, which is good for games, i have a nvidia 7900 gs 256mb but you can get a GTX with 512mb, i find mine good enough, its better than alot of desktops and plays c and c 3 fine on high graphics.It can handle twin monitors, which i like to use quite often.
RAM i think 2GB is best, i had 1GB originally, which was slightly too slow for me but ok if you dont want to play games. Easily upgradeable but get the right sort!
Hard drive i started with a 80gb 5400rpm, but soon upgraded to a 100gb 7200rpm. if you want space go for the 160gb 5400rpm, for speed go for 100gb 7200rpm, its easily upgradeable.
nice review. I own one of these babys as well. love it!!
judepaw 15.05.2007 11:55
Hi and welcome to Ciao nice first review. jude
christianfilmcritic 15.05.2007 10:15
Sounds like an impressive piece of kit and a very good first review. Personally I would like to have read a bit more opinion such as how well does it cope with running multiple programs, etc etc. Plus, as I am not a gamer I, and many others, am not sure what 'c and c 3' is. Anyway still a good review and nice to see that someone covers important things such as the noise of the cooling fans, often over looked in reviews.