Hi, Dave Altavilla for Hot Hardware thanks for stopping by. You know a new product category was created in the market a few years back called the desktop replacement notebook. And it’s grown immensely in popularity with people that want all the power, performance, features of a full sized system in a more accessible slightly more portable notebook form factor. Today we’re going to take a look at a new desktop replacement notebook from Dell.
The Dell XPS-M1730 Gaming Notebook and it’s a beast. The XPS-M1730 from Dell was built with a performance enthusiast in mind. Specifically our system was configured with an Intel Core 2 Extreme X9000 Mobile dual core processor clocked at 2.8GHz along with 4GB of DDR2 667 system memory and Dual NVIDIA GeForce 8800M GTX mobile GPU’s configured in SLI for gaming performance. And in terms of the storage subsystem we had a standard Seagate 250GB 7200RPM with 16MEG cash hard drive installed.
Although as options on Dell site you have available to RAID zero and RAID one configuration for either performance or redundancy. The XPS-M1730 is built on an Intel G 965 chipset and in terms of networking kind of activity; you get both 80211 and draft wireless as well as standard GB of Ethernet and Bluetooth. On the left side of the unit we have a number of available ports including DVI output which is great for hooking up to larger flat panel displays, S video, USB, 1394 Fire wire and eight in one flash card reader, microphone jack in and two headphone jacks out and of course an eight X DVD RW drive from Toshiba.
On the right side of the unit we have a number of different ports and switches available as well including a combination WIFI/Bluetooth deactivation switch and this is an interesting little button right here, this is a WIFI catcher. If you have your WIFI enabled you press that button it will initiate a wireless network scan for available wireless networks, you also get two additional USB ports and a Kensington Security cable slot. Now the keyboard area of the system has a nice spacious layout and illuminated key caps for great visibility in nighttime settings.
On the right hand side of the keypad you’ll also notice there’s a phone numpad available as well. On the top right corner you can see there’s an LCD read out that is pre configured from the factory for countdown, stop watch functionality, as well as CPU and RAM resource utilization meters and date & time as well. You can download additional Plugins from Dell site to configure this display differently if you like.
On the backside of the unit, you have another USB port and our GB Ethernet port as well as vents for various heat sink ventilations inside the chassi. And also of course the power brick for the XPS-M1730 is absolutely mammoth, very much a brick and weighs about five to seven pounds. Now one of the best features of this notebook is its 17 inch LCD, Boy is it beautiful easily competes with any 17 inch wide screen panel on the market today, has great brightness, great contrast, and a 1920 X 1200 native resolution. The only down side is that we did see a little bit of glare, it is a glossy panel so we did see a little bit of glare at certain angles with this screen.
Now of course the other nice features of the M1730 from Dell are its slick lines and really slick styling as you can see here almost a gun metal style paint job. It does a nice job of hiding finger prints although you do find yourself wiping this notebook down a little bit just because of its showcase quality. Other nice features are multi media buttons in the front for easy access to media player functionality and of course the flat switch here at top.
Inside the system BIOS, the XPS-M1730 caters to the performance enthusiasts and over clocker about as well as any notebook we’ve seen to date with the ability to over clock the CPU from it’s stock. Two point eight gigahertz all the way up to three point four gigahertz although we would highly recommend sticking in the three GB, three point two GHz range just due to the fact that fan speeds spin up at the higher clock speeds can get a little bit annoying.
Now as you can imagine with specs like that the XPS-M1730 from Dell certainly is a high performance machine and it put up some great benchmark scores, productivity and multimedia performance in our PC mark vantage testing and as you should expect it’s got game. Great performance numbers in 3D Mark06, Crisis, Call of Duty Four, all at high resolution, all with great image quality, no problems with this machine but also as you should expect, you gotta pay to play. This machine has configured on the Dell site, ran about $36,000.00 stop by at HotHardware.com for the full review I’m Dave Altavilla for Hot Hardware thanks for stopping by.