Impressions and Conclusions
This is the first time I’ve sat down with an XPS system and after a few weeks of testing the Metallic Black Armor edition of the M1710, I can finally see what all the fuss is about. Even though the configuration we tested is not the top-end setup you can buy at Dell, it was enough to post some very impressive scores in performance especially in the games department. Even with a GeForce Go 7900 GS 256MB, it was able to play some of the most demanding games currently on the market without much trouble.
But it isn’t just about the graphics numbers, everything else inside the XPS M1710 is impressive: 7200 RPM SATA HDD, 2GB of dual-channel RAM, and a Core Duo CPU. Connectivity is awesome with 6 USB ports, DVI, a 5-in-1 card reader, and even SPDIF digital audio output. The only design issue I have with the M1710 Metallic Black Armor edition is with the poor speakers. They sound incredibly poor relative to the blistering performance and visual styling of the rest of the product. The Asus A7J (our review here) still holds the crown in terms of producing some of the best audio I’ve heard coming from a laptop.
The multi-colored LEDs are a great gimmick, along with the back-lit touchpad. It’s totally unecessary and possibly excessive, but it’s really cool and adds a lot more excitement to the laptop. Let’s not forget about the special XPS support channel, and the great Dell warranty.
Dell has really put a lot of attention into the design, marketing, and support for this product and it shows! It has the best graphics performance of a laptop I’ve seen to date (and better than most desktops) and to think you can get your XPS M1710 configured with GPU that’s faster. As if the performance weren’t enough, the little visual tweaks and customizable LEDs really set it apart from everyone else. The dedicated XPS support line and the specially trained technicians means that your back is covered if you ever need help. The price tag may scare some of you away, but when you compare it to the competition in the market, it’s actually very good value for the performance and functionality. The Dell XPS M1710 Metallic Black Armor laptop truly is the closest thing a performance user has to a desktop replacement.
Buyers of this laptop are the people who don’t want to compromise anything in terms of performance, and the M1710 certainly delivers in more ways than one.
If you’re reading this article and wonder how the GeForce Go 7900 GTX compares, I will be reviewing the Special Edition Formula Red M1710 later so stay tuned!
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You can purchase and configure the M1710 in Metallic Black directly from Dell and through our PriceGrabber service here.