Multimedia Interaction: Remotely
Port Orientation for External Display Device –This is one of a few notebooks that includes an external DVI port. This opens up the the opportunity to connect displays that have DVI input ports.
In all likelihood, you are going to set the notebook next to or near the display device to connect via VGA or DVI out. Since the ports are on the backside, you don't have to worry about left or right side orientation. We tried to use a standard component to VGA converter, but that work around didn't work for our projector.
External Display - Thanks to Winbook we have access to a 32" widescreen LCD display. Using VGA and DVI, we ran at a max wide aspect ratio resolution of 1366 x 768.
Notebook Display - While this notebook can go into clone mode, you probably just want to have the notebook export the video to the external display. It really makes no sense for you to be looking at the notebook while sitting on the couch.
Even though this uses a 17" wide aspect ratio display, it still isn't big enough for you to watch from a distance. Having the display on while watching movies only gets distracting anyways because of the light (only one display should be actually "drawing" the video).
Remote Base –The remote base is the same used previously for MCE 2004. It is a small box like device that is plugged in to a USB port. Ideally, any remote base should be built into the notebook or have an extremely low profile.
At the moment, any notebook equipped with Microsoft's Windows XP Media Center Edition will not have the luxury of integrated design like the industry mature television set. Hopefully this will change in time and new solutions to the problem will come about. This is not a problem of Dell but rather of the notebook industry.
Remote –The layout and tactile feedback of the remote is very well thought out and comfortable. (I believe this is made by Philips.)
The only thing we wish is that the power and record buttons were raised a little higher. Other than that it feels very much like a TV remote.
We should note that the white portion of buttons glow in the dark.
Audio Setup for Movies –In all likelihood, you are going to want to hook this notebook up to your surround sound system. Since the headphone port is on the right side of the notebook, you need to leave about two inches free on the right side (most speaker plugs are straight plugs).
On one of our "movie nights," we forgot to route the audio from the laptop to our flat panel speakers. Even for the casual movie night, we actually found the speakers on the XPS G2 to be loud and clear enough to use for watching a movie or TV. The only problem was that beyond a 45 to 135 degree audio window directly projected from the speakers, people not sitting in that line of sight will not get the full audio effect.