Dell Inspiron XPS Gen 2 - Multimedia Performance Profile
The addition of Windows XP MCE OS, a TV Tuner, and Remote adds a total of $199 to the base price tag of the Dell XPS Gen2 (MCE alone only adds $39). In the multimedia arena, the MCE OS is a good match for the XPS Gen2. It has one of the brightest displays all around, 17.0" size notwithstanding.
If you are more of a multimedia user than a gamer, stick with lower end configuration options, like the 2GHz Pentium-M instead of the 2.13GHz. It will save you a wad of cash, since you don't need that extra horsepower. Playing DVDs, after all, doesn't tax the system in the same way Doom 3 will. For a combination of half gaming and half multimedia use, we would still recommend that configuration
While the system is an excellent choice for the gamer and performance user, which we noted in our previous review, XPS Gen2 has a bit of a ways to go before becomes top dog in an all around multimedia environment. Granted, the improvements we want to see are really only going to be remedied by time, as better remote/TV hookup designs come about. However, we would also like to see a price drop, an improvement in the dedicated multimedia button design for this to be a completely well honed multimedia notebook, and improved battery life - at least enough to watch a full 2 hour movie.
For the moment, we see this type of notebook as a blessing for those with the cash that live in small, cramped living quarters. The extra dough you fork over will give you the ability to forgo the need for a TV set. This becomes a particular blessing if you are student in the dorm or an apartment.