Last year, we had the pleasure of taking a look at Dell's flagship Inspiron XPS M1710 notebook. Taking into account the top-notch components, excellent build quality, and best-of-class performance, we awarded the system our coveted Editor's Choice award. Dell has since returned to market with a minor refresh of the award-winning XPS M1710 and they're aiming to build upon their successes in the DTR (desktop replacement notebook) market.
In terms of aesthetics, the revised XPS M1710 is identical to the system we previously reviewed. Given the quality finish and unique appearance of the system, this is certainly not a bad thing. In order to truly appreciate the changes Dell has made to their flagship notebook, one must look inside the system. Easily, the most dramatic change is the upgrade to NVIDIA's latest enthusiast mobile GPU the GeForce Go 7950 GTX. However, there are additional enhancements which have been made including the inclusion of 802.11n wireless networking as well as the ability to overclock the CPU thanks to the new Intel Core 2 Duo T7600G with its unlocked multiplier. Overall, we were extremely impressed with Dell's initial XPS M1710. More than six months later, we were anxious to see whether Dell was able to improve upon their previous efforts with the latest incarnation of the XPS M1710 notebook.
._Intel Core 2 Duo T7600G processor
._Intel 945PM + ICH6
._Two SODIMM sockets
._2x1GB DDR2 667 Unbuffered Non-ECC memory
._Supports maximum memory capacity up to 4GB
._NVIDIA GeForce Go 7950 GTX 512MB (MXM)
._1 x DMA 100/66
._100GB Hitachi 7200rpm HDD
._8x Dual-Layer DVD+/-RW
._10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet
._Dell Wireless 1500e(802.11b/g/n) Wireless LAN
._56K v.90 Fax/modem
._17" WUXGA TFT LCD (native 1920 x 1200)
._2.1 speakers and subwoofer
._24-bit High-Definition Audio
Taking a quick glimpse at the system, we can see that Dell has opted to retain the exact same casing used previously. Again, this is hardly an issue as the XPS M1710 is sure to turn heads thanks to the special edition Formula Red casing and the user's choice of 16 different LED colors for the illuminated logo and fans. As before, the fit and finish of the casing's construction is excellent with panels fittings tightly and buttons having a very positive tactile feel.
Starting on the left side of the system and working our way over, we find an 8X Dual-Layer DVD+/-RW optical drive along with two USB ports, a large air intake, and a Kensington lock port. The back of the system is loaded with ports including an S-Video, modem, RJ-45 ethernet, 15-pin D-Sub, DVI, power, and 4 USB 2.0 ports. Rounding out the right side of the notebook, we have an ExpressCard expansion slot, IEEE 1394 port, audio jacks, and a 5-in-1 memory card reader.
Directing our attention to the bottom of the system, we find a pretty standard orientation. In addition to the fan intakes and battery, we have the wireless NIC and memory bays along with a port allowing for a docking station. Overall, the layout is clean and concise with no particular areas for concern.