Dell XPS M1730 Mobile Gaming Notebook

Article Index

Impressions, Performance Summary & Conclusion

Performance Analysis:  Performance of the M1730 is mostly what we had expected given our system's specifications. The M1730 was able to perform just as well, if not better, than several loaded desktop systems in our tests. While the M1730 can't compete with a high end desktop system equipped with a full fledged GeForce 8800 GTX at this time, it comes relatively close. All of that available in a mobile platform is pretty impressive. The M1730 will also only get better with time since a GeForce 8800M GTX upgrade is in the works. While we suspect that dual GeForce 8800M GTXs in SLI will raise the price of the system quite a bit, it will allow the M1730 to take on serious competition and go toe-to-toe with some desktop systems of the highest caliber. But for the time being, you'll simply have to settle for great gaming performance, rather than the absolute best.

The XPS M1730 is Dell's new flagship mobile gaming system for good reasons. Everything about this system is in line with what we've come to expect from a gaming laptop. From the top-shelf specifications to the unique paint job and lighting effects, the M1730 fits right in with the exotic laptops from the gaming boutiques.

Compared to the aging M1710 it replaces, the XPS M1730 is faster, better equipped and better looking. This notebook offers a tantalizing selection of top-shelf components like the Intel Core 2 Extreme mobile processor, Blu-ray, dual hard drives, dual GeForce 8700M GTs in SLI and a gorgeous, glossy 17" widescreen monitor. While all this mobile gaming power doesn't come cheap, with the sufficiently equipped base model starting at $2,699, the M1730 is at least more affordable than comparable laptops from the boutique brands.

The overall presentation and packaging of the system is comparable to other systems in this league and we liked the gamer oriented styling. We think the M1730's chassis looks great with its extensive LED lighting system and unique paint job. The system not only pleased our eyes, but with its low fan noise and excellent speakers (for a laptop), it pleased our ears too. The M1730 also has excellent thermal management and never got more than lukewarm to the touch, even when under load. 

Easy gripes with the M1730 are its bulky dimensions and hefty 12lb weight, but that is the sacrifice you make for this level of performance and you're unlikely to find SLI in a more portable platform. In return for some of the extra weight, you get a highly durable magnesium chassis and a sturdy laptop lid. While the AC adapter has a quality look and feel, its sheer mass was hard to live with and combined with the weight of the M1730 in a laptop bag, things became a literal drag.

It shouldn't be a surprise that the Dell XPS M1730 is a very powerful system. Considering the price, it had better be. What was surprising is how mature Dell's mobile XPS system has become. While previous mobile XPS systems such as the M1710 felt like beefed up Inspirons with ground effects, the XPS M1730 is a complete gaming solution. Dell has obviously spent a considerable amount of time designing the M1730 from the ground up to be a mobile gaming dream system and they have succeeded.

  • Excellent Performance
  • Low Heat & Noise
  • Display is Gorgeous
  • Cool LED System
  • Full Backlit Keyboard
  • Durable Chassis
  • Overall Features
  • Massive AC Adapter
  • Squeeky Plastic Outer Shell

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