Dell Inc. is an American multinational company based on information technology. It is involved in designing, selling and offering support to the computers and also to the related products and services. It is named after the founder Michael Dell and it is also one among the largest developers of technology in the world. Dell has introduced three new models with the XPS branding. They are the PS 14, XPS 15 and the XPS 17. these notebooks are quite appealing for the gamers as they have suitable options and affordable price. The XPS 17 is the device we are going to review.
- Operating system: 64 bit Windows 7 Ultimate/Professional/home Premium
- Processor: Intel Core i5 or i7 processor
- Memory: 4 GB to 16 GB of dual channel DDR3 RAM depending on the configuration
- Chipset: Intel HM57
- Video Card: Nvidia GT445M or GT4535M GeFOrce
- Display: 17.3 inches, 1600 x 900 pixel resolution
- Hard Drive: 1280 GB SATA drive (7200 RPM) and 256 GB SSD
- Optical Drive: 16x DVD+/-RW, Blu-ray DiscTM Combo, 12.7 mm tray load
- Card Reader: xD, MSXC, MMC, MS, MS Pro, SD, SDXC, SDHC, SDIO
- Battery: 6 cell or 9 cell battery
- Webcam: 2 mega pixel
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth, Gigabit Ethernet
- Ports: mini display port, 2 USB 3.0 ports, 2 USB 2.0 ports, LAN RJ-45 socket, HDMI 1.4 port, AC power adapter, 2 headphone jacks, 1 microphone jack
- Dimension: 16.3 x 1.3 x 11.3 inches
- Weight: 3.43 kg with 6 cell battery, 3.6 kg with 9 cell battery
- Price: $950
The Dell XPS 17 has a standard exterior enclosure with an anodized silver aluminum display lid. This is matte in texture and hence it does not show the finger prints and the smudges like the glossy surfaces. The sleek design profile is good. However, it is not as good as the aluminum unibody design of the MacBook. The first aspect that catches our attention soon after seeing the laptop is the bulky size and the dimension. These figures make it highly suitable for a desktop replacement. Opening the lid, shows the screen with a matte finished black color bezel. The keyboard rim and the palm rest are made of a brushed black colored texture. This is also made of aluminum like the lid. This material displays the finger prints.
The 17.3 inches display of the XPS 17 has a resolution of 1600 x 900 pixel resolution. The screen is backlit with LEDs too. the display has a glossy texture. This coating makes it difficult to use the display in the presence of ambient lighting conditions. The contrast is quite poor with the display. The black appears little grey and the dark shades are indistinguishable from one another. The viewing angles are decent.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The keys are all of full size. There is number and the normal shortcuts are also included. There is a button especially dedicated for the touch pad. The keys are laid out in an excellent manner. The function keys have secondary functions which are little frustrating. This is by default and it can be altered in the BIOS. The keys have good level of travel. Overall typing experience is pleasant with the keyboard. The touch pad is also quite neat. It is large, responsive and also has the matte finish which is smooth. The multi touch gestures can be done easily. The buttons are quite large and offer highly positive action.
Along the two sides, the XPS 17 houses the two USB 2.0 ports, three audio jacks, the Blu-ray drive and the SD card slot. The rest are on the back side. They are the other two USB 3.0 ports, the HDMI port, the DisplayPort, the Gigabit Ethernet port and the antenna port for the digital TV tuner that is internal. It lacks the VGA port, FireWire Port and the Express Card slot.
The speakers offer good sound that is rich in details. The dialogues have the unusual distinction. The audio is loud enough to fill a room. The overall performance of the XPS 17 is decent and the gaming performance is also surprisingly good. The 6 cell battery has a life of about 4.5 hours and the 9 cell has a life of about 7.5 hours. Pros – good set of options, speakers, high definition webcam and price. Cons – resolution and lack of the high end video card that is optional.