Dell XPS M1730 17in gaming laptop
The machine Dell calls 'The Beast'...
Review Dell’s acquisition of Alienware, followed by the introduction of 13.3in and 15.4in laptops to its XPS range, signalled a shift from gaming machines, with the brand targeting the regular consumer instead.
Despite rumours circulating that the company may even stop making XPS–branded machines altogether, the XPS M1730 represents a return to core values - it's Dell’s most focused gaming laptop to date. You’ll find the use of high-end components, two cutting-edge graphics chips and every feature you’re ever likely to need, all wrapped in a 17in chassis that screams for attention.
Dell's XPS M1730: a 5kg monster of a machine
Dell has christened this machine "The Beast" – a moniker it more than lives up to, not least in terms of size. It’s absolutely massive, taking the opposite route to Apple’s waif-like Macbook Air, and cramming in as many features as possible. It measures 56mm at its deepest, and weighs in at a spine-crippling 5kg.
You’ll need the arms of an Olympian to carry it to the next room, then, and possibly a golf cart if you want to lug it further. Criticising the XPS for is weight is perhaps a little unfair, as it’s designed purely as a desktop replacement machine, and is similar in size to most of its rivals.
The sheer bulk also manifests itself in several plus points, one of which being excellent ventilation. The use of two GPUs and twin hard drives typically result in a machine hot enough to warm a small group of homeless folk, but the M1730 remained cool to the touch at all times.
There’s also loads of room for a good-sized set of controls. The spacious keyboard is ideal for all-night gaming sessions, and is one of the most comfortable we’ve used on a laptop. The large, individually mounted keys respond to the lightest of touches, yet have a long enough travel to prevent typos. That said, the quality of the keyboard does lag behind that of the XPS M1330, with the board flexing slightly under pressure.
512x1 Mb or 512x2 graphics
The review states:-
The display is supported by the best graphics set-up you’ll currently find on any laptop: two Nvidia GeForce 8800M GTX GPUs in an SLI configuration. With each chip connected to 512MB of dedicated video memory, the Beast promises far better performance than past gaming laptops.
So, does this meaen it is 512MB shared between the cards, or that each features 512MB? Forgive my ignorance, I only ask as the US site has 1GB dual 8800gtx, and the 512mb version is the lesser 8700 gt.
Have one and its great
I bought one and I have to say its great.
Ok, its heavy and large, and thats just the power supply - but as the review pointed out thats not the point.
I got it with Vista and I'm not looking back. My previous laptop was an alienware, but the XPS actually has real performance.
The laptop bag is rather large - you could probably fit 10 eeePC's in it - whilst still carrying the XPS as well! I'd save my money and get a third party one instead - although the XPS one is very nice.
I can honestly say I've had no problems with it, which for me is a first.
Why Paris? Both are by by no means perfect, but if you had the chance to have either you'd be mad not to.
I have one and I love it
I bought this computer for work and I really like it. I could give or take the graphics extras. I bought it for the exteme processor and the RAID capability (they will do RAID 1 if you ask them to) and basically the sheer power of the machine.
It is huge. Much bigger then you expect. The power brick alone is the size of 3 regular laptop bricks put together. However, I find the size hard to complain about. I knew that it was big and heavy and ordered it anyway.
I also ended up buying Dell's backpack specifically designed for the M1730 because it is hard to find a case that will hold the laptop plus all the extras that end up in the bag.
All of the light effects are pretty cool and the monitor is very sharp. What they dont make apparant is that the machine ships with a decent set of headphones and a small remote control that fits right in the PC card slot (That was a nice little bonus to find in the box).
@ Craig Foster RE: Broadcom LAN
This maybe true of the highend Broadcom server and workstation parts, but not whichever 57xx part that is integrated into the M1730.
Looking at the 57xx advanced properties/device manager in Win XP Pro 32bit (Dell OEM) shows only options for 802.1P QOS, Flow Control, Speed & Duplex and Wake Up Capabilities, with both the Dell and generic Broadcom drivers. I've seen more options with bottom of the barrel Realtek parts/drivers.
My switch is a Dell Powerconnect 2708 which works fine with my Intel Gigabit devices and yes I've changed cables etc.
re: Rubbish Gigabit LAN
It's a decent gigabit... the Broadcoms are also used in servers, support VLAN, QoS, and wire testing, and mine easy transfers files at 40MB/s+