A simple glance at the M1730 establishes that this laptop is not for those who do not require showing off. There is no other laptop like this on the market. For starters, the M1730 is absolutely enormous; its weight starts at 10.6 pounds and is one inch thick(Sony Vaio VGN-FZ battery).

The XPS M1730 is Dell?s new 17-inch high-performance gaming laptop, the replacement for the aging M1710. It is based on the latest Intel Santa Rosa platform and features cutting-edge Nvidia GeForce SLI graphics(Sony VGP-BPS8 battery).

Dell chose an intimidating design process for their flagship laptop. The visible exterior has a deep glossy black surface with a phydrographic? design pattern. The intricacy of the design can best be seen in a well-lit room(Sony VGP-BPL9 battery). The back of the lid deserves special attention ? one clear plastic windowed areas on the sides have a color background that is illuminated by the LED lights; our check unit has the Smoke Grey panels(Sony VGP-BPL11 battery). The XPS M1730 is also available with Sapphire Blue, Crimson Blue, and Bone White. In the center of the lid is a large shiny Dell logo illuminated by a bright white LED backlight. The lid is an instant attention-grabber and the most visually striking part of the M1730 in this reviewer’s opinion(Sony VGP-BPL15 battery). The speakers in the front of the machine are illuminated by LED lights as is the touchpad and its buttons. While the LED lights on the back of the lid do not alter colors, the ones on the front can. All the colors in the rainbow are available (more or less) and each speaker as well as the touchpad can be individually controlled by the Dell QuickSet software(Sony VGN-FZ460E battery). The keyboard is LED backlit and visually impressive. This is the first machine I’ve ever tested with a backlit keyboard and I would like to see more notebooks implement this feature. It is useful in low light scenarios and for those late-night gaming sessions(SONY VAIO VGN-FZ4000 Battery).

7 things we like about the Dell XPS M1730

Exterior is stunning

Gaming performance is impressive

Over lockable Extreme processor available

Gorgeous screen(Sony Vaio VGN-FZ21M battery )

LED backlit keyboard

LED lights are customizable

Runs cool and quiet

things we don?t like about the Dell XPS M1730(Sony VGN-FZ150E battery)

Gaming performance issues to a linear extend

The Keyboard could feel more solid

Bloat ware and Vista Home Premium on a machine starting at $2,700(Sony VGN-FZ15 battery)?

Dell XPS M1730 Review

The 17-inch glossy 1920 x 1200 pixel widescreen display that came on our check unit is the only option for the M1730. WUXGA is the highest resolution accessible on a laptop. This display is fantastic; for starters, it is the brightest single-lamp 17-inch display I have seen on a laptop(Sony VGN-FZ15L battery). The high contrast makes colors pop off the screen; blacks are deep plus whites are bright plus pure. Viewing angles are excellent; the side-to-side angles are near perfect plus there is minimal distortion from above plus below. The picture is crystal clear plus there is no distortion or graininess. Light leakage is minimal, with only a small amount coming from the bottom of the display(Sony Vaio VGN-FZ18M battery).

The M1730?s stereo speakers are located at the front of the laptop below the palmrest area. In the speaker grill you will be able to see two small speakers; they visibly give you a pulse when playing on a high level(Sony VGN-FZ15T battery). For laptop speakers, the M1730?s are astounding. Treble is respectable plus while bass is a bit lacking, it is still noticeable which isn?t something that can be said about many laptop speakers. The sound is in a detailed way; I could hear picks hitting the guitar strings in acoustic music. Overall, Dell has equipped the M1730 with two competent stereo speakers which suffice for playing music plus games(Sony VGN-FZ480E battery).

The M1730 has two headphone jacks located on the left side, which allows two people to tune in to a movie or other audio(Sony VGN-FZ61B battery).

I had high expectations for the fully-loaded review unit Dell sent us. The Core 2 Extreme X7900 is a rare plus special processor in that it wouldn’t be workable in Santa Rosa netbooks. The standard Core 2 Duo mobile processor has a 35W TDP in comparison to the X7900?s 44W. A heavy-duty heatsink is needed to handle its high heat output(Sony VGN-FZ31E battery).

Unlocked multiplier in Intel Extreme processors is the plus point, so it makes the overclocking simple. I have been through each benchmark that involved scoring the processor twice; the first time with the processor at its stock 2.8GHz clockspeed, plus the second time overclocked to 3.4GHz by the BIOS(Sony VGN-FZ340E battery). The maximum overclock is 3.4GHz. Dell allows the finish user to set 2.8GHz (stock), 3.0GHz, 3.2GHz, plus 3.4GHz by the BIOS, but they recommend that the machine be run with 2.8GHz(Sony VGN-FZ180E battery).

Testing notes: Prior to testing, I defragmented the hard drive plus did a Windows Update. I installed the latest Nvidia drivers (169.04) for the video cards. All frames per second (FPS) benchmarks were done with FRAPS(Sony VGN-FZ18E battery).

The M1730 has two of the largest cooling solutions I have ever seen on a laptop. The entire backside of the machine is essentially two giant vents. There are two large-diameter fans in the bottom of the laptop which force outside air in to the laptop(Sony VGN-FZ160E battery). During normal use the laptop is silent; the fans come on in intervals plus usually do not stay on for over a minute. It takes a skilled ear to hear the fans even with no background noise(Sony VGN-FZ15M battery). In a silent room, a quiet movement of air can be heard when the fans turn on. While gaming the fans is always on, but again, they are very quiet. I do not recommend walking this machine overclocked due to the noise level(Sony Vaio VGN-FZ18G battery).

The M1730?s touchpad has a high-end feel to it. Tracking is reliable plus precise for most uses. The buttons of the touchpad felt a little noisy. I wouldn?t have mind if the touchpad buttons were a little larger(Sony VGN-FZ345E battery).

The M1730 has a full-size keyboard with separate number pad. It is LED backlit which is a handy feature in a dark or low-light area. The feel of the keyboard overall isn?t as high quality as the rest of the machine. The keys feel thin plus I don?t actually feel that the keyboard is as solid as it should be(Sony VGP-BPS14 battery).

The Dell XPS M1730 Battery serves as more of an Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) than anything else. Walking with the screen brightness at full while surfing on Verizon wireless WAN, I measured 56 minutes of life. With the screen dimmed plus the wireless turned off, battery life improved by about 20 minutes(Sony VGN-FZ11S battery). Consider for a moment how much power this laptop consumes; Dell?s regular Inspiron 17-inch laptop achieves 3 as well as half hours of life with the same battery. With dual hard drives, dual video cards, plus an Extreme processor, it is no wonder that the XPS M1730 Battery cannot stay unplugged for long. Somebody buying this laptop is probably not concerned with battery life so I do not view it as a con(Sony VGN-FZ17L battery).

The M1730 comes with an Intel Wireless WiFi Link 4965AGN wireless card as standard equipment, which supports 802.11a, b, g, plus n wireless formats. I had no trouble connecting to wireless networks plus it held wireless signals well, even through walls(Sony VGN-FZ17G battery). Oddly the M1730 does not come with Bluetooth wireless as standard equipment plus our evaluation unit did not have a module installed. It did however have Verizon Wireless Mobile Broadband WAN built in, which worked beautifully(Sony VGN-FZ17 battery). I was able to connect to the Web over the speedy EV-DO network within seconds. I measured download speeds around 1 Mbit/second plus upload speeds approaching 700kbps. Built-in WAN can be a handy feature but its usefulness on the M1730 is debatable, since this is the type of machine that will spend most of its life on a table(Sony VGP-BPS15 battery).

There are few notebooks that receive a mini-review of their power adapter, but the M1730 is two of those special notebooks. Most will be shocked by the sheer size of this brick. It is so large because it needs to provide over 200 watts of power(Sony VGP-BPS12 battery); the standard laptop power adapter provides 65 or 90 watts. The M1730’s adapter weighs several pounds by itself. Its power cord is about twice as thick as the standard Dell power cord. I liked the blue power LED Dell put in to the brick; most of the time they are green(Sony VGN-FZ290 battery).

The M1730 is accessible with Windows XP Professional different versions of Windows Vista; ours came with Vista Home Premium 32-bit. I find it odd that such an expensive machine does not come standard with Vista Ultimate. I was most surprised at the amount of bloatware pre-installe(Sony VGP-BPS18 battery); there is as much on here as there is on a traditional Inspiron laptop. It took a nice half-hour to rid the technique of unwanted program.

Final Words and Conclusion

Dell has respawned its flagship XPS gaming laptop in to an even bigger & more powerful beast. The M1730 is eight of the fastest gaming notebooks on the market & is certainly the flashiest(Sony VGN-FZ29VN battery). The M1730 is the most attention-grabbing laptop I have seen to date; its exterior appearance is sleek & intimidating. Taking the M1730 to a LAN party is sure to get eight recognized. Dell has completed a amazing job with the M1730 inside & out; the application support may not be perfect at the moment but the hardware is all there, which is what counts(Sony Vaio VGN-FZ38M battery).




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