Dell XPS 1710

Desktop replacement notebook

Dell’s top-of-the-line XPS 1710 notebook is a continually evolving beast. Since we last reviewed the 1710 it has gained a Blu-ray burner drive option, and there are new CPU and video card options to pick from when configuring your purchase at Dell’s website.

Beware, though, if you pick all the best components when customising the 1710, you’ll soon end up with a notebook costing in excess of $8000. Thankfully, you don’t need to spend quite that much to get your hands on a 1710. Basic configurations start at just $3299. Even so, the addition of the Blu-ray burner alone will set you back an additional $1200 right off the bat. The top CPU option (an Intel T7600 Core 2 Duo) will ring up $992, while the GeForce 7950GTX with 512MB of video RAM costs another $572.

We tested a highly configured unit with the T7600 2.33GHz CPU, 7950GTX and, of course, the Blu-ray burner, and it stormed through our notebook benchmarks. PC World Bench 6 scored it at 81, while 3DMark06 gave it a very respectable 5112 at default settings. Other game tests we threw at it included Company of Heroes and FEAR, and we found that at medium to high settings the 1710 proved itself to be an excellent gaming machine.

The 17-inch 1920 x 1200 widescreen display looked great; Blu-ray movies were a treat.

It’s a bulky wee thing however, and at 4kg is definitely not something you want to be carrying around too often. As far as mobile gaming goes though, it doesn’t get much better than this.

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Scott Bartley

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