Review Dell XPS M1710 Gaming-Notebook

Advertised as a gaming notebook, the Dell XPS M1710 with its high-resolved 17" screen, the fast Core Duo processor and GeForce Go 7900 GS must show in our test whether the promises are true.

Dell XPS M1710 desktop replacement

Case

"Owing to its bold and sharp-edged design you always make a good figure with the M1710, in the game or on journeys."

As far Dell states about the new M1710 laptop - and at least they are right with "boldly and sharp-edged". It is a laptop for technicians - design follows function.

The back side of the display is the highlight of the durable laptop. Here the designers worked well. A bright XPS signature improves the metallic look of the cover. Additionally there are bright LEDS laterally at the ventilation openings and at the front, which one can adapt by a provided tool. In addition, they can be deactivated (read about the effects in the chapter battery runtime).

The case is properly finished. It makes a stable and durable impression and flexes only in that plastic areas above the keyboard noticeably. The chassis is remarkably high also when tapping (the lower arms rest upon the high edge, which however is well rounded off and thereby tapping is not unpleasant). With its measured 3,94 kg the weight does not belong to the Dell light-weight-notebooks. Nonetheless that is no disadvantage for a desktop replacement. The display hinges seem to be stable and keep the large 17" screen firm in each position. In the test the hinges crunched from time to time loudly, when the display has been open for a longer time. On the bottom the notebook stands stably on several bases, but one is applied on the distachable battery. Nevertheless the notebook remains still quite stable (with pressure on de right lower corner it wobbles).

The implemented loudspeakers offer a responding sound for that size and owing to the small inserted subwoofers even a few basses.

The interface equipment can be quite called sumptuous. DVI, Firewire and 6 USB connections are already rather good. Also the arrangement quite succeeded, since most of them are to be found in the back.

The provided printed manual is detailed (190 pages) and shows even the change of the most important hardware components.

connections at the right side
connections
connections at the left side
connections at the back

Input Devices

The implemented keyboard has a soft stopper and can be handled pleasantly. It offers normal large keys with a good layout (e.g. normal large enter key). Only the function and arrow keys are processed somewhat smaller. The high (however flattened) edge of the chassis is somewhat uncomfortable during longer writing. Additionally the XPS M1710 offers multimedia keys at the front.

The touchpad in widescreen format (with bright XPS Logo) can be handled precisely as the large soft touchpad keys.

touchpad
keyboard

Display

colour diagram

The reflecting 17 inch widescreen display pleases with deep colors and a good brightness of more than 200 cd/m². The maximum contrast of 572:1 (min. brightness to max. brightness) is an evidence this subjective impression. This becomes possible by a mirroring surface of the screen (not roughened up), which can lead to disturbing reflections. Dell calls that TrueLife.

The fine resolution of the 17 inch widescreen with the HD-suited resolution of 1920x1200 has advantages and disadvantages. The fine structures please when programming and during image editing. Unfortunately the Icons in Windows XP become already badly small and if one increases the DPI resolution in the Windows settings, then many menus become unpleasant (unfortunately Windows cannot scale well).

The illuminating of 71.5 % is rather below average, since the left upper corner in our test laptop was clearly weaker illuminated.

The stability of the viewing angles pleases. With lateral view the colors remain stable for a long time, but decrease fast as usual with a view from above and down.

161.0
cd/m²
207.1
cd/m²
187.0
cd/m²
183.8
cd/m²
225.1
cd/m²
185.8
cd/m²
194.1
cd/m²
208.2
cd/m²
201.1
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
Maximum: 225.1 cd/m²
Average: 194.8 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 72 %
Black: 0.4 cd/m²
Contrast: 563:1
stability of viewing angles

Performance

Since the Dell XPS M1710 desktop replacement notebook is praised as a gaming laptop, we looked eager for the first performance ratings. After numerous gaming tests we could confirm this. The Geforce 7900GS combined with a fast 2,0 GHz Core Duo accelerates the Dell notebook to a new test maximum output. Better results could only be expected of the 7900 GTX.

The 3DMark values are scarcely below those of the Toshiba Satellite P100-191. With Doom 3 the XPS M1710 achieved even new peak values in the test, however a strange break-down of the framerate with the setting "low" (smallest details in 640x480 resolution) was measured with repeated benchmarks. With Age of Empires 3 the XPS could represent in the test a multiplayer combat with all details on maximum settings in 1280x800 as the first laptop fluently. Only in large mass battles small interruptions occurred.

The office application performance was respectable, too. The PCMark05 achieved a new maximum value and shows that the Dell laptop is also suitable for fastidious applications.

benchmark comparison 3DMark
benchmark comparison
benchmark comparison PCMark
3D Mark
3DMark 056337 points
3DMark 06
 1280x1024
3510 points
Help
3DMark 06 in comparison
Asus Eee PC 1101HA (min)
 Z520, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 500
68
   ...
HP ProBook 4430s-XU013UT
 2310M, HD Graphics 3000
3498
Lenovo IdeaPad S405
 A8-4555M, Radeon HD 7600G
3504
Dell XPS M1710
 T2500, GeForce Go 7900 GS
3510
HP ProBook 6465B-LJ489UT
 A4-3310MX, Radeon HD 6480G
3514
HP Pro X2 410 G1
 4202Y, HD Graphics 4200
3521
   ...
Clevo Clevo P157SM (max)
 4930MX, GeForce GTX 880M
29955
PC Mark
PCMark 054450 points
Help
PCMark 05 in comparison
Acer Aspire One 751 (min)
 Z520, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 500
692
   ...
Lenovo Thinkpad SL500
 P8400, GeForce 9300M GS
4413
HP Compaq 6910p-GB962EA
 T9300, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) X3100
4423
Dell XPS M1710
 T2500, GeForce Go 7900 GS
4450
HP Pavilion dv6-1199eg
 RM-75, Mobility Radeon HD 4530
4464
Samsung NP-R70
 T7100, GeForce 8600M GS
4464
   ...
Fujitsu Celsius H710 WXP11DE (max)
 2820QM, Quadro 1000M
13842
80 GB - 5400 rpm
Transfer Rate Minimum: 17 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 36.4 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 29.7 MB/s
Access Time: 17.2 ms
Burst Rate: 98.8 MB/s
CPU Usage: 2.5 %

Emissions

The constantly running fan remains accoustic inconspicuous with a quiet noise. Even under full load the noise becomes only a bit louder (max 36 dB) - not unpleasant. With longer load and 25°C ambient temperature, the fan switches to the highest level, which blows with 44.9 dB clearly audibly. Immediately after the end of the load the fan shifts back again.

The rattling of the implemented hard disk is clearly audible and over-sounds the relatively quiet fan with max 40 DB. Without fan (only short after switching on) we measured 33,3 dB (a quiet high frequency whining is audible).

Heat Development

The heat development remains within limits owing to the constantly running fan on the top side. However, the bottom heats up with up to 44°C quite much. Interestingly the temperature is similar with and without load. We could measure scarcely 2°C difference. The top side and in particular the areas in front of the keyboard remain always relatively cool. As this laptop is made for stationary use on the desktop the heat development is not a tragedy.

Upper side

palmwrist: 30°C max: 36°C avg: 32°C hotspot: rechte Seite der Tastatur

Bottom side

max: 44°C avg: 38°C hotspot: mittig

environment: 25

Battery Runtime

The battery runtime of the Dell XPS M1710 is exactly in the center of all  notebooks tested by Notebookcheck. This owes the desktop replacement to the more economical GS variant of the 7900 video card and the Core Duo. Nevertheless 81 Watts maximum energy need is not few. Owing to the large battery the XPS wins clearly against the direct competitor Toshiba Satellite P100-191 (e.g. 188 to 145 minutes with the Reader Test). Here the measured values:

 

Batteryeater Reader (without LEDS, text reading with minimal brightness): 188 minutes (=3h 8min)
with LED illumination: 170 minutes (2h 50min)
Batteryeater Classic (full load with maximum brightness + WLAN): 82 minutes (=1h 22min)

Current Consumption
minimum (min. brightness, all off): 30,7 Watts
idle (max. brightness inkl. WLAN) 38.3 - 38.8 Watts (>40 Watts with harddisk access)
without WLAN 37.3 Watts
maximum (WLAN on, max. brightness, full load) up to 81 Watts (70 Watts at average)

Fazit

Acer Aspire 5672AWLMi

Our conclusion - Dell does not lie - the XPS M1710 is a good gaming notebook. The performance data and the good display make a pleasant game pleasure possible. Furthermore the good interface equipment and input devices contribute to the good impression.

Nevertheless the small monster from Dell can't be called mobile. A use at the lap is not really pleasant because of the size and the weight. Also carrying it a long time is fastiguing. However, who looks for a replacement for his desktop will probably find a suitable partner with the Dell XPS M1710.

Reviewed: the Dell XPS M1710 Gaming-Notebook

Specifications

Dell XPS M1710

:: Processor
Intel Core Duo T2500 2 GHz (Intel Core Duo)
:: Mainboard
Intel 945PM
:: Memory
1024 MB, DDR2, PC5300, max. 2048MB, 2x512MB, 5-5-5-15 Nanya, Dual Channel
:: Graphics adapter
:: Display
17 inch 16:10, 1920x1200 pixel, Wide Aspect UltraSharp WUXGA with TrueLife
:: Harddisk
80 GB - 5400 rpm, 80 GB 5400 rpm Momentus 5400.2 ST98823AS Seagate hard disk: 80GB, 5400rpm
:: Connections
4-pole IEEE 1394 Firewire, 6 USB 2.0, DVI, S-Video, S/PDIF audio exit, headset, microphone
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 42 x 394 x 287
:: Weight
3.94 kg
:: Battery
, 7200 mAH lithium-ion battery with LED
:: Price
1749 Euro
:: Additional features
HDD: 80GB, 5400rpm, Momentus 5400.2 ST98823AS Seagate hard disk, SigmaTel High Definition Audio, TSSTcorp CDRW/DVD TSL462C combination drive (optional DVD Dual Layer burner),

 

The Dell XPS M1710 is a desktop replacement made for gamers.
Dell XPS M1710
Of course WLAN is implemented in the Dell laptop.
The battery runtime is good for a DTR notebook, but the battery is rather needed as a support.
...inkl. subwoofer sound well for their size.
The loudspeakers...
The interface equipment is very good with 6 USB, DVI, etc.
The hinges keep the display good in position, but sometimes crunch loudly.
...but sometimes creates layout problems, if the DPI settings are adapted in Windows.
The high resolution display in the XPS is impressive...
laterally, at the touchpad and at the backside of the display are coloured LEDs for the tuner look.
In front,...
...and Geforce Go 7900 GS the performance is suitable for gamers.
Due to Core Duo...
Media keys at the front allow a fast access to important multimedia functions.
The input devices please by a smooth and precise usage.
The XPS M1710 can be upgraded easily. This is even explained in the concise manual.

Pro

  • input devices
  • interface equipment
  • performance
  • Contra

  • hot bottom
  • crunching hinges
  • Similar Laptops

    Rating

    Dell XPS M1710
    08/31/2007
    Klaus Hinum

    Chassis
    91%
    Keyboard
    90%
    Pointing Device
    90%
    Connectivity
    96%
    Weight
    57%
    Battery
    77%
    Display
    85%
    Games Performance
    89%
    Application Performance
    96%
    Temperature
    70%
    Noise
    85%
    Add Points
    88%
    Average
    85%
    88%
    Gaming *
    Weighted Average

    > Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Dell XPS M1710
    Author: Klaus Hinum, 2006-08-11 (Update: 2013-05- 8)