Dell XPS M1710 (7950)
- Blu-ray player/writer, Performance results, High Definition screen, Battery life for such a large notebook
- Curtain effect on the screen, No number-pad.
As we've come to expect from the XPS range, the M1710 is one of the most powerful notebooks on the market.
Price$ 2,599.00 (AUD)
When it comes to Centrino Duo notebooks the Dell XPS M1710 is among the cream of the crop. There's little more any gamer or enthusiast could ask for in a notebook, except perhaps a jet pack or a built in light-sabre.
Inside the glowing silver and red chassis is an Intel 2.33GHz T7600 Core 2 Duo CPU, the top of the line from the Centrino Duo platform, offering a 667MHz front side bus (FSB). Also installed is 2GB of 667MHz DDR2 RAM, a 100GB hard drive and a GeForce Go 7950 GTX graphics card with 512MB of video RAM for the best series 7-based gaming NVIDIA can offer in a notebook.
Also installed on this Windows Vista Ultimate machine is a Blu-ray player which can burn double layer Blu-ray discs; an excellent feature for any computer. To complete the experience is a High Definition 1920 x 1200 resolution screen for full 1080p movies, along with a nice set of speakers. At the time of writing, this iteration of the Dell XPS M1710 held position number one in our benchmark rankings.
In WorldBench 6, an application based test for Windows Vista machines, it scored a total of 81, which is the best score we have currently seen from any notebook. The most notable performance results within the WorldBench 6 test came from the Photoshop test, the DirectX test and a significant improvement in the rendering test over all other notebooks we've looked at recently.
In gaming tests it really showed of its prowess. In 3DMark 2006 at the default settings it scored 5046, indicating a fairly smooth gaming experience on most modern titles. We also cranked up the resolution to the native resolution of 1920 x 1200 at which the XPS M1710 scored 3786; also a reasonable result. Although these don't compare to the power available on desktop machines, for such a portable device it's a great option to take around to a friend's house.
In F.E.A.R's in-game performance test, at a resolution of 1600 x 1200 and using the maximum quality settings, including 4x anti-aliasing and 16xanisotropic filtering it managed an average of 36fps (frames per second). We dropped the resolution down to 1024 x 768 with the same quality settings it managed a much more playable 73fps.
One of the coolest features of this notebook is its Blu-ray player, which can also burn double layer Blu-ray discs. We watched Blu-ray titles and enjoyed the clarity and brightness of the screen. However one flaw with the display that constantly re-appears in Dell XPS notebooks is a noticeable curtain effect. This effect caused vertical bands of brightness and darkness on the screen and is most noticeable when displaying solid uniform colours. Apart from this however the screen is great, projecting a bright image with a broad viewing angle, which makes it far more comfortable to view from a range of different positions.
A notebook of this nature is often considered a desktop replacement and battery life becomes a low priority, however we were quite impressed by the XPS M1710's ability to hold out for 100 minutes during our worst-case scenario battery test, despite its size and high-power requirements. The test is considered a worst case scenario because it uses the optical drive and speakers while also taxing the system's core components.
Aesthetically the XPS is not for the shy or anyone with aversions to LED lighting. The red lights beam from the sides, front and top, not to mention the glaring XPS logo on the touchpad. The keys are comfortable to type on but there is no number-pad. The touchpad is smooth and responsive to use, even if a mouse might be a preferred option for gamers. One the front edge of the chassis are media controls for playback, including volume and mute, forward, back, play/pause and stop buttons. Above the keyboard near the power button is a MediaDirect key which allows you to boot into a media player without having to load all the way into Windows.
The XPS offers Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g networking as well as a gigabit Ethernet connection and a 56k modem. A total of six USB 2.0 ports are available and there's also a FireWire and an Express Card slot too. For video output there's a VGA, a DVI and an S-Video port. It also includes a media card reader, which supports SD, MMC, MS, MS-Pro and xD cards.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Huawei Mate 9
Acer Swift 7
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Lexar® Portable SSD
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Google Daydream VR headset
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Everything we think we know about Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3
- Lenovo's ThinkPad P71 will work with HTC, Oculus VR headsets
- Lenovo's Yoga A12 Android 2-in-1 has futuristic touch panel keyboard
- In PC comeback, ARM will battle Intel in Chromebooks and Windows 10
- Dell: Mainstream laptops with wireless charging are still years away
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSenior Project Manager - PERMANENTACT
- CCNetwork EngineerNSW
- FTChief Architect - Public SectorACT
- CCDevops Consultant - 12 month contractVIC
- FTEnterprise ArchitectQLD
- FTPMO Coordinator-Permanent Opportunity-Education/Government Background EssentialNSW
- FTAnalyst Programmer (Natural/Adabas)SA
- TPSolution Architect - IntegrationQLD
- CCSenior Storage System Engineer -NetApp & TSMNSW
- TPInfrastructure Project ManagerNSW
- FTTechnical Consultant - SQL Server programming skillsACT
- FTPresales Solutions ArchitectQLD
- FTDeveloper - XML & JavaVIC
- CCSenior Technical Consultant - MicrosoftACT
- FTConsultant Business AnalystQLD
- FTBusiness Intelligence Analyst / DeveloperNSW
- FTMicrosoft ProgrammerSA
- TPSpatial Science OfficerQLD
- FTLevel 3 EngineerNSW
- TPProject ManagerOther
- FTFull Stack Developer (Front and Back end)QLD
- CCSharepoint Business AnalystACT
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperQLD
- TPMicrosoft Analyst ProgrammerSA
- TPSystem AdministratorVIC