Dell Inspiron XPS M170 full review

The first laptop we've seen with the GeForce Go 7800 GTX graphics card, the Inspiron XPS M170 from Dell is aimed very much at the gaming market – but it can do much more than just play games.

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The screen is a beauty: a 17in TFT with a maximum resolution of 1,920x1,200. UltraSharp and TrueLife technologies ensure picture quality is both sharp and resonant - the screen may be a little reflective, but the image is considerably better than your average LCD.

In our Doom3 tests the Dell achieved frame rates higher than we've ever seen in a notebook – 103fps (frames per second) at 1,024x768 dropping to 81.1fps at 1,600x1,200. In Halo, it managed 98.9fps and 78.3fps.

Overall Windows performance was impressive, too; but we expected that from a 2.13GHz Pentium M 770 and 1GB of DDR RAM. The WorldBench 5 score of 94 is one of the best we've seen in a laptop – only one system we've seen has beaten this.

The other specifications are top-notch – there's a 100GB hard drive and a dual-layer DVD writer – and the software bundle includes Media Center for XP, which gives you all the functionality of Media Center 2005 Edition and is a great addition.

But we're still not sure that the XPS justifies its price tag. Sure, it's a great-looking, well-put-together piece of kit with all the latest bells and whistles, but we'd have been much happier if it was £200 less.


Dell Inspiron XPS M170: Specs

  • 2.13GHz Intel Pentium M 770 processor
  • Windows XP Home
  • 100GB hard drive
  • 17in 1,920x1,200 TFT display
  • 256MB GeForce Go 7800 GTX graphics card
  • 24x/24x/20x (CD-ROM/-R/-RW) 8x/8x/8x/4x/4x/4x (DVD-ROM/-R/+R/+R DL/-RW/+RW) drive
  • 802.11b/g facilities
  • Bluetooth
  • Microsoft Works 7.0
  • Windows Media Center
  • Norton Internet Security 2006
  • 1-year collect-and-return warranty
  • 399x294x45mm
  • 3.9kg

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