Dell XPS 17 review

Full review: Core i7 laptop for HD movies and 3D gaming

Image 1 of 3 Dell XPS 17 connections
Dell XPS 17 connections
Image 2 of 3 Dell XPS 17
Dell XPS 17
Image 3 of 3 Dell XPS 17 back
Dell XPS 17 back

Dell adds a topline Intel processor and 3D to this excellent XPS gaming laptop

Dell's topline XPS laptops are never going to have the same kudos impact as it's dedicated gaming laptops from Alienware, such as the Alienware M17x (read our review here) - even though some of the flagship XPS models are more expensive and with better features.

However, don't let that fool you because Dell has bolted on some 3D finery on to its excellent Dell XPS 17 and kept the price quite respectable. It's a great all-round multi-media entertainment system with brilliant HD screen but it's quite plain and didn't quite cut the 3D mustard.

Dell XPS 17: Design

The plain silver aluminium case doesn't scream top of the range. It is nice to work on and feels robust in use. The Dell XPS 17 3D X7M60 also has a solid keyboard but the surface is like an ice rink; so it's harder navigate for long sweaty gaming sessions. Rather than offering a nice grippy top, it feels like Dell decided to use almost the same surface as the lid itself.

Dell XPS 17: Specs

Dell lets the specs to the talking. Inside you get Intel's new Core i7-2630QM at 2GHz, 500GB of storage on two drives and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. Shame Dell didn't offer more than 4GB of memory to enhance gaming and multi-media playback a bit more. It is enough for multi-tasking, office apps and streaming HD content, but it did let performance down on 3D HD gaming.

Another bottleneck is the Nvidia GTX 555M graphics card. It might have 3GB but it's not a top range card gaming card. It's great for all-round multi media playback and HD content but not so could for maxxing out 3D gaming. As it's a Dell model you can always upgrade the specs online for a bit more cash.

Dell isn't short on ports though. It bundles a Blu-ray drive, 4x USBs - a couple of which are USB3.0, a HDMI port, mini display port and has a excellent integrated sub woofer that gave our review model rich audio.

Dell XPS 17: 3D and screen

Dell opted for Nvidia's active shutter 3D glasses, which gives gamers access to a comprehensive array of 3D titles. We were also pleased to see Dell integrate the IR receiver so the XPS 17 3D X7M60 doesn't need one hanging off externally.

That 3D tech would be now't without a quality display and the full HD 1920x1080 17.3-inch screen is the ace in the pack here. 2D and 3D content looks very vibrant and detailed. The only problem is that the higher 1080p resolution on this new XPS requires a bit more ommph from the specs to playback 3D content in HD.

Dell XPS 17: Performance

Call of Duty: Black Ops managed HD gaming without choking in 2D. However, switching to 3D killed performance and we only got 24FPS. At least the 9 cell battery gave a long 145 minutes and it's also good value for money.

There's a lot of potential on Dells' XPS 17 3D X7M60 that can realised if you're willing to layout more cash a spec upgrade. The basics are great and the all important screen, outstanding

Dell XPS 17 launch date: Out now, link Dell

Dell XPS 17 price: £1129 (config changes depending on price)

Dell XPS 17 Specs

  • OS: Win 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • Screen: 17-inch 1920x1080p
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-2630QM at 2GHz
  • Graphics: Nvidia GTX 555M with 3GB RAM
  • Memory: 4GB Ram
  • Storage: 500Gb
  • Connections: N WiFi, 4x USB (2x USB 3.0), 9-in-1 card reader, HDMI, Display port
  • Optical drive:Blu-ray
  • Battery tested: 145 mins (tested)
  • Dimensions/Weight:414x32.8x287mm/3.36kg