Dell XPS 1710 - Thoughts?

I've been looking at the laptop market lately. I got some great news at work - the department I moved into is phasing into a 4 day work week. On top of that, one of those days will be working from home, so I'm a bit excited about that.

Part of the requirements include having a proper work environment and equipment (they won't foot the bill) so I've decided to get a laptop where I can keep it separate from my home computer. (All the VPN jazz and such)

So I figured I'd kill two birds with one stone and try and wrassle up a great gaming laptop in the process.

I haven't bought a laptop in over 8 years, the last one I had was one of those Toshiba Libretto palm-tops. So I'm a bit cautious before I make the jump.

I'm looking for a DTR (desktop replacement) that I'll be able to primarily work off, and take with me every now and then. I don't want a massive 15-20 brick, so I figure about 10lbs is the max.

I also don't want a crippled gaming experience. I plan on keeping it for about 5 years, and I know that's a bit of strech but it would be nice to play some current games 5 years from now where I don't have to dial down the settings so much it ruins the experience. So I figure I'd rather go all out now to extend it a bit.

I hear the 7900 GTX in the XPX 1710 is a solid card, and when combined with the duo-core processer, it benchmarks nicely.

I know Sager and others make dual-SLI laptops, but I'm not interested in a massive, heat producing machine. I also don't have room to whip up another desktop, or I'd probably just go that route.

So do you think going 7900 GTX will be a smart move, or is there something around just around the corner I should wait for?

I've also considered the Acer Ferarri model that has the X700 - but the benchmarks with today's games (BF2, Oblivion) have been just "ok" - so I'd already be dialing down the settings a bit. But - it's half the price, so it's a tricky call.

Any recommendations from other laptop gaming goodjers?

Also, I've heard that the XPS won't be getting any Dell Discounts. Do you think the CSR would allow an EPP (Employee Purchase) 10% dicount? GameGuru, I'm sure you have a couple of these lying around, so I'm nodding in your general direction for some advice

My first thought would be "this belongs in Tech" so off it goes.

Yeah, I paused for a few seconds with a puzzled look on my face before firing that off. Sure enough, you were around the corner with the blackjack waiting to thump me on the head.

I have the XPS gen2 which is roughly the same chassis etc.. (actually I also have the upgrade 7800 GTX Go gpu still sitting in my car waiting to upgrade from the 6800 go in there now). There is no doubt that in terms of gaming performance this is the best it will get outside of those ridiculous SLI notebooks. The downsides are its heavy.. and not really mobile.. battery life stinks.. and for some reason the keyboard isnt bigger than it should be... but it has tons of USB ports, DVI out.. and runs fairly quiet.

It's a good value though.. and easily upgradable in terms of memory and hard drive.. I popped an 120GB Drive in mine and partitioned it 60/60 for XP and Ubunto.

My Sony SZ is my travel notebook.. and that has pretty damn good gaming performance..

Thanks for the info. I guess the big question is, do you think the new XPS would be futureproofed to accept newer Nvidia cards (ie how you are upgrading your 6600?). I'm assuming that there's some sort of solace knowing Dell could offer these add-ons down the road when the next bad-boy mobile card comes out?

I've heard good things about the Sony SZ too.. what card does that have again, the X700 or X1600?

Swat wrote:
Thanks for the info. I guess the big question is, do you think the new XPS would be futureproofed to accept newer Nvidia cards (ie how you are upgrading your 6600?). I'm assuming that there's some sort of solace knowing Dell could offer these add-ons down the road when the next bad-boy mobile card comes out?

I've heard good things about the Sony SZ too.. what card does that have again, the X700 or X1600?

depends if they change the way the GPU is integrated in the motherboard of the laptop. It just so happened that the 6800 and the 7800 share the exact same form factor.. so replacing it is easy..

SZ uses a GeForce 7400 GO GPU.

I like those new Asus laptops. Actually, several of there recent models look nice too and have recieved numerous awards.

I appreciate the good advice guys. I've been reading some stuff on the notebookforums.com and I understand the XPS 1710 will be compatible with the next round of Intel dual-core CPU's that come out later (?) this year or early next. If I go with the Dell I might just get the lowest CPU available and save a little bit.

It's a tough dillemma right now - get a decent dual-core, mid-end gaming laptop, or spend twice as much for all the Dell bells and whistles. Usually my mantra when it comes to technology is "get it right the first time, even if it costs a bit more" so I might lean towards the Dell, but it's hard to not notice some solid mid level performers.