Dell's high-end laptop gamer

July 06, 2006|By MCCLATCHY-TRIBUNE

Dell's new super laptop for gaming, the XPS M1710, demolishes all but the most elite desktop systems when it comes to gaming prowess. And it's portable enough that you can tote it to LAN parties or park it on the kitchen table. While there are a few minor drawbacks with the M1710, none are stoppers.

The starting price of the least expensive version of the M1710 is $2,600. The rig we tested, with a Special Edition Formula Red case that screams taste and subtle sophistication, has a considerably higher price tag ($3,875). But you're getting a megaton bang for your buck. My review system had a 2.16-gigahertz Intel Core Duo processor, two gigabytes of RAM, a 512-megabyte NVidia GeForce Go 7900 GTX graphics card and a beautiful 17-inch wide screen display.

We installed Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, maxed the resolution (1920x1200) and turned all the details to the highest setting. I still got a respectable 27 frames per second. Too bad the headphone jack is on the right side, though, where most gamers will keep their mice. A built-in TV tuner would have been nice, too, so you could pick up over-the-air television signals.

The M1710 has a couple of rough edges, but the raw horsepower, endearingly dorky red neon lighting and excellent screen make this a worthy desktop replacement system.

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