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| Review - Dell XPSGen2 (6 comments )|
by: thecompukid (5) | Posted in cluster FiringSquad Editors Challenge Round 1 Prelim 2
Posted 75 months ago ( edited 75 months ago ) in category DEFAULT
Here is my Editor submission. A review of my Dell XPSGen2 not too long after I bought it. All comments are welcome. See the image for the full article.
|» MEDIA (1)|
Dell XPSGen2 review
Measuring in at 15.5" x 11.3" x 1.67" and with a weight starting at 8.6 pounds (our XPS Gen 2 sample weighed in at about 8.8 lbs.), the XPS Gen 2 is currently the largest and heaviest notebook to come from the design team at Dell and exceeds historical size specifications for past Dell notebooks. Obviously, this is not the mainstream notebook you should be buying if you are just looking to do some word processing or emailing. This notebook has been explicitly designed for the hardcore gamer and multimedia enthusiast looking for a notebook. The reason that Dell is making a big statement with this notebook is...well...because they are Dell. That name alone carries a lot of weight and bursting onto a scene that Voodoo, Alienware, Hypersonic, and others normally occupy is a huge deal when it comes to serious gamers looking to avoid a huge price tag.
Dell seems to use two materials in the design of the XPS Gen 2, which will just be referred to as the XPS G2 from hereon out. The black casing for the monitor, hinges, upper half of black trim of the system, and the silver inlay of the notebook all are polycarbonate. The plate on the backside of the display is just a solid piece of aluminum. It has been buffed so that it looks like it has ridges, but it has a simple smooth surface. The "XPS" letters on the back side of the display are just clear plastic inserts. The bottom half of the notebook is just exposed aluminum sprayed with an enamel black coat of paint.
NOTE ---> Performance Ratings taken from TomsHardware.com
Obviously, performance in the XPS G2 isn't lacking, even when it comes to games that demand the highest measure of performance. NVIDIA's GeForce Go 6800 Ultra is blazing new trails here.
The charger for the XPS G2 (130W) is the largest that is currently offered by Dell. Similar systems that we have seen from Voodoo, Alienware, and Hypersonic usually take on the same large profile. Unlike others, however, it is good to see that Dell used the same straight plug format, instead of switching to a multi-pin plug format. Disappointingly, Dell did not design the charger for the XPS G2 in the same way as the others. There is no angled AC plug from the charger to the wall jack, which makes it harder to bunch up extra cabling. Likewise, there is no rubber strip to tie extra cabling down.
The XPS Gen 2 only comes with one display configuration option; a 17.0" WUXGA UltraSharp TFT (native 1920 x 1200) with TrueLife.
Dell clearly is focusing on the gaming and overall viewing experience by making such a high end display the standard for this notebook. There are no compromises, and its is for the best, as lower end displays would only take away from the experience that Dell is offering with their 17.0" display. Especially with the way support is progressing on the gaming end, a wide aspect ratio display is the way to go. You can always force the panel not to stretch a 4:3 image via drivers.
TrueLife is simply Dell's way to refer to the glare type LCD display. We need to clear up the glare type issue, as this has been discussed by many but few people really understand the benefit and disadvantages. First, the glare type display does make just about any multimedia experience relating to video viewing better, provided a top notch display panel is used. However, it is not due to the better specs of the LCD panel. Instead, the glare coating helps produce more vivid colors, text, and backgrounds via an increase in contrast.
There are a few things to consider when gaming other than performance. So we are going to depart from the tradition and not benchmark a plethora of games. If you'd like to see how this notebook performs in a variety of gaming scenarios, we suggest taking a look at Toms article. Toms tested the GeForce 6800 Go GPU found in the Gen 2 a few months back. Instead, we will focus on the other important things here. There are other things that cannot be expressed in graphs, but they are just as important, like:
1. orientation of external mouse (left side for lefties and right side for righties)
2. orientation of headphones
3. visual experience: the display (brightness, viewing angle, contrast, vividness) and the rest
4. audio quality and experience
5. combination of an external mouse and keyboard.
The audio experience is great. As we mentioned the highest we can go without too much distortion is about 65%. You can probably jump to 80% if you are gaming because your hands irrevocably cover and muffle the speakers. This lessens your ability to distinguish the quality difference.
CD/DVD access moved to the left side on this XPS model is ideal. With the majority of people being right handed you don't have to move the external mouse to insert or remove from the CD/DVD drive. There is 4 USB ports on the back and 2 on the left side. The rear connections are a VGA and DVI connection, the AC power connector, the s-video, RJ-45, and RJ-11 connections.
Considering this is a notebook thatís supposed to be mainly running on AC, we were pleased with the results. The 9 cell battery Dell equipped the XPS G2 with gives you the ability to run over 2 hours without a big power brick. Battery life increases about 10 minutes if the LEDs are turned off. Charging time was 2hours and 38 minutes to reach 100% capacity.
With a slick look, customization options, and a wicked fast GPU, the XPS Gen 2 is a notebook to be reckoned with when companies like Alienware are considered. So in that manner, we are giving Dell's Inspiron XPS Gen 2 a 9.3 on the Cool Meter. For gamers and performance users, the XPS Gen 2 is a winner.
|6 User Comment(s) • 4 root comment(s)|
| chentsen (41) Feb 24, 2007 - 06:23 pm|
|The article is just long enough for me to keep my full attention for an M-blog, non professional review. In a real review, I would expect you to go a little bit more indepth. For example, audio could go into the lows and highs of the sound quality in terms of pitch. Further more you fail to rate the "important" things, such as USB orientation and the orientation of the headphone jacks etc (I'm assuming thats what you are talking about, not the actual headphones and mice themselves)|
Also, deviating from the traditional review format may not always be a good thing. There are a reason benchmarks are used in reviews, ya' know? Though I suspect it may have been because you lacked the proper software to create a good benchmark.
Never the less, some FPS ratings could have helped. Referring to another online editorial may not be the best course of action either.
However, overall the review was fairly straightforward, and aside from the noticeable omission of benchmarks and comparisons, quite informative. As usual, small grammar mistakes detract from the overall flow of the review, but that is all easily fixed
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| thecompukid (5) Feb 25, 2007 - 05:09 pm|
|I can only write so much for an over-all review. It would take pages upon pages to review every highlight of the XPSGen2. It is just to give the readers an over view of the product.|
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