updated 09:15 am EDT, Thu September 27, 2007
Dell XPS M1730
(Updated with larger photo) Dell today finally took the wraps from the XPS M1730, the replacement for its veteran M1710 gaming notebook. The new 17-inch system confirms many earlier leaks and is the only notebook to include a physics card in the form of AGEIA's mobile PhysX chip. In supporting games, the hardware allows for far more complex physics without a severe performance hit, AGEIA claims. The new XPS is also one of the first to offer NVIDIA's fastest mobile graphics in SLI mode: two 512MB GeForce 8700M GT chipsets are standard on every system and nearly double performance for games in the right conditions. Unlike some notebooks, the 1920x1200 display of the M1730 is also fast and refreshes at 7ms to keep up with action titles.
Besides the performance additions, the new system adds a Logitech-made miniature LCD that checks system stats and will even provide kill or score updates for certain games in real-time. The M1710's LightFX system has been enhanced and includes lighting for the keyboard as well the choice of 16 colors for ambient effects than can be programmed for different conditions.
A relative entry-level M1730 starts at $2,999 with a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB of memory, a 200GB hard disk operating at a desktop-class 7200RPM, and 802.11n wireless. Models scale up to the $4,486 top model which adds a 2.8GHz Core 2 Extreme, Vista Ultimate, and a model-first RAID option that stripes two 200GB disks for a faster, 400GB partition. Users can also pick a mid-range $3,599 system that adds a Blu-Ray combo drive to the base unit. All models should be available today and ship the next day for the stock configuration.