updated 08:55 am EDT, Thu October 21, 2010
Dell redesigns XPS notebooks for 2010
Dell today overhauled its high-end notebooks on Thursday with an entirely new XPS line. The systems are all more refined with aluminum lids and palmrests, and they now carry JBL 2.1-channel speakers as well as the first webcams officially greenlit by Skype. NVIDIA's Optimus live graphics switching and 3DTV Play over HDMI are both core features, and certain models support Intel's WiDi (Wireless Display) to push video without cables.
Unlike most Dell model lines, the XPS series is now being focused around a mostly common spec with screen size primarily dictating the price. The 14-inch XPS 14, 15.6-inch XPS 15 and 17.3-inch XPS 17 all start off with a 2.4GHz Core i5, 4GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive and a DVD burner. The two smaller models have GeForce 420M graphics at a minimum, while the higher resolution display lands a faster GeForce 435M.
Options move up to quad 1.86GHz Core i7 chips as well as, on the XPS 17, up to a GeForce 445M with a very large 3GB of video memory, as much as 16GB of system memory and up to 1.28TB of storage on two drives. Smaller systems stop at the GeForce 435M, 8GB of RAM and a single drive. Dell's well-known RGB LED display option remains intact, as does a pick for Blu-ray.
All of the systems are available today with a tight pricing spread. The XPS 15 is the least expensive of the mix at $850, while the XPS 14's rarer display gave it a higher $900 price. The XPS 17 tops the line with a $950 price point.