Dell wants to make something clear with its latest XPS notebook: "XPS" stands for more than just gaming. The XPS M170 ($2,899 direct; E-Value code: 1111-M170PC) is the next generation of the Inspiron XPS Gen 2, though it drops the Inspiron moniker. It's also part of a new campaign and line from Dell that focuses on high-end, luxury entertainment products and services.
The XPS M170 is one of Dell's best-designed notebooks, identical to the Inspiron XPS Gen 2. The arctic silver cover is customizable with snap-on lids. The surrounding black areas are equipped with six grills illuminated with LED lights. You can change the lights (up to 16 colors) to suit your mood using Dell's Quickset interface.
The M170's performance highlights the inherent gaming nature of the system, and gamers will not be disappointed. Thanks, in part, to the hot new nVidia GeForce Go 7800 GTX (256MB) graphics, 3DMark 2005 scores tore off the roof, surpassing the 6,500 mark. Doom 3 scores broke 100 frames, a first for notebooks. SYSmark 2004 SE scores were very good. nVidia effectively manages the power consumption of the 7800 GTX, thereby helping to increase MobileMark battery scores to 2 hours 34 minutes, which isn't too bad for a 17-inch powerhouse.
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