Pros Good looks, great performance, good price, latest technology incorporated, HDMI out, ESATA, back-lit keyboard, Full HD available, decent sound, display port, sleek design, 512mb video card.
Cons Only one option for the video card, fingerprint magnet (gratefully it comes in a microfiber sleeve)
Summary Just received it today and am loving it so far. I opted for the additional space over speed on the hard drive and got the 500 GB 5200 RPM hard drive instead of the 320 GB 7200 RPM drive. As with most Dells though, I would imagine it won't take a specialized tech to swap it out with something better once it comes along. Even with the slow speed, I scored a 5.4 on the Windows Experience Index (which would have been 5.5 if I had a better hard drive).
I had the choice between this and the XPS 1710. After speaking with a Dell rep, who was obviously was very much in favor of the XPS 16 over the 1710, it was quite an easy choice, and I am glad I chose this. Having used the 1710, I can say if you are looking for gaming laptop for the latest game and have a laptop that will look at home next to other gaming rigs, you probably won't want the 16. If you are looking for a laptop that is portable (the 16 only weighs slightly more than the 1710 power supply) with a good processor with updated hardware and a design that will give you a professional appearance, then the 16 will win hands down.
There were a few things that are impressive with this laptop including the memory and ESATA connection. While quite a few laptops are coming with an HDMI port now, most are still playing catch up with DDR3 memory and ESATA connections. DDR3 support is almost a must, as it looks like it will phase out DDR2 as DDR2 phased out DDR. Assuredly you can go with 4GB of ram and upgrade to 8 (which is the max for the XPS 16) as the price comes down (I didn't, and sure 8 GB is not the max for Vista 64, but it sure is quick). Esata is all the rage for the new storage options that are coming out, and if you are going to be moving a lot of data (ie video and pictures) it comes in quite handy. No raid on this, but to have to hookup an externally powered hard drive to get it to work kinda defeats the portability of this setup.
There are other niceties on the machine as well including the 2 MP web cam and back lit keyboard. While this machine lacks the option for the fingerprint reader, it comes with facial recognition software, which is pretty handy (although I have yet to test it with a photograph). It also sports a multi-format card reader (SD/MMC, MS/Pro), and express card slot. I also got the Blu-Ray player option, and I have to say the picture is very nice. The sound is pretty decent for the small integrated speakers, but they won't blow you away or anything. Also, you gotta love the touch sensitive controls at the top of the keyboard. While I am a fan of the LED's on the 1710, I do feel more comfortable pulling this out in say a classroom setting with the lights dimmed without having to worry about your laptop flashing all the colors of the rainbow. Dell did a good job of accenting this with LED's and the leather. Some of the surfaces are rather shiny and will definitely be finger print magnets, but the computer came in a nice microfiber sleeve which is great for bringing out the shine to show the computer off. Definitely a good choice for those who need a good laptop with a lot of new nice features.
Pros Yeah, the computer is fast, has a big hard drive, runs a 64-bit OS, but at the end of the day, at the end of EVERYDAY, you still have to deal with simple fact that the design seems poorly thought out.
Cons No complaints about the power and performance it does great there. See my summary below for my experience with the XPS 16.
Summary I normally don't take the time to review products, but there are too many little issues with this laptop - especially considering that it costs over a $1,000 - that I want to make sure others can make an informed decision. Don't get me wrong, I'm not out to paint a false story, but if I had the chance, I'd make a different decision after using this XPS 16 for 4 months.
According to several reviews it appears that it is hit or miss as to whether your XPS will heat up a lot. I don't play games on my computer, just use it to search the internet and with Word, Excel etc, and it still gets hot. Not super hot, but I usually can't keep it in my lap for very long (and who ever replied to nanmd and said that most laptops get hot... are you joking?, I've never used a laptop that heats up near as much as this one) . For over a $1,000 computer this should not be a hit or miss issue.
I use this computer everyday for school - so it gets some wear and tear (as to be expected). But what was not expected was the plastic molding around the left hinge has stuck out slightly since the first day I got it, and just the other day, I was putting the laptop in my backpack and the poorly glued plastic molding caught the edge of a book and bent over backwards! Now I have to use tape to make sure that it doesn't stick out and get caught on something else. Again, for over a $1,000 computer should you risk getting a computer that might or might not have the plastic molding poorly glued on?
Lots of folks have complained about the finger prints on the outside, but after you've had it for a month you don't even notice or care about them. But what is bothersome - and it's more than just esthetics - is that the keyboard is not recessed enough. So the screen of the laptop is constantly covered in marks from the keyboard or where you rest your palms and so the screen requires much more cleaning than would otherwise be necessary. Again, for over a $1,000 laptop should this even be an issue?
Also, I'm not sure why they built the screen-covers over the speakers with a finely pitted surface - because unlike the finger prints that cover the outside - you can't clean them. And after only 4 months mine are filled with dust and dirt, and they continue to get dirtier! I figured since I spent over a $1,000 I wouldn't have to worry about these minor things, but in my experience I have.
Yeah, the computer is fast, has a big hard drive, runs a 64-bit OS, but at the end of the day, at the end of EVERYDAY, I still have to deal with simple fact that it gets hot, keyboard prints get on the screen, and I wonder what other part of the plastic molding will start to come off. For over a $1,000 bucks there are a lot of other laptops out there that don't have these problems.
So, maybe you'll get an XPS that doesn't get hot, maybe the molding on yours will be glued together perfectly, maybe somehow the keyboard prints won't show up on your screen. It's just disappointing that you have to take a risk and hope that you won't have the same issues I've had and that too many others like me have had (just look at all the 1,2, and 3 starred on dell's website).
Good luck finding your laptop!
Pros It's attractive
Cons Poor quality, runs extremely hot, Dell customer service.
Summary I bought this machine based on these and other reviews; trying to do due diligence before sinking $1,600 in a machine. I've had nothing but problems from the start and, if you're like me and can't repair it on your own, you are left at the mercy of Dell's less than crackerjack customer service department. The LCD already has been replaced and that was in the first month. It runs EXTREMELY hot even if you put fans under it or prop it up. There's no way you can keep it on your lap for long. It's just always one thing after another. It's audio recording is extremely poor quality, important to me because one reason I bought it was to create videos for work. Some times it comes on and immediately shuts down. It won't connect to the new Dell printer even with USB cable; it freezes trying to use the CD to set up the printer wirelessly. I asked to return the computer but was told I could not because it was outside their 21 day window. My only consolution so far is a friend saw what a struggle I was having with my machine and bought an HP instead. You've been warned!!!!!!!!
Pros Highly customizable with great components for best price I could find from any manufacturer.
Cons Many poor design elements. Primarily sharp edge at base where hands rest. Also has hot spot where hands rest and glossy/staticy screen. These are serious issues as it makes the laptop extremely uncomfortable to use.
Summary Additionally, the glossy screen has been problematic. It is highly reflective and is a dust magnet. I have used anti-static spray, but it only helps a little. I got the 1080p (non RGB) scrren and in a dark room it is fantastic. However, if you are not in a dark room, it's like you are looking in a mirror and when the dust gets on the screen it makes it even worse. Not only does it look annoying, it seems to seriously strain my eyes.
All of the components are great and the sytem runs very fast and I have no problems in that respect, but the useability is so poor that it actually angers me. If I thought I could easily return it I would and I certainly wouldn't buy it again. It is going to bother me every time I get on this computer for the next 4 years when my hands and wrist hurt after 10 minutes of usuage and I have a headache from the screen. Not the laptop experience I was hoping for.
My last two laptops have been dells and I was generally very hapy with them. This has been a dissapointment.
"I love it!"on by Bladactania
Pros Backlit Keyboard, Screen, Speed, looks, slots, etc, etc...
Cons Like everyone else : heat, fingerprints, glare, battery life.
Summary This is my first laptop purchase (I have used a Dell Inspiron from work). I debated long and hard about forking out extra money for the M17x Alienware gaming computer, but decided I didn't want to spend the extra money. The main reason I wanted the M17x is the 17" monitor. I paid about $1300.
Right out of the box, this laptop is impressive. It's professional looking without being a boring black box. Some people commented that the only available color was black, however for me, the only color option was red, which I lucked out on because that would be the color I would have chosen. That being said, for someone else, this could be a con, and I don't understand why there aren't more color options. The leather on the outside is a nice aesthetic touch, but I'm not really sure of the point.
The screen is really great. Awesomely bright and clear. I didn't opt for the 1920x1280 (or whatever) upgrade which I'm glad I didn't because it would make everything tiny. If you connect this to a bigger monitor via HDMI or VGA (I tried both with a dell 24") you can set it to the better resolution easily). The only drawback for the screen is the edge to edge glass which probably makes it look better when you're in a darkened room, but glare is a big deal in any kind of lighted space, although not impossible to deal with given the impressive brightness.
As far as performance is concerned I'm extremely pleased so far. I got the Intel Core 2 P8700 2.53 GHz processor and 4GB of RAM and upgraded to the 1GB ATI Mobility RADEON M96XT. I haven't played a wide array of games yet, but I've played EVE Online with the premium graphics client with everything set to high and it runs without a hitch, even with several other programs running at the same time. The mics at the top of the screen picked up my voice clearly when using the chat feature, although ambient noise was picked up to, but you'd expect that form internal mics. The speakers aren't great by any stretch, but they're clear enough for voice sounds and light music listening, but for better game sounds or music listening, you'll need to get a good set of headphones (ordered mine yesterday!). The wireless works great too.
The backlit keyboard is really sweet especially when gaming in a darkened room. The one little nagging issue for me was there's no way to stop it from turning off if you haven't used the keyboard in a few minutes. I know it's to save battery, but I should have the option of setting it to ON all the time.
The mouse pad is also very good and responsive. I opted for a wirless mouse as well which really works well too (Logitech) which you can't do without when gaming, but the pad is much better than on other laptops I've used, and the mouse buttons are backlit too.
This laptop is really cool in the dark! there are all kinds of little lights including one on the end of the charging cable so you can find it in the dark, as well as lights on the hinge that indicate battery status. The touch controls are awesome as well.
There is no shortage of ports on this thing either. There are two (technically 3. See below) USB ports, an HDMI, DirectPort, VGA (for external monitor), 1394 (Firewire), as well as a couple mini-card readers. There's also a combo USB/eSATA port. Given the shear number of different connections, my only complaint is that more USBs would have been nice, although if you use this as a desktop replacement, a $10 USB hub would be no big deal, I'm just being picky!
On to the Cons... They are really nothing major, they're just inconveniences mostly. First is the glare I mentioned on the screen. Secondly, fingerprints. This thing attracts them like crazy! I'm not sure why they insist on shiny wrist rests and mouse pads that clearly show fingerprints/smudges. The included felt-like sleeve they send is great for wiping them off (which I must admit they do come off REALLY easily). The third and probably most important issue with this is the heat. It's not going to burn you or anything, but it is slightly uncomfortable to rest your hands on it for very long. Also the battery life is not great either, even with the 6 cell, but honestly if you're the kind of person using a laptop away from a power outlet for more than a couple hours, then you're probably not getting this laptop anyway, are you? I got slightly less than 2 hours while gaming last night and that's more than enough for me.
Overall, I'm very please with my purchase. There are a few nagging things that bother me about it, but chances are I'd have the same complaints about a large number of laptops out there. As always, Dell has provided me with a good laptop at a fair price. If you're looking for a laptop that will do a little of everything, then this is perfect. It multitasks like a dream, runs games with ease, and is easy on the eyes (and the wallet).