Dell XPS M170 for Home review: Dell XPS M170 for Home

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
  • Overall: 8.3
  • Design: 8.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Performance: 9.0
  • Service and support: 6.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Excellent game performance; top-shelf processor and graphics engine; illuminated case; lightweight for a gaming machine; good multimedia features; full assortment of ports and connections.

The Bad It's not cheap.

The Bottom Line Powered by a top-shelf processor and graphics engine, the Dell XPS M170 is one of the fastest and slimmest gaming machines we've ever seen.

CNET Editors' Choice Oct '05

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Dell XPS Gen 2

Editors' note: Since CNET reviewed the Dell XPS Gen 2 on March 18, 2005, Dell has renamed the system the XPS M170 and given it a slightly faster processor and a new, top-of-the-line Nvidia GeForce Go 7800 GTX graphics chip. Otherwise, the XPS M170 and XPS Gen 2 are identical. This review includes updated performance and pricing information for the XPS M170; details regarding design and features can be found in the original XPS Gen 2 review.

With the new XPS M170, Dell continues its dominance in the gaming laptop category. Replacing the company's high-octane XPS Gen 2 model, the extremely powerful XPS M170 gets some new components, most notably Nvidia's latest mobile GeForce Go 7800 GTX 256 3D graphics chip, though the case design and features have not changed. In addition to the new GPU, our fully loaded $3,642 test configuration was equipped with an Intel 2.26GHz Pentium M processor and 1GB of RAM--all of which resulted in a nice performance gain over the previous model.

At $3,642, our Dell XPS M170 test unit was quite expensive, even for a gaming machine. Still, our machine came richly configured with Intel's top-of-the line 2.26GHz Pentium M 780 processor, 1GB of fast PC 4200 DDR RAM, and a big 100GB hard drive spinning at a speedy 5,400rpm. The laptop's 3D graphics were handled by the new, top-shelf Nvidia GeForce Go 7800 GTX 256 chip, which boasted its own 256MB of discrete memory. Though this chip will soon become widely available, it's currently exclusive to the XPS M170.

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Quick Specifications

  • Release date Feb. 24, 2005
  • Installed Size 1 GB