CNET First Look
Dell XPS 17 3DDell's XPS 17 3D is for those who want a powerful media and gaming 17-inch laptop, but in a more aesthetically upscale package than offered by Dell's Alienware brand. The stereoscopic 3D is gimmicky, but a certain breed of PC gamer will love it.
I'm Dan Ackerman and we are here taking a look at Dell's XPS 17 3D. Now, if you're familiar with Dell's XPS line, you know it's more high-end than the Inspiron laptops, not quite as gamer-centric as the Alienware laptops. The XPS line has just added 3D to some of their systems. That uses NVIDIA's 3D Vision system which is pretty much the standard for 3D on a PC. You used to need to have a separate emitter and some 3D active shutter glasses. Nowadays, the emitter is actually built in right here, although you still do need a pair of these NVIDIA active shutter glasses, very similar to the ones that you get with your 3D TV. Dell throws one pair in with the system. Additional ones are about $100. Now, in order to play games in 3D on a system like this, you need to launch the game, get the NVIDIA 3D Vision going, and then it actually extrapolates the 3D data that's built into the game. You don't actually have to have a separate a 3D-coded version of it like you do with a game on a game console in your living room. That also means that the effect, you know, is either good or not so good depending on the game and just how it renders itself in 3D. We've seen some good versions, some not-so-good versions. There's actually a little popup window from NVIDIA that will tell you how they rate the game for stereoscopic 3D. As an actual laptop, the XPS 17 3D edition or not is highly configurable. This particular version is actually more than $2000 which seems pretty crazy for a laptop. The 3D versions of the XPS 17 start at about $1200 which is a lot more reasonable on any desktop replacement laptop. We'd like to see a full 1920 X 1080 screen, that's what we have here, but keep in mind, if you're using HDMI out to send a 3D game to a TV, you're actually restricted to 720p resolution, not nearly as good, although you do get the nice backlit keyboard and a really big touchpad on this system, and the JBL-branded speakers are about as good as any that we've heard on a laptop. While the XPS 17 3D has the same look and feel as Dell's other XPS laptops like the XPS 15, there's actually a newer version of that 15 called the 15z that came out very recently. It's actually much thinner, a little bit lighter, a lot sleeker looking. We'd love to see that new updated look make its way into the 17-inch. Hopefully that's something we see before too long. I'm Dan Ackerman and that is the Dell XPS 17 3D.