Since launching TrustedReviews I've looked at quite a few gaming notebooks, some of them good, some of them not so good. I've looked at mobile gaming solutions from hardcore players like Voodoo and Alienware, as well as lightning fast machines from the likes of Rock and MV. But sitting before me right now is, without a doubt, the best gaming notebook I have ever got my hands on, and it's not from any of the companies mentioned above - no, amazing as it sounds, the best mobile gaming solution I've seen comes from Dell.
In case you didn't know, XPS is Dell's gaming brand and TrustedReviews has previously looked at a desktop XPS machine that was fast, well built but very expensive. The Inspiron XPS Gen 2 follows the same path as its desktop sibling - it looks great, has a very high-end spec and has a solid and well built feel to it.
Before I get into the internal components of the XPS, let me cover the aesthetics of the machine itself. An unfortunate aspect of the latest mobile graphics chipsets, is that there are very few notebook chassis that can handle the power and heat that is produced. As a result, most of the machines I've looked at lately are based on the same Clevo chassis, or more recently a slightly different Clevo chassis. However, Dell has not just jumped on the same bandwagon as everyone else, and although the XPS is far from being small or light, it does look great.
The lid of the XPS is finished in silver and black, with the centre section sporting a metallic ribbed finish, with the Dell logo in the middle. But it's the XPS logos down either side that really enhance the look - when the notebook is powered on, these logos glow. When I took the machine out of the box the logos were set to glow blue, but the user can define the colour of each logo and create a custom look. In true Max Power style, there are also glowing lights at the front of the machine and either side - in some ways it reminds me of a modded Citroën Saxo with "underglow", but despite the definite leaning in the chav direction, I can't help but think that the XPS 2 looks cool.
Open up the XPS and things just get better - you're instantly greeted by a 17in widescreen display, with a high contrast gloss coating. The coating makes both games and movies look so much better, and although you do have to put up with a more reflective screen, I find that a small price to pay. But it's not just the size and the coating that make this screen so impressive, it's also the resolution. The 17in display in the XPS sports a native resolution of 1,920 x 1,200 - this gives you an amazing amount of desktop real estate and makes working at the XPS almost as enjoyable as gaming. What's really amazing is that you'd be looking at a 23in desktop screen costing around £1,000 to emulate this resolution.