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But the XPS doesn’t just excel in raw gaming power, it’s also a viable mobile computer as well. Whereas the Pentium 4 based gaming notebooks flatly refused to run MobileMark – basically they didn’t have enough battery life to even complete one productivity run on MobileMark, so it couldn’t produce a result. The XPS on the other hand, had no problem turning in a MobileMark score, and although two hours battery life isn’t outstanding, it’s pretty impressive for a machine of this type.
Being a Centrino notebook, there’s an Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG adapter installed, supporting both 802.11b and 802.11g standards. And, if you want to pull your email down via your mobile phone, you’ll be glad to know that there’s integrated Bluetooth as well.
Software wise you get a copy of Microsoft Works 7 to get you working straight out of the box, while McAfee Security Center, complete with a 15 month subscription should keep you safe.
As with any 17in gaming notebook, the XPS is far from svelte, and with dimensions of 394 x 288 x 42.2mm (WxDxH), and a weight of 3.9kg, you’re definitely going to know it’s in your bag. That said, it's still considerably lighter than the Clevo based 17in machines, which tip the scale at 5.5kg.
There’s no denying that the XPS Gen 2 is one of the most impressive mobile gaming systems I’ve ever seen, if not THE most impressive. However, as is always the case in situations like this, you get what you pay for, and this machine is far from cheap. Speccing this system up on the Dell website brings back a price of £2,561, although this does at least include VAT and shipping.
Although the name Dell may not carry the same gaming kudos as Voodoo or Alienware, you should try to look past that. If you have the cash, and can live with the mainstream branding, you can have the best gaming notebook around.
Dell has got everything right with the XPS Gen 2 – it looks great, has blistering pace and is stacked full of features. Nice touches like the programmable lights separate the XPS from Dell’s more staid product lines, while the Centrino backbone means that you could use it on the move if you had to. The price may be very high, but despite that, I can’t help but recommend the XPS Gen 2.