|Review: Dell XPS 702x notebook|
Monday, 03 October 2011 10:45
While portability has been the major trump card used by many PC manufactures of late, with the Dell XPS 702x multimedia notebook, the opposite is the truth.
Bulky look and feel
The XPS 702x is a bulky machine whose screen measures 17-inches. Though it's not one of those easy-to-carry PCs, I imagine the device's size will be a major attraction to those die-hard notebook fanatics.
This massive contraption weighs 3.6kg with dimensions of 415 x 287 x 59mm, making it quite an effort to move it from point A to B; but besides this limitation, when asked to perform, this machine delivers.
The XPS 702x has a silver case and a fixed stand, so users don't have to purchase one, as is the case with most PCs. The stand also ensures the device sits firmly on a surface; however, it made working with the machine on the lap quite awkward.
Responsive keyboard, HD display
Dell has done a sterling job of the notebook's Qwerty keyboard. The keys are nicely spaced, making typing a pleasure, especially for those of us who have something to put down day-in and day-out. While working in the dark, users don't have to fumble for the keys, thanks to the illumination that lights up each key as soon as the device is switched on. Besides, the keyboard is also quite sensitive, so one just needs to touch the keys to get a response.
The 100 x 56mm touchpad also deserves a mention. The smooth and wide surface ensures good gliding, and also makes the touchpad accurate most of the time.
The notebook's display, with 3D full high definition (HD), will be a major selling point for this device. I couldn't ask for more when watching a movie or viewing pictures on the PC. Its 1929 x 1080 resolution makes this one of the best displays I have ever seen on a PC.
Playing games on this PC was also a magnificent experience. Besides the HD and sharp resolution, the graphics also add to the machine's charm. It comes loaded with the second-generation Intel Core i7-2760QM processor, 2.40GHz, with turbo boost up to 3.50GHz. I have always enjoyed EA Games' Need for Speed, but playing it on the XPS 702x overwhelmed me.
There is also a 2MP Web cam in front of the PC, which comes in handy for Web chats as well as for taking videos and pictures. Users can also use the camera to film movies.
Massive memory, top-notch sound
I noticed that everything about the Dell XPS 702x is big. The machine has a 6GB memory, while the hard drive is a massive 1TB. One of its advantages is that there is no need to buy an external hard drive.
Armed with Intel's 'Sandy Bridge' processor, the notebook did not disappoint when asked to multi-task. It showed no signs of strain when running numerous programs simultaneously. For instance, one can play a game, browse the Internet, and play music all at once, without a glitch.
The XPS 702x comes standard with NVIDIA 3D Vision, which allows the streaming of 3D content.
Another pro is its high-quality sound. It has two five-watt loudspeakers and a 12-watt subwoofer. When watching a movie, I could clearly hear every detail. For those who have watched Gladiator, featuring Russell Crowe, you can even hear the sounds of the swords as the gladiators butcher each other.
The same applied when listening to music. I even got so carried away with the sound at one point, that one of my neighbours asked me to turn it down.
Choice connectivity, average battery life
In terms of connectivity, users have the option of WiFi as well as Bluetooth 3.0. Dell also placed most of the ports on the notebook's rear, leaving room on its sides. It comes with a LAN port, HDMI port, an antenna socket for an optional TV card, as well as two USB 3.0 ports.
The battery run-time when left idle is four hours; and if a DVD is playing, it lasts for up to two hours. However, users can manipulate their power usage by lowering the brightness setting.
In conclusion, I would recommend the XPS 702x to those who want to enjoy their multimedia experience, but who aren't too worried about mobility.
Display: 17.3-inch FHD 3D WLED (1929 x 8010) 1080p with 2.0MP Web cam
Memory: 6GB (1 x 2GB) 1 333MHz DDR3 Dual Channel
Hard Drive: 1TB (2 x 500GB)
Optical Drive: Trat load, Blu-ray Disc BD Combo
Power Supply: XPS 150W AC Adapter
Battery: Nine-cell 90W/HR LHON
Keyboard: Internal Backlit US/International Qwerty keyboard
OS: Windows 7
Pros: High resolution display, 1TB hard drive
Cons: Too bulky, low battery life
Recommended retail price: R18 999
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