Features

We've already stated that the M1710 and the E1705 are very similar, and the primary difference comes at the lower end of the spectrum. Here's a quick rundown of the available features for both systems.

System Configuration Options
Dell XPS M1710 Dell Inspiron E1705
Processor Intel Core Duo T2400/T2500/T2600 (1.83/2.00/2.16 GHz) Intel Core Duo T2300/T2400/T2600 (1.66/1.83/2.16 GHz)
Intel Core Solo T1300 (1.66GHz)
Chipset Intel 945PM 64-bit Dual-Channel Intel 945PM or Intel 945GM 64-bit Dual-Channel
FSB Speeds Up to 667 MHz Up to 667 MHz
Memory Speeds DDR2-533, DDR2-667 DDR2-533, DDR2-667
Memory Slots (2) x SO-DIMM, max. 4GB, DDR2, Dual Channel supported (2) x SO-DIMM, max. 4GB, DDR2, Dual Channel supported
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce Go 7900 GS 256MB or
7900 GTX 512MB GDDR3
Intel 950GM 128MB Shared (512MB System Memory) or 224MB Shared (1GB+ System Memory)
(Optional) ATI Mobility X1400 256MB
(Optional) NVIDIA GeForce Go 7800 256MB
(Optional) NVIDIA GeForce Go 7900 GS 256MB
Display 17" WUXGA (1920x1200) UltraSharp with TrueLife 17" Wide Screen WXGA+ (1440x900) or
(Optional) 17" Ultrasharp Wide Screen WUXGA (1920x1200) with TrueLife
Expansion Slots One ExpressCard 54mm slot supporting 1.5V and 3.3V, ExpressCard/34 and ExpressCard/54, 26 pins One ExpressCard 54mm slot supporting 1.5V and 3.3V, ExpressCard/34 and ExpressCard/54, 26 pins
Hard Drive 60/80/100 7200 RPM 60/80/100/120GB 5400 RPM or 60/80/100GB 7200 RPM
Optical Drive DVD+/-RW with Dual-Layer DVD+R Write Support 24X CD Burner/8xDVD Combo Drive or 8x DVD+/-RW with Dual-Layer DVD+R Write Support
Networking/
Communications
Integrated 10/100/1000 PCIe Gigabit Ethernet and V.92 56K Modem
(Optional) Dell Wireless 1390 802.11g Mini Card
(Optional) Dell Wireless 1490 802.11a/g Mini Card
(Optional) Intel Pro/Wireless 3945 802.11a/b/g Mini Card
(Optional) Dell Wireless 350 Bluetooth Internal (2.0 + Enhanced Data Rate)
Integrated 10/100 Ethernet and V.92 56K Modem
(Optional) Dell Wireless 1390 802.11g Mini Card
(Optional) Dell Wireless 1490 802.11a/g Mini Card
(Optional) Intel Pro/Wireless 3945 802.11a/b/g Mini Card
(Optional) Dell Wireless 350 Bluetooth Internal (2.0 + Enhanced Data Rate)
Audio 24-bit High Definition Audio with 2.1 Speakers Integrated Sigmatel HD 24-bit Audio or (Optional) Sound Blaster Audigy ADVANCED HD 24-Bit Audio
Left I/O Ports 2 x USB 2.0 2 x USB 2.0
Right I/O Ports 4-pin Unpowered IEEE 1394A, 5-in-1 Flash Reader (MS, MS Pro, SSD/SDIO, MMC, xD, CD Type I/II, IBM MicroDrive), Headphone and Microphone connectors 4-pin Unpowered IEEE 1394A, 5-in-1 Flash Reader (MS, MS Pro, SSD/SDIO, MMC, xD, CD Type I/II, IBM MicroDrive), Headphone and Microphone connectors
Back I/O Ports 1 x RJ45 LAN
4 x USB 2.0
1 x RJ11 Modem
1 x DVI-D
1 x VGA
1 x S-VIDEO Out
1 x RJ45 LAN
4 x USB 2.0
1 x RJ11 Modem
1 x DVI-D
1 x VGA
1 x S-VIDEO Out
Keyboard 87 Key QWERTY (US) 87 Key QWERTY (US)
Battery 9-Cell 80WHr "Smart" Lithium Ion 6-Cell 53WHr "Smart" Lithium Ion or 9-Cell 80WHr "Smart" Lithium Ion
Dimensions 1.7"x15.5"x11.3" (HxWxD)
8.8 lbs. (Display, 9-Cell battery, DVD-Combo drive)
1.7"x15.5"x11.3" (HxWxD)
7.61+ lbs. (Display, 9-Cell battery, DVD-Combo drive increase weight)
Power Adapter 130W 1.42"x2.56"x6.67" (HxWxD), 1.68 lbs. with cables Ac Adapter - 90W 1.35"x2.39"x6.04" (HxWxD), 1.19 lbs. with cables
Chassis Metallic Black Dell XPS M1710 or
Special Edition Formula Red Dell XPS M1710
Dell Inspiron E1705
Other Features XPS 16 Color Configurable Accent Lighting
Trackpad with scroll bars
Trackpad with scroll bars


The first difference comes in terms of supported processors. The M1710 can naturally support the same processors, but Dell doesn't offer anything lower than the Core Duo T2400 (1.83 GHz) processor in the XPS systems. The E1705 in contrast can be purchased with the Core Duo T2300 (1.66 GHz), or you can even opt for the Core Solo T1300. The price difference between the Core Solo and Core Duo isn't enough that we would actually recommend going that route, however.

Click to enlarge


The next major difference comes with the default LCDs. The XPS systems come with a WUXGA UltraSharp LCD (1920x1200), while the Inspiron E1705 defaults to WXGA+ (1440x900). You can get the same display with the E1705, but it's a $150 upgrade. Some people might actually prefer the WXGA+ display anyway, as 1920x1200 resolution on a 17 inch LCD can result in small text on many applications. We would like the option of getting a WSXGA+ (1680x1050) as well.

Click to enlarge


The memory and storage offerings follow a similar pattern. The XPS only comes with 7200RPM hard drives, ranging from 60GB to 100GB. The E1705 includes those three hard drives, but it also adds four 5400RPM drives to the list of available choices, ranging from 60GB to 120GB. On the memory front, XPS laptops come with a minimum of 1GB of RAM, and all of the memory offerings are DDR2-667 (other than the insanely expensive 2x2GB configurations: $1800 for DDR2-533, or $3000 for DDR2-667 - not that we would actually recommend either upgrade at those prices). The Inspiron E1705 adds a low-end 512MB option, DDR2-533 as a choice at every memory configuration, and drops the 4GB upgrades. The low-end Core Solo E1705 gives you the choice of either a DVD burner or a CD-RW/DVD-ROM combo drive, while all of the other models come with a DVD burner by default.

Click to enlarge


Video card choices on the XPS are limited to the 7900 GS or the 7900 GTX. The E1705 also offers the 7900 GS now ($349 upgrade), but you can also choose to go with integrated GMA950 graphics, ATI Mobility Radeon X1400 HyperMemory ($149 upgrade), or GeForce Go 7800 ($199 upgrade). Of the various graphics card offerings, we have to say that there's little point in getting the X1400 HyperMemory given the cost, at least if you're interested in playing games. If you need more graphics power than the integrated graphics provide, the extra $50 to get the GeForce Go 7800 will more than double graphics performance.

The 7900 GS is the fastest of the graphics options for the Inspiron models, and with the 90 nm manufacturing process it may actually produce less heat than the GeForce Go 7800. It's difficult to recommend spending almost twice as much money, but it should come with a decent increase in performance. The GeForce Go 7800 only has 16 pixel pipelines, whereas the GeForce Go 7900 GS comes with 20 as well as higher clock speeds. If you're really interested in high-powered graphics performance, you can of course upgrade to the XPS and get the GeForce Go 7900 GTX instead. We'll have more to say later on the graphics card choices, and while the X1400 isn't great for games, it does have other benefits.

The remaining differences are generally minor. Of course there's the aforementioned difference in appearance. The XPS comes with an 80 WHr (9 cell) battery by default, and the Inspiron comes with a 53 WHr (6 cell) and offers the 80 WHr battery as an upgrade. Somewhat interesting is that the external power brick is a 130W model for the XPS and only 90W for the Inspiron. The 7900 GTX configuration is likely the reason for the different power brick, as otherwise the two laptops are basically the same. The XPS power brick does weigh a bit more as well, but given the total system weight it's unlikely that you would notice the extra couple of ounces.

That takes care of the general overview, but before we get to the benchmarks we want to look at some of the specific shared components. We'll also take a look at how the laptops are put together.

Index Internal Construction
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  • sillyfox - Tuesday, September 08, 2009 - link

    The laptop is rather a good laptop except for short battery life
    I would love to order one battery replacement from: DELL Inspiron E1705 Battery http://www.hunt360.net/inspiron-e1705.htm">http://www.hunt360.net/inspiron-e1705.htm
    Reply
  • Mday - Tuesday, June 06, 2006 - link

    I received my 1705 today. HORRIBLE backlight bleeding from the bottom and left side. Effectively the lower left corner is messed up. There is about a half inch border tapering to both corners on the bottom with the left corner having a similar effect moving up from the bottom.

    And backlight bleeding is not at all acceptable even if other models exhibit it. Minor bleeding is tolerable, but the one I received looks really bad.
    Reply
  • jonbjerke - Monday, June 05, 2006 - link

    I wish this article came out a month ago - I ordered my video card with the x1400. So far I haven't had any video issues - but the most advanced game I play is Civ4. Can you use the regular ATI Catalyst drivers, or do you need to wait for the Dell issued versions?

    Is there a FAQ somewhere on the upgrade options for video card/CPU?

    Reply
  • Nfarce - Wednesday, May 31, 2006 - link

    A month ago I bought a 1705 with coupon codes from Dealcatcher.com and paid about $1350 to the door. Here are the specs:

    - 1.83
    - x1400
    - 1GB 533
    - 80GB 7200
    - WUGXA

    I wish I had waited for this article, because I realize the mistake of not upgrading to a GeForce Go chipset. Memory upgrade to 2GB 667 or a larger 7200 drive and then eBay the spare parts? No problem. However, I thought down the road I could just NewEgg a GeForce upgrade. Apparently, that's not so easy. This laptop is used primarily as a mobile DVD watching/office app/video-pic editing machine. The few games I have loaded are of older engines like Return To Castle Wolfenstein, so I'm not having issues with the x1400 performance whatsoever.

    That said, the WUGXA display has issues with reflection (not mentioned in the review). It's like black glass. At night though, especially while on an airplane, watching a movie on such a wuparse resolution is the bomb, especially when others are eyeballing it.

    I'm disappointed that the video upgrade is not as easy as expected, but hey, I can always eBay this thing. Besides, as the article mentioned for others, my real gaming systems are desktops. But for portable gaming for those like me who are stuck in hotels on biz trips, these ain't too shabby.

    There is no true replacement for desktop power, and IMO, it will be a long time coming before (if) it ever happens. You can only pack so much power in a small package. Portability has it's limitations, as it always has
    Reply
  • araczynski - Wednesday, May 31, 2006 - link

    nice, but even if i was filthy rich i'd still have no use for it in terms of gaming, the only segment i see drooling on this is the one of college students, who typically don't have the luxury of large rooms where they can setup a real desktop solution (7.1 speakers, perhaps a projector, etc). They are also usually eager to get into debt. Reply
  • hardwareguy - Wednesday, May 31, 2006 - link

    I don't really understand why you turned off the sound in some game benchmarks. No one in the real world is going to turn off the sound to get better frame rates. I could understand in a sound card test maybe, but not when you're just looking at a video card or laptop. Reply
  • RedStar - Wednesday, May 31, 2006 - link

    On the Nvidia site:

    http://www.nvidia.com/page/go_7800gtx.html">http://www.nvidia.com/page/go_7800gtx.html

    you will see that the ramdac is rated the same -- 400MHz NOT 260.

    To me that is a serious underclock the same as apple did and got noted for.

    Get the latest mobileforce drivers and you can get 366Mhz core optimum.

    But with anandtech not even mentioning this and saying there are only 12 pixelpipes..when the reference data would seem to suggest otherwise, i need a definitive answer. I and a whole bunch of others have been trying to get the real deal on this laptop since january :)

    What others:

    well follow this thread:

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=3...">http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=3...

    (prolly the best place to get info on the i9400/e1705)

    ---
    As to the person that said gamers who want DTR's is miniscule.... please! :)
    Gamers very much do want to switch to laptops --and the latest lappies are starting to make that possible. Why sell gaming DTR versions (with a nice price premium) if there is no market for them? :))

    --
    YES DELL has gotten a bad rap for support lately. That's why you buy several years of customer care warranty. You don't have to worry if something goes wrong. Paying for the kind of warranty that used to be free is but a sign of the current times for most companies.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, May 31, 2006 - link

    This laptop has the GeForce Go 7800... *NOT* the GTX version. Big difference right there. The Go 7800 GTX packs more pipelines (24/8 pixel/vertex). Also, reporting RAMDAC speed is totally useless: everyone has 400 MHz RAMDACs these days. RAMDACs are used for converting your digital signal into an analog signal for your monitor. What you really want to know is the core clock speeds and RAM clock speeds.

    Dell could have used faster RAM and increased the core clock, but it would have been at the cost of battery life, heat, power requirements, and possibly stability. Whereas NVIDIA's reference chart indicates that the 7800 Go can have 1100 MHz RAM, the E1705 sets the RAM at 658 MHz. The core? NVIDIA reports 400 MHz and 16 pixel pipelines/6 vertex. Dell runs at 250 MHz, which makes it very slow. You can always try overclocking, of course, voltmodding, etc. If you get the core up to 400 MHz, it would be much better for gaming and possibly would make the 7900 GS less necessary. The GPU RAM speed is still going to be a limiting factor.
    Reply
  • RedStar - Wednesday, May 31, 2006 - link

    i know it is the not the gtx version. Which is why i said the go 7800 and not the go 7800gtx :)

    from the only stats i could find at the time, i assumed that the go 7800 would be very much like the 7800 GT.

    as you can see from the link...the go 7800 is rated at a core of 400 NOT 260!

    :)
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, May 31, 2006 - link

    NVIDIA's rating of 400 MHz does not mean manufacturers have to run it that fast. The thermal spec of a 400 MHz G70 is going to be substantially higher than that of a 250 MHz version. If the laptop capable of handling such a graphics card? Almost certainly, but you would need to upgrade the power brick to the 130 W model if you want to be safe -- the current design already comes close to 90 W peak power draw, and increasing GPU clock speeds by 60% will almost certainly push it over the 90 W mark. Reply

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