Updated Dell XPS 15 and 17 Laptops Bring New Levels of Performance

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Updated Dell XPS 15 and 17 Laptops Bring New Levels of Performance

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Last month, at CES 2011 we unveiled details on some machines we expected to bring to market. One of those machines was the XPS 17 laptop. Starting today, you can order it with the latest processor technology from Intel and a true HD display. Like its bigger brother, the XPS 15 is also getting upgraded processors and Intel chipsets. The new XPS 17 is available today in North America, Latin America and Europe. The XPS 15 is launching today in the United States, and will be rolled out in additional countries in the coming weeks.

Before I get into the fun details, one thing to make clear is that all configurations of the new XPS 15 and 17 laptops all feature updated hardware from Intel that is not affected by the chipset issue.

So, what’s new in these laptops? 1) Latest second-generation Intel Core processors. Both support a range of i3, i5 and i7 dual core and quad-core options. 2) New GPU options and 3) on the XPS 17, a new panel that brings 3D capability with a 1920 x 1080  screen. These new features translate into increased performance compared to the previous versions.

XPS 15 (speaker grill)The XPS 15 can accommodate up to 8GB RAM. The XPS 17 3D version can add up to 16GB RAM. Bottom line, either of these machine will be perfect for high-end computing tasks. Whether you are a gamer, or a high-end photographer or someone who does a lot of video editing stuff, these machines can handle it. Both also offer full support of Dell Stage software that’s designed to give you easy access to all your music, photos and videos.

One of the most frequent requests from customers interested in the XPS 17 was for us to offer a higher resolution display. That’s why XPS 17 customers can now opt for a 1920 x 1080 option. In addition to the higher resolution, it also adds great 3D performance to the mix. That means you can enjoy nearly 500 3D gaming titles, or watch Blu-ray titles in stunning 3D playback. When paired with the new 3GB NVIDIA GeForce GT 555 GPU, this laptop offers new levels of performance in 2D and especially 3D gaming, and beyond.

Both these updated systems keep the original features I blogged about that make these XPS laptops so cool—NVIDIA’s Optimus technology to give you extra GPU power when you need it, awesome audio via JBL speakers and Waves MAXXAudio 3, Skype-certified webcams that can stream in 720p HD, plus standard USB 3.0 on both machines.

Here are some specs both XPS 15 and XPS 17 customers can look forward to:

  • Support for a range of Sandy Bridge or Huron River CPU options: i3/i5/i7  Dual core and Quad core
  • The i7 version now supports Optimus, unless configured with the optional 3D FHD panel on the XPS 17– this uses the discrete GPU full time
  • Both support the full Stage experience on all panels
  • Both offer a wide WLED display (1920 x 1080 resolution) option
  • The i7 Quad core supports WiDi and can stream up to 1080p on both systems
  • Both feature the chiclet keyboard design
  • XPS 15: Starting weight with 6-cell battery = 5.96 pounds
  • XPS 17: Starting weight with 6-cell battery = 7.41 pounds
  • XPS 15: available with up to the NVIDIA GT 540M mobile graphics with 2GB RAM
  • XPS 17: available with up to the NVIDIA 555M mobile graphics with 3GB RAM
  • Both laptops offer all the other great enhancements the XPS line offers, like a Skype HD certified webcam, JBL speakers and Waves Maxx audio and USB 3.0

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  • Hi Lionel,

    It is great and a relief to see that dell has finally started rolling out the 2nd gen sandy bridge processor notebooks with the updated chipset. This makes it very clear that dell has started receiving the updated mother-boards.

    although the options on this system are wonderful, I would like to know when will dell start shipping the Alienware M17X R3.

    Please Lionel, I am eagerly waiting to buy the system, when can I see it on display again?

    Thanks..

  • Lionel --

    Ben from Dell said the Sandy Bridge CPU option doesn't exist for the new XPS 15 and XPS 17.

  • Hi Lionel, is the keyboard back-lit?

    thanks!

  • @SaltiMoPho

    There is a Backlit Keyboard.  If you go configure one, there is an option for it.

    Also Dell, hope to see a thinner XPS laptop in the future.

    from CNET: "We appreciate the spec bumps, but they're hardly surprising. Next time, we hope the XPS gets a much-needed design revamp, too."

  • Great another massive laptop to break your back carrying. OK I know there is a market for every model but when are are going to see some new lightweight laptops from dell?

    I plan to replace my xps m1330 this year, and I am holding out for a good 11" model, basically I want a pc version of the macbook air.

    People want something they can carry around with them.

  • Can you please let me know which are all the other countries which are expected to be rolled out.

    In india xps 15 has been stopped online from receiving order (  www1.ap.dell.com/.../pd.aspx  )

    Please update me on this.....should i wait for this new configuration or go some other brand

    Looking for the status of new/updated xps 15 models in india !!!

  • WHY there is no fullHD screen without 3D option?

    WHY, if I want the fullHD screen, do I have to lose Optimus and WiDi for a useless (for me at least) 3D option?

    Really weird marketing from Dell...

  • "The i7 version now supports Optimus, unless configured with the optional 3D FHD panel on the XPS 17– this uses the discrete GPU full time "

    This contradicts the ordering screens.  This is what I currently have selected:

    "17.3" FHD (1080p) 3D Display with 2.0MP HD Webcam [Included in Price]"

    "NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 550M 1GB graphics with Optimus [Included in Price]"

    Please clear up the contradiction.  There should be no reason to disable the integrated graphics especially for those of us that have no intention of using either 3D or games as it's nothing but a waste of power and capability (WiDi).

  • @iamnotjamesh First off thanks for the reply! but the new XPS 15 doesn't have a back lit keyboard (the previous i5 models do).... not even an option. Spoke to a rep and there was nothing they could do to add one.

  • please give me a XPS15 with Sandybrigde, GT 555 M and 1,5 GB DDR5.

  • Okay, now that you've fixed the text problem, fix the actual problem - no full-HD option with WiDi support (and also Optimus), which is one of the main reasons for me to want this particular system.  While you're fixing that, add a 750GB 7200RPM hard drive option.

  • Does the XPS 15 (L502x) have an island-style keyboard ala the XPS 17 (L702x)?

    Thank you!

  • On the day the new laptops mentioned in this article came out, I placed an order for the new Dell XPS 17 3D. I canceled my order that same week when I was disappointed to suddenly discover that Optimus is not supported on the 3D laptops. Dell didn't disclose this.

    I never really cared about 3D in the first place, but I really want to purchase a Dell XPS 17 that has second-generation Intel Core, 1080p (no 3D), and with Optimus support.

  • Just found another potential problem.  The L702x manuals are not online (the US link is broken) but it appears that the version with the 1600x900 screen has only two SODIMM slots while only the 3D version has four.  Odd, if true, but I can't verify because of the broken manuals link.  Regardless, since the 3D technology fundamentally won't support Optimus or WiDi (it took a good explanation from NVidia to verify that), I would request a version with Optimus, WiDi, and four SODIMM slots - just like the L701x but for Sandy Bridge.  I can't figure out why this wasn't done in the first place.

  • Can someone kindly explain to me what the loss of Optimus really means? I have a XPS 17 with the 1080 screen on order (from before they removed the Optimus ) and am wondering if this is a deal breaker for me.  

    Like many, the 3D is not important to me but I wanted the full 1080.

    I will use the machine for a lot of low graphic apps (word processing) and worry that it will be running in high gear the entire time generating heat and burning up energy.

    Dell tech support told me that I will easily be able to disable the graphics card (with a right click) for when I am doing simple things. Unless I was mistaken, I thought that was the point of Optimus.

    I've waited this long, if a 1080 non 3D machine with Optimus is just a short wait ...

    I would appreciate some straight talk about this before I even open up the box when it arrives.

    Thanks