back to article Dell Inspiron 17R SE 17in Ivy Bridge notebook review

I’m currently mourning the demise of the 18-inch Dell XPS that I’ve been using as a TV/DVD player in my bedroom for the last five years. Hardly anyone seems to make 18-inch laptops anymore, but Dell has come up with a good alternative in the form of the new Inspiron 17R SE (Special Edition). Dell Inspiron 17R 17in Core i7 …


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  1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    You can still get an 18" laptop from Dell, the Alienware M18x. It's a little expensive though...

    1. LarsG

      A proper laptop only missing a proper graphics card, it even has a disk drive!

      Sod the ultra books.

  2. annodomini2


    If the 3D Screen is the same unit that's in the last gen XPS 17, while expensive, is worth it.

    2 Questions:

    2 Drive bays?

    What's the chassis like in comparison to an XPS unit? Inspirons tend to be a lower grade.

  3. Spasch

    I have a 5 year old Dell Vostro 1700 laptop - with a screen resolution of 1920x1200 - anyone care to explain why a machine with a worse resolution is "Special Edition"??

    1. Scott Earle


      Maybe it's "short bus" special?

    2. annodomini2

      Try and find any new machine with a 1200p screen.

      1. Dazed and Confused

        HD1080 === Low res!

        > Try and find any new machine with a 1200p screen

        I know how you feel, I couldn't, I needed to replace my HP8730 and couldn't find a new laptop apart from an Apple with a proper screen, and that doesn't have a ethernet port ffs. The only option I could find was to buy a reconditioned previous model. (OK actually Panasonic make a 1920x1200 15" laptop, but the rest of the spec didn't match what I needed and I appreciate the extra 2" these days, used to love my Inspiron 8500 but my eyes aren't what they were).

        My job doesn't involve watching blurays.

        It does involve handling windows taller than 1080 pixels.

        These things are supposed to be professional tools not toys for watch skin flicks.

        1. darkplanet

          Re: HD1080 === Low res!

          I was about to suggest Dells own Precision 6600. I have a 6500 for work and had a 6400 before that, both running 1920x1200 resolutions but just looking at the current machine specs and they have dropped to 1080. Really don't understand why when these are pitched as CAD stations where as much screen real estate as possible is only a good thing!

          1. Darryl

            Re: HD1080 === Low res!

            Slam Apple as much as you want (and I'm guilty of that) but they're the only ones who are bucking the trend of putting cheaper, lower-res displays in their laptops. The rest of the manufacturers have found the magic marketing resolution of "HD Screen!!" and decided that's good enough for your average buyer.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: HD1080 === Low res!

              People often just look a prices and see the Apple laptop looking more expensive when the specs are often higher.

              Even when an Apple laptop has a lower spec it can often perform better as the OS is a lot more optimised for the device. But nobody is perfect.

            2. Mark 65

              Re: HD1080 === Low res!

              @Darryl: and it hits PCMark at 4,885. Thing is, I believe that's the £2,299 model at least. More expensive but higher res and over 1kg lighter. Pays your money, makes your choice I guess depending on whether it really needs to be carted anywhere.

          2. Gerhard den Hollander

            Re: HD1080 === Low res!

            Aw .. for fscks sake ..

            I'm typing this on a 6400 that I got (long story) as a hand me down, but it has seen a lot of wear before Ii even got it.

            1 USB port is dead, the 2 USB ports on the left work only if i wiggle them a bit, and the chassis is slightly bend out of shape . It has been used before by a traveling salesman, and has obviously had more then a few ``oops it fell of the table'' accidents.

            Other then that (and the reason I stick to it) is that it's an extremely good workhorse/luggable workstation with a very nice scraan with a 1980x1200 resolution.

            Now if not even dell will be shipping 1980x1200 transportable workstations, I wonder where we should go and start looking for a replacement brand :(

            Can anyone point me to a laptop that has (at least) a 1200 vertical resolution ?

    3. Mojo2904

      I have that exact same laptop and was thinking that too. I have not seen many laptops with a resolution that can match the old Vostro, and it still does everything I need it for, including the odd bit of gaming.

    4. tath

      The worrying thing is if this is the 'Special' edition, does the normal one have a 720 panel? At 17.3" the pixels will be about the size of scrabble tiles.

  4. Paul Webb
    Thumb Down

    "The battery life is underwhelming, but that’s the only real weakness"

    Really? How about:

    - No SSD

    - Only 1920 x 1080

    - Cramped keyboard

    Not worth it.

    1. pauly

      Re: "The battery life is underwhelming, but that’s the only real weakness"

      worst thing about the keyboard is those stupid tiddly half height arrow keys

  5. jason 7

    5400rpm drive?

    Where the hell do they keep finding these?

    Is there some Eastern European warehouse somewhere that was discovered full of 2004 technology?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 5400rpm drive?

      Power and heat are the only reasons I think they keep shovelling this things into laptops.

      1. jason 7

        Re: 5400rpm drive?

        Possibly but I've swapped many such drives for 7200rpm ones with no ill effect.

        10p saved here..10 saved there....

      2. Dazed and Confused

        Re: 5400rpm drive?

        > Power and heat are the only reasons I think they keep shovelling this things into laptops.

        $$$$ is the reason that they, and most others keep sticking 5400RPM disks into laptops.

        The marketing zeebs that decide what to put in can't understand anything about disks other than "how many gigabytes is that then". Putting better disks in doesn't make for better ads, in their eyes, so why waste money.

        Also you can normally get more gigabytes on a device at lower RPM, the read rate off the head needs to be faster to read the same density at 7200 (ie very slow speed) than it does at 5400RPM (dead snail pace). Faster disks are therefore normally smaller. Smaller disks is something that the zeebs recognise as being bad. But since they only think that the device is to be used to watch videos then as long as you can transfer data at the required rate for that, why would they worry about performance.

      3. Piro Silver badge

        Re: 5400rpm drive?

        Although Seagate's specs for their 7200 RPM laptop drives show them using LESS power than their 5400 brethren.. probably better components.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's no wonder Dull's sales are down

    They don't offer what consumers desire.

  7. Mike Green
    Thumb Up

    or pay 300 less

    1. Spasch

      Re: or pay 300 less

      And get a 15.6" screen? Not really cheaper then, is it?

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