Dell XPS vs Inspiron?

I’m getting a new laptop and I’ve been playing with Dell’s site. If I build an XPS and an Inspiron with the same specs, the XPS still runs about $800 more.

Am I missing some difference in architecture/capability/build quality, or is this just an absurd XPS premium?

The XPS has glowy lights in the case… come on man, isn’t that worth something???

The XPS defaults to better warranty coverage. If you have an XPS, you get access to the XPS-only service queue, you have the option of altering what software is pre-installed, including none at all. There are a few other differences (I apologize if this is no longer right – this was the cast about 14 months ago). Mostly, though, it’s the lights and the fact that you have the OPTION of upgrading to stuff that you don’t with the lower-level base model.

Usually they hide the very best graphics cards from the Inspiron. When I bought my XPS2, you could not get a GF 6800 Ultra in an Inspiron, period.

You could, however, order the upgrade 7900 part intended for the XPS and stick it into an Inspiron, provided you also purchased the heavier XPS power adaptor to go with it (the Inspiron version was inadequate and could not boot the system with card in it).

I haven’t looked at what they’re shipping right now, yet.

Yep, as I expected. The best you can do in an Inspiron is the 7900 GS and 256MB video RAM, and on the CPU front the best you can get is 2.16. The XPS offers the 7900 GTX and 512MB video RAM, with CPU options going up to 2.33. There may still be other differences as well (I notice they’re still shipping smaller batteries with the Inspiron, probably smaller adaptors too).

I think if you can spec a lower-end XPS down to Inspiron realm, the answer is “don’t do that” :) …although my sample system didn’t have an $800 difference (closer to 600 for my 2.16, 2GB, 7900, upgraded battery, wirelesss+bluetooth) it’s still a hefty premium. I’d buy an Apple laptop if I wanted a bit of extra luxury in my system, for the price. The service queue is admittedly nice, though. Much more pleasant (and less accented) than the typical Dell support rep, and they don’t hesitate to ship out replacement parts on demand.

I can’t compare similar XPS/Inspiron systems, but I have a new XPS M1210 laptop, that is simply teriffic. The vid card is “only” a Geforce Go7400, but it runs the Company of Heroes demo pretty nicely on lower rez textures et al. Integrated Webcam, 7200RPM SATA drive, a toggle switch on the side to turn off all wireless (bluetooth, wifi, WLAN), optional integrated Verizon WLAN, DVD Burner, etc, in a pretty compact and lightweight package. It’s not a desktop replacement for a hardcore gamer, but it’s great for traveling w/ the option of some gaming.

My feedback on Dell, perhaps unrelated to the original poster’s point, is to take a look at Dell Small Business as well as the Dell Home Office stuff. I ended up deciding that the Latitude D620 was a better option than any of the Home Office options (XPS or Inspiron).


I agree with gd- we use the D820’s at work, and they run most modern games flawlessly.

The XPS is just marginal pricing to get more money out of the gaming obsessives that have to have it all. Go with the inspiron.