Interview with Dell Inspiron XPS PR
Written by John Yan
on 3/1/2004 for
When Dell announced the new gaming laptop line, I was dying to talk to someone. I now spend a lot more time on my laptop than my desktop and seeing the power of the new Inspiron XPS line had me itching to talk to someone about it. Venancio Figueroa, PR for the line, was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.
Gaming Nexus: Are you a gamer and if so what are some of your favorites and some that you currently play?
Venancio Figueroa: I certainly enjoy playing games on the Inspiron XPS. At the launch event we showcased the awesome power of the Inspiron XPS by showcasing Call of Duty, Far Cry, Unreal Tournament 2004, Madden 2004 and Halo. They are great gaming titles that quickly become addictive once you've played them on an Inspiron XPS.
Gaming Nexus: You seem to have packed quite a package together for a mobile gamer. What kind of battery performance can we expect from a full charge while playing say a game of Call of Duty?
Venancio Figueroa: We advertise battery life at approximately 1.5 hours, using the industry standard MobileMark benchmark. As the processor is utilized and the display brightness is maximized, the battery operating life may vary accordingly.
Gaming Nexus: I see that you are working with game developers to help resolve issues. Can you name some of the developers you are working with?
Venancio Figueroa: We work closely with several leading gaming software development companies to ensure the best customer experience for our customers both from a hardware and software perspective.
Gaming Nexus: Tell us a little about the cooling system and how it's unique to the Inspiron XPS and the effectiveness of it.
Venancio Figueroa: The Inspiron XPS possesses one of the most dynamic thermal solutions in the industry today. It is achieved by way of 3 - 3" blower fans that dynamically operate based on thermal emissions within the chassis. As the cooling requirement increases, the velocity and quantity of fans are activated appropriately to ensure the gaming experience is not impacted. The Inspiron XPS does not throttle under A/C power and maintains a 100% processor utilization experience for the demands of gamers.
Gaming Nexus: I see from the news posting, you purchase an upgrade and have a technician from Dell come out to install it. Will the onsite upgrade only be available if you have an At-Home Service contract or will it be available for the life of the laptop?
Venancio Figueroa: The onsite graphics option will be available to current XPS customers. At the time of the next graphics card selection, prior XPS customers will be offered the onsite graphics card upgrade. Subsequent XPS customers will not need the new card, as it will already be factory installed.
Gaming Nexus: With the graphics upgrade, will there be an option to do it yourself for those of us who love to tinker with computers?
Venancio Figueroa: The graphics card upgrade is only offered via an onsite Dell certified technician. Dell does not recommend that customers disassemble and modify the internal hardware components of the XPS.
Gaming Nexus: Are you planning on offering video card upgrades from other vendors such as NVIDIA, sticking primarly to ATI, or hasn't this been decided yet?
Venancio Figueroa: At this time Dell has not selected a graphics vendor or a graphics card offering for the Inspiron XPS onsite graphics upgrade.
Gaming Nexus: The graphical design of the snap ons are pretty unique when you compare them to the other designs that Dell offers on other computers. Do you have any plans for more, say perhaps some even game specific?
Venancio Figueroa: We are constantly monitoring feedback on design and personalization of the Inspiron XPS. We currently offer our Skullz, Cipher and Plasma color kits to customers and may look to adjust our offerings in the future, based on direct model customer feedback and market research.
Gaming Nexus: Dell's foray into gaming machines is something pretty new. With the release of the Inspiron XPS, you've given some enthusiasts what they wanted in having an upgradeable laptop. In your opinion, why should a consumer who's looking to purchase a laptop for gaming purposes choose the Inspiron XPS over offerings from other companies such as Alienware who also offer an upgradable laptop?
Venancio Figueroa: Given the results we’ve seen with our Dimension desktop XPS product, we have an extremely strong brand that resonates with the enthusiast market and believe our notebook offering will be very competitive against some of the boutique players. On the technology front, some of the components of the Inspiron XPS that thrust Dell into a competitive playing field include a very competitive battery life of ~1.5 hours, blazing graphics due to ATI's Radeon 9700 128MB card, superb sound quality powered by an internal subwoofer, and customization of the XPS color schemes: traditional Moonlight silver, Cipher (blue and green), Skullz (skull and bones) or Plasma (red and black). We also offer a clean install option which provides the user with only the essential software needed to run the O/S, and an upgradeable onsite graphics support option. The product is also backed by 24/7 technical support exclusively dedicated to XPS users.
I'd like to thank Venancio Figueroa for taking the time to answer our questions. I've been using Dell laptops for a good four years now and have had great experiences with all of them. The new Inspiron XPS line looks solid and offers a lot for gamers and developers. Here's hoping we can test out one of these bad boys here at Gaming Nexus.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.
I've been reviewing products since 1997 and started out at Gaming Nexus. After writing for a few different sites that went under, it's nice to bring back a site that's not dependent on revenue and just wants to deliver news and reviews of products.
I'm married, and enjoy first person shooters, sports games, and real time strategy games.