The Dell Inspiron 1720 is built around an Intel Core 2 Duo processor and the new Centrino Duo platform. Aside from processor choices, Dell is also offering colour choices with the Inspiron 1720 series: if buyers don't like the traditional white or black case, they can opt for red, blue, green, yellow, brown or pink. We've seen colourful laptops before--most recently in the Sony VAIO C series -- but we've never seen a coloured laptop with as many configuration options as the Dell Inspiron 1720 offers. While many of the upgrade options will surely push the price well above the AU$2,349 baseline, we think the Inspiron 1720 series will nevertheless appeal to home users who want a solid all-around laptop with a high degree of customisation.
Though the Inspiron 1720's feature set is largely average for its category, a few key items stand out. For example, the laptop's 17-inch wide-screen display can be configured with a 1,440x900 or 1,920x1,200 native resolution. Buyers will have the option to include a Blu-ray drive in their system, and such finer features will drive up the starting price, but many home users will appreciate the option to customise their laptop to fit their needs and lifestyles.
Dell has also borrowed a few handy design features from its other laptop lines and incorporated them into the Inspiron 1720 series. First, media controls along the front edge, similar to those found on the XPS line of laptops, let you easily control disc playback. From the Latitude line, the Inspiron 1720 has adopted a built-in Wi-Fi Catcher, which lets you detect wireless networks even when the laptop's lid is closed or the computer is powered off.
As often happens with configurable laptops, the price of the Dell Inspiron 1720 series can vary widely depending on your component and feature choices. The initial baseline configuration for the Inspiron 1720 is above average for a budget desktop replacement, incorporating a Core 2 Duo T7100 processor (based on Intel's Santa Rosa chipset), 2GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive, NVIDIA GeForce Go 8400M GT graphics, and a DVD-RW drive for AU$2349. Though the Inspiron 1720 is initially being pitched in Australia as an "entertainment powerhouse", there is also an option to purchase a stripped-back model starting with a non-Santa Rosa chipset at AU$1,749.00.