Dell Vostro 1710 notebook arrives: plenty of choice but little excitement

It's tricky to get excited about Dell's Vostro 1710 notebook, especially when you've already seen the upcoming Inspiron range refresh, but the 17-inch widescreen machine has launched today and we've still got a little while to wait for its glossier cousins.  Announced at the beginning of the month, the 1710 is the largest of the new Vostro series (with the 1310 and 1510 having 13-inch and 15-inch displays respectively) and comes with ample choice of RAM (up to 4GB), integrated or discrete Intel graphics, dual hard-drives and Intel's Core 2 Duo T9500 CPUs (up to the 2.6GHz, 6MB L2 Cache, 800MHz FSB chip).  Two screen resolutions are on offer: 1440x900 WXGA+ and 1920x1200 WUXGA.

If you're Vista phobic then you'll be glad to see XP in both Pro and Home flavors on offer (together with all the Vista versions), and there's a choice between a 24x DVD/CD-RW combo drive or an 8x DVD+/-RW with double-layer DVD+/-R write capability.  If storage quantity is your guiding star, then you can opt for 640GB (two 5,200rpm 320GB drives), whereas speed-freaks might prefer 320GB (made up of two 7,200rpm 160GB drives).  Graphics are either courtesy of Intel's X3100 or a 256MB NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT.

Six USB ports, a choice of WiFi options that tick all the combinations (including draft-N), optional Bluetooth and an optional 1.3-megapixel webcam with microphone make for an intimidating (and potentially pricey) spec sheet.  As standard you get gigabit ethernet, a 4-pin Firewire port, VGA and ExpressCard slot.  The 1710 measures 393 x 286 x 40.5mm and weighs from 2.95kg.  It's available to order now, with estimated shipping on June 3rd, priced from $799.