The Inspiron 9300 is the successor to the 9200 and boy, does it have a hard act to live up to. We loved the 9200 - it was fast, light for such a large model and had a battery life of nearly five-and-a-half hours.
After testing the 9300, we were left scratching our heads. The battery lasted for only 98 minutes, less than a third of the time. The performance was also not on the same level as its predecessor - only 87 points in WorldBench 5, as opposed to 90.
Their styling is almost exactly the same. As large as the 9300 is, it's still pretty light, as the weight is distributed evenly - you wouldn't think you were carrying around a notebook with a 17in widescreen.
Speaking of the screen, it's a beauty - one area in which the excellence of the 9300 cannot be denied. Stretching to a resolution of 1,920x1,200, the TrueLife coating on the screen allows for a contrast ratio up to 10 percent higher than standard displays, according to Dell. Whether this is true or not, the colours are certainly deep and resonant.
The screen is backed up by an excellent graphics card. The GeForce Go 6800 from nVidia has 256MB of dedicated RAM and helped the 9300 to frame rates of 72.8fps (frames per second) and 55.9fps at resolutions of 1,024x768 and 1,280x1,024 respectively on Doom 3 and 48.5fps and 43.6fps at the same resolutions on Halo. The Inspiron can certainly handle gaming on the move.
It will also be great for other entertainment purposes - the WUXGA screen, excellent graphics processor and speakers should be able to do DVDs justice.