I would like to say something about the 1711SCi I just received. Excuse some spelling errors as I am from Germany.
I ordered the 1711 because the 1712 was not available when I ordered. The difference to the 1712 are the lack of a DVD burner, only 80Gig HD and no extra Graphic card (only the built in Intel graphic) and of course a slower CPU (2,8 GHz).
I run some benchmarks and the 3D benchmarks are really disappointing:
3DMark2001 SE just a little above 3.000
CPU Arithmetic Benchmark
Combined Index : 9289 (total)
CPU Multi-Media Benchmark
Combined Index : 39228 (total)
Memory Bandwidth Benchmark
Combined Index : 3894 (total)
File System Benchmark
Combined Index : 43329 (total)
But I do not want to focus on the benchmarks – although my conclusion is to return the 1711 and get the 1712 – more CPU power and a real graphic card – just in case I want to play a game.
Keyboard: I like it and I hate it. It has a good feeling, but some (in my opinion important) keys are simple to small. For example with the German keyboard layout the POINT is a smaller cap and the Return-Key is to small too.But it is better than the keyboard from the 1703 (I tested this in a shop – but as far as I know the 1703 never shipped to the US). So I have to get used to it (and at home I use my big wireless keyboard anyway). The keyboard layout is something you have to get used to anyway with most notebooks.
The touchpad is really good in my opinion. You have a 4-way (how should I name this?) scroll-pad between the left and right button – with this you can scroll left/right and up/down very easy. Nice idea.
Noise: The fan is not hear able when I am surfing or writing or programing (and listening to web radio – thats all the things I am doing at the moment – no fan :-). The only noise you hear is the hard disc (spinning up and down – as some people mentioned already) - but this is no noise, I would say. When running the benchmarks the fan started a little but not very loud. BUT – when I run Linux (more later on) without power management support the fan roared like a hairdryer. I hope during summertime it will not be as loud as this.
Screen: Superb! The main point why I want this beast. But you can not fold open the screen to a degree of more than 120 degreee (my guess). This is bad when you use the notebook on a notebook holder (as I do) and in some special cases. Just a note for some people. You cannot open up the screen to 180 degree (meaning that it is in the same level like the keyboard).
WLAN: I got mine with WLAN – and it worked straight away. No problem at all (I had another notebook recently with built-in WLAN support and could not get it running). Great!
Multimedia: Good sound for a notebook. You have keys for volume and CD keys (like play/stop etc.) which you might even use, when the notebook is closed. The only concern for me is, that when pressing the play-Key the notebook starts to play even when it is off. So it might happen, that you press the play-Key when you do not carry the think around and your battery will be empty when you do not notice it. I could not find a way to disable this feature.
Linux support: I booted with Knoppix (a debian CD based Linux). It booted. Sound card worked. WLAN does not work. No power management (this was the time I realized the fan can be very very loud). Network interface was not recognized. So - without power management you cannot work with this notebook – it is simply to loud. I will do more work on this, when the new Knoppix version is out (I tested with 3.3).
Battery: if tuns at least 90 minutes. When in office mode (just typing, surfing etc.) even more. I got mine to work more than 2 hours when I forgot to plug it in.
Mobility: I am sure you think twice before moving this beast. But you can move it – that's the point. I will get a trolley for mine and than I have the real mobile office. And as someone pointed out already – you might get a insurance for the things this beast will drop on. The power supply once dropped on my feet – I am sure I was lucky that it did not broke my toe
Other: looks great and has a good touch and feeling. Looks more expensive as it is.
Conclusion: I like this notebook. But it has its drawbacks (which I focused a little in this writing – I hope not too much – this is the best machine I ever had!!!). If you are looking for a real desktop replacement and you are not a train worker, but like me a freelancer who works from time to time in a foreign office – this is the PC to get. I am replacing the 1711 for the 1712 – for the plus $300,- I will get a DVD burner, a bigger harddisc and a real graphic card.
PS: hope some find this helpful. I am writing this, because here at notebookforums.com I found the only review for the 17xx and this helped me a lot. Thanks to the forum.