"The build quality is commendable – with a nice chassis that’s strong and solid; well above average for this price point."
The Dell Studio XPS range sits between the Inspiron and XPS ranges. They borrow lots of the cool features from the high-end XPS laptops such as slot loading disc player and a mid-boggling choice of 150 different colour schemes and designs.
But they hover much closer to the Inspiron series when it comes to the price. The Dell Studio XPS 15 has a 15 inch screen and runs Intel’s powerful iCore processors – you can choose an i3, i5 or i7 depending on your budget.
What we like best
The Studio XPS 15 comes with a 15.4 inch LED display of 1440 x 900 which provides a much nicer user experience than many of the 1280 x 800 laptops that hover about in this price range.
When you add to that the quality 5.1 surround sound audio with subwoofer you have a very nice laptop for watching movies and videos or playing games. The Studio XPS 15 comes with an HDMI port too so you can connect it up to a larger monitor or TV should you choose.
You get a large 500 Gb 5400RPM hard drive as standard, which is ample room for storing up to 250,000 songs or 500 movies – is that enough?
The build quality is commendable – with a nice chassis that’s strong and solid; well above average for this price point. The same goes for the keyboard and trackpad, you can even upgrade the keyboard so that it has a backlight for working in the dark.
The Intel iCore processors are the best on the market so performance is excellent, but a quick word of warning; the entry model only has 2 Gb RAM.
I know it sounds ridiculous to anyone over the age of 23, but that’s the minimum required to comfortable run Windows 7 operating system so we recommend saving up the extra and getting the upgrade to 4 Gb for a more comfortable experience.
What we like least
Dell had to make savings somewhere and on this occasion it’s on the portability front.
The Studio XPS 15 is chunkier and heavier than the XPS models above it, which is fine if you’re planning on keeping it fairly stationary but we wouldn’t recommend this laptop as a portable companion.
We really like this laptop. It gives you high-end performance without the high-end price tag by compromising on the weight and size. We think that this will appeal to a large proportion of you out there who – particularly in the current financial climate - are happy to forgo the sleek and small design in return for a reliable, well made and capable machine with a great user experience. This is an intelligent buy.
Intel Core i3 - i7 Dual Core Processors
Up to 6 Gb Dual Channel DDR3 RAM
1 Gb ATI Mobility Radeon HD5470 Graphics Card
Hard Drive Storage
Up to 500 Gb SATA Hard Drive
Up to 9-cell Li-Ion
Integrated 2.0 MP webcam
Intel High Definition Audio 2.2
Optional Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi MB Software Suite
Stereo headphone and mic jacks
8-in-1 Card Reader
34mm Express Card
Slot loading DVD or Blu-Ray options
2 X USB 2.0
1 x eSATA/USB combo
1 x VGA video connector
1 x Integrated network connector
1 x HDMI
1 x IEEE 1394 connector
Weight & Size
371.6mm (W) x 25.3-38.9mm (H) x 252.9 (D) mm
2.51Kg (with 6 cell battery)
Wi-Fi Options: Dell Wireless 1397 802.11b/g Half Mini Card
Intel WiFi Link 5100 802.11 a/g/n Half Mini Card
Intel WiFi Link 5300 802.11 a/g/n Half Mini Card
Up to Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit
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