Dell has adjured up a new product line to sit between the two -- it's called Studio, and it comprises 15 & 17-inch models that are designed to be affordable, well-equipped and stylish.
The Studio 17 is by no means as attractive or desirable as Hp Pavilion dm3 Battery laptop, but it is slightly more appealing than an Inspiron. With that in mind, it accomplishes its objective: to be cheaper than an XPS without sacrificing too much in the way of looks. There are excellent desktop replacement machines accessible, but the Studio 17 hold its own.
The Dell Studio 17 is one of two flagship models in the company's latest Studio line, a mid-range line positioned between the entry-level Inspiron and high-end XPS series. The studio is for people who want something more powerful than an Inspiron, but don't want to pay the XPS cost tag. We have combined opinions about the new Studio's design.
We're not sure what to make of the Studio design: it acquires artistic elements from both the Inspiron and XPS lines, and although it looks the part of a mid-range machine, it doesn't describe the best of each series. The satin, solid-colored lid with the metal-stamped Dell logo looks just like the CANON BP-911 Battery lids on the current Inspiron and XPS lines. Ours came in Midnight Blue, but it's possible in 6 other solid colors & 4 with trim.
Inside, you'll find a redesigned Dell. Although the keyboard is matte black, the card is shining silver with an abstract, swirling line pattern on the palm rest. At first glance, this looked similar water spill to further than one person who saw the Studio 17. Moreover, the effect of the plain-looking matte keyboard facing the futuristic palm rest is a bit jarring.
Although the Studio 17 borrows the XPS' (XPS m1530 battery) wedge shape, it's hard to appreciate given the thickness of this notebook, at 1.2-1.7 inches. At 8.4 pounds, the Studio 17 is difficult, but it's yet a fifth of a pound lighter than the 17-inch Gateway P-171X.
The keyboard is easy to type on and we like its gleaming white backlight when in use. Above the keyboard is a thick black panel with a speaker band and touch-sensitive controls, which also glows white. The thickness of the panel, combined with the color-blocked scheme, performs the notebook look larger than it is. While most of the controls were responsive, we had to be extra deliberate while raising and lowering the volume by using the whole pad of our finger to get the controls to respond.
The 9-cell lithium-ion Dell studio 17 Battery provides excellent battery life for the Studio 17. Among Vista's power management operating in "high performance" mode, screen brightness set to maximum and wireless on, the 9-cell battery delivered longer than 2 hours of battery life. With the power management settings set to "power saver" with wireless off and the screen light set to 50% the 9-cell battery could deliver more than 2 hours and 39 minutes of life.
All things said and done, the Dell Studio 17 is the most impressive 17-inch consumer notebook we've seen so far this year. The build quality, the range of customizable options, expandability, style, and price make this an excellent choice if you're in the market for a notebook with 17-inch. Still, we would have liked to see more graphics card options than just the integrated Intel X3100 XPS m1330 battery and dedicated ATI Radeon HD 3650.
While issues like lack of VGA cable screw assignments, assigned docking station connector, or lack of a simple RAM expansion cover might prevent some buyers from purchasing this notebook, there's a lot to similar about this notebook. The Studio 17 has virtually every cool feature you'd need in a 17-inch notebook with the exclusion of a built-in TV tuner.
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