Studio + XPS looks like a winner for Dell

Summary:Dell hopes the stylish Studio XPS laptops, announced at CES a few weeks back, will help shake up its image, and it may be working. CNET, Laptop Magazine and PC Magazine have all posted reviews of the 16-inch entertainment notebook, and the latter two awarded it an Editors' Choice.

Dell Studio XPS 16
Dell hopes the stylish Studio XPS laptops, announced at CES a few weeks back, will help shake up its image, and it may be working. CNET, Laptop Magazine and PC Magazine have all posted reviews of the 16-inch entertainment notebook, and the latter two awarded it an Editors' Choice.

The Studio XPS 16 is Dell's first 16:9 16-inch notebook. It starts at $1,199, but all three tested a higher-priced configuration with a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8600, 4GB of memory, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3670 graphics with 512MB, 320GB drive and a slot-loading combo drive that can play Blu-ray movies and burn DVDs. Laptop Magazine and PC Magazine state that the price as tested is $1,804, but when I configure it at Dell's site, it comes to $1,649, which is also the price listed on the CNET review. The key upgrade here is the full HD (1,920x1,080) LED backlit display, which is well worth the extra $250.

CNET wasn't as impressed by the new design with its "superfluous" leather trim, but they gave Dell points for adding a few nice features--full HD, LED-backlit display, backlit keyboard and DisplayPort--to a "fairly standard set of components without jacking up the price too much." Laptop Magazine loved the edge-to-edge display, which displays 100 percent of the RGB color gamut, is very bright and has a wide viewing angle:

The bottom line is that anyone on the hunt for a multimedia notebook with top-notch performance, Blu-ray, cutting-edge features, and plenty of style will find that the Dell Studio XPS 16 meets those criteria in spades.

Sony has a desktop replacement with an 18.4-inch display, the VAIO AW series, that can also display 100 percent of the Adobe RGB color gamut, but it starts at more than $2,000 with that option, and similarly-configured it would cost around $2,250. PC Magazine gave the Studio XPS 16 an Editors' Choice because it delivers the benefits of an RGB-LED display--among other features--"without paying outrageous prices."

The chief competitor to the Dell Studio XPS 16 is the HP HDX 16, though there are several other 16-inch, full HD contenders including the Acer Aspire 6930, Sony VAIO FW series and Gateway MC series. That's a tough field, but based on these reviews, the Studio XPS 16 stacks up pretty well in all areas--features, performance and price.

The other new Studio XPS model, the Studio XPS 13 has a 13.3-inch display, which is available with or without LED backlighting. Dell could use a bit of good news--in the fourth quarter the company's PC shipments in the U.S. dropped more than 16% compared to the same quarter a year ago, according to IDC's preliminary results.

Dell Studio XPS 16 reviews:

Topics: Hardware, Dell, Laptops, Mobility

About

John Morris is a former executive editor at CNET Networks and senior editor at PC Magazine. He now works for a private investment firm, which may at any time invest in companies whose products are discussed in this blog, and no disclosure of securities transactions will be made. No investment advice is offered in this blog. All duties are... Full Bio

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