The Bottom Line
- Extremely Affordable
- Wide Range of Customization Options
- Doesn't Support 802.11n Wireless Without Upgrade
- Access Panel Exposes Too Many Internal Components
- Wedge Design Too Bulky at Hinge
- Intel Core 2 Duo T8100 Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 3GB PC2-5300 DDR2 Memory
- 250GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- 17-inch WXGA (1440x900) Wide LCD with 2.0MP Webcam
- ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650 Graphics with 256MB Memory
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g Wireless
- Four USB 2.0, FireWire, HDMI, ExpressCard/54, 8-in-1 Card Reader
- 15.5" x 11.4" x 1.7" @ 7.8 lbs.
- Vista Home Premium, MS Works, McAfee Security
Guide Review - Dell Studio 17 Desktop Replacement Laptop PC
7/16/08 - Dell's Inspiron lineup has been around for quite some time, but the styling is getting quite old. Dell's new Studio laptops look to replace the older Inspiron and brings an affordable desktop replacement to the market with the Studio 17. This is easily one of the best overall values in the desktop replacement market.
The Studio 17 offers a good balance of price and performance through the selective use of various components. For example, the Intel Core 2 Duo T8100 dual core processor offers a fair level of performance without an extremely high price. This combined with 3GB of memory allows the system to run very smoothly with the Vista operating system.
The case design is the big news with the Studio though. The design brings the consumer lineup more closely to the look of the XPS product lineup. This is both good an bad depending on how one looks at it. The wedge design helps try and reduce weight and bulk, but the wide hinge design actually gives the notebook a very unbalanced feel. The lower access panel takes up nearly the whole chassis bottom making it easy to access the system for upgrades, but it also exposes a large number of components that could get easily damaged.
One new aspect of the Studio lineup is the Dell Dock feature. This is a software implementation of commonly used programs to help unclutter the desktop. It is most often compared to the dock bar found in Apple's Mac OS X. Some people may find this to be useful, but on the whole it is a mixed on its effectiveness.
In the end, the Dell Studio 17 offers a wide range of options for those that are looking for an affordable desktop replacement notebook, but it can't quite compete at the same level as the XPS systems. Of course, that isn't Dell's goal.