The Bottom Line
- Bright And Colorful LED Backlit Display
- Strong Performance
- Luxury Design Elements
- Display Design Causes Lots of Reflections and Glare
- Older Generation Graphics Processor
- Runs Warm
- Intel Core i7-720QM Quad Core Mobile Processor
- 4GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
- 320GB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- 15.6" WSXGA+ (1600x900) LED Backlit Display With 2.0 Megapixel Webcam
- ATI Radeon Mobility HD 4670 Graphics With 1GB Memory
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wireless
- Three USB 2.0, eSATA, FireWire, HDMI, DisplayPort, ExpressCard/54, 8-in-1 Card Reader
- 15.2" x 10" x 1.3" @ 6.4 lbs.
- Windows 7 Professional, Works, McAfee Security Center
Guide Review - Dell Studio XPS 16 15.6-inch Thin And Light Laptop PC
May 10 2010 - Dell's Studio XPS 16 brought a bit of luxury to the more middle priced tier laptop products. The overall design hasn't changed at all with the latest revision. It still comes equipped with leather and aluminum trim to give it a stylish but gets a few internal upgrades.
The big upgrade to the Studio XPS 16 is the inclusion of the Intel Core i7-720QM quad core processor. This gives the system a significant boost in performance especially for heavy multitasking or tasks such as desktop video work. Those using the system for more single threaded tasks or limiting the number of applications can save a bit by going with a Core i5-520M dual core model instead. 4GB of DDR3 memory is standard and helps the system run smoothly with higher versions coming with 6GB.
While many companies have moved to 500GB hard drive, some versions of the Studio XPS 16 ship with 320GB hard drives. Both of these drives spin at the 7200rpm desktop rate provide them with high levels of performance. Those looking for some additional performance boosts at the cost of storage capacity can upgrade to solid state drives although they do add a fair amount to the cost of the system. A dual layer DVD burner is standard for playback and recording of CDs and DVDs but Blu-ray drives are optional.
Probably the best overall feature of the Dell Studio XPS 16 is the display. The 15.6-inch display may not be edge to edge like the 16-inch, but it still features the LED backlighting and very high levels of color and brightness. Resolution is above average at 1600x900 but falls short of full 1080p high definition video support. It does feature a very glossy coating that produces a large amount of reflections and glare that make it extremely difficult to use in outdoor and even some indoor lighting.
While the processor has been upgraded in the Studio XPS 16, the graphics still use the older ATI Radeon Mobility HD 4670 graphics with 1GB of memory. It will provide a decent level of performance for 3D gaming but may fall short of frame rates at the full display resolution with high details levels. The big drawback is that it does not support Direct X 11 like the new 5000 series graphics processors from ATI.
Dell has made the 9-cell battery pack a more standard feature than previous models. This has helped what was a very limited battery life to be more robust. In my DVD playback test, the system was able to run for roughly two and three-quarter hours. This translates to roughly a three and a half hours of more traditional usage which is fairly typical for systems in this class but far short of what Apple is able to achieve with their MacBook Pros.