The Bottom Line
- Highly Customizable
- Good Overall Cost
- Well Designed
- Relatively Thick For 15.4-inch Laptop
- Dedicated Graphics Fairly Week Compared to Other Options
- Wireless WAN Requires Subscription Service
- Intel Core 2 Duo T5850 Dual Core Processor
- 4GB PC2-6400 DDR2 Memory
- 320GB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- 15.4" WXGA+ (1440x900) LED Backlit Display with 2.0 Megapixel Webcam
- ATI Radeon Mobility HD 3450 Dedicated Graphics With 256MB Memory
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n, Verizon Wireless WAN
- Four USB 2.0, FireWire, eSATA (shared), HDMI, ExpressCard/54, 8-in-1 Card Reader, Fingerprint Scanner
- 14.8" x 10.6" x 1.7" @ 6.7 lbs.
- Vista Home Premium, MS Works
Guide Review - Dell Studio 15 15.4-inch Thin And Light Laptop
11/12/08 - The Studio 15 from Dell is sort of a blend of design from their high performance XPS and the more cost conscience Inspiron laptops. While the appearance is greatly improved over the Inspiron, the Studio 15 has an odd amount of bulk that makes it very thick for a 15.4-inch class notebook. Dell makes up for this with some excellent pricing and wide range of options.
Prices are kept down on the Studio 15 by using the older Intel Core 2 Duo T5000 series processors. The highest of these is the Duo T5850 which actually provides for a relatively strong level of performance for its price. Dell also elected to use the more cost effective DDR2 memory allowing them to include 4GB at a very low price.
Storage options are superb with the 320GB hard drive providing plenty of space for users with large amount of applications or digital media data. While the dual layer DVD burner is standard for the Studio 15, Dell also offers users a relatively affordable option of a Blu-ray combo drive that can playback Blu-ray movies or being able to record DVD media like the standard DVD burner. Certainly a great option for those looking for HD movie playback on an affordable system.
One very disappointing aspect of the Studio 15 is the graphics. Consumers do have a choice of various resolution screens of which the 15.4-inch LED backlit model is certainly the best. The problem is the actual graphics processor. The only dedicated graphics is the ATI Radeon Mobility HD 3450 with 256MB of memory. This is definitely a step up from the integrated option but it falls far behind the offerings from most other companies in this price category. Dell likely did this to try and push those looking for graphics to the more expensive XPS models.