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Dell Studio XPS 13 13.3-inch Ultraportable Laptop PC

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Dell Studio XPS 13 13.3-inch Ultraportable Laptop PC

Dell Studio XPS 13

©Dell Inc.

The Bottom Line

Mar 13 2009 - Dell's Studio XPS 13 is a mid-ranged 13.3-inch laptop that is placed between the affordable Inspiron 13 and the performance oriented XPS M1330. With its wide range of high performance and capacity storage features and the hybrid graphics, it actually has a lot to offer over the more expensive XPS M1330. The downside is that the Studio XPS 13 is quite large for a 13.3-inch laptop and all the performance features make it run very hot making it unsuitable to actually be used in one's lap.
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  • Excellent Storage Options
  • Hybrid Graphics Provides Good 3D Graphics
  • Wide Range of Peripheral Ports


  • Very Heavy for 13.3-inch Laptop
  • System Runs Quite Hot


  • Intel Core 2 Duo P8700 Dual Core Mobile Processor
  • 4GB PC3-8500 DDR2 Memory
  • 320GB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
  • 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
  • 13.3-inch WXGA (1280x800) Wide LCD With 2.0 Megapixel Webcam
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9500M Graphics With 256MB Memory and GeForce 9400M Integrated Graphics
  • Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless
  • Two USB 2.0, eSATA, FireWire, HDMI, Display Port, ExpressCard/54, 8-in-1 Card Reader
  • 12.6" x 9.3" x 1.4" @ 4.9 lbs.
  • Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit, Works 9, McAfee Internet Security

Guide Review - Dell Studio XPS 13 13.3-inch Ultraportable Laptop PC

Mar 13 2009 - Dell's Studio XPS 13 is much more of a replacement for the XPS M1330 because of its improved features. Most notable of these is the hybrid graphics that combines a GeForce 9400M integrated graphics for light desktop work and a dedicated GeForce 9500M with 256MB when accelerated 3D graphics are needed. This gives it some good 3D performance that was lacking from other Dell 13.3-inch laptops.

Another surprise in the Studio XPS 13 is the storage options. The standard 320GB hard drive is spacious, but the 7200rpm spin rate provides it with a high level of performance. Those needing more space can always upgrade to the 500GB drive option. Solid state drives are also offered but are quite expensive. It would have been nice to see Dell offer a Blu-ray option as well.

Performance is very high thanks to the use of the Intel Core 2 Duo P8700 mobile processor and the 4GB of PC3-8500 DDR3 memory. This combined with the graphics actually gives it some performance levels that are equal to or at times higher than the XPS M1330. The problem is that all of these parts generate a lot of heat.

In what can only be considered a major design accident, Dell put one of the primary cooling ducts on the back side of the laptop. This duct can be blocked when the LCD panel is folded beyond a straight perpendicular position, something that many users do with laptops. Combine this with the aluminum bottom panel and this system can get very hot on the bottom where it should not be used on one's actual lap without some sort of cooling device.

The other downside is that the Studio XPS 13 is quite large and heavy for a 13.3-inch laptop. At nearly five pounds in weight, this is a system that is much more comparable to a 14.1-inch for portability.

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