Dell studio 17 laptop review

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Okay, you want a Dell laptop. But you can't be seen dead with the entry-level Inspiron series, and the XPS range is too good a reminder of the impending recession. Fear not! Dell has conjured up a new product line to sit between the two -- it's called Studio, and it comprises 15- and 17-inch models that are designed to be affordable, well-equipped and stylish

The Studio 17 is by no means as attractive or desirable as Hp Pavilion dm3 Battery laptop, but it is slightly more appealing than an Inspiron. With that in mind, it achieves its objective: to be cheaper than an XPS without sacrificing too much in the way of looks. There are better desktop replacement machines available, but the Studio 17 hold its own with most

The Dell Studio 17 is one of two flagship models in the company's new Studio line, a mid-range line positioned between the entry-level Inspiron and high-end XPS series. Studio is for people who want something more powerful than an Inspiron, but don't want to pay the XPS price tag. We have mixed feelings about the new Studio's design

We're not sure what to make of the Studio design: it borrows aesthetic elements from both the Inspiron and XPS lines, and although it looks the part of a mid-range machine, it doesn't represent the best of either series. The satin, solid-colored lid with the metal-stamped Dell logo looks just like the CANON BP-911 Battery lids on the current Inspiron and XPS lines. Ours came in Midnight Blue, but it's available in six other solid colors and four with trim.

Inside, you'll find a redesigned Dell. Although the keyboard is matte black, the deck is glossy silver with an abstract, swirling line pattern on the palm rest. At first glance, this looked like water spill to more than one person wo saw the Studio 17. Morever, the effect of the plain-looking matte keyboard against the futuristic palm rest is a bit jarring.

Although the Studio 17 borrows the XPS' (xps m1530 battery) wedge shape, it's hard to appreciate given the thickness of this notebook, at 1.2-1.7 inches. At 8.4 pounds, the Studio 17 is heavy, but it's still a fifth of a pound lighter than the 17-inch Gateway P-171X.

The keyboard is comfortable to type on and we like its glowing white backlight when in use. Above the keyboard is a thick black panel with a speaker strip and touch-sensitive controls, which also glows white. The thickness of the panel, combined with the color-blocked scheme, makes the notebook look larger than it is. While most of the controls were responsive, we had to be more deliberate when raising and lowering the volume by using the whole pad of our finger to get the controls to respond.

The 9-cell lithium-ion Dell studio 17 Battery provides excellent battery life for the Studio 17. With Vista's power management running in "high performance" mode, screen brightness set to maximum and wireless on, the 9-cell battery delivered more than 2 hours of battery life. With the power management settings set to "power saver" with wireless off and the screen brightness set to 50 percent the 9-cell battery could deliver more than 2 hours and 39 minutes of life.

All things said and done, the Dell Studio 17 is the most impressive 17-inch consumer notebook we've seen so far this year. The build quality, range of customizable options, expandability, style, and price make this an excellent choice if you're in the market for a 17-inch notebook. Still, we would have liked to see more graphics card options than just the integrated Intel X3100 xps m1330 battery and dedicated ATI Radeon HD 3650.

While issues like lack of VGA cable screw posts, dedicated docking station connector, or lack of a simple RAM expansion cover might prevent some buyers from purchasing this notebook, there's a lot to like about this notebook. The Studio 17 has virtually every cool feature you'd want in a 17-inch notebook ... with the exception of a built-in TV tuner.

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