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Dell Studio 15 review

Alan Lu
13 Oct 2009
Expert Reviews Best Buy Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
680
inc VAT

Dell's Studio 15 is an excellent choice if you need a laptop powerful enough for gaming that also has a good battery life.

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Specifications

15.6 in 1,366x768 display, 2.7kg, 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8600, 4.00GB RAM, 320GB disk, Windows Vista Home Premium

Like most of Dell's recent laptops, the Studio 15 is available in a range of colours. Unlike the Inspiron 17, none of the four lids (blue, green, purple or red) cost any more. The laptop is attractive and feels well built and sturdy.

The 15.6in widescreen display means there's plenty of room for a large keyboard with full-sized keys. A soft, silky texture on the keys makes them comfortable to use, while their backlight makes them easy to see in all lighting conditions. Plenty of feedback helps quick and accurate typing, and the amount of travel makes it feel like a desktop keyboard. A large accurate touchpad sits in front of the keyboard, but its buttons are a little spongy.

Thanks to its 4GB of RAM and 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo P8600 processor, the Studio 15 was extremely quick in our applications benchmarks, scoring 70 overall. It's also one of the few laptops here powerful enough to play modern 3D games, thanks to its ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 graphics chip. It managed 20fps in our Call of Duty 4 test, but you'll be able to get smoother frame rates by dropping the resolution or turning off anti-aliasing.

Playing games or watching films is a pleasure on the 1,366x768 display. It's very bright, with an even backlight, good contrast and fantastic colours. Viewing angles aren't very good, however, and you need to be sitting face-on to get the best image quality. You can connect the laptop to an external display using the HDMI or VGA outputs. Usefully there are two headphone sockets so two people can enjoy music or movies without disturbing anyone else.

The 320GB hard disk is big enough for most people's files, but other laptops at this price tend to have 500GB models. At 2.7kg, the Studio 15 is light enough for the occasional journey. Whether you're out and about or using it around the home, the near four-hour battery life will prove itself useful.

With decent battery life, good performance in applications and games and a reasonable price, Dell's Studio 15 is a great all-rounder.

Basic Specifications

Rating*****
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo P8600
Processor clock speed2.4GHz
Memory4.00GB
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory4GB
Size43x373x250mm
Weight2.7kg
SoundIDT HD Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad
Power consumption standby1W
Power consumption idle20W
Power consumption active57W

Display

Viewable size15.6 in
Native resolution1,366x768
Graphics ProcessorATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570
Graphics/video portsHDMI, VGA
Graphics Memory512MB

Storage

Total storage capacity320GB
Optical drive modelLG GA10N
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports3
Total Firewire ports1
Bluetoothyes
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11a/n
PC Card slots1x ExpressCard/34
ModemNo
Supported memory cardsSDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro/Duo
Other ports1x eSATA

Miscellaneous

Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows Vista Home Premium
Operating system restore optionWindows disc
Software includedMicrosoft Works 9, Roxio Creator DE 9
Optional extrasnone

Buying Information

Warrantyone year collect and return
Price£680
Detailswww.dell.co.uk

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