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Dell Studio One 19 review

Seth Barton
11 Aug 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
799
inc VAT

The Studio One 19 is a little overpriced at £799, but children will love the touchscreen and its range of included applications.

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Specifications

2.93GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E7500, 3.000000 RAM, 18.5in 1,366x768 display, Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit

Improved touchscreen support will be a key feature of Windows 7, but it's hard to say whether this will kick-start a big uptake of such displays.

Despite the touchscreen's uncertain future, Dell has joined other big PC manufacturers, such as Asus and HP, in releasing an all-in-one touchscreen PC.

The Studio One 19's touchscreen display measures 18.5in and has a relatively modest 1,366x768 resolution. It supports multi-touch gestures; for example, you can cycle through your applications by simply dragging two fingers across the desktop. The screen doesn't use the usual touch-sensitive technology; instead, there's an array of IR sensors around the edges that detect the location of your fingers. This works OK, but it isn't as precise as the capacitative or resistive screens used on smartphones and tablet PCs. Once we'd cleaned our mucky fingerprints off the screen, image quality was quite impressive. Whites are clear and bright, and colours are vibrant.

Dell has done its best to make Vista as touchscreen-friendly as possible, with the large desktop icons and a fat taskbar making it easier to prod your way through basic tasks. A small range of touch-friendly applications are also installed. These can be launched from the Dell Touch Zone, but this takes up around a third of your desktop. The photo browser lets you position and scale photos onscreen, and is more fun than the usual slideshow sessions. There's also a great drawing package for kids, and some fun touchscreen games.

For more traditional use, there's a stylish wireless keyboard and mouse. The receiver for these is built into the main unit, so there's no messy dongle to contend with. Also built in is 802.11b/g wireless, but there's no Draft-N support. There are a total of six USB ports for adding peripherals, along with a memory card reader.

Build quality is generally good, particularly the sturdy stand. Our one gripe is that the display looks a little small compared to the PC as a whole. The bezel is made out of plastic, rather than glass. It looks OK, but scratched easily, which for a hands-on PC is problematic. The outer section is covered in stretched fabric, which could get grubby. This hides the 4W stereo speakers, which lack bass and volume. A stereo minijack output is provided, but adding speakers somewhat defeats the point of buying an all-in-one PC.

The Studio One 19 has a speedy 2.93GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 processor and 3GB of RAM. This makes it faster than most similarly priced laptops, but a traditional desktop PC with similar specifications costs just £500. The Nvidia GeForce 9400M chipset isn't quick enough to handle modern 3D games, but you can play HD video without problems. However, you'll need to buy the £969 top-end model to get a built-in Blu-ray drive. A slot-loading DVD writer is fitted, along with a 500GB hard disk.

With the jury still out on touchscreens, we can only judge the Studio One 19 on its merits today. With decent performance and a big hard disk, it's certainly better value than the Atom-based touchscreen PCs we saw last month (Labs, Shopper 259), though that's not saying much. If you have young kids or want a living-room PC for simple tasks such as media playback and web browsing, the touchscreen is a good extra feature. If you're taken by the design but don't want the touchscreen, then a similarly specified model with a standard display is available for £699.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo E7500
Processor external bus266MHz (1,066MHz quad-pumped FSB)
Processor multiplierx11
Processor clock speed2.93GHz
Processor socketLGA775
Level 1 cache2x 128KB
Level 2 cache3072KB
Memory3.000000
Memory typeDDR2
Maximum memory4,096GB
MotherboardN/A
Motherboard chipsetN/A
Power consumption standby3W
Power consumption idle60W
Power consumption active81W

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)2/4
Firewire ports (front/rear)0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/0
Wired network ports10/100
Wireless networking support802.11b/g
Other portsnone

Internal Expansion

Caseall-in-one
PCI-E x1 slots (free)0 (0)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)0 (0)
Free Serial ATA ports0
Free memory slots0

Hard Disk

Total storage capacity500GB

Graphics

Graphics card(s)Nvidia Geforce 9400M
Graphics/video portsnone

Sound

Sound outputsstereo line out, headphone out, mic in
Speakersmonitor-integrated

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy driveno
Supported memory cardsSDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro, SmartMedia, xD
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Display

Viewable size18.5 in
Screen modelDell integrated
Native resolution1,366x768
Response timeN/A
Screen inputsN/A

Other Hardware

ModemNo
KeyboardDell Nausicaa Keyboard
MouseDell Nausicaa Mouse

Software

Software includedN/A
Operating systemWindows Vista Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionrestore disc

Buying Information

Warrantyone-year collect and return
Price£799
Detailswww.dell.co.uk

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