Print 21 comment(s) - last by Suomynona.. on Jun 27 at 8:18 PM

Dell fleshes out its notebook family

Notebooks are becoming increasingly popular with computer shoppers -- in fact, notebook sales are expected to outpace desktops in total U.S. PC sales before the end of the decade. If we simply take into account the consumer PC market, the switch has already been made.

Dell is looking to boost its presence in the notebook market with new consumer offerings to further flesh out its line. The company took the first steps to branching out with its low-cost, Eee PC-esque "E" and "E Slim". Dell is now looking to fill the gap between its budget Inspiron and high-end XPS notebook families.

The new Dell Studio notebooks will be available in both 15.4" and 17" form factors and will come with a wide variety of color options for those that want to stand out in a crowd. Available colors include Jet Black, Tangerine Orange, Midnight Blue, Plum Purple, Spring Green, and Ruby Red, and Graphite Grey with Black, Red, Blue, or Pink accents.

The Studio 15 and Studio 17 notebooks come configured with a 2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T9300 processor, Intel 965GM/PM chipset, and your choice of either an integrated Intel X3100 graphics processor or a dedicated 256MB ATI  Mobility Radeon HD 3650 mobile GPU. Both notebooks offer display resolutions of either 1440x900 or 1920x1200.

Each notebook comes standard with an 8X Slot-load CD/DVD Writer, but a 6X Slot-load Blu-ray/CD/DVD combo drive is available as an optional upgrade. Wireless options are plentiful and include Dell 802.11b/g or 802.11n adapters along with Verizon Wireless or Sprint Mobile Broadband WWAN adapters.

Both notebooks come with at least four USB 2.0 ports, a 54mm ExpressCard slot, Consumer IR, Firewire, and HDMI output.

The Dell Studio 15 and Studio 17 notebooks will be available from and Dell's retail partners later this week starting at $799 and $999 respectively. For a review of the new Studio 15, you can check out PC Magazine, while Notebook Review has posted its thoughts on the Studio 17.

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RE: Doesn't look half bad.
By ksherman on 6/26/2008 10:16:16 AM , Rating: 1
Yeah, these really aren't an alternative to the MacBook Pro.. Far too under-powered. But an alternative to the MacBook, yes indeed!

RE: Doesn't look half bad.
By Aloonatic on 6/26/2008 11:20:01 AM , Rating: 2
They look great but are still rather pricey?

Too rich for my blood anyway.

I just priced up the spec of the 17" model in the review above and it was £1,030 (inc VAT (sales tax @ 17.5% and shipping ~= $1720 when you take off the VAT and convert to $$$)+ £30 for a pretty colour with no extra software.

What sort of MacBook can you get for that sort of money?

RE: Doesn't look half bad.
By crimson117 on 6/26/2008 12:05:16 PM , Rating: 2
How are they underpowered? They are actually very evenly powered machines. I bet if you put Windows on the macbook pro it'd perform almost identically to the new Dell.

Macbook Pro 17":
2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
2GB memory
250GB hard drive
Double-layer SuperDrive
NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT with 512MB
1920x1200 option

Dell Studio 17:
2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
2GB memory
320GB hard drive
DVD burner (and blu-ray option)
256MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650 mobile GPU
1920x1200 option

RE: Doesn't look half bad.
By Parhel on 6/26/2008 12:20:10 PM , Rating: 2
It's definitely being positioned against the MacBook Pro. Right down to the poorly thought out slot-load optical drive. Hopefully Dell's optical drive is more reliable.

The optical drive on my brother's MacBook Pro has broken twice now. He has two long haired cats, and the slot allows dust and cat hair to get into the optics. After the first one broke, and Apple wouldn't replace it under warranty, he covered the slot with tape when he wasn't using it. But it stopped working again anyways, and now he just uses an external.

RE: Doesn't look half bad.
By TomZ on 6/26/2008 7:00:18 PM , Rating: 2
How are they underpowered? They are actually very evenly powered machines. I bet if you put Windows on the macbook pro it'd perform almost identically to the new Dell.

Agreed. Basically similar tech specs at about half the price in the case of Dell, at least when you compare the "starting price" of each ($1999 compared to $999).

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