The fact, that Dell’s XPS laptops are amongst the toughest and powerful of most laptops in the company’s arsenal, has further been affirmed by the new and refreshed Studio XPS 16 laptops. Ever since, they’ve been updated with Intel’s new Core series of CPUs, build quality is not the only thing they’re bragging about.
Design and experience
Despite the fact that these machines are made of plastic, they’re quite rugged and surely complement the desktop replacement segment. We have the Dell Studio XPS 1645 as our test unit and it looks really neat. The screen is quite stable, thanks to the strong hinges, and the viewing angle is good too. Infact, the screen is what impressed us big time. With full HD quality, seamless movie playback and very good sound, what more can you ask for? Speaking of which, the speakers, although small in size, are loud and clear, and there’s no blaring at high volume levels.
What goes without saying is that, this machine is a desktop replacement and you can’t expect it to be truly portable. It has a 16-ich form factor and weighs close to 3 kg, so carrying it around is something you don’t want to do anyway. This doesn’t mean that it looks too bulky or cumbersome. On the contrary, the machine looks stylish, especially with the all-black body with satin chrome hinges and rim around the chassis, not to mention the overly glossy surface. All-black looks really smart, but, the glossy body is what can potentially make the machine look ugly, right after you’ve handled it with oily or even slightly sweaty hands. This is why we think, it’s about time that the XPSs have a design refresh too, even it means to only change the gloss to matte or better yet, metal!
Ergonomically, there’s almost nothing to complain about. The flat, full-seized and back-lit keyboard, the slightly textured touchpad, the spacious wrist rest and the well-spaced keys make typing quite convenient. It’s like am typing on a regular desktop keyboard right now. Overall, it’s a very good desktop replacement to work on and to enjoy movies too.
Hardware is obviously the main distinguishing factor—if not the only one—when it comes to features. Powered by a Core i7-720 QM quad-core CPU, with an ATI Radeon HD 4670, 4 GB RAM and a 500 GB hard drive, this machine is an excellent desktop replacement in the literal sense. So, from watching HD movies, to gaming at medium settings, and from working spreadsheets to encoding audio/video files, this laptop will crack almost everything you throw at it. A 15.6-inch crisp and vibrant screen, like this one, makes entertainment on the go truly enjoyable. However, the ‘on the go’ part can’t be taken too seriously because the laptop offers about 3 hours 35 minutes runtime under medium load. We’re not complaining only because it’s a desktop replacement, but battery life is clearly not a strong point in this laptop.
Updated 18 May, 2013, 5:40 pm IST
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