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Dell Studio 15 review

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.


15.6 in 1,366×768 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 1,366×768 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 *****
Processor Intel Core 2 Duo P8600
Processor clock speed 2.4GHz
Memory 4.00GB
Memory slots 2
Memory slots free 0
Maximum memory 4GB
Size 43x373x250mm
Weight 2.7kg
Sound IDT HD Audio
Pointing device touchpad
Power consumption standby 1W
Power consumption idle 20W
Power consumption active 57W


Viewable size 15.6 in
Native resolution 1,366×768
Graphics Processor ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570
Graphics/video ports HDMI, VGA
Graphics Memory 512MB


Total storage capacity 320GB
Optical drive model LG GA10N
Optical drive type DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports 3
Total Firewire ports 1
Bluetooth yes
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support 802.11a/n
PC Card slots 1x ExpressCard/34
Modem No
Supported memory cards SDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro/Duo
Other ports 1x eSATA


Carrying case No
Operating system Windows Vista Home Premium
Operating system restore option Windows disc
Software included Microsoft Works 9, Roxio Creator DE 9
Optional extras none

Buying Information

Warranty one year collect and return
Price £680

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