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Dell Studio XPS 16 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £849
inc VAT

Dell's Studio XPS 16 looks attractive and has some desirable features, but its spongy keyboard is a disappointment.


15.6 in 1,600×900 display, 2.9kg, 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8600, 4.00GB RAM, 320GB disk, Windows Vista Home Premium


Dell’s classy Studio XPS 16 is a powerful laptop with a partially leather clad lid.

Our review model came in dark red, but other shades are also available. The lid doesn’t offer as much protection for the screen as on other laptops, and slight pressure distorts it. You’ll need a padded laptop bag to carry this model around.

The 15.6in widescreen display has a high resolution of 1,600×900 pixels, which we’d usually expect to see on 17in displays. You can also upgrade to a full HD screen for £70.

The display is bright, with vibrant colours and fairly wide viewing angles. There’s no shortage of ports if you want to connect an external monitor thanks to the HDMI, DisplayPort and VGA outputs.

We were pleasantly surprised by the XPS 16’s high score of 41.1fps in our Call of Duty 4 test. The 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4670 graphics chip can clearly handle the latest 3D games at high resolutions. If you tire of games, there’s a built-in digital TV tuner and receiver for the included remote. You can record a fair number of TV programmes on the 320GB hard disk, but at this price we’d expect a 500GB model. Usefully, there are two headphone ports so two people can enjoy TV or other entertainment without disturbing anyone else.

The 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo P8600 processor and 4GB of RAM provided good application performance, with a score of 70 overall.

The large touchpad is accurate, but the buttons feel spongy and need more feedback. This problem extends to the keyboard; its unresponsiveness can make it difficult to tell by touch alone if you’re pressed the right key. The backlit keys are easy to see in the dark, though.

The XPS 16 is a little heavy at 2.9kg. It lasted three hours and 11 minutes in our battery test, so it’s fine for using around the home or for the occasional journey.

Dell’s Studio XPS 16 is an attractive laptop that’s generously specified, especially for entertainment, and it has an onsite warranty, too. However, it just misses out on an award because of its unresponsive keyboard.

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 8GB
Size 35x384x253mm
Weight 2.9kg
Sound IDT HD Audio
Pointing device touchpad
Power consumption standby 1W
Power consumption idle 28W
Power consumption active 76W


Viewable size 15.6 in
Native resolution 1,600×900
Graphics Processor ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4670
Graphics/video ports VGA, DisplayPort, HDMI
Graphics Memory 1,024MB


Total storage capacity 320GB
Optical drive model TSST TS-T633A
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/54
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 10.2
Optional extras none

Buying Information

Warranty one year onsite
Price £849

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