Dell Studio XPS 16 review

Price when reviewed

The Dell Studio XPS 16 shares much of its elegant design with the rest of the Studio XPS range. The result is a stylish, modern machine that’s one of the best-looking in this group.

Dell Studio XPS 16 review

That design is matched with good build quality. Both the screen and the wristrest feel exceedingly well knitted-together, the keyboard is a joy to type on and the trackpad and buttons work well. Meanwhile, the Dell’s 3kg weight and modest dimensions mean it isn’t entirely averse to travelling either.

Its screen is also an arresting sight. Based on RGB LED technology, the 16.4in 1,920 x 1,080 panel uses an array of red, green and blue LEDs as the screen’s light source, instead of the white LEDs or cold-cathode strip lamps of cheaper TFTs. The results are impressive, with the screen providing incredible clarity and accuracy. Colours are vivid, detail is pin-sharp, there’s no backlight bleed, and the Full-HD resolution means you can enjoy Blu-ray movies in all their glory.

There’s more than enough power to cope with demanding applications. Intel’s 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo Mobile T9400 processor and 4GB of DDR3 RAM helped the laptop score 1.35 in our 2D benchmarks. Gamers will be reasonably happy with the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3870 graphics chip too, which managed 59fps in our low-quality Crysis benchmark before falling to a less acceptable 20fps in the medium-quality test.

It includes a hybrid/analogue TV tuner, a 500GB hard disk and draft-n wireless, as well as both HDMI and DisplayPort outputs alongside the usual USB, Gigabit Ethernet and FireWire. The speakers are also excellent.

Battery life is strictly desktop replacement – just 2hrs 52mins in our light-use test and 1hr 3mins under heavy use – but that isn’t a huge issue for a laptop that has so many excellent entertainment features. It might not be quite in the same league as our winners this month, but if you’re after a stylish laptop with one of the best screens in the business, the Dell won’t disappoint.


Warranty 1 yr return to base

Physical specifications

Dimensions 381 x 255 x 40mm (WDH)
Weight 3.050kg
Travelling weight 3.5kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Core 2 Duo T9400
Motherboard chipset Intel PM45 Express
RAM capacity 4.00GB
Memory type DDR3
SODIMM sockets free 0
SODIMM sockets total 2

Screen and video

Screen size 16.4in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,920
Resolution screen vertical 1,080
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Graphics chipset ATi Mobility Radeon HD 3870
Graphics card RAM 512MB
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 1
HDMI outputs 1
S-Video outputs 0
DVI-I outputs 0
DVI-D outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 1


Capacity 500GB
Hard disk usable capacity 465GB
Spindle speed 5,400RPM
Internal disk interface SATA/300
Hard disk Western Digital Scorpio Blue
Optical disc technology Blu-ray reader
Optical drive Sony Optiarc BC-5600S
Battery capacity 5,000mAh
Replacement battery price inc VAT £0


Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec
802.11a support yes
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes
Integrated 3G adapter no

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switch yes
Wireless key-combination switch no
Modem yes
ExpressCard34 slots 0
ExpressCard54 slots 1
PC Card slots 0
USB ports (downstream) 3
FireWire ports 1
PS/2 mouse port no
9-pin serial ports 0
Parallel ports 0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports 0
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports 0
Pointing device type Touchpad
Audio chipset Dell HD Audio
Speaker location Beside keyboard
Hardware volume control? no
Integrated microphone? yes
Integrated webcam? yes
TPM no
Fingerprint reader yes
Smartcard reader no

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use 172
Battery life, heavy use 63
Overall application benchmark score 1.42
Office application benchmark score 1.42
2D graphics application benchmark score 1.31
Encoding application benchmark score 1.25
Multitasking application benchmark score 1.35
3D performance (crysis) low settings 20fps
3D performance setting Medium

Operating system and software

Operating system Windows Vista Home Premium
OS family Windows Vista
Recovery method Recovery disc
Software supplied MicrosoftWorks 9

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