Dell Studio 1555 review
The patchy build quality has a detrimental effect on the keyboard too. The left-hand side of the keyboard is excellent, with the backlit keys providing a luxurious, silky feel and a crisp action. Move to the right hand-side, however, and a squishy base leaves the key action feeling mushy and indistinct.
Performance marks a distinct improvement for the Studio 1555. The range of processors available stretch from budget models right up to the 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T9600, with our review model featuring the cost-effective and power-efficient 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo P8600.
And with even the cheapest model boasting 4GB of DDR2 memory (no sign of DDR3) there’s plenty of breathing space for Vista’s demands, and our application-based benchmarks finished with a nippy 1.19 overall.
The Studio’s graphical abilities have also received a major overhaul. ATI’s Mobility Radeon HD 4570 leaves the previous incumbent (the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3450) choking in its dust, and where the old Studio managed just 22fps, the HD 4570 soars ahead with an average of 59fps in our least demanding Crysis benchmark.
It’s enough of a boost to turn it into a capable games machine, and although it struggles with the demands of Crysis’ high detail settings, it’s sure to handle most modern games with aplomb.
Meanwhile, battery life is reasonable despite the power on tap, with the Studio 1555 achieving a time just short of five hours in our light-use battery tests.
Despite this, it’s hard not to come away a little disheartened from our first encounter with the Studio 1555, however. Dell’s Studio range of notebooks failed to bowl us over when it strode into view in the tail end of last year and, if anything, the Studio 1555 takes a step backwards from there.
The good looks, solid performance and keen pricing may be enough to tempt some prospective buyers away from its budget rivals but, ultimately, the iffy build quality and mediocre keyboard put paid to its class-leading aspirations.
|Warranty||1yr collect and return|
|Dimensions||372 x 249 x 43mm (WDH)|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Core 2 Duo P8600|
|Motherboard chipset||Intel PM45|
|SODIMM sockets free||0|
|SODIMM sockets total||2|
Screen and video
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,366|
|Resolution screen vertical||768|
|Resolution||1366 x 768|
|Graphics chipset||ATi Mobility Radeon HD 4570|
|Graphics card RAM||512MB|
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs||1|
|Hard disk usable capacity||298GB|
|Internal disk interface||7200|
|Hard disk||Western Digital Scorpio Black|
|Optical disc technology||DVD writer|
|Optical drive||LG GA10N|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£0|
|Wired adapter speed||1,000Mbits/sec|
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|Integrated 3G adapter||no|
|Wireless hardware on/off switch||no|
|Wireless key-combination switch||yes|
|PC Card slots||0|
|USB ports (downstream)||3|
|PS/2 mouse port||no|
|9-pin serial ports||0|
|Optical S/PDIF audio output ports||0|
|Electrical S/PDIF audio ports||0|
|3.5mm audio jacks||3|
|SD card reader||yes|
|Memory Stick reader||yes|
|MMC (multimedia card) reader||yes|
|Smart Media reader||no|
|Compact Flash reader||no|
|Pointing device type||Touchpad|
|Audio chipset||IDT HD Audio|
|Speaker location||Above keyboard|
|Hardware volume control?||no|
|Camera megapixel rating||2.0mp|
Battery and performance tests
|Battery life, light use||4hr 45min|
|Overall application benchmark score||1.19|
|Office application benchmark score||1.26|
|2D graphics application benchmark score||1.15|
|Encoding application benchmark score||1.09|
|Multitasking application benchmark score||1.27|
|3D performance (crysis) low settings||59fps|
|3D performance setting||Low|
Operating system and software
|Operating system||Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit|
|OS family||Windows Vista|
|Recovery method||Recovery disc|