Thursday, July 24, 2008

Dell Studio 15 Review

My review of Dell Studio 15

SPecs :)

Base config in india with following modifications...
1.ATI Card 3450 256 MB dedicated Memory - dont know if its DDR3!! anyone?
2.Backlit Keyboard and it rocks
3.One year complete cover

Some things that were shipped with it include: - Bluetooth headset, Creative noise Isolation earbuds, A Remote, A USB modem(I actually didnt payed for modem but it only costs Rs. 522)

weight - 2.85 KG on my home weighing scale..:P

How much i paid - Rs. 50K - including evrything ,shipping too
And if u include the backpack too ..then add 1.1k (didnt bought from dell)

Now here goes the review

The color i got(Ruby Red) was litter harsher than shown in pics at the site.... a bit dark ... but i still like it .. Color annd finish are of very good quality and it dont seemed to be scratched easily...(i havnt tried yet too :P) It is as wider as a common 15.4' laptop is ... but a bit thicker... Its a bit inclined(not much though) but surely adding to ergnomics of working at keyboard...

There has been a HP like finish on palmrest that flaunts a design on graphite grey background.

Some good ports are being bundled and this amazes me ... a gigabit port and HDMI port ... 4 USb port...if i count in e-sata port too.I dont know why i got an e-sata port on my 1535 but it rocks... though i still have to confirm this.

Got excellent Noise isolation earbuds of creative,,, they cost 1.5k in market ... and they rock ... awesome quality and comfortable too...

A Black colored remote with good connection via infrared. Keys were very responsive ... Also got a bluetooth headset shipped free with the system .... it was well nicely audible and comfortable in range of around 9-10 metres.It got buttons for changing tracks or changing volumes with the system... its configurable with skype and any other call related application...

System is noise less... only sound i can hear is when i eject a dvd from my slot drive ... 2 days back for once i heard a very faint sound of fan .. but only for some time...In all its noiseless

Battery- 6 cell battery
charger - 90Watt
I was able to watch Seven samurai(Japanese) without recharging... with earbuds... at almost 70% brightness..its a 3 Hr movie... but cut down the intro part mine worked around 3hr(after movie finished - it showed 7 min remaining) in total after being fully charged,,,

ergnomics of keyboard is very good... good responsive keys as i type down this review... i am actually enjoying it ... Also keyboard boosts a backlit feature (can be accesed using fn + right arrow) .Backlit features two brightness mode and auto off incase you dont response to your keyboard for some time..

Sound of system is little lower for me ... given the case i am addicted to hearing loud music...but quality is fine ... Fear of the Dark- Iron maiden was quite audible and sounds were distinguishable of different riffs and guitar tones... so i would not say itss bad... rather its better than some other laptops i have worked on earlier in terms of quality. System also has an inbuilt mic.

Touchpad is little troublesome for me i am used to mice ... But i soon got adapted to it... My mom though found it hard to use.. :P . Its not very responsive in the end. One feature i would have wanted for every touchpad is the Turn On/off button for touchpad... as earlier i have worked on many laptops and while typing my right thumb would touch the touchpad... and my cursor would go to current position of mouse.. Though Studio laacks it... but i didnt found any such problem with this the touchpad is little toward the left side rather than at being middle.

There are some touch sensitive buttons on the upper part of keyboard..they are extremely once i needed to clean them resulted in all functions being processed all at once...They are good otherwise.. and tthey show White backlight when touched...impressive indeed...But it catches dust pretty quickly ... same is true for the speakers...just above the touch penal

Bluetooth and WIFI were working in awesome vista :) i had some problems working with them in ubuntu although actually starting them ... but once they were done ... everything went on smoothly...

I have Removed the installation done by Dell. Instead I have freshly installed the Vista. I didnt have any problem with installation of any drivers or any thing else. Dell provides a lot of bloatware on company installed systems. I also created some partitions. 50 GB - 80 GB - 80GB (all NTFS) -20GB(FAT32)

It takes around 35 sec to start in windows vista and 45 odd sec to boot in ubuntu from os option to start screen...

Soon I installed Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron on My laptop.The installation went on smoothly. At once .. it worked very well .. though i had to install ATI drivers from internet and some more drivers too.At first it took some problem with detecting my WIFI .. but later i was able to resolve it.

SO far its been awesome for me... little heated after being run for 8 Hrs continously.

Screen is tiltable to around 150 degrees... and still manages the view... Screen is pretty bright too.

It was shipped with Media Direct 4.0 and special Key for it too on touch sensitive penal... I am not impressed by the software though ... but i figured out ..i can use the touch key for something new.. still trying it though

Windows rating shows a 4.0 on account of graphics..

Counter strike 1.6 - I got Fps 100 constant ..
NFS most wanted - runned flawless on high details...
Half life 2 today!!

NO problem at all working in matlab and ProE/Solidworks.. these need high power and graphic memory

NO BACKPACK OR LAPTOP BAG ships with it ... :)
My friend got a 20pc off in Japan if u can ..get it from US or Japan ... In india i dont think dell wants to give any discounts.. Also discount coupons for Dell dont work in india... i would recommend from US ...

In all i am impressed ... except for some audio glitches which eventually got resolved after i reinstalled my drivers..I had some problem with the 2 audio jacks being provided... When i plugged earphone into one of it(nearer to HDMI port) ... and removed it ... the sound didnt shoot back from speaker ... untill i did the same for another jack .. and this happens everytime...I am yet to contact dell customer care...

Ergnomics - 8/10 - Heavy !! i wanted a lighter one ... may be 2.25KG, extra sensitive touch penal...
Features - 9/10 - I want a better graphic card ... Say ATI 3650 atleast... but CS still rocks on it :P
Value for money - 9/10 - No bagpack, need to ship some freebies..atleast to lure us :P

I was pretty much split in Xps and Sony vaio once... but when studio was launched ..i knew immediately it was the one!!! :D ... though its sad about dell that i had to wait 7 days before i can actually lay my hand on my
possession even after paying for it...

Another bad thing about dell is that they didnt gave me any numbers or site to contact incase my system is not responding well .. If Dell ppl are reading ... do something... atleast post your number here...for india

Also The complete cover guide i got .... did not mention Studio laptops(at all) being covered ... It was of make June and said only ab2 inspiron and other series... i guess at the time of its printing... studio was not even launched...guess .. they need to print a new one ...b4 they need to ship it ...

I dont think ... knowing a pc mark score or else matters (..atleast for me...)
Hope this helps for potential buyers....!!!!

I was a bit disappointed that i didnt wait for montevina ... but it was call of situation ... i gravely needed a laptop...i only know how long i waited for my laptop(7 days is too much ppl are u listening?)..but finally i am happy ... with a decent budget (1200 $ is not small)i was able to cash in on a pretty and feature rich desktop!!!

Pictures soon :P sorry for the typos :P

Soon would be posting my experience with Dell customer care too!!