They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The Dell Studio XPS 16 is certainly an attractive laptop - fingerprint collecting ability notwithstanding - but what will really catch your eye is the LCD. As mentioned in an earlier blog, the LCD on the Studio XPS 16 has the highest color gamut of any display that we have tested to date, and this is definitely something you notice when using the laptop.

If you've been looking for a laptop with a good LCD, you can probably stop reading this review right now. Yes, the display on the Studio XPS 16 is that good. Of course, we need to clarify that we are talking about the upgraded LCD and not the default 720p option. The upsell is a 1080p LCD with RGB LED backlighting, which tacks on a hefty $250 to the price. Is it worth the money? That depends on how much you use your laptop for graphics work, watching movies, etc. Keep in mind that you can find plenty of desktop LCDs that are larger and offer similar quality for not much more than $250. However, you can't really use that sort of display while you're on the road.

Before we get into the actual review, it might be good to review Dell's overall classification of the Studio XPS line. At the top of the performance and price spectrum, Dell caters to enthusiasts with their Alienware brand products. The XPS and Studio XPS offerings come next, targeting computer users interested in performance and features without breaking the bank. The remaining options come under a variety of names, with the Studio line focusing on consumers that are interested in styling. There are other consumer and corporate/business brands, but the main thing to keep in mind is that the XPS/Studio XPS products are upper midrange or high-end offerings.

So what does the Studio XPS 16 offer in terms of features and performance, and how much will set you back? Let's take a closer look.

Notebook Overview


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  • JarredWalton - Friday, April 3, 2009 - link

    All 3DMark scores are at the standard 3DMark resolution, so I connect an external LCD where necessary (i.e. laptops with 1280x800 LCDs can't run 1280x1024 in 3DMark06 and Vantage). So the scores are definitely apples-to-apples in that department.

    I don't know what WoW is really like in terms of GPU needs, but the HD 3670 should be faster than the 8600M GT by a fair margin. If you need more power, though, Gateway's P-7808u FX should do the trick (review in progress), and MSI's GT627 is even more powerful in the GPU department (9800M GT). The only caveat is that neither LCD is anywhere near as good as the Studio XPS 16, and I really dislike the MSI keyboard (it's flimsy).
  • jiggpig - Thursday, April 2, 2009 - link

    You should add the lenovo x200 or x300 to the battery life charts, I bet they could challenge the macbooks in battery life/battery size charts. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, April 2, 2009 - link

    I would if Lenovo would send me a laptop to test. I've heard good things from some people, and I would love to verify the results. Without doing the testing myself, however, I can't come to any firm conclusion. (What brightness level do they test at? What's the test like? That sort of stuff can make a difference.) Reply
  • erple2 - Tuesday, April 7, 2009 - link

    Also, I see that you've posted the minutes/WHr results for the Apple notebooks. However, what are the "at the wall" measurements for power consumption?

    Is it that OSX is that much stronger optimized for low power usage? I wonder if there would be any difference running Linux vs. Vista vs. OSX on the same laptop (granted, you'd have to run them all on a Macbook I suppose to get that result) at least for power consumption, and wall outlet consumption.
  • Hrel - Thursday, April 2, 2009 - link

    Which GPU does it have in it? Sometimes you list the HD4670 and sometimes you say HD4650??? Reply
  • Hrel - Thursday, April 2, 2009 - link

    I meant HD3670 and HD3650... ah typing mistakes that are made significant by barely different product naming schemes. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, April 2, 2009 - link

    Sorry about that... it's an HD 3670, but somehow in the process of writing I started saying 3650. The two chips are the same, other than clock speeds, but I'm not sure on the clocks for the 3650. Anyway, the incorrect part numbers have been corrected. Thanks! Reply
  • Hrel - Thursday, April 2, 2009 - link

    "This will allow us to provide an apples-to-apples comparison with other laptops while also showing the performance range you can expect by lowering or increasing the resolution."

    YAY anandtech! Good job, now if only you would do this on every single review that has anything to with GPU's. Oh, I'm not done with the article yet, but if there aren't 3D Mark scores, there should be.
  • LoneWolf15 - Friday, April 3, 2009 - link

    Yes, because 3DMark scores are SO indicative of real-world performance.
  • cheetah2k - Saturday, April 4, 2009 - link

    It would be nice to see 3Dmark06 scores across the whole Dell range in these reviews, including the hefty XPS1730.

    For those wanting to know, an XPS1730 with 2 x 8800GTX in Sli gets 11,490 marks in 1280x1024 with a T9300 CPU @ 2.5Ghz

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