On first look i found that the build quality was better than expected, I had read a fiew reviews by owners that thebase was flimsy and so was the keyboard. I have found this to be quite solid and i can see no flex at all.
The keyboard is very responsive and a pleasure to use, although i find that some of the keys give a slight squeeking noise when pressed. I intend to get a backlit keyboard sometime soon so that should fix the squeeking problem.
I bought this from the outlet as refurbished but it looks brand new and i saved nearly £300 this way instead of self configuring the system.
What's in the Box:
Dell Windows Vista Home Premium 64 Bit installation dvd, Works 9, Driver and Resource Disk, 90w Power Supply
Nice design and a sturdy construction, has a kind of wedge shape.
This WLED 720p screen is far brighter than anything else i have ever seen, the picture is nice and crisp and colours are very vibrant. There is no ghosting at all and HD movies are a pleasure to watch on this, its a 15.6" 16:9. There is an option for a 1080p screen but i did not have that option getting this from the Outlet. Under sunny conditions the screen is quite reflective but i plan to use it indoors 95% of the time so it will not be an issue.
The keyboard is a pleasure to use, I did not get a backlit version but i intend to as soon as I can get dell on the phone, I find the keys very responsive and well laid out.
The multimedia keys are on the top of the keyboard along with the F Keys, to use the F1 Keys ect you have to press the Fn key.
At first i did not like the touch pad as it has a textured feeling and not a smooth finish like im used to , after a while i have got used to it and its not as bad as i first thought, there is a scroll pad on the side although the touch pad has no indication of this, when playing games this area gets quite hot.
The keys are on the main keyboard and shared with the "F" Keys.
One of my main complaints abot this machine is there are no LEDS for hard drive activity or wireless ect. The only light is on the power button on the side of the screen hinge.
My system has the Intel WiFi Link 5300 AGN card and the signals are strong and i have not suffered any drop outs or interference. Just a pity this laptop has no Wireless LED.
The speakers are of a decent quality, i had read about the previous Studio 15 which had poor sound quality but this is more than acceptable and a subwoofer is included.
Input and Output Ports
There are no ports on the front of the machine
The screen has a 2.0mp camera in and the quality is very good, the best i have seen in a laptop. Pictures are good with no noise or distortion.
1 x USB 2.0, Slot loading DVD-RW Drive
8 in 1 media card reader, ExpressCard 34 and Power Adaptor
VGA, HDMI 2x USB 2.0 (1x USB/E-SATA combo, 2x standard) IEEE 1394a/Gigabit NIC (no RJ11 – via dongle for USB External Modem) 1x Stereo in, 2x headphone speaker out.
There are no ports on the back.
There are 3 ventilation grills and the usual opening for the memory and Hard drive access.
I have had time to do 2 benchmarks, 3dmark06 and Super PI
3dmark Vantage would not run with the resolution on this laptop.
3DMark06 Scored 4193
and Super PI took 48 seconds to do 2 million count.
Size and Weight
The laptop is light about 2.61 kg and is easily carried around so its very portable.
Heat and Noise
Under general use the laptop does get warm but nothing to worry about, when gaming it gets quite hot so it will be uncomfortable on your lap if you game alot. The fans are quite quiet i have found and do not cause any disturbance when on.
Under general use with a 6 cell battery i get around 3 hours 30 mins, I do not feel that a 9 cell would of been benefical to me.
The software that came pre-installed was Roxio CD Creator and Windows Live.
All that came was the power supply (it has a nice blue led on the power jack)
Light and Portable
Long Battery Life
No Activity LEDS
Gets quite hot under Gaming
Backlit keyboard not standard.
A great all rounder laptop that should full-fill the needs of most, Not to over priced and has some good choices when configuring to buy.