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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  • Nfarce - Friday, April 3, 2009 - link

    I have a 3 year old 17" Inspiron E1705 and still love it. When new, it played older DX9 games like Return to Castle Wolfenstein pretty well with a 2.0GHz Centrino and ATi X1400.

    It has the glossy screen which really helps increase the contrast appearance and really doesn't affect me because I don't use the laptop outside or next to a window. Yes, fingerprints and smudges are an issue even being as careful as possible. However, it's a small price to pay for a better picture IMO. I just don't like the "matte" screen on my Sammy 22" LCD on a gaming rig - and I think that is even harder to clean and get smudges off. Something about the grooves or something in the cover.

    Finally, what's up with all these new weird LCD screen sizes these days? I use a 15.4" laptop for work and it's just too small by itself when not connected to a docking station with a monitor. And then we have the new 23" LCDs out now, and the 25.5" LCDs...
  • Digobick - Friday, April 3, 2009 - link

    Is the 9-cell battery removable (meaning, can you take it off if you don't think you'll need it)?

    Also, have you weighed the laptop with the 9-cell battery installed? I'm curious to know how much it weighs with both the 9- and 6-cell batteries installed.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, April 3, 2009 - link

    The 9-cell battery weighs a bit more than the 6-cell, probably .2 or .3 pounds. I don't have a scale that can measure such weights accurately, unfortunately, so I use the manufacturer specifications.

    As for the first question, the 9-cell battery is a replacement for the 6-cell; you can only use one or the other. The 9-cell is larger and raises the back of the laptop, with a .5 to 1 inch protrusion on the bottom where the 6-cell battery is flat.
  • andrezunido - Friday, April 3, 2009 - link

    Would it be possible to have the figures for the macbook pro 15'' color gamut to compare with the Dell XPS 16?
  • jabber - Friday, April 3, 2009 - link

    You could at least have wiped the laptop down before taking the pics!

    That just looks sloppy. Yo did get a cloth after all.

    Unless of course it was a scratched/battered review model.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, April 3, 2009 - link

    Actually, it isn't messy at all and those aren't scratches... at least not on the laptop. That's just a reflection of the white paper I have around my photography area. The laptop surface is extremely reflective, so I'm happy it's just reflecting paper and not my face, camera, etc.
  • jabber - Friday, April 3, 2009 - link

    Hmmmmmmm still looks like the blue haze of greasy fingerprints round the edges.

    Just doesnt look right to me.

    Please can we ditch glossy plastics now?
  • ksherman - Friday, April 3, 2009 - link

    Apple stopped offering the choice on the MacBook Pro (and now indeed all their current computers/displays) back in November. It SUCKS. At least its a sheet of glass (supposedly) not a glossy coating.
  • Pirks - Friday, April 3, 2009 - link

    ksherman, check your facts before posting please. This is from online store:

    MacBook Pro comes with a high-resolution 1920x1200 pixel LED-backlit display. Choose a standard glossy display that lets you view graphics, photos, and videos with richer color and deeper blacks, or an optional antiglare display.

    MacBook Pro 17-inch Hi-Resolution Glossy Widescreen Display
    MacBook Pro 17-inch Hi-Resolution Antiglare Widescreen Display [Add $50.00]

    See, Apple still offers antigare option no matter what you say.
  • erple2 - Tuesday, April 7, 2009 - link

    Both of you are simultaneously right and wrong. The 17" Macbook Pro can be had with a either a glossy or non-glossy screen. The 15" Macbook Pro comes only with a glossy screen.

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