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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  • RU482 - Friday, April 3, 2009 - link

    ANy idea what the make/model of the LCD panel?
  • JarredWalton - Friday, April 3, 2009 - link

    See the test system page. It looks like a Seiko Epson M077D€160HT according to ASTRA32, but that may or may not be correct.
  • rudy - Thursday, April 2, 2009 - link

    The specs for all the machines would be really important here. And they should be included. Why is something like the macbook air which is no where near as powerful even in such a line up? If it is then why aren't other notebooks which pack battery life of an entire day put in there?
  • rudy - Thursday, April 2, 2009 - link

    You cannot seriously tell me that the best battery life per watt hour notebook running windows is an alienware seriously...
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, April 2, 2009 - link

    Look at the specifics of that Alienware. It's running with the X3100 IGP instead of the discrete GPU. That's why I harp on the need for every other laptop to allow such functionality.

    As for the remaining laptops, they're all in previous reviews on our site, under the Mobile tab. I just don't think it's necessary to include all 15 or whatever notebook configs in each review. I suppose I can post links to the config pages for reference, though.

    As for the MacBook Air, performance isn't super high, but it still has a reasonable Core 2 Duo CPU and I believe NVIDIA IGP, which means performance isn't exactly terrible. There are other notebooks in those charts that aren't particularly high-end as well.
  • rudy - Thursday, April 2, 2009 - link

    The keypad missing on this 16 inch model is a real downer. The space is there I think.
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, April 2, 2009 - link

    It's possible to fit in a keypad, but then the rest of the keyboard isn't centered. I have a 15.4" notebook I'm testing with a number keypad and overall I prefer the XPS 16 layout. Then again, that may have more to do with the keyboard on that other laptop simply being super flimsy.... Anyway, the XPS M1730 is still my favorite laptop keyboard, as it's the best of both worlds. It *should* be able to fit on the Studio XPS 16, but for whatever reason Dell didn't go that route.
  • Hrel - Thursday, April 2, 2009 - link

    Yeah, good job Jarred Walton; you included 3D Mark results, and not just some of them, frickin' ALL of them... lol. I guess Dereck and Anand could learn a thing or two from you. (That last sentence is said partially sarcastic and no disrespect is meant.) I added that cause that sentence kinda makes me sound like a prick, which I'm not.
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, April 2, 2009 - link

    My laptop tests have always included them, but I *really* don't put much stock in 3DMark. I include them simply because they're easy enough to run. Start, walk away, come back in a while and collect the results. I wish more of the game tests were that easy. :)
  • Wesleyrpg - Friday, April 3, 2009 - link

    Nice review jarred,

    i been looking at one of these to replace my XPS m1530, but am concerned that the 3670 is weaker than my 8600mGT in the gaming departmrnt....i'm an AVID WoW player, so which do you think will perform better in WoW?

    Also.....those 3dmark scores, were there done in the displays natural resolution or 3dmarks default resolution?

    Thanks and keep up the good work

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