Weight (not heavy for it's size)
Cons The Speakers
Summary I am an IT/CS manager and I picked this laptop based on price and benchmark scores. I bought my directly from Dell and not Best Buy. I had problems with Best Buy's warranty in the past and really think Best Buy may be the result of the poor reviews. If you buy from Dell you can get the onsite warranty service and have issues resolved in 24-48 hours. I had my mother-in-law get a Studio 17 about 6 months ago and she has had no issues with her?s either other than getting used to Vista.
The only actual negative thing I can point out on this laptop are the speakers. They are usable, but lacking what I would expect from a laptop in this class. It is not noticeable unless you play music or DVDs.
I cannot stress the underrated user reviews on this laptop being incorrect. I got the new Centrino 2 CPU and the 800 Mhz ram but everything else was the same specs. This laptop flat out performs very well. Mine is very fast and boots up quickly. I have not been in front of my desktop much since I got this laptop. I can also say that the performance of this laptop would allow me to get by without my desktop.
The backlit keyboard is very nice for my use too. The screen is bright and tack sharp it is also the LED backlit screen, but I would have liked more resolution. This laptop does come with some crapware that I would rather them not put on there (Google desktop, ect...), but all computers do. I really like the fingerprint reader; you can login to windows and websites with it. There is also an option for facial recognition software for the webcam, but it was not something I wanted.
One neat thing is that you get the cd media and Dell has also put a backup image on there so you can restore it to the factory build. You do not get both options all of the time.
One last thing to mention is that I also got the Dell Mini 9 on sale for 139.00 when I bought this laptop and with the two combined it was an awesome deal and if you have this option then do it. While the Studio is not heavy for its size there are times the Mini 9 is nice when you want something small to carry.
Bottom line, do not rely on the user reviews for this laptop; the Cnet review is more accurate representation of what you will experience. You will not regret your purchase if you go through Dell. I think Dell?s mistake was allowing there systems to be sold by a 3rd party.
Pros Decent keyboard, neat-o button-less controls for volume and disc eject (plus a few others) stays relatively cool during use, no lock to open, quite stylish rubber-like cover, no disc tray for me to break
Cons This is NOT a gaming laptop though it will play WoW relatively well on lower settings, the eject button(less) does not always eject the disc and will cause some frustration, the cover does not lock (pro or con)
Summary Sturdy laptop with all the "looks" you'll need though if you are carrying it without a case remember the cover doesn't lock. The screen looks great and this machine should handle just about any school related app you can throw at it. Beware, if you are looking to game at all you will find it's performance rather anemic. It does play WoW but it runs Sims2 very slow. I love the size of this machine and it's excellent touch pad/buttons.
The average user moving from a desktop to a laptop will have a great time with this laptop.
Pros Rubberized texture on back of screen, attractive design. Great specs at the price
Cons Product was defective and unusable.
Summary I had put a lot of work on Cnet and other sites researching laptops before making my decision on this exact model. I got it from BestBuy.com for approx. $800 with a Intel Core 2 Duo T8100 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 320 GB hd. Anyone that's been looking knows that these are great specs for an amazing price, which is why I bought it.
Unfortunately, after three days (the day after I loaded MS Office), the laptop began a cycle of rebooting itself repeatedly. It would usually get just short of pulling windows up and then reboot without any blue screen of death, but every third time or so it would give me the blue screen. Just about once out of every ten reboots it would go to windows and give me about five minutes of functionality before rebooting or going to the blue screen. I contacted Best Buy and their immediate advice was to return the defective laptop. This was rather disappointing since I was rather happy that I had found what I thought was a great laptop to replace my current HP Pavillion that I bought in December of 2005 and had brought with me on my deployment to Iraq. That one is approaching the end of its life, but is still working, so I can't understand why a brand new Dell can't last for three days.
Perhaps Best Buy is selling defective Dell Studios, but I would advise against purchasing this laptop from them (except they have a good return policy...for the first 14 days...and the product is actually defective). I had read the negative reviews on this site and thought I would risk it. So much for that gamble.
For the two days when the laptop worked I was impressed with the design of the laptop and it seemed to go relatively fast. I did notice a discrepancy between the speaker volume and the headphone volume. If I had the volume right for the headphones, it was too quiet on the speakers and vice versa. Additionally, the power cord sticks into the right side of the laptop along with two of the USB ports. If you have the power plugged in and/or have one or more wired USB devices plugged into the right side USB ports, the wires will interfere with mouse movement...if you're right handed. Lastly, the eject button on the media bar did not work, requiring you to right click on the CD drive icon and select "eject". In one case a CD was loaded into the slot, but was not recognized by the computer, so the CD drive icon did not appear. This caused me to have to reboot the laptop so that the CD would be recognized, causing the CD drive icon to disappear, just so I could right-click on it to eject the CD. This is never a problem with a tray CD drive, since you can use the paper-clip eject method, which is not available on this laptop. This would surely have become a problem later.
This laptop looks great on paper (and in Cnet's review), and if I had to review it in the first hour or so that I had it, I would have given it the same score that Cnet did. Since I purchased it and thus had it for a little longer, I know better. Good luck getting one that isn't defective.
Pros fast, good screen
Cons none so far
Summary not sure what everyone is complaining about. got it for bout $800 from best buy, works great.
Pros High res screen (I upgraded)
Better config then Inspiron
Pricing compared to XPS
Cons Broken on arrival - after 10 minutes internal fan rubbing
Told it could take up to 21 business days to replace (total of 1 1/2 months before I get a working computer)
Housing is a bit much
Summary The computer arrived after about 8 days after ordering. Upon turning on I saw a beautiful screen (upgrade if you can). The computer is a bit heavier then I would want if I was going to carry it around, but plan on using in the kitchen and working on the kitchen table as a second computer in the house. The housing is a bit much with the shiny plastic. Well, after about 10 minutes the fan started clicking (really loud). I called Dell support (asked me what was wrong and I help the phone up to the computer). They said they would process a replacement. After checking back now 6 days later to ask when I could expect the new computer, I was told that it could take up to 21 business days (add this to the 8 original days and we are at almost 30 working days). The rep (and manager) said there was nothing that they could do. My advice, go with a Mac. I will update more when I actually get a working version for more than 10 minutes)