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CNET First Look
Dell Studio XPS 435The Dell Studio XPS 435 successfully overcomes our bias against desktops that claim to be experts at everything through charming case design and a strong configuration at a relatively fair price. It misses greatness because of a handful of minor missteps,...
>>[background music] Hi I'm Rich Brown, Senior Editor for CNET. Today we're gonna take a look at the Dell Studio XPS 435. So this is a pretty interesting looking full towered desktop system from Dell. We actually kind of like the design. It's sort of a retro, minimalist thing going on. There's a nice red accent going around the border here. Now this is not a high end gaming system by any stretch of the imagination but it definitely is a fairly capable fast PC. This configuration here is sort of a very well rounded, visual entertainment performance box so it has a Blu-ray drive, a fast graphics card, an Intel core i7 CPU. Usually we are not fans of desktops that try to please everybody but Dell does a pretty good job balancing the price and the specs of this system. Behind the story, here there's a Blu-ray drive and up here you've got the usually media card reader. On the top of the case there's actually a gadget tray which is becoming more and more common in desktops lately. Now the tray is basically just an indentation with a couple of ports next to it and it's useful for putting your iPhone, your digital camera or any other portable device kind of on top your system. On the graphics card here you can see there's two DVI outputs but there's no HDMI port. That would kind of be handy for a system with a Blu-ray drive if you're gonna connect it to a HDTV. Granted the system is pretty big, you might not necessarily put it in your living room but still HDMI graphics card is common enough that Dell probably should have made that available. You get Firewire and eSATA for your external data connections as well as digital audio and analog audio ports for whatever kind of speaker output you might want to connect. And all outside those of course you get your typical RAV USB2 and Ethernet jacks. So inside the case things are nice and roomy but you don't have as much upgrade capability as you might think. You do get two hard drives as well as room to add a third one down here. You can see that there's six memory slots here too and all those are taken and finally this motherboard only has one graphics card slot. Now we certainly don't demand a PC have two graphics card slots because most mainstream users won't add a second graphics card, it's just not necessary. But the fact is that you can get SOI or crossfire pace PC's in this price range so for a big PC like this with lots of room to upgrade, it just seems a little weird that there's not a second graphics card option. Now for adding other cards you do get a single PCI express 4X slot here as well as two 1X PCI express slots and down here there's a standard PCI slot if you have an older card you want to add. Now generally speaking we found the system to be pretty fast for it's price range. There was a lower end system from ASUS that kind of out performed it. It was a little less expensive. But for most the tasks this system is designed for, basic gaming, light duty digital media editing, basic productivity, you shouldn't have any trouble. So again, we do like this system. It might not be the fastest or even the most cost effective out there but between it's various features and it's good looks, it might [background music] just win you over. I'm Rich Brown and this is the Dell Studio XPS 435.