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Dell Studio Hybrid mini desktop PC

Curvy, slim and sexy

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Since there's an emphasis on size, the Studio Hybrid's AC adaptor isn't built in. But the good news is that it's a slim brick of the kind Dell ships with its Latitude laptops rather than the bricks that usually come with compact PCs.

Dell Studio Hybrid

Plenty of sleeves to swap

The machine's internals are laptop-standard too. There's an Intel GM965 chipset that connects to between 512MB and 4GB of 667MHz DDR 2 memory on notebook-friendly SO-DIMM cards. It's also host to single- and dual-core Celeron, dual-core Pentium and Core 2 Duo CPUs to choose from on Dell's configuration page.

Unlike the Eee Box, there's no Wi-Fi on board, but there is a mini PCI slot inside in case you want to add one - the casing already has an antenna cable built in.

Internally, the Studio Hybrid is impressively well packed. Getting inside is easy: unscrew and slide off the sleeve then remove a second screw to take off the inspection plate. Undoing a third screw allows you to pull the hard disk and optical drive assembly out - a handle's provided - to reveal said mini PCI bay and the two memory slots.

Both were filled in our machine. And here's another laptop part: the hard drive, a 2.5in 250GB unit. Like other key components, it'll be easy to upgrade when the time comes.

Dell Studio Hybrid

Ports a-plenty

Our review machine - kindly supplied by PC World owner DSGi - was a Core-derived Pentium Dual-Core T2300 model clocked to 2GHz and equipped with 2GB of Ram. The pre-loaded OS was Vista Home Premium so we checked how Vista rates the machine. It scores 3.5 based on its identical two graphics scores, with the memory rating 4.5, the CPU 4.9 and the hard drive 5.4.

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

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