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.
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.
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.
Not exactly a new concept...
More than 10 years ago DEC made the Multia in both alpha and intel versions. It was basically the same idea to cram laptops parts into a design box. Those machines proved extremely prone to overheat and failures due to being (unlike most laptops that are carried around) constantly run at full speed.
Same cause, same effects, I fear.
For the UK, you have a "Dell™ Wireless 1505 Wireless-N MiniPCI Card EUR" which is included in the price. You don't have the option to remove it or change it or anything.
It's on the "Accessorise my Dell" tab when you start to customise it.
Ah, you'd be talking about Apples nearly abandoned machine, so badly in need of a refresh, it makes the Abacus look modern. And I like Apple kit (not a blinded fanboi though).
Lets look at some of the bits:
Choice - Not Apple's strong suit, but here is wireless, blu-ray or DVD, different case styles etc.
Blu-ray - In spite of Job's line about it being too much hassle, people do want blu-ray, and this makes it a nice little mediacenter when combined with HDMI.
Firewire port - One up on the Mac Book, and probably on other Macs in the long term (though a little pointless on a box like this....)
HDMI port for full HD support and, no, I don't think that using a VGA port or DVI is a substitute.
The only downside is the horrors of Vista, but it does come with 2GB RAM, which should just about cope.
Apple need to refresh the mini, or euthanise it.
Paris, cause she'd know where to stick a mini...
Wireless N is available for $70.00 additional in the U.S.. Not sure if this is available for the populous of G.B., but it means the option certainly exists.
@ Mini Mac
Then sod off and buy one..... We are talking about windows based PCs that are nice and small and look cool. Not Macs. If were were talking about macs, the machines in the pictures would not be Dell's.