So the Studio Hybrid's unlikely to appeal to a serious PC gamer, but if it's just the Lego games you or your kids want to play, it's not going to cause you much pain.
The slot-loading drive is integrated into the vents
Just to check, we loaded up Crysis and were entirely unsurprised by its utterly dismal framerate at 1024 x 768. We also tried some 720p and 1080p movie trailers encoded in H.264 and they played just fine. So media centre, yes; top-line 3D shoot-'em-up system, no.
Dell offers a Studio Hybrid configured with an integrated Blu-ray Disc drive, so pumping out 1080p and audio out via HDMI to an HD TV shouldn't be a problem. Yes, the CPU is doing a lot of the decoding work a modern GPU would do, but as we say, this is not a noisy machine. If you're sitting back enjoying a movie, who cares what's doing the playback as long as the playback is smooth?
The future's orange
Dell's provided the customary software bundle: Microsoft Works - the ad-free version, thank goodness - an anti-virus trial - McAfee this time round - Acrobat Reader and Google Desktop. Stardock's Dock utility is present to bring a little of Mac OS X's light to Vista, but Dell loses points for bundling a video chat utility and not including a webcam.
There's no question that the Studio Hybrid looks good. That, plus its compact size, make it an obvious rival to Apple's aging Mac Mini and the likes of Asus' Eee Box. It's more powerful than both of these and looks better too. It's no powerhouse, even on the highest available spec, but it is a decent desktop that'll suit anyone after a mainstream machine that's not a big, black box.
Dell Studio Hybrid mini desktop PC
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.