Feeds
80%

Dell Studio Hybrid mini desktop PC

Curvy, slim and sexy

High performance access to file storage

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.

Dell Studio Hybrid

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?

Dell Studio Hybrid

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.

Verdict

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.

High performance access to file storage

80%

Dell Studio Hybrid mini desktop PC

Who said desktops had to be big and bulky? Dell's Studio Hybrid scores on styling, and it's not a bad MoR performer either.
Price: £349-599 RRP

More from The Register

next story
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style
Biometrics and kid-friendly mode in back-to-basics blockbuster
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.