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Dell Studio 17

Dell Studio 17 touchscreen notebook

The pinnacle of portable touch computing?

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Dell’s gone to town with the speaker system in the Studio 17. Stereo speakers at the front combine with a sub-woofer on the underside of the laptop to provide some truly stunning audio. Whack it up to full and it produces loud and undistorted tunes with aplomb.

Dell Studio 17

No shortage of portage

Unfortunately, Dell’s opted to place the two satellite speakers on the wrist rest. While fine when using the laptop as a portable hi-fi, try listening to music while typing or gaming and you have to take great care not to let your palms cover the speakers. It would have been far better to situate them either just above the keyboard or underneath the front lip of the chassis.

Dell Studio 17

Real audio performer

Networking options comprise the usual Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11n wireless. Bluetooth was also included on the review system but, as with the backlit keyboard, this can be ditched in favour of a £30 saving.

Dell Studio 17

The multi-format DVD drive is a slot-loader

The 17.3in display has a native resolution of 1600 x 900 which will no doubt disappoint many potential buyers. Dell presumably wanted to avoid anything higher than this so as to make the touch side of things easier – trying to use one of your grubby mitts to prod a small link or icon is hard enough at 1600 x 900. This resolution also means playing 1080p HD video at full resolution is out of the question, unless you fancy hooking the laptop up to an external display through its HDMI port.

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