Thanks to a nine-cell, 85Wh battery which juts out underneath the laptop, the Studio 17 managed just over an hour-and-a-half in our punishing PCMark Vantage loop test. This translates to roughly three hours’ normal usage.
After many hours playing with the Studio 17, I was ultimately left underwhelmed with its touch-sensitive screen. There’s nothing wrong with the touchscreen itself, but all too often I was left thinking how much easier it would be to use the touch pad or a wireless mouse.
Sure, you can use your fingers to twist, resize and fling photos around a virtual desktop, but that’s a novelty that soon wears off. Ultimately, I was left with the feeling that clamshell laptops simply don’t need, or benefit from, touch-sensitive displays.
In an attempt to gauge how much it was charging for the luxury of touch, I headed to Dell’s online shop and configured a non-touch Studio 17 to imitate this touch-enabled version as best as I could. It wasn’t possible to get a perfect match, but one with an i7-620M processor - faster, but only two cores - and slightly more powerful ATI HD 5650 graphics was priced up almost identical to the touchscreen model on test here.
Dell’s done well to bundle some fast components with a 17.3in screen while keeping everything tantalisingly close to the £1000 mark. And although I’m not sold on the idea of touchscreen laptops, the fact Dell isn’t charging a huge premium for it means the laptop’s overall score isn’t affected too much. Personally, though, I’d be very tempted to ditch the touchscreen in favour of the version with faster graphics and the dual-core i7-620M processor. ®
More Notebook Reviews
Dell Studio 17 touchscreen notebook
Still has right click
The laptop has a right click button on the trackpad like any other. It's missing the context menu key from the keyboard (the one next to the right start button on a standard keyboard)
It's not as big a loss but it's still a key I use.
You don't have to use the BIOS to switch the Function key behaviour. Win + X and use mobility centre - the Dell Quickset plugins let you change it there.
Every single application I use makes extensive use of the context menu. So a lack of right-click immediately means that I can't use this unit.
Windows 'style guides' have long suggested that the context menu be used a lot - and it is.
You don't get an idea about the size of this monster until you get to the pictures of the touchscreen being used. I'm certain that because of just the size, this system will never appear on my laptop replacement shortlist. I guess I should have guessed, it having a 17" screen, but if it is so wide, why have they not made space for the missing keys!