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Dell Studio 17

Dell Studio 17 touchscreen notebook

The pinnacle of portable touch computing?

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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.

Dell Studio 17

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.

Verdict

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. ®

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70%
Dell Studio 17

Dell Studio 17 touchscreen notebook

A 17in quad-core notebook with a suitably large touchscreen display.
Price: £1009 (as reviewed) RRP

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