They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The Dell Studio XPS 16 is certainly an attractive laptop - fingerprint collecting ability notwithstanding - but what will really catch your eye is the LCD. As mentioned in an earlier blog, the LCD on the Studio XPS 16 has the highest color gamut of any display that we have tested to date, and this is definitely something you notice when using the laptop.

If you've been looking for a laptop with a good LCD, you can probably stop reading this review right now. Yes, the display on the Studio XPS 16 is that good. Of course, we need to clarify that we are talking about the upgraded LCD and not the default 720p option. The upsell is a 1080p LCD with RGB LED backlighting, which tacks on a hefty $250 to the price. Is it worth the money? That depends on how much you use your laptop for graphics work, watching movies, etc. Keep in mind that you can find plenty of desktop LCDs that are larger and offer similar quality for not much more than $250. However, you can't really use that sort of display while you're on the road.

Before we get into the actual review, it might be good to review Dell's overall classification of the Studio XPS line. At the top of the performance and price spectrum, Dell caters to enthusiasts with their Alienware brand products. The XPS and Studio XPS offerings come next, targeting computer users interested in performance and features without breaking the bank. The remaining options come under a variety of names, with the Studio line focusing on consumers that are interested in styling. There are other consumer and corporate/business brands, but the main thing to keep in mind is that the XPS/Studio XPS products are upper midrange or high-end offerings.

So what does the Studio XPS 16 offer in terms of features and performance, and how much will set you back? Let's take a closer look.

Notebook Overview
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  • JarredWalton - Sunday, April 5, 2009 - link

    I don't have updated scores with new drivers, but you can see the">original XPS M1730 3DMark scores - including scores with the CPU overclocked. I didn't have 3DMark Vantage at the time, so those scores are also missing. Basically, the scores are relatively close to the Clevo D901C laptop.
  • Hrel - Thursday, April 2, 2009 - link

    I have a Dell Studio 15 Series laptop T8100 320GB HDD X3100GMA... it's okay for the most part; wish it had some kind of useable graphics, but I couldn't afford the upgrade. Anyway, the slot loading DVD drive is a pain in the but! It quirks out sometimes when you hit eject and just keeps trying to eject the disc even if it's already out until you restart the whole thing; one time even after doing that it just wouldn't take discs for like 5 days at all. Then randomly it started working again. Not to mention if it ever DOES fail I'm gonna have to pay more for the replacement than I would if it was a standard cd tray drive; I REALLY don't like that choice of DVD drives.

    Also, on a 16" 16:9 Chassis they really should include a keyboard that has a dedicated num pad. Asus includes a full numpad on their 15.6" 16:9 chassis. On that note though, the keyboard on my Studio 15 is well laid out and pleasant to type on.
  • QChronoD - Thursday, April 2, 2009 - link

    Where the measurements for the screen done with the out-of-the-box settings, or was it calibrated first?
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, April 2, 2009 - link

    Calibrated. As best as I can tell, there's no truly reliable way of testing the color accuracy without calibrating. I tried to do it in the past, but I became suspect of my results. Besides, if you need accurate colors there's generally no way around hardware calibration utilities.
  • DigitalFreak - Thursday, April 2, 2009 - link

    Windows Vista Hope Premium? :0)
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, April 2, 2009 - link

    Truth in advertising? :-D
  • Lingyis - Monday, May 3, 2010 - link

    bad news--i was just gonna get one of these babies and Dell told me Studio XPS 16 no longer comes with an RGB LED option.

    i want a good laptop display--i'm deciding between the Studio XPS with a regular WLED vs the Precision M4500. The precision M6500 appears to have RGB LED but it's 17 inches which is too big.

    so what to go for--the RGBLED-less Studio XPS or the Precision M4500?
  • brock5 - Tuesday, September 28, 2010 - link

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  • brock56 - Saturday, November 13, 2010 - link

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