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Dell Studio 1557 review

Verdict

Dell’s Studio 15 brings Intel’s mobile Core i7 into the realms of affordability, offering quad-core power for substantially less than £1,000

Review Date: 27 Nov 2009

Reviewed By: Sasha Muller

Price when reviewed: £638 (£734 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
6 stars out of 6

Features & Design
6 stars out of 6

Value for Money
5 stars out of 6

Performance
6 stars out of 6

PCPRO Recommended

When we first caught sight of Intel’s mobile Core i7 we were unashamedly excited. Finally, the prospect of serious quad-core power lay within tantalising reach of the mobile market, and without the heinously bad battery life of the previous Core 2 Quad generation. The one thing we didn’t expect, was for it to find a home in a laptop costing just £653 exc VAT.

Indeed, it wasn’t so very long ago that we took a close look at Dell’s previous model, the Studio 1555. A decidedly mid-range desktop replacement, the 1555 employed a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 graphics, 4GB of DDR2 memory and a 320GB hard disk, and all for a total cost of £609. Very reasonable, you might think. Now, however, Dell has gone one step further. Everything else stays much as it was, including the price, but that Core 2 Duo now finds itself brushed aside by the entry-level model in the Core i7 range, the Core i7-720QM.

Performance

Describing the i7-720QM as entry-level, though, is akin to calling Lewis Hamilton a trumped up go-kart racer. Its four processing cores may all operate at a modest-sounding 1.6GHz, but it’s capable of ramping up its clockspeed as far as 2.8GHz when the occasion demands it.

And it’s entirely thanks to the presence of Intel’s Core i7 that, despite weighing a reasonable 2.65kg, the Studio 15 finds itself transformed into a true performance heavyweight. That 4GB of memory is now of the faster DDR3 variety, and allied with a fast 7,200rpm hard disk the Studio demolished our benchmarks with a staggeringly quick overall score of 1.59.

Dell Studio 1557 rear

And while the relatively compact chassis precludes the inclusion of a really powerful graphics chipset, the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 finds a supremely able partner in the Core i7. Our least-demanding Crysis test cruised to a result of 56fps, and while upping the ante to medium detail saw it struggle to an average of 15fps, it’s worth restating that Crysis is as demanding as games get. For a mid-range laptop, the Studio is preternaturally able.

Ergonomics

It’s not a bad looking laptop either. The chunky wedge design looks smart and presentable in its combination of black and graphite grey, and only the overly pliant lid gave us any real cause for concern. And should the black chainlink finish prove too plain for your tastes, a premium of £89 will buy you one of several "arty" designs.

Meanwhile, the glossy 15.6in display has a standard 1,366 x 768 resolution, but to make full use of the power at the Studio 15’s disposal, we’d be tempted to pay the extra £70 to upgrade to the optional Full HD panel. Even if you don’t, though, image quality is excellent, with vibrant, accurate colours, strong contrast and believable skintones.

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User comments

Value for Money?

How, with a comment like "good looking, comfortable to use and outperform rivals at twice its price"
can this laptop not obtain a maximum rating for value for money?

Very bizarre.

Oh, and I want one!

By brizza4 on 27 Nov 2009

thin lid

I have had a studio 17 for six months at my office. It has had the screen replaced twice due to the shockingly thin laptop lid. Even in a padded bag, as much as breathing near it causes the screen to be pressured enough to leave permanent black/blurry marks on the lcd display. If you EVER need to transport your laptop then avoid the studio range like the plague. It's a shame as other than this it's the best PC laptop I have ever owned. It stays on my desk now though. I take my macbook with me if I need to go anywhere.

By ralphuk100 on 27 Nov 2009

Any comments PCPro?

I think it'd be agood idea if PCPro's reviewers took heed of and commented on ralphuk100's comments about the poor screen protection and likelihood of damage when carrying the laptop around.

If this is substantiated then it would move the laptop into 2 star territory as a laptop (i.e. something which is 'supposed' to be for carrying around!).

By octaglider on 28 Nov 2009

A comment on ralphuk100's post

I did mention the "overly pliant" lid in my review. But not only are ralphuk100's comments directed at the Studio 17 (not the 15 as reviewed here), but it's just one person's experience out of thousands. Worrying as such a report may be, it might just be bad luck.

I'll see if I can keep our review unit on a long-term loan, just to see whether I experience any such issues myself.

By SashaMuller on 28 Nov 2009

beta BIOS update

Nice of Dell to provide you with that BIOS update... when do you think they're going to make it available to other 1557 users like me? Or coz I'm not a critic I don't qualify???

By Nifkin on 29 Nov 2009

I have not directly used the studio 15 but I imagine they use basically the same manufacturing process. I think it's also fair to assume that all Studio 17's use the same grade of plastic in the lid which means that they will all flex as badly as mine. It's just the way they are designed. The lid can be flexed quite badly just by lightly tapping my fingers on it. It's really not good enough for a mobile computer.

By ralphuk100 on 29 Nov 2009

@ ralphuk100: the dimensions of the 15 are, obviously, less, so the flex would be reduced. I have no problem with mine.

By Nifkin on 29 Nov 2009

Bios update

Nifkin, I'll email Dell tomorrow morning and ask them that very question. Once I have the answer I'll post back here. :)

By SashaMuller on 29 Nov 2009

Friends don't let friends buy Dell.

I think I'll stick with my Macbook Pro 13", which is a higher spec than this and has the added bonus of running OSX.

By macforlife on 29 Nov 2009

@nifkin - the difference in size is at most 2 inches. That's not enough to solidify a very thin plastic. One thing I have thought of though is that maybe the custom lid designs use a thicker plastic? I have the standard matt black lid on mine. It's a long-shot but all I can think of. I'll also re-iterate that apart from this lid issue this laptop is very well built and excellent value for money. I got a 1920x1200, 4gb RAM, 500GB HDD etc etc for about a grand (ex-vat).

By ralphuk100 on 30 Nov 2009

couple of questions

Thanks for the review Sasha. This looks like the laptop I've been looking for. Couple of questions -

Noise - with the cooling it has to do how loud is it? I'm guessing there are fans running the whole time? Does it seem excessive (yes I know, hard to quantify)? I get a bit sick of my current laptop (FSC Amilo 1630) - sounds like a hairdryer...

Battery - the expanded battery sounds like a sensible option. Any idea what this does to the size/weight? I get the impression it sticks out a bit? Also, did you get a chance to see what this does to its heavy/light use times?

@macforlife - what are you doing hanging about on PC forums? On commission if you can covert us?

By randomtoast on 30 Nov 2009

Bias, BIOS and batteries

Macforlife does seem a touch deluded if he thinks a Core 2 Duo/Nvidia 9400M is a higher specification than a Core i7/ATI HD4570. Macbook Pro 13s are admittedly rather lovely though.

Anyway, I digress. As regards the BIOS and Nifkin's questions, my contact seems to think it'll be a while yet before it's released to customers. I'm thinking before the end of the year, but he'll give me a firm date once he's had a chance to look into it.

As for how loud the fans are, well, it's difficult to say without the laptop sitting right next to me. I don't remember them being dreadfully intrusive, and they only span up to full speed while gaming if I remember rightly.

I didn't have the battery for testing this time round. But going by my memory of the Studio 1555, the 9 cell battery probably adds 3-400grams or so, and sticks out underneath rather than jutting out the rear. This raises the rear of the laptop a little, and tilts the keyboard forwards a touch.

As ever, feel free to email me at sasha@pcpro.co.uk if you have any questions. Or of course, post back here! Whichever's easiest. :)

By SashaMuller on 30 Nov 2009

Macbook Pro

The Macbook Pro is widely regarded and accoladed as the worlds fastest Vista notebook. Don't see why Windows 7 should be any different !

By macforlife on 2 Dec 2009

Grahamatwork

I guess I'm the only one who can't find a Studio 1557 on the Dell website?
No problem with a Studio 1500 but, what makes it a 1557? As for duplicating the price in the review - as anybody managed this?

By Grahamatwork on 4 Dec 2009

Dell Hell

Like Grahamatwork I couldn't find this on the web, and unintentionally ordered the 1555. Many lengthy calls later, after being black-holed, lost, patronised, transferred to mailboxes etc I managed to cancel. When I finally spoke so a sales agent, he had no knowledge of the 1557 either and kept asking "where did you see it", "what processor", "how much ram". Consequently I forgot to ask for the HD screen, and when I later tried to change the order was told "no changes, it's a custom build". So now I'm furious at Dell. I bet Sasha wasn't treated so badly, otherwise the review would have been awful. Oh, and Dell haven't responded to my complaint, that also seems to have been black-holed. And I'm still going to be stuck with the wrong screen when I do finally get it.

By gmasson1 on 4 Dec 2009

1557 means i7

I think that any of the Dells that have a i7 processer is a 1557. The core 2 Duos are the 1555

By andrewolden on 5 Dec 2009

1555 vs 1557

Andrewolden is quite correct. As to why the sales agents aren't aware of this, I just don't know.

I'm not sure how long it will last, but you should be able to get the reviewed specification at the price we quoted here:

http://ecomm.euro.dell.com/dellstore/basket_retrie
ve.aspx?c=uk&cs=ukdhs1&l=en&s=dhs&itemtype=CFG&car
t_id=1009706220282&toEmail=sasha@pcpro.co.uk


As for your issues, gmasson1, email me and I'll ask my Dell contact to look into it. My address is sasha@pcpro.co.uk

By SashaMuller on 6 Dec 2009

Ordered, eventually...

Just ordered this, and have been left a little worried by Dell customer service. First off my card got declined thanks to a 'security check' by my bank. Got this released and wanted to call Dell to get the order back online asap - their email indicated that there could be a 24-48 hour delay before they try the card again which seemed a long delay with Christmas looming.

No phone numbers at all on Dell.com

Eventually found a chat service, explained my problem. Painful chat - they cancelled my online order, briefly talked about charging more money(!), but now just received a very polite call back and everything is settled. Just praying they haven't fiddled with the specs...
If I were cynical I'd say they've done this for reasons of commission, but I guess I'll never know. :)

As for the laptop, I took the basic i7 specs, but upgraded screen and battery, plus hard drive and wireless card.
Also took the 3 year warranty. I don't normally like the price on these, and am happy to tackle repairs myself. But recently EVERY electrical item I have bought has gone wrong and laptops have a few expensive parts...

Here's hoping to get it before Xmas...

By randomtoast on 8 Dec 2009

New BIOS available now

Get it here:

http://support.euro.dell.com/support/downloads/dow
nload.aspx?c=uk&cs=ukdhs1&l=en&s=dhs&releaseid=R25
1715&SystemID=STUDIO1557&servicetag=&os=BIOSA&osl=
en&deviceid=19287&devlib=0&typecnt=0&vercnt=1&cati
d=-1&impid=-1&formatcnt=1&libid=1&typeid=-1&dateid
=-1&formatid=-1&fileid=368004

By SashaMuller on 9 Dec 2009

Serious Dell Woes

I ordered one of these on the 18th Nov and received on the 30th, delivery was specified on the 1st, so a day early. all is well.

However at the same time, thought a Studio 17 would make a nice present for my dad. Cue violins, but he has terminal cancer and spends most of his time in bed, and can't use his media centre downstairs.

Went for the entry level 17 with the Pentium Dual Core T4300. They specified the delivery date as the 14th Dec...then changed it to the 10th February 2010. Then handily ignored about 5 pieces of correspondance ranging from polite emails to my 'account manager' to several to the complaints dept via the online form.

Apparently, Dell is flaunting the distant sellers regulations by using 'estimated' delivery dates. If you don't specify a date you have 30 days to deliver. If you provide an estimate, you have to honour it, if its over 30 days, you should inform the buyer and offer refund or alternative. Dell are doing neither. Also spent ££££'s on calls (mostly hold) to Indian call representatives who couldn't care less.

My advice is if you can but from Tesco or PC World do that, or better still get an Acer, they probably don't treat their customers with contempt.

FWIW I also took out finance, which makes it harder to come back on Dell. Wish I'd used my CC.

Have a trading standards case open, and they have told me if Dell continue to ignore me, then get back to them.

By androidy on 10 Dec 2009

Another comment on ralphuk100 's post

I own a Studio XPS 16 since march 2009 and its on its third lid replacement for the same reasons that ralphuk100 mentions. Dell has recommended to interpose a thin sheet of plastic foam in order to avoid damaging the lcd cover. Let´s see if it works.

By ReneFernando on 12 Dec 2009

What is the point of A-Listing a laptop that you cannot buy?

Despite the post from Sacha on 6th Dec 2009, I cannot find the spec for a Studio 15 with an i7 processor on the Dell web-site. The link in the Comments/Post are out of date and the price by following the link that it came up with was £898.26, not the £638 quoted in the review..

As an exercise of a point-in-time journalism this review may have been valid, but to have this posted as a A-List winner undermines the value of the PCPRO recommendations, which a lot of us out here used to rely upon. I'll take the advice of other on the User Comment list and look elsewhere.

By hsharma on 14 Dec 2009

Aha, it is as I expected. The link I posted did not last for very long, as Dell's habit of constantly updating the 'discounts' meant that it expired rather quickly.

Frankly, I'm surprised that you're experiencing such difficulties finding it on the website though.

The i7-powered Studio 15 is on this page:

http://www1.euro.dell.com/content/products/product
details.aspx/laptop-studio-1555?c=uk&l=en&s=dhs&cs
=ukdhs1&ref=lthp

By SashaMuller on 14 Dec 2009

BIOS update

Sasha,
I had a look and the link points to A03 update. The section 'Fixes and Enhancements' states that it 'Enhance Video card quality', but mentions nothing of the issue with heat and cpu throttle? Is this definitely the smae BIOS update you had?
Thanks

By andylondon on 15 Dec 2009

Yup, that's definitely the one. By 'enhance video quality', they mean 'raise throttling temperatures'. :)

By SashaMuller on 15 Dec 2009

Work around Dell hell

Just found exactly the Studio 1557 I want at astringo.co.uk and I'll get it tomorrow. Excellent knowledge and support too.

By gblem on 15 Dec 2009

Dell= confusion

Hi Sasha! Been reading the comments- you're so helpful! I've got a few queries of my own.
1/. why did you guys review the 15" when the 17" model is the updated version (with the new speakers etc)?
2/. Would you have any idea why the 17" core i7, doesn't allow you to add wireless 'n' to it? Every dell rep I speak to tell me the same robotic rubbish, "I'm sorry sir we don't have that info at the moment". It's the only thing stopping me from buying it!

Thanks!

By Dolphin on 15 Dec 2009

The 1557 is the newest version of the Studio 15. Originally it was a 15.4in laptop, now it's a 15.6in model. The Studio 17 has undergone a similarly modest transformation, going from a 17in to a 17.3in display. And, for your information, we'll be looking at the intriguing multi-touch version of the Studio 17 just as soon as we can get our hands on one!

No idea on the wireless front, though. It certainly strikes me as a touch odd...

By SashaMuller on 15 Dec 2009

Cheaper

@hsharma I can still find the system no problem on the web site. If you take the system as I spec'd it, it's now a lot cheaper. They are including the 3 warranty for just £19 now... (I shouldn't have looked, but hey that's IT).

Didn't Dell used to have quote numbers you could use to find an exact model? What happened to them?

Finally, it doesn't take a lot of search skills to find a perfectly legal offer code for another 5% off the price. Or there is one on the current Dell newsletter. Worth a look.

By randomtoast on 15 Dec 2009

BIOS update

Sasha,
I had a look and the link points to A03 update. The section 'Fixes and Enhancements' states that it 'Enhance Video card quality', but mentions nothing of the issue with heat and cpu throttle? Is this definitely the smae BIOS update you had?
Thanks

By andylondon on 15 Dec 2009

Groundhog Day

Yes, that is the right one. Did you repost that comment by accident, Andy? :)

By SashaMuller on 15 Dec 2009

hadley

Is the 17.3" just as good apart from the wireless n and the bendy case? When will the multi-touch be available?

By hadleyhunter on 16 Dec 2009

BIOS

Hi Sasha! Are you sure about the fact that the new A03 bios will fix the cpu throttle issue? Has the new bios been tested? Because I read that on the XPS model, the throttling issue is still present, and cpu has consistent slowdowns while using gpu or rendering...thanks a lot! bye :)

By Lemas on 16 Dec 2009

Both the Studio were downgraded from their original incarnation a year or so ago. The touch sensitive media buttons above the keyboard disappeared, and I think build quality suffered a little. But in all fairness, they also became much, much cheaper.

As for multi-touch, I'm not so sure. I'd imagine the standard HD display will be more suitable for most people anyway. 802.11n is more of an issue, though. I'd be tempted to wait and see if Dell come to their senses on that front.

As for the BIOS question from Lemas, well, the CPU was never throttling, it was the GPU. As the XPS is utterly different in virtually every regard, it's just not sensible to compare the two. And to answer your secodn question, the BIOS I received only became available to the public after several weeks of stress-testing.

As ever, shout if you have any more questions. Post here or email me at sasha@pcpro.co.uk :)

By SashaMuller on 16 Dec 2009

brilliant!

thanks Sasha for your answer! bye! :)

By Lemas on 16 Dec 2009

hadley

Is the 17.3" just as good apart from the wireless n and the bendy case? When will the multi-touch be available?

By hadleyhunter on 16 Dec 2009

Really Nice System

I think that dell were heavilly discounting these until a few days ago (a saving of £299) with free delivery. I think that offer has now ended thougth.

The lid is not overly plyable, but it definatly there, other than that i'm really happy with it.

By andrewolden on 16 Dec 2009

How to order this review unit

Guys,
you still can order this system for £749. The only thing you have to do is to enter the correct evalue code or refer to it when ordering over the phone. The code is "Reviews-NR53507". You can enter evalue codes (Online ordering codes) on that site for example:
http://www1.euro.dell.com/content/topics/segtopic.
aspx/advertised?c=uk&cs=ukdhs1&l=en&s=dhs&~ck=anav
ml
You get there by selecting the "As Advertised PCs" link from the Dell consumer website. Hope that helps.

By ms_schuetz on 17 Dec 2009

Happy with mine

I bought mine when I first saw them on the Dell website; for £680 including VAT and delivery.

I've been very happy with ours since receipt. There appears to be an intermittent issue with the subwoofer on mine (sometimes it doesn't seem to kick in - and it's never 'bassy' so can be hard to know if it's firing), but apparently that's a known issue if you run an internet search on it.

The lid flex is definitely an issue; I feel I have to handle ours with care... but then at £700 I would do anyway. If you plan to carry it around, invest in a good robust carrier.

I've checked the Dell website several times since buying it early in November; apart from a one week window it's been on there pretty consistently at

By jonboyx on 17 Dec 2009

How to order this review unit

Guys,
you still can order this system for £749. The only thing you have to do is to enter the correct evalue code or refer to it when ordering over the phone. The code is "Reviews-NR53507". You can enter evalue codes (Online ordering codes) on that site for example:
http://www1.euro.dell.com/content/topics/segtopic.
aspx/advertised?c=uk&cs=ukdhs1&l=en&s=dhs&~ck=anav
ml
You get there by selecting the "As Advertised PCs" link from the Dell consumer website. Hope that helps.

By ms_schuetz on 17 Dec 2009

Sent mine back

Mine was delivered from Dell on 1st December and I was very happy with it until it locked up on me on 5 seperate occasions each requiring a reboot.

Fortunately, as I bought it as a consumer rather than business I can return it within 7 days without penalty. However, this is a nightmare as Dell Customer Services is an oxymoron. I emailed twice from their website to complain and never received a response so spent a number of hours on the phone being passed from 1 department to another or forced to listen to muzak for hours on end. Finally got through and the kit is waiting to be picked up as we speak under the returns policy.

Mine cost me £729 + vat and included the upgraded screen, the sound blaster card, and a 5% discount from one of the voucher sites.

Dell are frankly very poor and I would advise against buying from them due to their poor concept of customer service.

By kariba on 17 Dec 2009

How to order this review unit

Guys,
you still can order this system for £749. The only thing you have to do is to enter the correct evalue code or refer to it when ordering over the phone. The code is "Reviews-NR53507". You can enter evalue codes (Online ordering codes) on that site for example:
http://www1.euro.dell.com/content/topics/segtopic.
aspx/advertised?c=uk&cs=ukdhs1&l=en&s=dhs&~ck=anav
ml
You get there by selecting the "As Advertised PCs" link from the Dell consumer website. Hope that helps.

By ms_schuetz on 17 Dec 2009

Poor customer Service

Kariba,
I have to agree customer service is very poor. If you want to buy someone will answer the phone immediately. Once you have ordered it's almost impossible to speak to anyone. I now have 2 1557's being delivered anyday. I ordered one on the internet but my card company refused payment, so I called Dell and they 'cancelled' the order and then re-ordered another one (this time with MS access). Later I was invoiced for both, they refuse to stop the wrong order and have charged me for both, I can obly get a refund when the unwanted laptop is delivered to me and I then have to send it back! What a shambles. I've always been a Dell fan but this will be my last one. They have down graded their customer service and will lose many people as a result.

By andylondon on 21 Dec 2009

ECode no longer works :(

I looked on the Dell Website this morning. The review code didn't work, and there wasn't a similar priced/spec'd laptop.

I contacted Dell through their Customer chatline, who confirmed that the code is no longer valid.

I asked them if the 1557 was still being sold, and the reply was that there was no more stock....

Does PC Pro still have their a-list Price promise thingy? It's been less than a month since the review, and even less since the magazine went to print- previously this was enough for the A-list prize to be stripped.

By TheFurbster on 23 Dec 2009

Thanks for the info

I'll look into it right away. My only concern is that my contacts may have already disappeared off on their Xmas hols.

I'll post back as soon as I hear anything.

By SashaMuller on 23 Dec 2009

Laptop Availability

I bought a 1557 a month ago for £773 (with 5% discount code). HD screen, 500GB HDD, 4GB RAM,wireless N etc. Fantastic laptop IMHO.

A quick quick on the Dell website reveals that this model has now become £999 for a standard build. See:

http://bit.ly/zmejF

The model below that now includes a superfluous Blu-ray drive with 6GB RAM, but has a Core 2 Duo Processor rather than the iCore7.

Dell is notorious for changing models and specs on a whim;
I'm glad I bought mine when I did.

By mashedmallow on 23 Dec 2009

One Other Thing

The £849 model is still advertised as having the "Fastest mobile processor on the planet!", which is incorrect as it's the Core 2 Duo. Perhaps Sasha can investigate this issue...

By mashedmallow on 23 Dec 2009

Pricing has now completely changed

A mere few weeks after the review, the pricing has once again completely changed - Dell now offer tewaked systems at much higher prices on the website. An online sales person managed to get me roughly the same deal as the review, but they did not know how long they will still be able to do that for?

Is it me or is Dell the only company to have a post xmas sale that is actually more expensive!

By ramw2 on 23 Dec 2009

Interersting

Excuse the multiple posts, I was rather heavy in the Refresh button.

ramw2 - fair point.

Dell may be arguing that 6GB of RAM and a Blu-Ray player is sufficient to justify the extra price, but I think this is mistaken. They really need to sort out their false advertising too.

By mashedmallow on 23 Dec 2009

Am I being thick or ...

Is the Dell Studio 1557 on the "as seen on TV" section of the Dell site not the same as this for £699 including VAT?

By qbert on 23 Dec 2009

qbert = Yes

Yes, that is the model, the iCore7 one anyway.

http://bit.ly/76mVqX.

Wonder how long it will stay there...

By mashedmallow on 23 Dec 2009

thanks for the link

Thanks for the link mashedmallow.

I thought the original offer was for a 7,200rpm hard drive, am I wrong?

Anyone got any tips on whether to buy now or gamble on the direction of prices in Jan?

What really irritates me about their "new deal" is that it does not let us customize down, unlike the older site options - therefore dell could lose a sale because I don't want to pay for a blue ray player.....

By ramw2 on 23 Dec 2009

Hard Disk

Well spotted ramw2, it was a 7200 hdd. You can upgrade to this for £45 which brings it to a tenner more than the price in the review. you could also upgrade to a 500Gb 7200 disk for an extra £75 but where do you draw the line...

As for price movements, I don't know but this seems a good price for the spec..

By qbert on 23 Dec 2009

£735.29

with a 500Gb 7200HD using voucher code

LGP?PXR7ZJG4FC

5% of xps oders over £749

By qbert on 23 Dec 2009

Complicated!

My model had the choice of a 7200rpm 500GB HDD which I went for. It also had a free colour upgrade. But I think I got lucky.

As for whether to buy now or wait...well, it's hard to say. Does Dell do Xmas sales? I would say go for it.

It is worth browsing for voucher codes. The 5% offer I got was on a pretty obscure site, but it worked!

And it is a very nice piece of kit.

qbert - nice spot on the voucher.

By mashedmallow on 23 Dec 2009

Oh

And definitely go for the High Def screen.

By mashedmallow on 23 Dec 2009

£735.29

with a 500Gb 7200HD using voucher code

LGP?PXR7ZJG4FC

5% of xps oders over £749

By qbert on 23 Dec 2009

kgbmcse

High-end laptop winner
How does PC Pro allow it to be a winner when the hard drive has been downgraded to 5.5k rpm drive rather than 7200 rpm.
Dell have altered the spcification.
PC pro please look at this concern

By kgbmcse on 28 Dec 2009

Hard drive

All seems exactly as we reviewed if you follow this link (posted above by one very helpful fellow):

http://bit.ly/76mVqX

By SashaMuller on 29 Dec 2009

Useful website

If you are interested in Dell stuff, this website looks pretty good:

http://www.dmxdimension.com

It certainly makes the models easier to find!

By mashedmallow on 1 Jan 2010

Graphics Card

Just ordered one of these (1557) but the spec states that it is supplied with a Radeon HP 4570 ? Should that not read Radeon HD 4570?

By techifan on 3 Jan 2010

Is this still good value?

With 3 new mobile corei7's being released at CES is it still a good idea to buy this processor?

By ramw2 on 4 Jan 2010

Jus the ticket

After 9 years using an old laptop (Dell as it happens) running Win2000 the move to the Dell Studio and Win7 has been a success - so far at least.
Thanks for a cracking review Sasha. V happy with the end result.

By Mark_S on 16 Jan 2010

Finding this Laptop

In many years of buying PCs and laptops, I've never found one so hard to buy. Managed it in the end, only to find there were (slightly) cheaper variations out there. It felt like the 12 Tasks of Asterix.

Couldn't PC Pro A lists include a watched link to the PC - my thanks to those users here who posted the eValue codes.

I do think Dell need a bit of name and shame for atrocious and obvious ploy at extracting money after playing PC Pro.

Let's just hope the laptop arrives now :)

By vornc on 17 Jan 2010

Extracting money?

The laptop is cheaper than when we reviewed it!

Go to Dell's website and click on For Home. Now click Dell Deals, select the As Advertised link from the drop-down list and then, finally, select Magazines.

The model as we reviewed it is on that page for £699 inc VAT.

By SashaMuller on 18 Jan 2010

http://bit.ly/76mVqX

Still valid.

By mashedmallow on 26 Jan 2010

Dell codes

Go to Dell website and search the following codes

NR53507
£764.84
i7-720QM, 4096MB, 320GB, 512MB Radeon HP 4570, wireles, bluetooth, etc

N0053508
£699.00
i7-720QM, 4096MB, 320GB, 512MB Radeon HP 4570, wireles etc

By cemsmusic on 26 Jan 2010

Dell studio 1557

Dell has now updated codes.

N0055806
£849
i7-720QM, 6144MB, 500GB (7,200rpm), 512MB Radeon HP 4570, 1080 LCD, 15 months antivirus.

This deal is actually better than previous ones.

By cemsmusic on 28 Jan 2010

Dell Studio 1557

None of your evalue codes make sense to me. They are all single sets of characters, but the code Dell expect us to type in is two separate sets of characters - and rather longer. The closest I get to the review system is £929, a lot more than the price as reviewed. Surely the price hasn't risen after Christmas?

By grannybuttons on 2 Feb 2010

@ Grannybuttons

prefix the code with reviews- e.g. reviews-N0055806

By Dr_Zeus on 2 Feb 2010

Sound quality?

Hi Does this version ahve better sound than the orginal Dell Studio (currently on sale in PCworld) - that has one of teh worse sound qualities I ahve ever heard and stopped me from buying it.

By derbycc on 2 Feb 2010

Sounding off

I'm not sure which Dell Studio you're referring to, but I thought the 1557 sounded pretty darn good by laptop standards.

By SashaMuller on 2 Feb 2010

Spooked by Dell Problems

Hi Sasha,
I too have recently purchased a Dell studio 1557. The fan seems to run all the time, which drains the battery so I have considered the oft stated heating issue.
I went to your dell download site as listed above, downloaded the driver only for it to tell me 'there are no files to download'. Am I stuck with the fan?
Next 'spook' is the system crashing. Ive had to restart it once, but thats all.
Third 'spook' is the system deciding that I need a mega mouse pointer. This occurred tonight and i read somewhere that I will need to install an updated driver for the ATI Radeon graphics card. Any thoughts here?
Finally, every now and then I lose the cute menu which takes me to email, movies, photos, etc that was sitting at the top of my screen. What is this menu called and how can I keep it?
Long comment I know, but I am across a lot of water after all!
Cheers

By davidjdelaney on 2 Feb 2010

re: Sounding Off

Hi Sasha
I suspect the PCworld dell was the 1555 so I was hoping that the sound on the new 1557 was much better. I'll see if I can find one to listen to - too much of risk for me without hearing it first. Having said that sound quality on the Sony NW20 and NW21 was bad too (but not as bas as Dell's)

By derbycc on 3 Feb 2010

Throttling/heat issues

Sasha, just quoting you from a while back:

"As for the BIOS question from Lemas, well, the CPU was never throttling, it was the GPU. As the XPS is utterly different in virtually every regard, it's just not sensible to compare the two. And to answer your secodn question, the BIOS I received only became available to the public after several weeks of stress-testing."

So what do you make of all the accusations that the CPU is throttling, like the ones found on this thread: http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=4
20768 ?
I'm inclined to think that the issues that people are experiencing are due to a poorly cooled GPU, NOT the CPU. And I take it that a hot GPU wouldn't cause the CPU to throttle, right? Not unless the heat from the GPU is directly affecting the CPU? What do you think?

By Nifkin on 3 Feb 2010

Dell Studio 1557

For the following code to work just go to http://www.dell.co.uk/ and enter N0055806 on the top right corner search field. Then click search. Page will refresh and you will see the laptop. Click on the link next to it and it will take you to it. Simples.

You can also look at www.dmxdimension.com for dell deals.

By cemsmusic on 5 Feb 2010

Re: Throttling/heat issues

I'm really not sure, Nifkin. Without knowing how people are using the laptop, it's impossible to say.

I'd imagine that if you put the CPU and GPU under heavy load in a hot, poorly ventilated room, then yes, you'll probably find both throttling eventually.

I'd imagine it also depends on whether people have the 6-cell battery or not, as that raises the rear of the laptop up and improves cooling no end.

By SashaMuller on 5 Feb 2010

So far so good, but will it last?

Ordered on February 2nd via the DELL website and reported as shipping on the 5th of February with a forecast shipping date of 16th of Feb.

From reading other contributors input I was anticipating a considerable delay.

By Dr_Zeus on 5 Feb 2010

Latest offer

Currently they have a 3 year for 2 home support offer.

This means that if you use a 5% voucher (search google for dell coupons), you can get the same machine with 3 years cover for £734.

After my last Dell fried after 13 months :(, getting peace of mind for free is a bargain!!

By TheFurbster on 8 Feb 2010

What is the screen like for work ?

Last time I popped into my local computer shop all the laptops had very reflective glossy screens - which might be good for watching films but not for actually using the computer to do work. How does the Dell screen compare ? I brought a macbook pro a while ago and that had an anti glare option but the only Dells labtops with this option seem to be the very basic Vostro models.

Also all the Pcpro recommended laptops are 15" or smaller my eyesight is not that good and I would much prefer a 17", Im sure Im not the only one.

By ijabz on 12 Feb 2010

New Spec (but with worse gfx card?)

I noticed that the i7 1557 now comes with a HD 5470 gfx card.

I've had a look at some games benchmarks for this, and it seems inferior to the original 4570 card?

By TheFurbster on 19 Feb 2010

Processor Change

I notice that the i7-720QM processor is no longer available on either the 15" or 17" version of this laptop. The highest you can go is the i7-620M. Is this still a best buy? What is better - a i7-620M or a i7-720QM?

By nickterry on 28 Feb 2010

This laptop has HUGE problems with random CRASHES - stay way.

... due to the ATI graphics card crashing and overheating.

My advice is: if you want to keep your sanity stay away from this laptop.

Follow the following link and find the entry below in the middle of the page - all credit goes to Hwam for doing all the testing.

http://en.community.dell.com/forums/p/19303691/196
46305.aspx?PageIndex=17

_____________________
Re: Studio 1557 freezes, can't control+alt+delete to gain control
28 Feb 2010 05:15AM
___________

Hi all,

Here are my final conclusions about the Studio 1557 and the ATI card 4570.

The current system setup I have is ATI driver 8.710.3 and Catalyst 10.3 (preview version). I found out that none of the tested ATI drivers in this complete post is stable. If you setup the system with PowerPlay on it will crash, I’m sure.

PowerPlay is an ATI solution for Green Power. If you need video power it will speed up the Video Core and Video Memory clock frequencies. If you don’t need the power they will set to a lower frequency. It’s all to save the battery. In the Studio 1557 there is something wrong with this setup. If PowerPlay is enabled the laptop is absolutely not stable and the Laptop (ATI card) will crash with full screen video work. This is why a lot of people complain about youtube video. I can make it crash with this kind of video (hardware accelerated). Also the Flash 10.1 beta 3 version will give the same result. I can also make the video card crash with vmware full screen aero sessions. If you disable flash hardware acceleration it’s better but that is not the solution.

If you disable ATI PowerPlay the laptop is more stable. It will play youtube video full screen better and vmware is also acting better. But this is not the solution because in this mode, PowerPlay disabled, you lose the Green power futures. With PowerPlay disabled it will setup the video Core Clock to 499.5 MHz and the video Memory Clock to 796.5 MHz. These values are fixed and they will never change if PowerPlay is disabled. A very negative thing about this mode is that you lose the Green power future. There is no battery saving at all because the frequencies are not going down if you don’t need the video power. But an even more negative thing is that the Core speed frequency is also not going up. The maximum for the 4570 card is 680 MHz but you cannot use this power because it’s constantly 499.5 MHz if PowerPlay is disabled.

Conclusion:

- The Studio 1557 with the ATI 4570 card has big problems, especially in combination with the ATI PowerPlay futures.

- The laptop is very instable if PowerPlay is enabled. It will crash with full screen video. I can reproduce this when I use the laptop with only battery (6 or 9 cell) power, no power supply attached.

- If PowerPlay is disabled you cannot use all the power the video card can give. Because the maximum Core speed frequency 680 MHz is not setup.

- If PowerPlay is disabled the Green option is gone. Not good for the battery.

But there is more:

- The function key / dell multimedia keys will swap back to multimedia key. I have to change the bios setup at least once a week.

- The Intel 5300 wifi driver supplied by Dell is not stable, you must update to the latest 13.1.1.1 version. Download it at the Intel site.

I’m testing all those things for two months now and Dell is not helping me with is.

Who can verify these conclusions and let me know the results? If anyone has other experiences please let me know.

Grt.

By jose222 on 28 Feb 2010

Core I7 1557

Is brilliant, windows 7 experience is fantastic. Machine doubles up as a really good DTV with a Haupagge Nova 2.

Sound quality is clear and good quality.

Only minor gripe is the touchpad and its tendency to magnify or click stick too easily.

DELL order process straightforward but required a couple of visits before getting it right or so I thought, managed to forget the extended battery and backlit keyboard.

Very happy with it and good recommendation by PCPro.
Carl

By Dr_Zeus on 1 Mar 2010

Dell 1557

I have had this for three months now with not a glitch. Very fast and smooth.
I cant believe it for the price. I can play full screen youtube and full screen HD content. All I have updated from the original setting is the BIOS.
I am getting 3hrs from the standard 6 cell battery doing minor internet surfing and a few office documents.

A very good recomendation from PCPRO

By sharklippy on 3 Mar 2010

Ok so far... well 95%

Had this laptop since Christmas - not been able to put it fully through its paces (due to new baby taking all my time), but seems smooth and crash free in regular use.
Only gripe is I'm struggling to get used to the touchpad. I find it's not very sensitive and I can't accelerate it enough (for the high res). Also I often find my fingers on the buttons just touch the pad because they are so flush.
I got rid of the Dell drivers and use the Synaptics - they seem to have many more options and help a bit, but it's not ideal.
Anyone else notice this?

By randomtoast on 11 Mar 2010

Niggles Niggles Niggles

For the first time in my IT life, I bit the bullet and bought a brand new laptop. I went for the 1557 for the new i7 cpu and I upgraded to a Blue Ray Drive. I have to say though, being a long time IBM Thinkpad man through several generations, I am not overly impressed.

It may be Win7 that is at fault, but I cannot find a screen resolution for Windows applications that is pin-sharp text and depth of colour. The video is OK. What settings you guys adopting? I get less resolution than on my old DOS palmtop!!

Also - anyone else had the niggle of the CD/DVD burning drivers constantly disappearing - Roxio fails to find the drive constantly and this was a pre-load from Dell. Yes, done he updates... Win7 also fails consistently during a burn... often tailing off as if daydreaming out the window... All the Nero's I have tried from 6 up either WON'T run under Win7 or fail.

Other than that I so don't get the 'Libraries' thing in Win7 and the inconsistent navigational boxes to load and save to within various applications. Also, I never used to use AV software as needed the full speed of my line or PC. MaCafee is a pre load for a year, but YUK! It keeps deleting any suspicious files on my external drives when I plug in - apps and utils I have used for years without problems! I have to suspend it now to transfer files as you can't 'teach' it to ignore... Battery - 2 hours on iPlayer wifi'd, my T42 is 3. Unit is quiet, looks OK - BUT NO HDD indicator!! I have a software add-on. This is a stupid omission!!

So, Wifi - faultless, CPU speed... ermm nothing evident, Win7 Pro crashes still...screen text utter rubbish! (help!)and hate the letterbox format...

I paid £770 with a Ruby lid/BlueRay/4Gb/512Mb graphics/360Gb but no HiRes LED as was another 'EXTRA' £900 !! Took 2 weeks to be specified and delivered.

By Hieroglyph on 16 Mar 2010

Remove this from A-list

Once again a magazine has had the wool pulled over its eyes.

The system as reviewed (N0055806) is no longer available at anywhere near the price shown in the review. In fact it now costs over £400 more (£1149).

When are you guys going to stop falling for the loss leader to get some decent publicity. They may have offered the deal for the first 60-90 days after the review but now they are happy to screw people. You should point this out in your A-list.

What a crock I will no longer treat your review findings with any confidence.

By jimporter3 on 23 Mar 2010

@jimporter3

Like any Dell laptop, the Studio 15's price is constantly shifting from month to month.

I spent two minutes on the website and managed to configure the review unit for £804 inc VAT, or one with an HD screen for £874 inc VAT. It's more than when we reviewed it, but it doesn't change the fact that it's good value for money. There's even one of the new ATI HD5470 graphics chips in there, too.

And should that not be reassurance enough, well, then there are plenty of competitors lining up to take the Dell's place, so there may be a new A-list laptop soon enough.

Thanks for your comment.

Sasha
Laptops Editor
PC Pro

By SashaMuller on 23 Mar 2010

No longer available

Hmm, this laptop is no longer available - the closest spec costs hundreds of pounds more as far as I can see. Dell doesn't even seem to be offering the i7 as default on higer spec machines.

It seems the price point of this laptop was a blip.

Shouldn't it be removed from the A List?

By dgareth1 on 23 Mar 2010

@ Sasha

OK to be fair the price has now come down a bit since I made my comment.

Although you state that there is a better graphics card, the 7200rpm hard disk is not available only 5400rpm is.

When you generate a spec can you please include the dell spec code (N9999999) so that we can all get to the same thing easily.

When are you going to be naming the competitors?

By jimporter3 on 27 Mar 2010

Also in your reviews...

I am a hater of glossy screens and would prefer a matt screen, reflections are a big turn off, can you work out some comparison test for reflectivity.

Also I have noticed that the days of teflon coated mousepads on laptops seem to have vanished and most now are horrible and sticky to use. I am sure the manufacturers are doing this for cost purposes but as one who never uses a separate mouse on a laptop the quality of the mousepad is key. On a similar note so is how offset the mousepad is due to numeric keypads being included, I would rather have no numeric keypad and a central mousepad anyday.

By jimporter3 on 27 Mar 2010

@jimporter3

Actually, it seems that Dell has reinstated the reviewed spec, with the 7200rpm hard disk, as the top of the range Studio 15.

Find it here:

http://www1.euro.dell.com/uk/en/home/Laptops/lapto
p-studio-1555/pd.aspx?refid=laptop-studio-1555&s=d
hs&cs=ukdhs1&~ck=mn

By SashaMuller on 29 Mar 2010

@macforlife

i've been repairing and run my own tech service business and i have worked on macbook pro's and can tell you first hand that my dell 1535 (with a t8100 c2d, 4 gigs ram and 500gig 7200rpm seagate) equals or is slightly less in performace than the latest macbook pro. the difference is minute and does not justify the $800 price difference

the mac OS is not better than any of the windows variants simply because you don't have the support to be better.

furthermore the macbooks cost a ton more to repair than any windows pc/laptop. the lcd alone replacement alone is a project, just as an example.

By sit2k on 29 Mar 2010

Thank you for the review and all the posts. Should I buy this laptop? More to the point change specs?

Hi,

I've been wading through some laptop reviews and specs and updating my knowledge in the process. Back when the choice was 486 or Pentium perhaps, and maybe 512mb of RAM I knew exactly where I stood - I know more than that statement implies but if you look at the detail and like detail with so many different machines available it can feel overwhelming. I'm looking at a 17" laptop as my main PC and a 17" Studio is currently top of my list.

So thank you Sasha for a great and thorough review (and replies to posts - it's good to know people are being heard and responded to). Thank you to everyone else for the posts as they made interesting and useful reading.

Am currently looking at getting (will be specific as the specs seem to chang so often!) -Intel® Core™ i3-330M (2.13Ghz, 4Threads, 3MB cache), 4gb of DDR3 RAM, 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 5650, 320GB 7200rpm. Discount offer ending midnight tomorrow (Apr 7) mean it is currently £629.

My intial budget was £500 but have some £ coming my way to am thinking of going above and future proofing a little. Besides doing that (future proof a smidge) I surf a lot, excel & word docs, lots of applications (I tend to have several things open at once) and finally ideally play games (not a priority but a nice to have - a bonus if it can do todays demanding games). May well be something I've not thought about too eg how heavy on my knee when sat in my lounge.

- Is it worth spending £70 more for replacing i3 chip set with i5 and higher resolution screen?
- Are any of the following worth investing in do you think?
– bigger hard drive (it's difficult to estimate what you need I think and I don't have oceans of video)?
- more RAM?
- Windows 7 ultimate (as opposed to standard Home Premium)?

I've a list of reasons to buy and reason why not - Dell customer (lack of?) service - mentioned above and poor in my limited experience of it too.

Craig

By Fletch456 on 5 Apr 2010

i5 performance

An interesting article I thought...comparing the i5-750, Pentium G6950, Phenom II X2.

The i5 comes out very well and though 750 isn't available on the Dell site at the moment it is as 430, 520, 540. What difference this would make to the test that site performed, I don't know but this and learning it's quad more may be enough for me to pay for the i5 (though perhaps the 430 to stop me destroying my original budget completely).

By Fletch456 on 6 Apr 2010

i5 performance - URL

Forgot to add the URL - http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/phenom-ii-x2-555,rev
iew-31794-7.html

By Fletch456 on 6 Apr 2010

i5 v i3 performance

Have answered on of my own questions, it seems. The i5 doesnt in the Studio 17 at least, provide better gaming experience. So i3 will probably do as good a job with all the other things I am going to do I think.

"Average performance differences are small and tend to favor AMD's architecture, which, given the pricing advantages of AMD products, in turn favors mid-budget gamers. Better news for AMD buyers is that even-cheaper Athlon II X3 processors offer similar gaming performance compared to today’s tested Phenom II X3 720, although using one would have prevented us from price-matching today’s configurations.

Moderately lower gaming value won’t prevent some users from buying a Core i3-, i5-, or i7-series processor for Intel’s superiority in many non-gaming applications. The good news for low-budget Intel buyers is that jumping in with the cheapest i3 model yields virtually no performance deficit at the highest gaming details, at least when the system is limited to a single high-end, single-GPU card like the Radeon HD 5850."
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/core-i3-gaming,revie
w-31852-13.html

By Fletch456 on 6 Apr 2010

Core blimey

Sorry for not getting back to you sooner, Fletch456. I was greeted by a sizable pile of emails upon my arrival at work this morning.

Anyway, it seems like you got there yourself in the end, but I agree that a Core i3 will do just fine.

Be aware, though, Core i5 manages the impossible by being both faster and more efficient, so you may find that battery life will improve with the i5.

And, as ever, it pays to look very carefully at all the options on Dell's website. Sometimes the high-end processors work out cheaper than the budget ones due to time-limited deals.

Sasha Muller
Laptops Editor
PC Pro

By SashaMuller on 6 Apr 2010

Re Core Blimey

Thanks Sasha

Would you like to recommend a chip option, give what we've said above, from the current time limited offer?

Intel® Core™ i3-330M (2.13Ghz, 4Threads, 3MB cache) [Included in Price]
Intel® Core™ i3-350M (2.26Ghz, 4Threads, 3MB cache) [add £40.01 or £2/month1]
Dell Recommended
Intel® Core™ i5-430M (2.26Ghz, 4Threads, turbo boost up to 2.53 GHz, 3MB cache) [add £80.00 or £4/month1]
Intel® Core™ i5-520M (2.4GHz, 4 Threads, turbo Boost up to 2.93GHz, 3MB cache) [add £130.00 or £7/month1]
Intel® Core™ i5-540M (2.53Ghz, 4 Thread, turbo boost up to 3.06 GHz, 3MB cache) [add £150.00 or £8/month1]

I think I may prefer to add no more than £80 as I may add a Blu-ray drive.

Thanks

Craig

By Fletch456 on 6 Apr 2010

It really depends upon...

...which base model you're starting from, but I'd wager the i5-430M would give a nice performance boost.

Just FYI, the model we reviewed is still available for £749 inc here:

http://www1.euro.dell.com/uk/en/home/Laptops/lapto
p-studio-1555/pd.aspx?refid=laptop-studio-1555&s=d
hs&cs=ukdhs1&~ck=mn

By SashaMuller on 6 Apr 2010

Re Core Blimey

Thanks Sasha

Would you like to recommend a chip option, give what we've said above, from the current time limited offer?

Intel® Core™ i3-330M (2.13Ghz, 4Threads, 3MB cache) [Included in Price]
Intel® Core™ i3-350M (2.26Ghz, 4Threads, 3MB cache) [add £40.01 or £2/month1]
Dell Recommended
Intel® Core™ i5-430M (2.26Ghz, 4Threads, turbo boost up to 2.53 GHz, 3MB cache) [add £80.00 or £4/month1]
Intel® Core™ i5-520M (2.4GHz, 4 Threads, turbo Boost up to 2.93GHz, 3MB cache) [add £130.00 or £7/month1]
Intel® Core™ i5-540M (2.53Ghz, 4 Thread, turbo boost up to 3.06 GHz, 3MB cache) [add £150.00 or £8/month1]

I think I may prefer to add no more than £80 as I may add a Blu-ray drive.

Thanks

Craig

By Fletch456 on 6 Apr 2010

It really depends upon...

Thanks Sasha; appreciate it. Very speedy reply too.

Craig

By Fletch456 on 6 Apr 2010

Unhappy customer

I am a long time Dell fan and having purchased many of their machine over the last 20 years or so, this morning having looked at the review and compared the market I decided to buy a Studio 15.

Yesterday I ran through th espec I wanted and it was all fine, today I find that I cant select the True HD screen (1920x1080) so I contacted Dell via the online chat.

The guy I spoke to was probably one of the most arrogant pompous people I have ever hgad the pleasure to deal with, he firstly claimed that they were not available and then when I showed him via a link that they were being advertised he told me that it meant "15.6" High Definition (1366x768) WLED that is what it is showing there is no option of adding a 1080p" before ending the call.

I am now looking at other options not including Dell and it unlikeley I will ever buy another Dell. They might not care about the loss of a customer but I am sure that someone else will be interested in a customer who buys 10-20 PC's per year.

By wadbanage on 6 Apr 2010

Have to agree

Well I followed Sasha link to a spec that wasn't available when I posted and I added windows 7 professional and the true HD screen. Got the purchase agreed with my wife who is buying it for me as a present and went to order it two days later before offer ran out. I cannot now order the true HD screen (1920x1080) only the (1366x768) one is shown on the site. I cannot add Windows 7 Professional.

Dell are a shambles and can't seem to offer the same specs for 2 minutes and before anyone tells me I should have saved the config I had specced and come back to it, I tried many times and the site just kept crashing.

By jimporter3 on 8 Apr 2010

Oh and by the way sacha

When to date changed to 9/4/2010 the 7,200 hard drive is no longer available, again.

By jimporter3 on 9 Apr 2010

WiFi

Hi,
The Specs for this Laptop show 802.11 draft-n support. However, the £749 only has Dell Wireless 1397 Mini Card (802.11 b/g) [Included in Price].

If I ordered a this laptop with only wirless support up to 802.11 b/g I would be kicking myself. So it's not that I mind paying £10 or £15 extra but I honestly find it hard to choose between:

Dell Wireless 1520 Half Mini Card (802.11n) [add £15.00 or £1/month1]

or

Intel® Wireless LAN 6200 2x2 802.11a/b/g/n card (EUR) [add £10.00].

The text also mentions the advice "Choose a built-in wireless networking card to get fast, easy access to the Internet at hot spots or around the home."
Frankly I have no idea if either of these options are internal or external. I assume they are both internal but then why that advice about choosing and internal one?

Confused? Yep. Just hope I can contact support before the Spec changes again.

Tom.

By longtimereader on 15 Apr 2010

Support Query

I've bought the studio 1558 (similar spec as the 1557, core i7) and without installing anything other than the sisoft sandra suite have experienced continual freeze ups everytime I run the burn in test. Is this normal?

After contacting Dell Support and asked what I would use the laptop for (web work and some video rendering) they said that the laptop would not be suitable for video rendering. The reason they gave was that the processor was only 1.6ghz, even though i thought it boosted up to about 2.4ghz!

Very surprised with the explaination.

Jon

P.S Latest Dell bios and drivers installed.

By jjma10 on 17 Apr 2010

Happy Dell Customer and..Windows 7 Reliable v Vista Home Premium?

Hi Sasha,

First off, I've had my laptop a week and am a very happy customer. It arrived 2.5 weeks ahead of the forecast date; the speakers are very impressive; Windows 7 is a pleasure to use. The first MS OS I've enjoyed (combining features of Mac OS's and Windows OS's); set up was easy and fairly quick; start up is genuinely quick and they've ditched (thank heavens) the previously annoying Windows start up tune. I went for the 17 inch, the i5 chip, you recommended and a blu-ray drive to feed into my tv (until I think it's worth getting a stand along).

Complaints? Few and minor. Arrived without warning; was no communication to say when it would be arriving so I could have been out; the top (and shiny areas inside) attract finger prints; screen is very reflective and was a pain to use in the garden a couple of days ago. Though can you have everything?

Flimsy lid mentioned above - not for me. I'm known for being fussy and picking fault and I wonder if those above have done the same. Do Dell sell in large numbers? If they do, as I think, that means more complaints appearing here doesn't it?

From my (reasonably detailed pre-purchase research), though it depends on what you're looking for, every laptop is a compromise - ie no perfect mix of appearance, performance, reliability; at least not for this money.

Hope you don't mind me using this forum to ask this question on behalf of a friend. She has reliability problems with a Dell Inspiron 1525 that's over 12 months old which Dell have investigated and said it's a software issue (and not warranty covered). Windows 7 is a real step on from previous editions and has the reliability increased as well? Enough to be worth spending the (not very high price tag of) £70 and have a decent enough chance of solving this unspecified problem? I'm advocating she upgrade as I think it will make the difference required but appreciate being backed up on this.

Thank you

Craig

By Fletch456 on 25 Apr 2010

Almost one year later...

Cheapest Studio 15 configuration I could find today was £858 inc vat. Aren't computers supposed to get *cheaper* over time?

Windows® 7 Home Premium 64bit- English
Intel® Core™ i7-720QM Mobile Processor
15.6" High Definition (1366x768) WLED
4096MB 1333MHz Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM [2x2048]
320GB SATA Hard Drive
Primary 6-cell 56 WHr Lithium Ion battery
Dell Wireless 1397 Mini Card (802.11 b/g)

This seem to be something that has happened to PC Pro time and time again. Is it possibly time you double checked prices one or two months later, and adjust value at least if the market has changed - and sometimes penalise companies who try to cheat?

By ANTIcarr0t on 31 Jul 2010

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