Smaller is better
Dell launched its Studio Hybrid range of desktops a couple of months ago, now it's added to it with the Studio Desktop and the Studio Slim Desktop. Dell is positioning them as "entertainment enhancers" and is emphasising the video playback side of things.
The Studio Desktop starts at $549 for a standalone base unit that comes with a 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, 2GB memory, 500GB HDD, integrated graphics and Vista Home Premium. Upgrade options include Q6600 or Q9400 CPUs, ATI Radeon HD 3450 256MB discrete graphics and a Blu-ray disk burner.
The Studio Slim seems to have the same spec and upgrade options but is, well, slimmer. So it's not immediately obvious why you would choose the fatter option. Dell's only distinction is that the Studio's chassis makes future upgrades easy.
A few more differences become apparent in this list of standard issue features and upgrades:
- Six USB 2.0 ports (2 front, 4 back) for easy connections to cameras, MP3 players, storage keys.
- Built-in 1394a port for fast connections to digital video cameras
- Integrated graphics that support DirectX 10 and optional Blu-Ray player
- HDMI output for connecting to an HDTV or high-definition display
- Gigabit Ethernet for faster uploading and downloading
- Built in 16-in-1 media card reader on Studio Desktop, (optional 19-in-1 on Studio Slim Desktop)
- 350 Watt power supply on the Studio Desktop, 250 Watt power supply on the Studio Slim Desktop
- Video card upgrades from ATI
- 64-Bit versions of Windows Vista, with support for up to 8GB of system memory
- Blu-ray Disc drives
- Built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi
- Built-in TV tuner with remote control
- Wireless keyboard and mouse