Dell Studio 1747 £836
19th Feb 2010 | 10:30
Powerful performance and sound from this quad-core multimedia machine
Building on the strong foundation of its excellent Studio 15 range, Dell's Studio 1747 packs the same stunning quad-core power and usability, while adding a larger screen and improved graphics and sound, making it a fantastic multimedia machine.
Performance is truly stunning. Built around the same Intel Core i7 processor as the Studio 15, the same level of quad-core power is on offer, making light work of even the most demanding tasks.
While this isn't the most graphically advanced laptop on the market, 3D performance vastly exceeds the smaller Studio 15, almost doubling its power. Whether for basic gaming or high-definition (HD) movie and photo editing, this is a laptop you can rely on to satisfy all your entertainment needs.
The stunning 17.3-inch screen adds to its graphical ability. Its sharp resolution and well-balanced colour and contrast deliver a fantastic picture for gaming, viewing photos and watching movies. While the screen is also extremely bright, images never appear washed out.
HDMI, VGA and DisplayPort connections are provided, allowing you to connect to external HDTVs, projectors and monitors. DisplayPort is still quite rare on laptops, but is seen by some as superior to HDMI when connecting PCs to external screens, so it is nice to see both included here.
Of particular note is the inclusion of an integrated speaker and subwoofer setup from audio specialist JBL. While most laptops deliver incredibly weak audio performance, this setup produces an impressively warm and powerful sound.
As with the Studio 15, the excellent keyboard and large keys ensure comfortable usability. Despite the board flexing very slightly when typing, all keys are accurate and responsive. A full pad of number keys on the board's right-hand side allows quick and easy data input. The large touchpad and mouse buttons are as accessible and responsive as the keyboard and add to the overall usability.
While our review sample did not feature a touchscreen panel, the 17.3-inch screen can be customised with multi-touch interactivity for an extra £180.
A 500GB hard drive and an 8-in-1 media card reader provide comprehensive fixed storage and support for external flash based multimedia cards, ideal for sharing data with devices such as digital cameras.
By offering improved graphics and audio performance, Dell's Studio 17 is a great alternative to its Studio 15 for those that require extra multimedia power and don't mind the larger chassis size. Unless you require cutting-edge gaming power, this is a fantastic home laptop.
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