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Dell Studio Hybrid Desktop - Dell Studio Hybrid Desktop

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers



Our Score:


The stand is an important part of the Studio Hybrid's overall design, and again a bit more thought than usual has gone into its design and construction. It is made of metal and features a matte finish that complements the PC unit nicely, and has large protective strips on both sides to prevent damage to either the unit or your desk.

The most interesting aspect is its modular nature, which reminds me of those Transformer toys you have to puzzle out. If you want to change the Studio Hybrid's position, all that's required is to take the metal stand apart and reassemble it so that the PC can lay horizontally or stand vertically.

Getting back to the machine's front, there are no flaps hiding the connectors, which consist of two USB ports and a headphone jack. Instead, they're integrated into the gap running parallel to the shell's outline, as are the slot-loading DVD-writer and a memory card reader which will take SD, SDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro and xD cards. The eject button for the optical drive, by the way, is a touch-sensitive icon which only lights up when a disc is in the drive.

The Studio Hybrid's back is also very tidy, with a good selection of ports. Mini-FireWire joins three more USB ports and a gigabit Ethernet port. Audio is competently covered by analogue line in/out ports and S/PDIF, while for video there's a fully digital selection of HDMI and DVI - hurray for the death of analogue! But don't worry if your monitor only has a VGA connector: Dell kindly provides a DVI cable that splits into VGA and DVI. One disappointing omission is e-SATA, which is an even greater pity when you consider that most recent laptops offer this.

The reason for this omission also affects performance: the Studio Hybrid Desktop actually uses the outdated Centrino platform, rather than Centrino 2. This is reflected by its use of a 2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T8100, which runs on a slower 800MHz front side bus rather than the 1,066MHz you'll find with newer Intel processors.

Probably the most damning aspect of using this chipset is that graphics come courtesy of Intel's GMA 3100 integrated GPU. While none of Intel's integrated efforts can reasonably be called capable when it comes to games, this specimen is particularly feeble. At 1,680 x 1,050, the most common widescreen resolution for desktop monitors, Dell's Studio Hybrid Desktop only managed 10.7FPS at medium detail in our lightweight TrackMania Nations Forever benchmark.


November 6, 2008, 1:45 pm

you cant be serious at those prices Dell.....

a better specced Dell laptop costs considerably less and includes a screen..!!


November 6, 2008, 3:11 pm

@HSC: Personally, I couldn't agree more! Unfortunately, at this kind of size there isn't exactly much competition to Dell's Hybrid at the moment, and some people will want it for its looks alone.


November 6, 2008, 5:37 pm

Yes, I agree, you can buy an Atom based EeePC for 𧷤 less which is the same kind of form factor, but your performance will suffer. A similarly specced Mac mini would probably come to about the same price.


November 6, 2008, 10:33 pm

Does anyone produce a PC with onboard freeview tuners and a remote control? I want a single box under my telly that I can use to watch the BBC iplayer - but also do the Humax type of thing as well for the other channels...... (Apple are you awake?) I am hoping the HDD maunufacturers will add an ethernet port and iplayer function but it is more likely to be a PC manufacturer who does it first. The ironic thing is that with the BBC iplayer the "media PC" is finally a desirable item - except I can't find one now!

Technology changes, and so sho

November 6, 2008, 11:09 pm

Something's not right here:

I went to the Dell website and it seems to claim that Wi-Fi is an optional extra on the base model, and I find no mention of integrated Bluetooth.

Blast! This units could have been so right (older Intel platform aside), but not including Bluetooth seems laughable.

This unit would look lovely next to my Full HD Plasma TV linked with HDMI, and I could save money on the package if it included Bluetooth and I could use my existing Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.

Is there some sort of conspiracy among technology manufacturers to release stuff that just doesn't quite live up to expectation?


November 8, 2008, 3:46 am

So if I've got this right it cant play decent HD video or games due to feeble graphics, has a miserly 2GB RAM and 320GB hard drive, uses older (and cheaper technology), has a poor keyboard and mouse, has no screen and costs the best part of 𧼐. But it looks nice.

And somehow ends up getting an overall 8/10. Fascinating.

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