Something between an Eee Box and a fully-fledged desktop.
A few weeks ago Dell made its studio laptop line-up official so it seemed like only a matter of time before the desktop equivalent, the previously-leaked (in a rather blurry fashion) Studio Hybrid, was given a similar treatment. As expected that has now happened, with Dell stumping up the full details of its ‘eco-friendly’ desktop PC, set to rival the Mac mini, rather than the Eee Box as I wrongly speculated.
That’s borne out by the choice of processors Dell has made; Core 2 Duo options rather than an Intel Atom CPU. However, despite using a more powerful CPU, the Hybrid does still keep its power draw down below 65W. Judging from the specs, we suspect that the system uses Intel’s Centrino 2 (a.k.a. Montevina) notebook platform, rather than desktop components. But when it helps keep the power draw and heat output to a minimum without sacrificing performance that’s a hardly much of a sacrifice.
The Studio Hybrid also boasts features such as HDMI output (alongside as a DVI port), coupled with the options of both a Blu-ray drive option and a TV tuner – all three features Apple doesn’t offer anywhere in its Mac range, let alone the Mini which Dell is attempting to rival with this machine. A slew of USB ports, Draft-N WiFi and a card-reader give the Studio decent connectivity credentials, too.
Stylistically Dell also seems to be competing with Apple, offering a range of interchangeable case covers, from Blue, through orange to green – there’s even a bamboo option. Unlike the Eee Box and its ilk, the Studio Hybrid should be powerful enough to sit as a replacement as a desktop, just without the space and power requirements.
Price-wise the Studio Hybrid is much more friendly than many a desktop, sitting at $499 (~£250) for the base spec, offering a 1.73GHz dual-core CPU, 2GB of RAM and a 160GB Vista-fitted hard drive. Obviously upping the spec will similarly raise the price.
Now if Dell can just get OSX running it might ”really” have a Mac Mini rival in the making!