Dell has finally made the move to incorporate Centrino 2 mobile technology into its fashionable Studio 15 notebooks.
Dell’s Studio 15 notebooks were released just weeks before Intel released its Montevina platform, which always seemed a bit of shame. It took only weeks for the Dell Studio 15 to seem like old tech, which had kept some potential buyers impatiently waiting for Dell to update it. It took months, but Dell has finally announced it is offering a Studio 15 notebook (opens in new tab) with Centrino 2 mobile technology. Amusingly, Nvidia announced at virtually the same time its new spiffy Geforce 9400M mobile chipset. Studio 15 notebooks that use the older Santa Rosa platform are still also being offered.
The new Dell Studio 15 notebook with Centrino 2 mobile technology has a base configuration that features an Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 processor (2.20 GHz | 1066 MHz FSB | 3 MB Cache | 25 W TDP), 4 GB of DDR2 800 MHz RAM and an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3450 graphics solution. The notebook comes with a glossy 15.4-inch (1280x800) LCD display with WLED back-lighting and built-in webcam. Also included is a 320 GB 5400 RPM HDD, a slot load DVD burner, 802.11a/n, a 6-cell battery, fingerprint reader and Windows Vista Home Premium. The system weighs over 6-pounds, depending on configuration, and its thickness ranges from 1-inch to 1.3-inches.
One advantage of the Centrino 2 platform is that it offers a faster integrated graphics solution compared to that of previous Centrino platforms. It would seem like that advantage does not affect this new Dell Studio 15 notebook configuration however, as it uses a dedicated graphics solution instead. The faster 1066 MHz FSB of the Centrino 2 platform does allow the Dell Studio 15 to equip an Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 processor though, which is more energy-efficient than processors used in earlier Studio 15 notebooks. Overall, other than possibly a bit more battery life, this new Studio 15 notebook seems to offer little improvement over that of older models.
Although Dell is facing stiff competition in the notebook market right now, especially considering the recent update of Apple’s Macbooks, Dell has at least one thing going for it- price. The price of the updated Dell Studio 15 notebook starts at $999, which is $300 less than the new Macbooks. Although the build quality of the new Macbooks would seem unquestioned, Windows users seeking good performance at a lower price may find Dell’s offering the better deal. Dell will continue to also face strong competition from other notebook PC manufactures of course, which there seems to be no shortage of.
Dell still has yet to update many of its other notebooks with Centrino 2 mobile technology, such as the Studio 17 and the Inspiron 13. The Dell Inspiron 13 is of particular interest though, as it weighs about 4.9-pounds, features a 13-inch display and costs half the price of a new Macbook. An Inspiron 13 refresh that includes faster integrated graphics, longer battery life and a WiMax option could compete very well against both netbooks and Macbooks. Dell Inspiron 13 notebooks can be configured with dedicated graphics and are available starting at $599 in Canada and $649 in the U.S.