For those of you who keep up with the technology industry, you may have caught some of the buzz from that Intel's annual round up known as Intel Developer's Forum (IDF) in San Francisco. One of today's highpoints is Intel serving notice they have raised the bar in mobile performance by releasing the mobile version of Core i7 quad core processors (a.k.a. Clarksfield).
Note from Lionel: I saw that some readers were giving Engadget a hard time because Dell.com wasn't updated with the mobile Core i7 goodness. Some of it is now. Click on the banner above to look at our i7-based laptop offerings. I'll add the Studio XPS 16 link when it's updated. Done.
Make no mistake, putting a quad core processor in a laptop does a lot for performance and there is an elite group of folks out there who always feel the need for speed: gamers. For these acceleration aficionados, Dell has delivered the new Alienware M15x—a 15-inch laptop that reinforces that nobody - but nobody - knows how to pack more into the 15-inch gaming laptop than the Dell/Alienware gaming engineers and designers.
But enough about the expected - let's talk about the unexpected - like the fact that Dell is actually offering these new high-powered processors as an option on three other laptop models, including a Studio 15 laptop powered by the new mobile Core i7 processors with a starting price of $999. The other news of the day is that we have significantly updated the Studio 17 laptop and have launched mobile Core i7 edition starting at $1,099. And just to make sure all the bases are covered, we've added a Core i7 processor option to the elegant Studio XPS 16 (more on that in a bit). Any one of these systems should definitely appeal to those of you who are "obsolescence paranoid" as well as the performance enthusiast who can't quite fit the aggressive Alienware design into their personal style.
Let's dive into some of the details around the new Studio 17 which frankly lands near the top of the entertainment powerhouse list - excelling at both creating and consuming multimedia content. First up, we have added a JBL-branded 2.1 audio solution with SRS Premium Sound - two 1.5-watt speakers in the palmrest and a 6-watt subwoofer in the base. The colossal 17.3-inch HD+ 16:9 display is great for watching HD content, and includes a 2.0MP webcam. A few other items of interest: this is the first Studio laptop to feature a 1GB graphic solution, and also supports dual hard drives. And while the engineers were upgrading just about every possible feature, the designers were trimming it down, the result being the new Studio 17 is slightly thinner and lighter than its predecessor. For $1,099 you get:
While the Studio 17 is primarily a desktop replacement than can be moved from room to room, there are those who need a laptop that balances performance with portability, and so the Studio 15 will also include a Core i7 option. For $999 you get:
Of course you can put your own personal mark on a new Studio 17 or Studio 15 with a choice of color options ($40) or one of more than 200 original designs ($85) found at www.dell.com/designstudio.
Finally, we are also offering a Core i7 option on the award-winning Studio XPS 16, with a starting price of $1,249 and it should be available on dell.com by Thursday.
The Studio 15 and Studio XPS 16 with Core i7 are available worldwide this week. The new Studio 17 is available in the U.S., Canada and Latin America now and expected to be available in the rest of the world next month.
What makes this processor family stand out is the fact that the appropriate number of cores kick into "turbo mode" as needed. (Warning -geek out section ahead). Here's how it was explained to me: If you are running a single-threaded application (word processing, web surfing) then a single core will ramp up to max "Turbo Boost" speed as needed. If, however, the application requires two or more threads, (Gaming, Photoshop, some Excel functions) then the appropriate number of cores ramp up to a higher speed, somewhere less that "max" but still enough to boost performance. Basically whatever you are doing, the processor will crank up the horsepower as needed to get things done, and then drop back down to a more battery-friendly level when you don't. There is no special action required, like fiddling in the BIOS or fussing with power management settings to make this happen, it's all done on the fly dynamically based on what the system needs at the time. If you want more insight on this, check out what the folks at Anandtech said about turbo mode in their Lynnfield review.
And let me end on this note - for those of you who are wondering if the new mobile Core i7 quad core processors are worth the additional coinage, following are some internal benchmarks hot off the line by the engineers in the performance lab. I think the results speak for themselves.
(Fine Print: Based on 3DMark Vantage CPU overall score results by Dell Labs in August 2009. Actual performance will vary based on configuration, usage, and manufacturing variability.)
So there you have it - three laptop options that can handle the needs and deeds of any multi-media or entertainment enthusiast and one gaming laptop to rule them all. Fasten your seatbelts!
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I've been waiting for these...
Congratulations Dell with an awesome launch of killer new products on both the mobile core i7 and new desktop cpus with Core i7 and i5. I know I recommended both the Studio XPS 8000 and 9000 to a few colleagues and they have in turn purchased the systems!
My Studio XPS 16 isn't even here yet. I guess I'm not opening it and returning it. No wonder I got $500 off it. Will be here Sat, keeping it sealed and back it goes. I suppose if I was really smart I'd have just held off for the DX11 GPU's to also become available...
My Studio XPS16 will arrive saturday. I guess it's going back.
Gah sorry for the double post.. Seems these boards are buggy as of late. I see the Studio 16 still isn't updated for i7 yet on the US site. I'm a little suprised to see the new Alienware out since the new i7/DX11 lineup is scheduled to be released very shortly. Even a teaser site about it..
No Studio 15 i7 on the dell Canada site ... is it going to be offered in Canada..?
When will it be available on the UK site?
So is there any possibility we get this processor in a Studio XPS 13? I have been holding off buying a XPS 13 until the processors came out....but now I am :(
I have been a Dell fan since the late 1990s and have had 5 - 6 Dell systems since then. Dell systems has continuously exceeded my expectations and I have been very happy with the products and the level of customer services through out these years. It's no secret that I'm quite a Dell fan and I have recommended Dell to plenty of clients in my line of work in IT.
However, I've noticed something very disturbing about the design trend of Dell Laptops. I've recently purchased a Dell Inspiron Laptop and was a little shocked to find that there are no indicator lights (HDD activity light, battery charge light, WIFI light, Caps Lock light, Num Lock Light, Bluetooth light, etc) on the laptop!
Calling Dell customer service, I was offered an exchange for a different laptop model if I so wished and I was referred to a product sales personnel. This is when i found out that almost all of Dell's newer laptop models had no indicator lights!
I am quite flabbergasted at this design decision by Dell engineers! Indicator lights are very very useful when troubleshooting or when in doubt. I cannot count the number of times when I thought I've plugged in the laptop for charging when I've neglected to turn on the power switch to notice that the battery charging light is not on. And the HDD activity light is essential in figuring out if the system has hanged or is just taking a long time to load a program. Caps lock is so useful for testing if system has crashed in pre-windows-load environment. There are so so many reasons to have hardware based indicator lights, I cannot believe that Dell engineers had gone and took them off all the models.
I know that indicator-light-less design is common place with a certain other OS X laptop fruit-inspired-logo manufacturer. But I do feel there's absolutely no need for Dell to try to imitate them. We like Dell for being Dell, with Dell's own design concepts, and Dell should continue to be Dell, and not try to imitate blindly just because another laptop has attained cult status in recent years. Furthermore, of all the design innovation of the said fruit-inspired company, the lack of indicator lights is probably the most glaring flaw.
I've always been surprised by new design innovations with each new Dell system I've had. I am equally surprised this time too.......unpleasantly surprised.
Please bring back the indicator lights in your laptops. It is really absurd to remove them.
I totally agree! indicator lights are a must for me when buying a laptop or desktop.
Ordered mine last night... Studio XPS 16. Expected Shipping Date? 10/30/09.
I'll get back to you all in a month or so with my review. :-(
So seriously Anne... Why a month to build and ship?
I have to be blunt. What the [bleep] was Dell thinking on the17"er? They pretty much load up the system with every possible spec and then at the crescendo? 1600x900.....I think I sat there for 5 minutes in stunned befuddlement. You place a resolution that is traditionally on a 15" monitor on a 17" monitor. WHY WHY WHY? Even the XPS16 and Inspiron 17 have 1920x1080 options. Its even more a *** moment when you consider that Windows as a resolution independent interface. In short you have NO system in your lineup with an i7 architecture and a 17" 1920x1080 LED screen. Are you trying to drive users to the competition? At this point even with my EPP I'm thinking I'll probably go with someone else. Dell does not have the baseline screen and chip requirements that I want. Heck I would consider the M17x, but even that hasn't been updated and it is still on a traditional LCD. Come on guys.
@admaxey - Estimated shipping dates are always under scrutiny --both by Dell and by customers. With new product launches we always build in a bit of a buffer to make sure we can handle any last minute speed bumps that might cause a system to ship out later than originally planned for. As we ramp up volume and work through any potential last minute issues, we start shipping systems in the typical fist to order, first to ship method. If we can get it to you sooner, we will.
@Kellic2 - Frequently we launch products with basic options available immediately, and expand options as they are tested and qualified. In this case I can share that we will be expanding the display options on the Studio 17 in the near future and I don’t think you will be disappointed.
Hello Anne.. I've been waiting to buy a Studio XPS 16 laptop with the Core i7 720QM for several weeks since this announcement but in Dell México Store it is not available to buy.. It is certainly mentioned in specifications (well, the 820QM with and "up to"); but I can't buy it...
Can you help me? Wonder if you could ask or mention that to the web disgners or I don't know whom... Pleas, any help can do...
Cheers from México..!
I've just recently bought Dell's new Studio 15 with the quad core i7
laptop. i read your post when I was contemplating about buying it. I was impressed by the specs but once I got it i discovered it's a peice of junk. I'm not sure how
Dell allowed itself to release it at this very poor state!
It gets too hot to be comfortable on the keyboard side for typing.
It gets too hot to be placed on one's lap regardless what you are doing computationally on the laptop. It's even too hot for the desk itself!
It's very hot on the base just close to the LCD, i'm not sure what is in there that gets that hot!
Battery life is definitely much than 2 hours with very mild operation.
It's LCD display is very bad you have to tilt it to 45 degrees to be
able to read. I'm getting headache since the arrival of this ominous
Fan noise, what is this exactly? It's not too loud but loud enough
to remind you of the laptops of year 95 (I have an old inspiron of that
In my humble opinion, it's like riding a time machine and buying a laptop of the past but the only difference is the more MIPS.
It's the worst laptop (for the price) that I would have imagined to buy!
Sorry Dell, i think this is my last buy from you guys.