Review: Dell Studio Hybrid PC

Despite what your gut may tell you, the Dell Studio Hybrid doesn’t actually run on a combination of ethanol and D-cells. It does, however, consume about 70 percent less electricity than those hulking desktop towers, meaning you can green up your digs and improve the décor in the process. This uber-cute little media-cruncher comes in your choice of rich automotive colors (or bamboo, for Pier 1-themed abodes), and you can swap colors on demand with interchangeable sleeves.

The Hybrid starts at $500, but by the time you trick it out with goodies like a slot-loading Blu-ray drive, Wireless-N adapter, Logitech’s diNovo Mini Keyboard (a must if you’re planning couch time), a digital TV tuner, and the bamboo sleeve (a $130 upgrade-WTF?), the price rockets north of $1,300. Thankfully, Dell provides carte blanche in configuring the system, so you can pick and choose until you’re tapped out.

Hybrids can serve desk duty or accent your living room: Even the base model comes stocked with an HDMI port (DVI, too), so it’s a cinch to pair with an HDTV. Granted, the system’s integrated graphics don’t have the muscle for 3D games (that’s what Xboxes are for), but they do just fine with Blu-ray movies at 1920 by 1080. Well, mostly fine: For some reason the video stuttered every time we adjusted the volume.

Mini PCs are nothing new-Apple Mac Mini, anyone?-but Dell scores big points for style, power conservation, and customization. This compact, sexy desktop should prove equally appealing to decorators, environmentalists, and users with really small desks.

  • RAM Size: Up to 4 GB
  • Clock Rate: 2.16 GHz
  • Hard Drive Size: Up to 320 GB
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