Dell Studio 1535

The Dell Studio 1535 is a good mid-range laptop that fills the gap between premium and mainstream, and offers good quality for the price.


8.5
CNET Rating
6.5
User Rating

View more from Dell »

About The Author

CNET Editor

Craig was sucked into the endless vortex of tech at an early age, only to be spat back out babbling things like "phase-locked-loop crystal oscillators!". Mostly this receives a pat on the head from the listener, followed closely by a question about what laptop they should buy.


Design
A hybrid between the XPS and Inspiron series, the Studio series manages to deliver a sturdy industrial design, with a rubberised laptop lid that comes in eight colours — blue, red, purple, grey, pink, orange, green and black. They all come with a black trim around the side edges of the monitor (known as the "U-Trim" in Dell-speak) unless you order grey, in which case you can opt for a black, red, blue or pink U-Trim.

The mouse pad is slightly recessed, and to the right of this is an inlaid design that looks a bit like a synoptic chart — although we keep thinking it's the result of a spilt coffee that no one managed to wipe off successfully. To the far right is a fingerprint reader, at the top of the chassis near the monitor hinge is a speaker bar, and at the top of the monitor itself is the webcam and built-in microphone.

The hinge is inherited from the XPS range, and is quite strong, with a power button on the right-hand side of the laptop where the hinge meets the chassis. Upon powering up, the media buttons at the top of the chassis scan from left to right in a pleasing white glow. A button on the other side of the hinge loads the Wi-Fi Catcher application in Windows, showing relative strength of all the wireless networks in your vicinity.

The screen itself is excellent quality, although if gloss causes you issues you may wish to look elsewhere. The screen is perhaps a bit too thin — as we could see our fingers clearly through the screen based on the discolouration precisely where we were supporting the laptop.

The keyboard is at first a slight shock for those used to shallow keys, as it offers a longer throw and more tactile feedback than the norm. While it took us a while to adjust, we were soon hammering out words at a high pace with no issue.

Features
In what is set to become a common appearance due to Intel's inclusion of eSATA in the Centrino 2 spec, on the left-hand side is a combined eSATA and USB port. The hole in the chassis is slightly wider than usual for a USB port, and the port itself has two extra notches at the top to support the wider eSATA plug — a clever way to include both standards and save on space.

Including this port there are four USB ports in total, one FireWire, HDMI, VGA, gigabit Ethernet, SD/MMC/MS card reader, a microphone port, two headphone ports, an Express Card 54 slot and a slot-loading DVD+-RW drive populating the sides. As an indication of the lowering importance of dial up, a 56Kbps modem is included as a separate, USB powered device. A telephone cable and four-prong adapter are also in the box, and aside from the manuals and install discs, nothing else is included.

On the software side, the laptop we received was running Vista Home Premium, and came equipped with Microsoft Works, Roxio Creator, and the crapware infestation of choice comes from Google, both as Google Desktop, and as Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer. An eBay link on the desktop reinforces the fact that the desktop is for sale.

Dell has also included a new network tool, but is more annoying than helpful, consistently reminding you to turn on the Guest account (usually not a clever thing to do security-wise) and in a few circumstances ran the "Network Repair Wizard" even when our connection was completely fine. All these custom networking applications vendors attempt to design are clearly a perceived shortcoming in the way Windows does its networking, but we've yet to see one of these applications that are actually any good. Curiously, the standard nag-ware antivirus wasn't bundled, however, checking the Dell website reveals that the laptop should be shipped with a 30-day trial of Trend Micro.

Performance
Our review sample came equipped with a 2.5GHz Core 2 Duo T9300, 4GB RAM, Mobility Radeon HD 3450 and a 320GB Western Digital hard drive. It also came pre-packed with a 32-bit version of Windows Home Premium, which means it can't possibly put all that RAM to use — Everest revealing 3,584MB was available to the system, while the System Information panel in Windows only saw the physical size. Task manager reported even less available, at 3,581MB — regardless, not being able to access this memory would be easily fixed by equipping it with a 64-bit version of Vista, an option Dell does not provide.

Despite the Mobility Radeon HD 3450, this isn't really a gaming machine, hauling in a score of 1,830 in 3DMark06. It's much more suited to productivity, as evidenced by the PCMark05 score of 5,461, and has a decent battery life of one hour, 41 minutes and 50 seconds when turning off all power-saving features, setting screen brightness and volume to maximum and playing back a DVD.

The Dell Studio 1535 is a good mid-range laptop that fills the gap between premium and mainstream, and offers good quality for the price.

Previous Story

ASUS EeePC 1000H

Computers
Next Story

Inside Apple's new Chatswood store



Add Your Review 23


* Below fields optional


Post comment as
gorby
3
Rating
 

"good on first day and goes down hill from there"

gorby posted a review   
Australia

The Good:looks good

The Bad:pool support, keyboard is falling apart 6 months on,

i would not buy another one. I have to buy a heap of laptops for work and thought this was a good test case. 6 months on and the key board is falling apart and the support services are bad. I will be looking for something else for work. If it can not handle home use what hope has it at work.

Edz
10
Rating
 

Edz posted a review   

The Good:Build quality, looks, performance

The Bad:none thus far

Seen a few people complaining about the build quality of this laptop!! wow. all I can say is ive owned many different laptops manufactured by Toshiba, Dell, Acer and Asus, and the Studio 1555 is the best built laptop ive ever owned.

It feels like it will last for years.

everything feels solid and tight, the hingers are well supported and strong, keys are firm and easy to type on, very little chassis flex, and to top it off it looks great.

added some new thermal paste on the GPU and CPU, as I do with all my laptops and the fan harly ever comes on!!

I will definatelly buy from dell again.

dell studio 1535
7
Rating
 

dell studio 1535 posted a review   

The Good:nice design, fast. most things

The Bad:keyboard is springy, after a few years it begins to fall apart a bit. things unclip etc

I got this laptop a couple of years ago, its really good. although when i first got it the hard drive failed and i was on the phone for numerous hours to dell. The service is terrible. they talk to you from india and are not helpful at all. They lie a lot. Apart from this mishap its quite a good computer

Lachie
1
Rating
 

Lachie posted a review   

The Good:Decent design, but doesnt hold a candle to macbook pro etc.

The Bad:Absolutely everything else. DO NOT BUY . Terrible, terrible service.

I bought one about a year ago for $1.4k only to have it mess up on the first day. I spent 6 months getting replacements on: hard drive x2, RAM, Charger x2, Wireless card x 1 etc. accompanied by many other problems including a stuck pixel straight out of the box that Dell would do nothing for. I was told to carry out a repair over the phone, which involved completely dismantling my computer, because Dell did not want to bother sending a Technician. I was lied to numerous times and the promises made to me were broken every time. Dell finally conceded (after 10 repairs and 50+ hours being given the run around by useless technicians in India) that I would receive a replacement. Finally I was done with Dell, or so I thought...
I opened the new computer to find that it had 'the click of death' as well as poor battery life. I got the battery replaced as well as the hard drive, and after 2 more HD replacements, the problem is only getting worse, and battery life is still pathetic. I finally negotiated a refund after 1 year and 4 days of wrangling with Dell, and had to get on the verge of legal consultation and contacting consumer affairs, as well as at least 70 hours of time spent in contact with Dell (who frequently lied and never sent me information), and I will NEVER buy Dell again. I am set to buy a Macbook Pro so that I can get as far away from anything Dell-like as possible.
If I got two faulty computers in two tries, please don’t risk it. The ‘service’ is the worst I have ever experienced and the product is very, very poor.

Lachie
1
Rating
 

Lachie posted a review   

The Good:Decent design, but doesnt hold a candle to macbook pro etc.

The Bad:Absolutely everything else. DO NOT BUY . Terrible, terrible service.

I bought one about a year ago for $1.4k only to have it mess up on the first day. I spent 6 months getting replacements on: hard drive x2, RAM, Charger x2, Wireless card x 1 etc. accompanied by many other problems including a stuck pixel straight out of the box that Dell would do nothing for. I was told to carry out a repair over the phone, which involved completely dismantling my computer, because Dell did not want to bother sending a Technician. I was lied to numerous times and the promises made to me were broken every time. Dell finally conceded (after 10 repairs and 50+ hours being given the run around by useless technicians in India) that I would receive a replacement. Finally I was done with Dell, or so I thought...
I opened the new computer to find that it had 'the click of death' as well as poor battery life. I got the battery replaced as well as the hard drive, and after 2 more HD replacements, the problem is only getting worse, and battery life is still pathetic. I finally negotiated a refund after 1 year and 4 days of wrangling with Dell, and had to get on the verge of legal consultation and contacting consumer affairs, as well as at least 70 hours of time spent in contact with Dell (who frequently lied and never sent me information), and I will NEVER buy Dell again. I am set to buy a Macbook Pro so that I can get as far away from anything Dell-like as possible.
If I got two faulty computers in two tries, please don’t risk it. The ‘service’ is the worst I have ever experienced and the product is very, very poor.

 

Lachie posted a reply   

Also, it gets very hot when used

--------
10
Rating
 

-------- posted a review   

The Good:THis laptop is awesome,

The Bad:after long periods of use gets a little hot,

Spend the extra $$ to get backlit keys. They are the best thing ever, so glad i got them. Very nice screen, and runs quite fast

 

V for Vaness posted a comment   

The Good:Value, performance, style

The Bad:"Rubberised" lid, don't like the feel; bloatware

Studio 1555 is V good. Get Topo if you can!

 

Josh posted a comment   

The Good:Good screen Brill laptop love it :) - dell studio 1537

The Bad:mouse skipps no big problem :)

Love this laptop! :) Plain and simple

 

studio 1535 posted a comment   

Forgot to mention, the cursor/mouse connection is skittish. If you're typing, it will regularly relocate to the arrow, rather than simply continuing where you left off, and if the arrow's placed outside the doc body, it then highlights/tabs stuff unexpectedly. Annoying.


Sponsored Links
CNET's latest

User Reviews / Comments  Dell Studio 1535

  • gorby

    gorby

    Rating3

    "i would not buy another one. I have to buy a heap of laptops for work and thought this was a good test case. 6 months on and the key board is falling apart and the support services are bad. I will ..."

  • Edz

    Edz

    Rating10

    "Seen a few people complaining about the build quality of this laptop!! wow. all I can say is ive owned many different laptops manufactured by Toshiba, Dell, Acer and Asus, and the Studio 1555 is th..."

  • dell studio 1535

    dell studio 1535

    Rating7

    "I got this laptop a couple of years ago, its really good. although when i first got it the hard drive failed and i was on the phone for numerous hours to dell. The service is terrible. they talk to..."

CNET Speedtest

Recently Viewed Products