"Crashed in less than 1 week - defective product"0.5 starson by Cavmandave
Pros: Rubberized texture on back of screen, attractive design. Great specs at the price
Cons: Product was defective and unusable.
Summary: I had put a lot of work on Cnet and other sites researching laptops before making my decision on this exact model. I got it from BestBuy.com for approx. $800 with a Intel Core 2 Duo T8100 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 320 GB hd. Anyone that's been looking knows that these are great specs for an amazing price, which is why I bought it.
Unfortunately, after three days (the day after I loaded MS Office), the laptop began a cycle of rebooting itself repeatedly. It would usually get just short of pulling windows up and then reboot without any blue screen of death, but every third time or so it would give me the blue screen. Just about once out of every ten reboots it would go to windows and give me about five minutes of functionality before rebooting or going to the blue screen. I contacted Best Buy and their immediate advice was to return the defective laptop. This was rather disappointing since I was rather happy that I had found what I thought was a great laptop to replace my current HP Pavillion that I bought in December of 2005 and had brought with me on my deployment to Iraq. That one is approaching the end of its life, but is still working, so I can't understand why a brand new Dell can't last for three days.
Perhaps Best Buy is selling defective Dell Studios, but I would advise against purchasing this laptop from them (except they have a good return policy...for the first 14 days...and the product is actually defective). I had read the negative reviews on this site and thought I would risk it. So much for that gamble.
For the two days when the laptop worked I was impressed with the design of the laptop and it seemed to go relatively fast. I did notice a discrepancy between the speaker volume and the headphone volume. If I had the volume right for the headphones, it was too quiet on the speakers and vice versa. Additionally, the power cord sticks into the right side of the laptop along with two of the USB ports. If you have the power plugged in and/or have one or more wired USB devices plugged into the right side USB ports, the wires will interfere with mouse movement...if you're right handed. Lastly, the eject button on the media bar did not work, requiring you to right click on the CD drive icon and select "eject". In one case a CD was loaded into the slot, but was not recognized by the computer, so the CD drive icon did not appear. This caused me to have to reboot the laptop so that the CD would be recognized, causing the CD drive icon to disappear, just so I could right-click on it to eject the CD. This is never a problem with a tray CD drive, since you can use the paper-clip eject method, which is not available on this laptop. This would surely have become a problem later.
This laptop looks great on paper (and in Cnet's review), and if I had to review it in the first hour or so that I had it, I would have given it the same score that Cnet did. Since I purchased it and thus had it for a little longer, I know better. Good luck getting one that isn't defective.