Dell Studio 1537 (P8400)-Review From An
Owner's Perspective
Are you thinking about purchasing a new Dell Studio 1537?
Well, I'm currently using one to write this review and I'm
going to let you know the good-the bad-and the ugly.
I'm not going to get too technical here, but these are the basic specs: Core 2
Duo (2.20 GHz/1066Mhz FSB/3MB cache.) It comes in a multitude of colors,
but I chose black; because I thought it would ship faster…foolish me. It also
comes with Vista Home Premium installed, a 1 year in-home warrantee, 15.4"
W/LED display, 4GB of DDR2 at 800MHz, a 256 ATI Radeon HD 3450
graphics card and a 320GB SATA hard drive. There are a few other things, but
you get the gist.
Now, I do like the computer so far, but there have been problems. To begin
with, the ship date was scheduled for 3 weeks out, I figured that I could live
with that. A day before it was due to ship, it was put on delay; another week
out. Ok, I waited that long, what's another week going to hurt. Then, the day of
it's next ship date I received a notice that informed me that if the unit didn't
ship out today, I would need to notify Dell that I would still like to receive the
computer, if not-they would automatically cancel the order. By the time that I
received this information-by e-mail, not phone-I only had a couple of hours to
react. Frantically, I called customer service and was informed that my
computer had finally shipped. As you can see, we're off to a bad start.
So, about 5 weeks latter, I finally received my new Dell Studio 1537 (P8400.)
After messing around with it for a while, I decided to disable several of the
Vista features to speed things up a bit; you would be surprised at the amount
of resources that the desktop sidebar and 3-D viewers can hog up. After a little
tweaking, I decided to see if a game called FEAR would run on this system; I
had originally purchased this for my XPS, but it would cause my system to
freeze. The result was very good, I was able to run the game with mid/high
graphics and sound options and it worked great. I was also able to run my Web
design and photo software simultaneously with unexpected speed.
The machine executes very well, the screen is extremely bright and it also is
surprisingly viewable in bright light. I also want to say that I was a little
concerned about the abilities of the 256 ATI Radeon 3450 graphics card, but
for my needs it is more than sufficient. The system has a Windows Experience
Base Score of 4, which means that it should be able to run all new features of
Windows Vista with full functionality, and generally it will support high-end,
graphics-intensive experiences, such as multiplayer and 3 D gaming and also
record and playback HDTV content.
This is the third computer that I have purchased from Dell so far. First I
picked up a Dimension 2400 desktop, it was a good computer for the money
and I still use it for basic applications. Next, I purchased an XPS M140
laptop, this computer has been good to me as well-but I picked it up about 2
years ago and it has since become obsolete. Now, I have a brand spanking
new Dell Studio 1537 (P8400) laptop and this is what I think of it.
It does have some drawbacks though. The internal speakers are horrid, although the sound is very good
with external speakers or head phones. The case feels a bit flimsy, you can hear many creaks and
squeaks as you press down in different areas and for some reason, if I attempt to put the Dell Studio into
Sleep mode, when I wake it I see a display screen that tells me that Windows did not shut down
properly; so I use hibernate instead.
I do recommend the Dell Studio 1537 (P8400) despite its flaws and Dell's. If you decide to purchase one,
I also suggest adding the finger-print reader, blue-tooth capability and you may also need an internal
modem. I checked on Dell's site and was unable to find a way to add this, but it is listed as a possible
option after you build your computer-if you can't find a way to add it online, then I would speak with a
Dell representative directly.
So far I have been very pleased with this computer, but it did come with a price tag of just over
$1100.00 (options included) and you may find a better system for the money now; although, when I was
shopping in October, this was the best deal that I could find. Also, the new XPS's may turn a few more
heads, but if you compare the two systems, component for component, I think that the Studio comes out
far ahead.

Written by K. Stewart