Dell unleashes sleek Studio laptops

If there’s one thing affordable consumer laptops don’t do well, it’s usually design. Dell has attempted to challenge that notion with its new Studio 15 and Studio 17 laptops, which both start at less than $1,000 and feature sleek enclosures, colored display lids, and slot-loading DVD drives.

For $799 and up, the Studio 15 offers a 15″ 1280×800 display, Core 2 Duo processors clocked as high as 2.5GHz, up to 4GB of DDR2 RAM, up to 250GB of storage space, and optional AMD Radeon HD 3450 graphics. The Studio 17 builds upon that formula with a 17″, 1440×900 display, as many as two 320GB hard drives, optional Radeon HD 3650 graphics, and a $999 starting price. The two systems weigh at least 6.11 and 7.87 lbs (2.8 and 3.6 kg), respectively, and they both feature capacitive media keys, optional LED-backlit displays, and optional Blu-ray drives.

Dell claims it designed the two systems for “self-expression and creative living,” and it lets customers choose between eight different lid colors, from the passably elegant “Midnight Blue” and “Spring Green” to the outright-garish “Flamingo Pink.” Dell lists a ship date of July 11 for both systems, but it says the machines “will be available at Best Buy and Staples stores in the next few days.”

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