Teeny Dell Studio Hybrid desktop costs $499

Just as Taiwanese hardware makers prepare to flood the market with small, Atom-powered desktops, Dell has struck a preemptive blow with its Studio Hybrid PC. The tastefully-designed small form factor system starts at just $499, but it comes with a good-old 1.86GHz dual-core Pentium by default and lets users pick faster Core 2 Duos as options—no single-core Atom chips here.

In addition to its healthy processing power, the base Studio Hybrid config includes 1GB of DDR2-667 memory, Intel GMA X3100 graphics (with HDMI output), a 160GB 5,400-RPM hard drive, an 8X slot-loading DVD burner, and a copy of Windows Vista Home Premium. That’s not bad for a machine that’s around 8″ tall, 8″ deep, and less than 3″ thick.

Customers can purchase the system with a 19″ Dell SE198WFP wide-screen monitor for $699, and upgrade options include larger displays, up to 4GB of RAM, up to 320GB of storage capacity, and goodies like Blu-ray and 802.11n Wi-Fi. Dell even lets folks choose between blue-grey, red, green, pink, orange, blue, and bamboo enclosures. (The latter adds $130 to the price, so we assume it’s actual bamboo and not just a pretty paint job.)

Dell lists four different configurations of the Studio Hybrid on its website, and it says all of them will start shipping on August 12. PC Magazine has a full review that praises the Studio Hybrid’s small footprint and low power use, but it points out that the machine isn’t very expandable and won’t let you play Crysis.

Comments closed
    • MadManOriginal
    • 13 years ago

    Looks like it’s a notebook in a mini desktop case, perhaps that’s where they got the ‘Hybrid’ name. Cyril you should have mentioned that detail when writing the news piece, I had to look at the tech specs to see which CPU they’re using.

    Anyway i think it’s a decent little machine, or at least concept, and the bamboo case looks sexy.

    • Hattig
    • 13 years ago

    At least Dell’s design department is improving, both this and the studio laptops aren’t that bad looking.

    The hardware is more than adequate for what the machine would be used for.

    Hopefully it will kick Apple’s arse to improve the Mac Mini and make it competitive again, with 2008 styling, not 2005.

    • Pax-UX
    • 13 years ago

    I like it, it’s stylish and that’s all that matters to most people.

    • Skrying
    • 13 years ago

    Let’s compare this system with what other computers Dell offers, shall we.

    Dell’s absolute cheapest system is a $299 Celeron based system.
    Dell’s cheapest system with a Pentium Dual Core is $349.
    The Studio Hybrid is $499.

    Dell’s absolute cheapest laptop is $499 with a Celeron
    Dell’s cheapest laptop with a Penitum Dual Core is $599

    Now that we’ve looked at the price we can conclude that Dell values this systems very compact size (vastly smaller than the $349 system for instance).

    This is a computer targeted to the average consumer. The average consumer cannot build their own computer, they don’t want to build their own computer either. Nor could they build their own computer this cheap with the OS include ($100 of that price already, value the size of this product on top). I would also love to know what system is fully loaded at $500? They all make draw backs in some area. They either have slow (relative) processors, low amounts of memory, no graphics card, smaller hard drives, etc.

    The system is given extra value based on its size. You can’t devalue that, it’s part of the products draw. People will look to it specifically because of its size. So, point out another product within a similar size, performance, and with OS included then do it. You can’t.

      • marvelous
      • 13 years ago

      Then you buy it.

      • indeego
      • 13 years ago

      §[<http://www.ameinfo.com/images/news/1/45421-hp.jpg<]§ HP DC7800 Ultra Slim Desktops, refurbished: §[<http://h71016.www7.hp.com/html/hpremarketing/daily.asp#desktop<]§ Look for the ones that are "USDTg{<.<}g"

        • Skrying
        • 13 years ago

        You look for the word “refurbished.” You can’t compare a refurbished product to a new one unless you specifically know the user finds this acceptable. I for instance might but many, many out there won’t.

      • shank15217
      • 13 years ago

      1 GB of ram is hopelessly inadequate for a Vista PC.

    • Pachyuromys
    • 13 years ago

    At the risk of asking something glaringly obvious but which I seemed to have missed, what is the basis for naming this “Hybrid?” Does it run on electricity /[

      • Skrying
      • 13 years ago

      Desktop format (sorta) but using laptop parts?

      • Norphy
      • 13 years ago

      Maybe it’s a hybrid because it’s a desktop made of laptop components? Hardly unusual I know but I think Dell are the first company that I’ve seen who have made any noise about it.

        • Skrying
        • 13 years ago

        Noise? It’s a name. Since when was that noise? Even a press release about it’s hardly noise. Noise is going around claiming you’re the first one to do it, which they’re not doing.

      • UberGerbil
      • 13 years ago

      Hybrid = “green” or “power-efficient” in the minds of marketers (probably because that’s also true among the general population, who can’t tell you anything about /[

        • eitje
        • 13 years ago

        Hybrid is the new R-Type.

        • indeego
        • 13 years ago

        Or the environmental impact of all those batteries getting tossedg{<.<}g

    • IntelMole
    • 13 years ago

    /[

      • UberGerbil
      • 13 years ago

      They can fit a 2GB stick in. In fact, they can fit two of them. Via BTO you can have 2GB (add $50), 3GB (add $100) or a full 4GB (add $150). Of course, it’s cheaper to do it yourself (depending on how hard it is to get inside the thing) and you’d need to get Vista 64 to really use 4GB (they do offer Ultimate as an OS option, so that’s one way to get there).

      A bigger performance issue is that while they offer three sizes of HDs, they are all 5400 rpm. Which I really don’t understand, since mobile 2.5″ 7200rpm drives don’t use much more juice, and would be a worthwhile upgrade.

        • IntelMole
        • 13 years ago

        I see they offer an “upgrade path”. It just stinks of a rip-off to any less well informed buyer, at least to me. The same thing that Dell have been doing for years (do they still do “double RAM” offers where they then give you a sensible amount of memory?).

        I mean, this PC is never going to absolutely scream – the processor is budget, the hard drive is a 5400rpm deal – but offer 2GB there as a base config instead of trying to nickel-and-dime your customers whilst also convincing them they’re suddenly going to get a much better computer from the extra RAM, when in fact they’re just going to get the performance they should have really got in the first place.

        And it’s suddenly a much nicer computer that these people will rave about to their friends.

        How many people don’t know this, and go home with a PC that’s really no faster than their old one, simply because they saw the base price first? I wouldn’t mind so much right now, if my sister hadn’t just very nearly fallen for the exact same sort of crap this weekend.

          • UberGerbil
          • 13 years ago

          Really? My experience is that the “less well informed buyer” buys at Best Buy or some other big box retailer (where they really get screwed). The people who shop at dell.com know a little more about what they’re buying — at least enough to know (or ask someone who knows) how much memory and disk space they need for Vista.

          Though I agree they really should be offering 2GB in the base model (it certainly doesn’t cost Dell an additional $50). But they shouldn’t be offering any 4GB models, anywhere in their product line, without automatically substituting (or at least suggesting) Vista x64 either.

            • Staypuft
            • 13 years ago

            Yeah, I’d agree with you about Best Buy and stuff, mainly because on dell’s website people can take their time and not have some sales person only interested in making a buck shoving ripoffs down their throat.

    • adisor19
    • 13 years ago

    So umm, this is pretty much a Mac Mini that can’t officially run OS X ?

    🙂

    Adi

      • StashTheVampede
      • 13 years ago

      Let’s see some of the issues with the current, shipping Mini:
      – No Bluray BTO
      – Cannot ADDRESS 4GB of ram (only 3GB, thanks chipset)

      I love my mini (runs osx server, is on 24/7), but it certainly lacks in a few departments. Too bad both Apple and Dell haven’t decided to stick with only 2GB as the minimum for ram.

        • ssidbroadcast
        • 13 years ago

        Yeah the mini is long overdue for a refresh.

        C’mon Apple! Get yer head in the game!!!

      • UberGerbil
      • 13 years ago

      No, the Mac Mini is one of these that only comes in white.

      • DASQ
      • 13 years ago

      You mean an Mac Mini that is faster for less money?

      Do you ever get tired of propping up Apple on that crutch of yours?

        • adisor19
        • 13 years ago

        Come on now, everyone can see that new Dell mini pc is a freakin mini. Can’t you ?

        Adi

          • miken
          • 13 years ago

          It’s a small computer. Does Apple get credit for inventing even obvious ideas?

          • bthylafh
          • 13 years ago

          You must be really tedious at parties.

            • adisor19
            • 13 years ago

            On the contrary, i’m quite a blast.

            Adi

            • bthylafh
            • 13 years ago

            So you’re only compelled to polish Jobs’ knob online?

            • adisor19
            • 13 years ago

            Err… maybe i misunderstood your question after all…

            Adi

            • eitje
            • 13 years ago

            “A bore is a man who, when you ask him how he is, tells you.”

            §[<http://www.quotationspage.com/quote/152.html<]§

          • becubed
          • 13 years ago

          Like the mini was a Cappuccino that just arrived four to five years late
          §[<http://arstechnica.com/reviews/01q2/cappuccino/cappuccino-1.html<]§

        • Thresher
        • 13 years ago

        You might try pricing one equal to the Mac Mini. The Dell Studio isn’t cheap when you spec it up.

          • Norphy
          • 13 years ago

          Hard to do considering you can’t get the Dell with a 1.83GHz C2D or a CD/DVD combo drive.

          However, spec up both up with a 2GHz C2D, a 160GB hard drive and a DVD-RW and in the UK at least, the Dell works out about £45 cheaper. And that’s not taking into account that you don’t get a keyboard or mouse with the Mac Mini like you do with the Dell.

          BTW, the reason I say this is because that seems to be the lowest common spec to which both can be bought at therefore giving the fairest possible price comparison. I’m not a Mac hater, I’m actually making this post on an iMac

            • Thresher
            • 13 years ago

            I didn’t say it was cheaper, just said that the Dell wasn’t cheap when you actual specced it up to something usable.

            • thecoldanddarkone
            • 13 years ago

            I’m sorry but the dell is far more usable. It’s not even comparable. Especially if you want a dvd disk write. At 700 you get a monitor 2 gigs of ram, 250 gig hard drive, and a monitor. At 750 you also get a 2.0 c2d.

            At 800 you get the mac mini with 1 gig, no monitor, and a 120 gig drive.

    • marvelous
    • 13 years ago

    I don’t think Dell has anything on the price dept compared to what Taiwanese is going to bring. $499 isn’t exactly cheap. I’m thinking Taiwanese is going to introduce $299 price segments.

      • dymelos
      • 13 years ago

      But for 200 more your getting a ton more performance. Go check out hardocp review of the atom vs the nano. It clearly demonstrates the atom should not be used in a desktop form. When the Intel is telling people that they aren’t going to want the atom in their desktop or notebook, I am thinking they know what they are talking about.

      • Skrying
      • 13 years ago

      If those computers are released with Atom’s then it’s no comparison. The Dell would still be a far better value. Yes, the average consumer cares a lot more about prince than performance but what will the worker at Best Buy tell the buyer? Either way, I’d be rather interested in one of these computers as a my 24/7 system.

        • marvelous
        • 13 years ago

        What are these mini machines for including the Dell dual core? It’s definitely not for gaming. It’s your typical no frills web browser and video player. Atom is sufficient for all that.

        For $500 you can build a much superior machine. While not a mini system like this one this thing is expensive to be a true value.

          • UberGerbil
          • 13 years ago

          I suspect the optional BR drive is the reason. Intel has said Atom can decode Bluray, but only in conjunction with the Poulsbo chipset (which includes dedicated decode circuitry). AFAIK no one has demonstrated BR (or other high end codec) decode using just the Atom with the currently available chipset. The mobile Core 2 duo has the necessary horsepower even when getting no help from X3100 IGP.

          • Skrying
          • 13 years ago

          You have fun waiting 14 minutes for that Atom to encode a single music file. You have fun even TRYING to run a Blu-Ray on it. You have fun running photo editing or management software on it. You have fun trying to create a home video on an Atom. Atom is a netbook and lower processor. Intel even says they shouldn’t be used for desktops, even low end ones. HardOCP did a comparison of the Atom vs Nano, and while they’re totally different markets the comparison is great to see how damn slow the Atom is. It’s not a home computer replacement, it’s a processor that makes the netbook reasonable and possible.

          Now, if Dell would have used the VIA Nano it could work, it’s a much more robust processor than the Atom while still very power efficient. But, no Nanos out in the wild and likely they won’t be cheaper compared to the massive volume part Dell is putting in these.

            • marvelous
            • 13 years ago

            $499 isn’t cheap for such a low end system. Price is the biggest factor when you consider the capabilities of these systems. No one wants to replace their desktop with this or an atom based PC. Why would anyone get another internet appliance that cost more than a decent gaming machine is beyond me?

            • UberGerbil
            • 13 years ago

            Because for some people size and appearance is more important than performance and price? Granted, most of those people buy Macs.

            • Skrying
            • 13 years ago

            Eh? You can’t even get close to a decent gaming system for $500 if you include the cost of OS. TR’s own system guides show this clearly.

            This system isn’t targeted to people who will ever consider gaming on their computer. It’s for those wanting a new compact home computer. This computer does everything you could need at reasonable speeds. An Atom based system is “manageable” for those same needs but even by budget desktop sense they’re still dogs when it comes to performance.

            • pedro
            • 13 years ago

            Hmmm… costs $1500 in Australia. What’s up with that?

            1.00 AUD = 0.948981 USD

            • marvelous
            • 13 years ago

            Dual core pentium system? These kind of systems are available in desktops for much cheaper and even in the convenience of a laptop that cost $400-500 which includes a screen with a operating system. For this kind of price why would anyone get this? It doesn’t include a screen and in the end the whole cost of the system is up there with full loaded desktops.

            You get so much more with building or easily prebuilt systems with better hardware. Not to mention you get 2x the hard drive space and more memory with a much superior video card. Operating systems are free if you already had a previous system or can be easily acquired for cheap.

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