Notebooks Guide

Dell Studio XPS 1640 review

Dell Studio XPS 1640 - The Sweet Sixteen

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Less Glossy Black, Please?

Less Glossy Black, Please?

If you've read our past reviews, you'll note that as reviewers, we tend to not like glossy surfaces due to the entire impracticality of the whole concept. Unless one day, someone invents either a self cleaning glossy surface or a nanotechnology that prevents the surface from even getting fingerprinted, we would much rather stick with the just-as-nice looking matte surface. Another problem here lies with the reflective screen. Sure it looks nice, but again you'll end up staring at your reflection at full brightness depending on the angle of view. It's definitely not an ideal solution, but we're sure you would understand where we're coming from. We won't deny that the gloss finish adds to the appeal of the notebook aesthetically, but it does come with the above described issues to keep in mind.

Thankfully, the keyboard sticks to a less reflective finish and the keys are actually pretty good to type with. Flex is almost non-existent and our fingers flowed naturally around the keys while touch-typing, and we enjoyed typing on such a responsive keyboard. The touchpad too was responsive and tracked our movements pretty well, so no complaints there. Lastly, for those who have a penchant for typing in the dark, the keyboard and trackpad buttons are backlit with two different brightness settings. We guess Dell really doesn't want you to end up typing (or clicking) gibberish in the dark.

Audio was pretty decent and expectedly so as the unit packs a subwoofer and dual 7W speakers for that extra oomph. Even at full volume, we could enjoy the clarity of the speakers during our trials. Bass was handled with a problem, as was gunfights and explosions which sounded pretty good on the notebook during our movie test sessions.