Friday, March 26, 2010

Dell Studio XPS 1340

I bought my last laptop nearly 4 years ago, a Dell XPS M1210. That worked out quite okay to play World of Warcraft while traveling, but more graphically demanding games were out. But as laptop technology has advanced a lot in the last 4 years, and they got a lot cheaper too, I decided to have a look for a replacement. This time I didn't want to mail order a laptop, but just go into a shop and have a look.

I made myself a list of requirements: Mid-size around 12" to keep the weight down, decent graphics card, DVD drive to use it as DVD player while traveling, at least 4 GB memory, cost up to 1,000 €. Went into the shop, listed what I wanted, and the shop assistant said he had the perfect machine for me: A Dell Studio XPS 1340. 13" screen, two graphics cards (Nvidia Geforce 9400M G for playing, a G210M for working at lower energy consumption), DVD RW drive, 4 GB memory, cost 999 €. With all my requirements fulfilled, I spontaneously bought it.

At home I let the same 3DMark05 run on the new machine with which I tested the previous laptop. Result was that the graphics performance went up by a factor of 4, from 2096 to 8402. Good enough for the types of games I'm playing, I don't really need the kind of graphics performance that shooters need.

Reading reviews *after* buying the laptop (yeah, I know), I have to agree with this review saying that the Dell Studio XPS 1340 does get hot on the underside, and isn't super lightweight. But on the other hand I rarely ever use the laptop on my lap, and it still is lighter than the previous one. As some people reported their 1340 overheating, I ran a Furmark benchmark, where the processor temperature stabilized at a totally normal 70°C.

So up to now I'm quite happy with my new laptop. Next step: I bought The Settlers 7 on the same day, so I'll be able to test game performance with a just released game. World of Warcraft, of course, was running fine.

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