Meet My New Baby (Dell Studio XPS 16 Review)

No, Dell didn’t give me a free laptop (they can though… nudge nudge Dell).  I was, however, having some issues with my old baby (named Elle) that was unfortunately irreparable, and believe me, we TRIED!  Since I was still very much under warranty with my old system, and they no longer make that system anymore, I was offered a replacement laptop.  Enter my new baby (named Powder). 

It is a Studio XPS 16, which means the screen is a little bit bigger than I was used to with my XPS 1330.  I am actually loving having the larger screen though.  When I first got my computer I wasn’t working from home part time, and therefore I didn’t haveg a TON to do on my laptop.  It happily traveled with me from room to room and it was great for what I needed it to be THEN.  Now that I am working and mostly stationary at my desk while I’m working, and remote controlling bigger screens than mine, the extra real estate has been DREAMY!  Another thing that I am completely in love with about the screen is that it is an “edge to edge” display.  What that means is when my screen gets dusty or dirty I can wipe the entire thing clean and not have to dig in tiny little corners to get it all out.  The screen is completely flat without an edge around it with the screen somewhat “lower” and indented.  This part was so exciting for me!  I like to keep my equipment clean (which I actually have an entire post dedicated to this next week thanks to my sister the queen of Healthy Meals who is not so much the queen of keeping her laptop clean) so anything that makes keeping it clean easier is definitely a plus in my book. 

Along the lines of keeping the laptop clean, the trackpad (the area that is the mouse on the laptop) is also super easy to clean.  The trackpad is one continuous plastic with the wrist rest, also meaning there are no little crevices for dirt to sneak into while I’m trying to clean it.  I can just wipe down the entire wrist rest and trackpad at the same time! 

Which brings me to the other input device, the keyboard!  The keys are backlit, which is so cool!  My husband likes to play video games or watch movies in the dark, which leave me to do my blogging in the dark (since night time is the ONLY time I have free for blogging!).  Having backlit keys has been such a help.  Even though I can type without looking, it’s been really nice to be able to see.

When it comes to the OS and the actual computing, it’s blazing fast!  My husband hates this about the way I work, but I usually have a LOT of applications running at the same time.  Even when I have so many programs open that the entire task bar is used up, this system still opens up a new program like it’s the first one I have opened. 

The computer looks really nice (mine is white on the outside, hence the name Powder).  It has a leather strip near the back which I was slightly nervous about, but it’s really nice to have that extra bit of grip when carrying my laptop around. 

It has an HDMI out port, which I love, since I don’t do anything unless it’s in HD and a couple USB ports.  I use a USB hub, so having a ton of USB ports isn’t that important to me.  The CD drive is a slot loader, and works great. 

The last thing I’m super excited about is my clean install.  Over time I start collecting programs and things start affecting system performance.  It’s nice to have a fresh clean start with all of the programs I actually need/want.  Sometimes it’s just good to start with a new Operating System install… and you already know how much I Love Windows 7.

So while I’m sad to see Elle go (I just dropped her off at the FedEx store 2 hours ago…. sniff), I’m happy to start this new chapter of my computer life with Powder.  Welcome to the family, Powder!

*Disclosure – Dell did not tell me to write a review of the replacement laptop, it’s something I did of my own free will, and yes, I have an unhealthy obsession with my laptops. 🙂

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About the author

Sarah Werle Kimmel

Sarah Werle Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 20 years of her career working as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on local NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX news affiliates, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website


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