Dell's announcement of a chromatically-diverse line of Studio laptops will take no gadget reader by surprise. A leak is what happens when a pin punctures a bladder; the Studio line was splattered months ago all over the internet in an explosion of rainbow-hued offal more akin to a mule overdosed on Alka Seltzer.
Still, now that the Studio line is official, it does look like a step in the right direction. The design is similar to the XPS M1530, with a tapered one-inch thick design and a big side hinge. Unlike the brushed metal of the XPS, the Studio line is plastic... but available in multiple customized covers.
Specs-wise, we're looking at an Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, up to 4GB of memory, 320GB hard drives, a Blu-Ray Disc Option, built-in 2-megapixel webcam, Wi-Fi, optional WLAN and optional EVDO. The 15-inch Studio 15 supports a resolution up to 1440x900, while the 17-inch Studio 17 goes up to 1900x1200.
All around, it looks like Dell's trying to move towards Mac-style design: the Studios are about as thick as a MacBook Pro, although they outweigh the latter by two pounds. Outside of a wimpy Intel graphics chip, you can optimize these to compete, feature-for-feature, with an MBP... you can even specify LED backlighting. The Studios also come with a little OS X style Dock installed, prompting one Gizmodo commenter to quip: "How awesome. They preload crap to clean up the crap they preload!"
The Studio 15 starts at $749, although that's bare bones, and all the truly interesting options are going to cost you. If you don't care about a gaming-caliber graphics chipset or Leopard, it looks like Dell has brought a decently attractive and substantially more affordable MacBook Pro clone to the table. It's nice to see Dell starting to give a honk for design.