Dell's Studio Hybrid miniature desktop PCs pack Blu-Ray, TV Tuner and HDMI


Small, gorgeous and cheap, Dell's Studio Hybrid Mini-PC looks like the HTPC I've been waiting for.

At 7 by 8 1/4 inches, and 2 3/4 inches thick, it's just a little larger than Apple's Mac Mini. The specifications, however, are much flashier, with up to 4GB of RAM, a 320 GB hard drive and a T8100 Core 2 Duo CPU. It's the HDMI-out, however, that makes it a good candidate for the living room, especially with the optional Blu-Ray and TV tuner upgrades.

Green credentials abound: it uses 1 watt in hibernation, 26W asleep, and no more than 44W at full belt. It has an optional bamboo case, should olive, mauve, red, blue, gray or orange plastic be insufficiently ecological.

For $500, the basic price point, you get only a basic machine, without the matching wireless keyboard, WiFi, or any of the add-ins that give it timely punch. Even then, it remains the first ultra-small PC to give the Mac Mini a run on both price and prettiness – many make similar machines, but they're typically quite expensive. Everex's gPC Mini was a recently flawed try.

PC Mag already has a review up: it gave an $874 configuration 3 and a half blobs out of 5, and reports that it's crapware-free.

Dell says it will be offered at

Published by Rob Beschizza

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  1. I couldn’t find it on Dell’s international website, but after some digging around Dell’s german site I came up with this:

    Dell Studio Hybrid-Desktop Product-Page

    As expected, the German price tag is just the U.S. price with a different currency symbol (if your $599 claim was correct).
    But HTPC-wise you won’t get far with the most basic offer ($599). That one come’s with a sluggish T2390 processor and renders pixels through an integrated Intel graphic media accelerator (read: throw away graphic chip). No Hi-Def experience here (not just because it lacks a blu-ray player).
    As far as I can see you’ll have to shell out EUR/$899 minimum for a decent movie theatre-capable configuration.

  2. Sorry, mis-read something there.
    Read: “… with a different currency symbol (if your $500 claim was correct)”

    Which would make it twice as expensive ($500 = 330 EUR)

  3. Why would $500 not be correct? Why would Dell lie?

    Yes, you’ll certainly have to shell out a lot more than this to get a decent home theater configuration.

    The link was dead last night, when the post was published. It is now live. Isn’t the internet great?

  4. So, I wonder at these specs … is it fast enough to decode and playback Matroska (MKV) media, along with H.264 media? I know that all but some of the beefiest PC choke on some of the HD stuff.

  5. Sadly, it has the same pitfall that keeps me from buying a Mac Mini: a crappy integrated graphics card.

  6. Those in the UK don’t forget to include the rip-off Britain factor in the price. The basic systems are £399 in the UK which is in the region of $750-$800 which is just a little bit more than $499. They are e449 on which is about $700 or £350.

    I’d be amused to see Dell’s justification for these price differences.

  7. So when did Dell develop a sense of style? If it weren’t for the useless, low-end graphics card, I would definitely get one. It’s so shiny and pretty. Want.

  8. Looks good, but there’s always a gotcha with Dell. The reviewed system is nowhere near the base price, the base system is missing near-essentials like more ram and wireless. $620, and it will still run Windows Short Bus edition.

  9. Why would $500 not be correct? Why would Dell lie?

    Sorry, I didn’t want to imply that you (or Dell) were lying.
    I wrote that because, as of the time of my post, there was no way to tell if the information you gave was fact or rumour.
    Still, the point was just that in Germany (and maybe in other European countries for all i know) the price is always up to twice the U.S. MSRP, depending on the current dollar value (which is bad and getting worse, compared to the Euro), which in this case makes the system totally overpriced, basic or not.

  10. Yeah, I should have pasted in the Press Release or been a little clearer. Sorry.

    The EU consumer electronics pricetag growth ray will doubtless be in effect. I’m amazed by it every time I go home.

  11. Well, besides European prices, which I agree are moonbat-crazy, this product still raises the question: why doesn’t Dell (or Apple) make a small-form-factor, snazzily-designed computer with enough oomph for anything beyond simple tasks? There’s obviously a market for PCs with decent aesthetics as well as nice specs.

  12. why doesn’t Dell (or Apple) make a small-form-factor, snazzily-designed computer with enough oomph for anything beyond simple tasks?

    I’m no expert, but I think small-form-factor and oomph don’t go well together, especially not when you add heat to the calculation.
    And Apple covers the oomph-range already: Mac mini (joke), iMac (unportable notebook) and then Mac pro (beast).

  13. Just did a current conversion and £499 came out as $989.

    Cobblers to that then. Would have been perfect next to the TV, but not for double the U.S price.

    I’d be interested in seeing how much shipping costs, and working out if you could actually stock up on UK spec machines in the U.S and ship to order to the UK – although it probably breaks some kind of customs/import law.

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