For a ample allotment of the aftermost decade, Dell’s XPS systems reigned absolute aural that aggregation aback it came to performance, gaming and design, alone to be subsumed aural the new Studio brand. Now XPS is back, and from a distance, it doesn’t attending like abundant has changed.
Old looks, new (old) nameBy and large, Dell did actually annihilation to change the architecture of the XPS 8300. It looks aloof like the aftermost Intel-powered exceptional desktop, Dell’s Studio XPS 8100. We aren’t activity to complain, however, because Dell has done a lot of assignment to clarify their desktop designs in contempo years, and it’s absolutely started to pay off.
Like the aftermost few associates of the Studio XPS lineup, the XPS 8300 has white metal abandon with a white artificial top and bright atramentous artificial front. On top is a tray inset into the apparatus for autumn items like a charging corpuscle buzz or MP3 amateur (or, you know, pennies). There are a brace of USB ports as able-bodied as audio ports congenital into the aback of the tray for accessible connecting.
The XPS 8300 sits about in amid Dell’s entry-level Inspiron models and the high-end Alienware gaming rigs. Despite a about low starting amount of $749 (currently on auction for $699), the abstracts are aerial quality, and should angle up calmly to common use.
Multimedia loveThe XPS 8300 is allotment of Dell’s new accomplishment to achieve some of their cachet as a agriculturalist of multimedia powerhouses. Afore they acquired Alienware, the XPS cast promised exceptional achievement at about any amount point. After the acquisition, however, Dell let this annex of their desktops atrophy and die, replaced eventually by the Studio XPS.
Dell afresh absitively to bead the Studio branding and acknowledgment to the XPS moniker – this anon in the transition, it doesn’t assume as if they’ve had time to change annihilation but the name. Hopefully they’ll accomplish a added absolute change.
At any rate, an XPS computer should be able – so what comes central one of these puppies? The 8300 is Intel alone (in fact, alone one of these desktops has been an AMD apparatus – the Studio XPS 7100 – and amid you and me, Dell is apparently cat-and-mouse for AMD to absolution their next-generation Bulldozer desktop chips afore aggravating out article else) and comes with Core i5 2300, 2400, 2500 or Core i7 2600 CPUs, from 2.8 to 3.4 GHz. The defining differencetween amid these chips is abundantly whether they abutment Intel’s basic HyperThreading (hint: the lowest-end CPU doesn’t).
The XPS 8300 can appear with boatloads of RAM, too – in fact, the high-end agreement on the Dell website comes with 12GB to start, and can be upgraded to 16GB for aloof $200 more. While that abundant RAM is acceptable abstract for all but the best ambitious Photoshop enthusiasts, added RAM is actual rarely a bad thing. Hopping forth with that RAM is up to 2TB of storage. Dell lets barter accept how it’s configured in one of three ways: one 2TB adamantine drive, 2 x 1TB adamantine drives in a RAID 0 agreement (speedier) or 2 x 1TB adamantine drives in a RAID 1 agreement (safer for abstracts longevity). It would be nice to see Dell accommodate a 3TB adamantine drive advantage with these desktops; if not that, again at atomic a config that uses 2 x 2TB adamantine drives.
So far, those are solid specs for accession attractive to dip their toes into video or audio editing, or for accession who edits a lot of photos from their agenda camera. The XPS started out primarily as a gaming machine, however, and alike admitting Alienware is the bright focus of Dell’s gaming efforts, the XPS isn’t a abhorrent best for those gamers attractive to get things done on the cheaper ancillary – the XPS desktops now appear with 460W ability food by default. Unless you’re accurately attractive to get some multigraphics agenda out it, that ability accumulation is acceptable able-bodied abundant to run annihilation that gets attached. The cartoon cards that Dell offers for the 8300, are starting to feel a bit anachronous at this point, as the best about is the ATI Radeon HD 5850.
All the world’s a stagePerhaps the better change Dell seems to accept fabricated with the new XPS desktops is the accession of their ‘Stage’ interface. Stage started off as a bark for the Android-powered Dell Streak 5, and Dell has spent the aftermost few months porting it over to the blow of their computer portfolios.
Stage reminds me a lot of HP’s MediaSmart/TouchSmart software, both of which add a new user interface to arresting media. Similarly, Dell has developed MusicStage , PhotoStage and VideoStage, anniversary angry to your bounded agreeable with hooks into accepted online casework such as Facebook or Flickr. There’s no cogent yet aloof how far Dell will booty the Stage software, but so far it’s gone on all of their Android devices, their ultra-small anatomy agency desktops, their touchscreen Inspiron One all-in-one and now the performance-minded XPS lineup.
Interim conclusionWe’ll be publishing our abounding analysis of the Dell XPS 8300 in aloof a brace of days, but it’s accessible to see that Dell is aggravating adamantine to win aback some of marketshare that they’ve absent in contempo months. Abounding in the industry chided the aggregation for abandonment a lot of acceptance aback they aboriginal hobbled the XPS cast – does it absorb abundant name cachet at this point to absolutely accomplish a difference?
I’m not abiding if it matters. If there’s one affair that Dell has consistently excelled at, it’s alms a affection artefact for a reasonable amount at every distinct point forth the spectrum. The XPS 8300 doesn’t assume any different. The machines alpha at aloof over $700 – not a bad amount for a quad-core desktop that runs Intel’s Sandy Bridge CPUs. Should you buy it, though? Is it added than aloof a appealing face? Stay acquainted for a abounding analysis to acquisition out – but for now, there are abounding worse choices you could pick.
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