Best Dell Optical Drives

Having an optical drive is pretty much a must nowadays. Especially since most of us still own CD’s and DVD’s. But there’s also a lot of people who jumped onto the BluRay train a couple of years ago. The problem is that most of the new laptops or desktops don’t come with an optical drive. So you basically have two options. If you have built your own PC and the case allows it, then you can of course just buy an internal drive. However if it doesn’t or you have a laptop, then you can go with an external drive!

Both the internal and external optical drives are available for BluRay and DVD discs. Which type you go with is completely up to you. If you don’t have any BluRay discs then there isn’t really a reason to get a drive for it. It’s much cheaper to get a DVD drive and they are really affordable. So go with the one that you actually need.

Since our website is dedicated to reviewing the Dell brand products, then obviously we have also picked out the best drives from them. These are high quality optical drives that are also highly rated on websites such as Amazon. So besides the brand quality, you also get real user feedback from the people who have actually used their drives. So let’s take a look at what’s the best.

External DVD Drive – DW316

The Dell DW316 is an incredibly highly rated external DVD drive on Amazon. It has a beautiful black look that looks great on any desk. Plus it slides out smoothly and it’s just an overall easy to use device. Just plug it into your computer through the USB port and that’s it. No need for drivers or anything. Easy as ever. Plus it has all the maximum DVD and CD drive read & write speeds. So you don’t need to worry about anything being faster either. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at this unboxing video!

Not impressed or a bit too expensive? Well in that case you can also take a look at some other brands. Unfortunately our blog is only for Dell products, so you can Google for those. Or you can also click here for an article that mentions all the top external DVD drives that people have recommended.

Internal DVD Drive – R7415

Luckily Dell has also got a lot of different internal DVD drives. They have everything from different sizes to prices. There’s even a bunch of slim versions, which are great for newer desktops. But we like to keep it traditional and that’s why we have chosen the standard R7415 optical drive. And that’s the main reason why we like it so much. You don’t need to worry about it not fitting. It’s the standard size which fits every computer that supports an internal optical drive. Plus it’s affordable. So everything is great about it.

Dell R7415

External BluRay Drive – BUFFALO MediaStation Portable BDXL Blu-ray Writer

Compared to the DVD drives, BluRay drives are unfortunately much more expensive. Which also makes them more of an investment. And we all know that you should only invest in devices that are high quality and reliable. And that’s exactly what the Dell brand is known for. If you don’t want an internal drive then you can go with a portable external option. For this, we have chosen the Dell BUFFALO MediaStation Portable BDXL Blu-ray Writer.

Dell BUFFALO MediaStation

As you can see it’s an incredibly slim and compact device. Even small than the DW316 DVD drive! Unbelievable I know. So if you are looking for a high quality and portable BluRay drive, then definitely go with this one! It costs $110, which is pretty expensive. But it’s definitely worth the investment if you want the best for your BluRay discs.

Internal BluRay Drive – DH-6E2S X039H

Dell DH-6E2S X039H

The Dell DH-6E2S X039H is their newest internal BluRay drive. Why have we chosen this out of the tens of optical drives they got? Again a really simple reason. Just like the R7415 dvd drive, the internal DH-6E2S X039H BluRay drive is also incredibly simple and basic. It fits any desktop case that has a built in slot for an internal optical drive. Plus it’s so much cheaper than the external version. You can get the internal BluRay drive for around $50. Which is basically twice cheaper than the external drive. So if you need a BluRay drive for your desktop, then I definitely recommend this one!

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Dell Studio 14z Review

Dell Studio 14z Review

The 14z is Dell’s smallest machine in its Studio laptop series.  Little as it may be, the Dell Studio 14z remains as impressive as its bigger siblings.  The 14z boasts features and specs like any other laptop in the Dell Studio laptop series.

Intel’s Core 2 Duo processor is behind the power of Dell’s Studio laptops, which include the 14z as well.  With this processing power, the Dell Studio 14z is as competitive as any of its brothers.  It is backed by up to 5 GB of RAM, already a lot for a 14-inch thinking machine.  This amount of memory assures users of hitch-less performance when the machine needs to run memory-battered applications and programs.

The Dell Studio 14z, however, does not have a dedicated graphics memory, but is instead installed with the NVidia GeForce 9400M, which depends on the RAM for power.  But the 14z has lots of RAM in its disposal; so rendering graphics using this chipset won’t be an issue.

In terms of disk space, any user would find the Dell Studio 14z a good storage for a huge amount files.  A user can install up to 500 GB of disk space into the 14z, allowing a large cache of digital files to be stored.

The 14z comes with two sets of HD display resolutions — 720p and 900p.  While falling short of the 1080p need for true HD displays, the 720p and 900p resolution are good enough to handle detailed graphics like photos and videos.

Aside from the enhanced video, the Dell Studio 14z is also loaded with an SRS stereo speaker system rather than a high definition audio.

Specifications

AVAILABLE OPTIONS (From Dell’s Website)
CPU Up to Intel®  Core™2 Duo Processors
RAM Up to 5GB 1067MHz DDR3 SDRAM2.
Screen size 14.0″ High Definition (720p) LED Display with TrueLifeTM14.0″ High Definition+ (900p) LED Display with TrueLifeTM  (optional)
Operating system Genuine Windows®  Home Premium 64-BitRecommended Upgrade: Vostro 1520 with Genuine Windows® 7 Professional 32-Bit
Graphics NVIDIA®  GeForce®  9400M chipset

Pros

With a processor like Intel’s Core 2 Duo chips running the 14z, supported by a large army of RAM, this laptop could dish out a scintillating performance even for a small laptop.  Power and memory hungry applications are certainly a cruise for the 14z.

Cons

While not really a weakness, the installed NVIDIA GeForce 9400M chipset might otherwise pose a threat to 14z, as this is not a dedicated graphics card.  Having one would certainly be an advantage.

Conclusion

With a powerful processor at its helm, the Dell Studio 14z is perfect for those who needs a thinking machine that could do most computing tasks.  Although one can edit and render graphics with the 14z with the GeForce 9400M chipset, it would have been better if this laptop has its own dedicated video card. This model is priced from $749 to $949.

Dell Studio 15 Review

Dell Studio 15 Review

A highly customizable laptop to cater to your every need, Dell Studio 15 redefines flexibility — be it playing games, running business processes or providing entertainment, this laptop does it all. The world has been asking for it and the Dell Studio laptop series definitely delivered.

Studio 15’s flexibility is evident with the wide array of processors that you can choose to fit your needs and budget. With speeds ranging from 1.7 GHz to 3.06 GHz turbo mode, you can choose among the Intel Pentium Dual Core, Intel Core 2 Duo and the Intel Core i7 processors. These are not ordinary choices. The Core i7 is considered to be the future in processor technology, while the Dual Core and Core 2 are quite powerful too.

To support its processing strength is an equally formidable random access memory capacity. Dell Studio 15 users can enjoy up to 8GB of RAM to invigorate the unit’s processing. A combination of powerful processor and huge RAM capacity can only mean it can smoothly and seamlessly support memory-hungry applications and games.

Great news for gamers and high-def fans — the Dell Studio 15 is not restricted to an integrated card that eats away at their native memory. With this laptop, they are able to pick between two card choices: the 256MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD or a 512MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570. From soft-core to hardcore gaming, the Dell Studio 15 can hold its own.

Worrying about where to store huge amount of files? With the Dell Studio 15, this is not a problem. With up to 500 GB of hard disk space this laptop will definitely have room for all of your downloaded games and media.

Finally, for your multimedia facilities, the Dell Studio 15 has the necessary paraphernalia to support high definition viewing with great audio quality. Its screen is a 15.6-inch high definition liquid crystal display screen; on top of that it is installed with a High Definition stereo speaker system from Intel with optional Sound Blaster software. Watching movies with this laptop is indeed an experience in itself.

Specifications

AVAILABLE OPTIONS (From Dell’s Website)
CPU Up to Intel®  CoreTM  i7-820QM Mobile Processor (1.73GHz, turbo up to 3.06GHz, 6MB L3 Cache)
RAM Two DIMM slots providing up to 8GB Dual Channel DDR3 @ 1333MHz
Screen size 15.6″ High Definition LED Displays with TrueLifeTM  available in 720p, 900p, and 1080p resolutions
Operating system Genuine Windows®  7 Home Premium 64-BitGenuine Windows®  7 Professional 64-BitGenuine Windows®  7 Ultimate 64-Bit
Graphics Intel®  Integrated Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHDOptional 256MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 or 512MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 45703

Pros

The main attraction of this laptop is its 15.6-inch LCD display with HD capabilities complemented by a high definition audio system. Who wouldn’t appreciate such a team-up? Also, with this unit’s optional ATI Mobility Radeon graphic cards, windows of opportunities are wide open for gamers.

Cons

A bit of a downside to this laptop is that you can only get access to an Intel Integrated graphics media accelerator with minimal graphics processing capabilities. This may be a disappointment to the budget-conscious individual.

Conclusion

Top-notch graphic and audio capabilities, powerful processor, huge memory capacity, you name it, Dell’s Studio 15 has it all. Whatever the task, entertaining or gaming, business and leisure, this laptop can do it all.  The Dell Studio 15 is estimated to have a price from $599 to $699.

Dell Studio 17 Review

Dell Studio 17 Review

The Dell Studio 17 is the largest model under Dell Studio Series, which was created in response to consumers who want to customize their purchases.

Studio 17 provides a range of options. Having choices will give you opportunity to choose specifications to fit exactly your needs and wants, be it for gaming, business or entertainment.

Top-of-the-line choices are in store for the buyer in choosing the specifications. For instance, in picking out your hard disk preferences, you can opt for a 320GB space or go up to 640GB of hard disk space. Thus, all of your important business files will always have room plus there’s still enough capacity for your leisure files, movies, games what have you.

Everyone likes a large screen display and with Dell’s Studio 17 you will not be disappointed. It is armed with a 17-inch display screen that is capable of a resolution of 1440×900, though not capable of true 1080p like other studio models, it is still nevertheless able to stand on its own with its decent resolution. This is perfect for people who pay a great deal of attention to details and it also provides convenient viewing for the user.Intel runs Studio 17’s processor, you have a choice between a Dual Core or a Core 2 Duo at varying speeds, its random access memory is also supported by up to 4GB. This laptop’s graphics default configuration is an integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator, the X3100, however you have the option to upgrade it to a 256MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650. Older games that are not so demanding can run smoothly with this but newer games would require 512MB or higher graphic cards.

Specifications:

AVAILABLE OPTIONS (From Dell’s Website)
CPU Intel Pentium Dual Core or Intel Core 2 Duo
RAM Up to 4GB2 Dual Channel 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM.
Screen size High resolution, glossy widescreen 17.0 inch display (1440×900)High resolution, glossy LED widescreen 17.0 inch display (1440×900)
Operating system Genuine Windows®  7 Home Premium 64-BitGenuine Windows®  7 Professional 64-BitGenuine Windows®  7 Ultimate 64-Bit
Graphics Intel®  Integrated Graphics Media Accelerator X3100Discrete Graphic Card: 256MB ATI®  Mobility Radeon HD 3650

Pros

Dell’s Studio 17’s processor choices and memory capacity deserve a thumbs up. Intel’s Dual Core and Core 2 Duo are famous for the power they give the computers they are installed in. On top of that, Studio 17’s 4 GB of RAM provides a wonderful backup, allowing heavy applications to run without hitches and slowdowns.

The Studio 17’s display has a very high native resolution of 1440 x 900 — perfect for multitasking and for editing documents side by side.

Cons

The Dell Studio 17’s default configuration is only loaded with an X3100 GMA, which makes this laptop crawl a bit when dealing with heavy graphics.  Dell offers an upgraded option for the Studio 17, but only the ATI Mobility Radeon 3650 is available and this might be not enough to handle today’s hardcore games.

Conclusion

Priced from $659-$939, the Dell Studio 17 is an excellent machine for handling average computation.  It might be a little weak in rendering heavy graphics, but the Studio 17 could still handle some 3D games and render some graphics once loaded with the dedicated graphics card.

Dell Studio XPS 13 Review

Dell Studio XPS 13 Review

The Dell Studio XPS 13 might be the smallest laptop in Dell’s Studio series, but just like its sibling, it is made to cater to people who want an all-around yet personalized laptop.

The XPS 13, as one of products in  Dell Studio laptop series, is powered by the Intel Core 2 Duo T9800 processor that clocks at 2.93 GHz.  Supporting this processing power is a large army of memory — 8 GB of SDRAM.  With this amount of RAM, processing heavy programs becomes a cinch.  One could also choose a variety of graphics reinforcement — the GeForce 9400M G shared memory chipset or the 256 MB GeForce 9500M and 512 MB GeForce G210M.

With these graphic options, one could have a graphics support depending on his needs.  A user preferring graphics rendering would be delighted to have the 9400M or the 9500M.  A heavy gamer may opt to install the G210M to his laptop.

For such performance prowess, a large disk space should be a given to store large digital files.  The XPS 13 is installed of up to 500 of storage space – more than enough to amass a number of multimedia files, especially those space-hogging HD files.

As its name indicates, the XPS 13 has a 13.3-inch glossy LCD.  Small as it is, this display is good enough to dish out detailed and clear graphics.  Users, however, may find this puny screen size not enough for their viewing needs.

SPECS  AVAILABLE OPTIONS (From Acer’s Website)
CPU Up to Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor T9800 (2.93GHz, 6MB L2 Cache, 1066MHz FSB)
RAM Up to 8GB1 1067MHz DDR3 SDRAM.
Screen size “Edge-to-edge” Glossy 13.3 inch WXGA CCFL LCD display”Edge-to-edge”
Glossy 13.3 inch WXGA WLED LCD display
Operating system Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64-BitGenuine Windows® 7
Professional 64-BitGenuine Windows® 7 Ultimate 64-Bit
Graphics  NVIDIA® GeForce® 9400M GNVIDIA® GeForce® 9500M –
256MBNVIDIA® GeForce® G 210M – 512MB

PROS

The main advantage of the XPS 13 laptop is its processing ability.  With the Core 2 Duo processor and lots of memory at its disposal, running heavy applications would be like peeling a wrapper of a candy.  The 512 MB Nvidia GeForce G210M option would also be good news for hardcore gamers.

CONS

Some users may find the XPS 13’s screen size to be just too small. Multimedia enthusiasts often prefer having a large screen when viewing or rendering graphics.

CONCLUSION

The Dell XPS Studio 13 is definitely a small-but-powerful laptop that could satisfy the more-than-average users.  Loaded with a powerful processor and an army of read access and graphics memory support, the XPS 13 is certainly a very good buy for those who don’t want to sacrifice performance for portability. The XPS 13 is priced from $949 to $1,149.

Dell Latitude XT Review

Dell Latitude XT Review

The Dell Latitude XT is the laptop maker’s first entry into the Tablet PC market. The Dell Latitude XT is meant for those who are looking for the technology and convenience of having both a mobile PC and a tablet.

A tablet is a terrific tool in making the inventory and we turn to a laptop when we need to accomplish computing tasks in a mobile package. The Dell Latitude XT gives both capabilities in one machine.

The Dell Latitude XT has the advantage of having both device’s technologies. One primary example is the pen and touch technology. When in laptop mode, the Dell Latitude XT can be accessed without requiring the use of a mouse or the touchpad. This can be done with just a finger or two to click, double-click or zoom an image with the use of the N-Trig touchscreen technology. The 12.1-inch screen can therefore respond to either a pen or a finger. Another nice feature about the Latitude XT is that the consumer can use the pen without being overly concerned about the palms interfering.

Dell Latitude XT Review

The Dell Latitude XT has a WXGA 1280 x 800 resolution screen that is quite high for a laptop this size. Being equipped with the LED backlight means that the battery life is longer.

Powering the Dell Latitude XT is the Intel’s Ultra Low Voltage processor in Core 2 Duo U7600, which runs at 1.2 GHz clock speed. As a result, it uses up a lesser amount of energy compared to other model types. Supporting this processor is a 2 GB of RAM and an integrated graphics in ATI Radeon Xpress X1250.

With regards to its appearance, the Dell Latitude XT has a professional look that comes in all black, with an aluminum finish on the lid. With a low weight of 3.12 pounds, this laptop is light enough to be carried around. At only one inch thick, it is also one of the thinnest laptops around.

Dell Latitude XT Specs
Central Processing Unit Intel Core 2 Duo 1.2GHz ULV U7600 processor
Read Access Memory 1-2GB DDR2 SDRAM
Storage Space 120GB hard drive, 5400rpm
Display 12.1″ WXGA (1280 x 800) LED backlit
Dimensions 1 inch x 11.7 inches x 8.6 inches
Graphics Integrated ATI Radeon Xpress X1250
Operating System Windows Vista Business OS
Battery Six-cell standard (optional 9-cell slice battery)
Weight 3.12 lbs.

PROS

The Dell Latitude XT stands out due to its N-Trig touch technology, which other table PCs do not have. Since it is also a tablet, it has dual and capacitive touch. It also has a pleasant backlit display and a solidly built keyboard.

The pen can be adjusted to suit one’s writing preferences. The tips are also replaceable.

Due to the dual core technology brought by Intel’s Core 2 Duo processor, the Dell Latitude XT boots up quite quickly.

CONS

The Dell Latitude XT heats up even when in low power mode; however, it doesn’t heat up to the point that it discomforts the user.  At an estimated price of about $1,800, the Dell Latitude XT is on the pricey side. Rival brands offer tablet PCs at lower prices.

CONCLUSION

The Dell Latitude XT is a tablet PC that has a pleasing look and has an impressive processing power. It has a display screen and a set of features that are certainly useful. It is quite expensive though and since its competitors are priced lower, it would be difficult to market.

Dell Alienware M15x Review

Dell Alienware M15x Review

Aptly named, the Dell Alienware M15x is certainly a gaming monster with a 15-inch screen. Aside from its monster-like façade, the Dell Alienware has some monster specifications, especially with its Intel Core i5 notebook processor. Now this is certainly worth the $1,199 price tag.

Especially designed for the gaming aficionado, the Dell Alienware M15x initially came out with the Intel Core 2 Extreme X9000 driving its system. The Core 2 was already a powerful processor and it left behind other laptops in its class. To be competitive with other gaming laptops, the Dell Alienware M15x has been outfitted with the Intel Core “I” technology.

In terms of processors, one can choose between the Intel Core i5 and Intel Core i7 processors, with the Intel Core i5 being the less powerful of the two. Despite this fact, the Core i5 processor still packs one mean punch. If the Intel Core i7 processor is the current ruler of processors, then the Intel Core i5 is definitely its next in command. With the Core i7 processors gaining a lot of attention, it would also be fitting for the Intel Core i5 to receive an accolade of its own.

The Dell Alienware M15x with the Intel Core i5 processor comes in the following units: the Intel Core i5-540M or the Intel Core i5-520M processors. Both of their respective CPUs run with two cores. However, one could outrun other dual core processors, even its predecessors. Even with the i5 processor, this is one reason why the Dell Alienware M15x is a behemoth in the gaming world. This laptop is also set to becoming one of hardcore gamers’ favorites, especially if their pockets are not deep enough to acquire a similar laptop with the Intel Core i7 processor.

The Intel Core i5 that is integrated in the Dell Alienware M15x has a nifty feature: the Intel Turbo Boost technology. This allows any Intel Core i5 processor to clock at a faster rate when doing hefty processing jobs. The 2.4 GHz Intel Core i6-520M is capable of turbo boosting of up to 2.93 GHz while the Intel Core i5-540M could increase its speed to up to a maximum to 3.06 GHz.

While the processing specifications are commendable, the Dell Alienware M15x’s chassis is very elegant. One has a choice of picking the Red Nebula, Lunar Shadow and Cosmic Black designs.

Now that we know that the Dell Alienware M15x has a powerful processor and a sleek exterior. What else is there? This laptop is loaded with 4 GB of random access memory, guaranteeing superior performance even when one is accessing memory-hungry applications. This is supported by the backup graphics for hardcore games. Rendering heavy graphics becomes quite an easy task, especially with the graphics card. The Dell Alienware M15x comes with 1 GB of VRAM in the Nvidia GeForce GTX 260M.

In terms of storage, the Dell Alienware M15x can contain up to 250 GB of digital files. If storage is inadequate, thought, one can use the integrated BD-ROM/DVD/-RW drive to burn those excess heavy files. The Core i5 also comes a full HD display with a native resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. This may not be of great benefit to gamers but this resolution is more than adequate for those multimedia editors.

Specs
Central Processing Unit 2.4-GHz Intel Core i5-520QM with Turbo Boost
2.53-GHz Intel Core i5-540QM with Turbo Boost
Read Access Memory 4 GB
Storage Drive SATA 250GB Hard Drive 7,200 rpm
Optical Drive BD-ROM/DVD /-RW
Display Size 15.6 inches
Native Resolution 1920 x 1080
Dimension 14.9 x 12.2 x 1.9 inches
Graphics Card Nvidia GeForce GTX 260M with 1 GB VRAM
Weight 9.0 pounds

Pros

As powerful as it is, the Dell Alienware M15x with Intel Core i5 is still less powerful than the Dell Alienware M15x with Intel Core i7. Nevertheless, the Dell Alienware M15x with Intel Core i5 is still more than acceptable than other gaming laptop around.

The Dell Alienware M15x with Intel Core i5 offers spectacular graphics, a Blu-ray ready drive and an amazing and full HD display.

Cons

The Dell Alienware M15x can still do a lot better in the audio department. Its audio system plays beautiful sounds but only at an adequate level. Plus, portability is an issue. The Dell Alienware M15x is heavy at nine pounds.

Conclusion

Even with its steep price tag, the Dell Alienware M15x is still considered an excellent gaming laptop. You won’t regret choosing the Dell Alienware M15x for your entertainment and computing needs.