The Studio One 19 announces Dell's entry into the all-in-one consumer desktop market. It's significantly better than a budget all-in-one, the MSI Wind Top AE1900 or Lenovo IdeaCentre C300 for example, in terms of pure performance. Other things to watch out for include a glossy white plastic shell and a touchscreen display optimised for dual-touch input.

With its glossy white plastic shell and aluminum stand, the Dell Studio One 19 loosely resembles the Apple iMac. Build quality is pretty good and the display stands robustly on the adjustable stand. The 18.5-inch widescreen display (1366x768 resolution) is glossy and pleasing on the eye, and offers good viewing angles. But it gets smudged in no time, since it supports touch input. Although not quite perfect, the dual-touch optimised screen provides an acceptable touchscreen experience. You can pinch images to zoom in, scroll through long web pages, and do a lot more with on-screen gestures. Dell also includes a software utility called TouchZone which tries to add an iPhone-like, scrollable program launcher and manager which is especially touch-friendly, whether it was painting or striking the drums on the Studio One 19's screen, we had tons of fun. However, the TouchZone has a limited number of programs, therefore limited appeal as you can't add external programs, unfortunately.

The case design is good, and it weighs about 10.3-kg. There's a pronounced grilled bezel all around the screen which houses two onboard speakers on either side. Heat vents at the top, connectivity ports on the left, and a slot-loading DVD writer is placed on the right edge of the Dell Studio One 19. There's a handy touch-sensitive DVD eject button on the right-hand corner of the Studio One 19's screen bezel, a feature that we haven't seen even on most mainstream laptops that deploy a slot-loading drive. We also liked the bundled wireless keyboard and mouse that came with it. The keys feel nice and springy while typing on them and it has a row of multimedia buttons on top, not to mention a rotating volume dial. Both the mouse and keyboard have a battery-low indicator on them, and a wireless sync button to pair it with the Dell Studio One 19. Pairing the keyboard and mouse with the Dell Studio One 19 was very intuitive, no hassle at all.

The Dell Studio One 19 has pretty good building blocks. It has an Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 2.93-GHz processor, 4GB of DDR2 RAM, and a 320GB 7200rpm hard drive, also there's 64-bit Windows Vista Home Premium included to fully utilise the 4GB RAM at disposal. There's no Gigabit Ethernet, only slower 100Mbit/sec LAN support. Surprisingly, no Wi-Fi either, but you can optionally opt for it if you want to wirelessly browse the Web on the Studio One 19. No TV tuner card or wireless remote, like the IdeaCentre A600, either. But a 7-in-1 card reader, six USB ports, and audio jacks are built in.

Throughout our benchmarks, the Studio One 19 performed very well, except on gaming. A WorldBench 6 score of 112 is very high, 25 points higher than the Lenovo IdeaCentre A600's 87, and that means the Studio One 19 is very well adept at playing movies and multitasking with several apps. Both 720p and 1080p high-definition videos played extremely well, no stutter or lag to report. That's mostly thanks to an Nvidia GeForce 9200 integrated on the Studio One 19's Nvidia MCP 7A chipset. Like the IdeaCentre C300, the most you can do is play 3- or 4-year old games at best, that's it for gaming. Sound from the two onboard speakers was pretty clear, if not loud, and decent. Overall, we liked what we saw of the Dell Studio One 19.

OUR VERDICT

At £599, the Dell Studio One 19 is somewhere in between the entry-level Atom-based all-in-ones and high-end all-in-ones like the Lenovo IdeaCentre A600 and Apple iMac 20-inch. It's a balanced product, offering good value for money, and it comes with a better-than-average touchscreen experience. Buy it if you are unconvinced about the compromises of some Atom-based all-in-ones and don't want to shell out a fortune for a good-looking all-in-one.