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Dell XPS M1330 review

Andy Vandervell




  • Recommended by TR

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Dell XPS M1330
  • Dell XPS M1330
  • Dell XPS M1330
  • Dell XPS M1330
  • Dell XPS M1330
  • Dell XPS M1330
  • Dell XPS M1330
  • Dell XPS M1330
  • Dell XPS M1330
  • Dell XPS M1330
  • Dell XPS M1330
  • Dell XPS M1330
  • Dell XPS M1330
  • Dell XPS M1330
  • Dell XPS M1330
  • Dell XPS M1330


Our Score:


Finally! Having waited for what seemed like an age to get our mucky paws on Dell's latest and possibly greatest consumer notebook, we can bring you a review of the XPS M1330. Doubtless anyone who has already ordered one will be able to substantiate this frustration, because Dell has been struggling to fulfil orders of its latest consumer notebook due to some well publicised production issues. Thankfully, those issues seem to have been alleviated somewhat, though that'll be of little consolation to those who've been waiting for theirs to arrive.

Putting these issues aside for a moment: what's all the fuss about? Take a look at the pictures and you'll begin to understand, because the XPS M1330 is without a doubt one of the best looking consumer notebooks Dell has made in…well, ever actually. Built around a 13.3in display, the chassis measures a sleek and slender 318 x 238 x 33.8mm (WxDxH) at its bulkiest points and weighs 2kg with a 6-cell battery. Dell also claims that this is the thinnest notebook in its class, though this is somewhat disingenuous because the 22.1mm at its thinnest is only possible thanks to the wedged shaped design.

Ultimately this dubious claim isn't especially important, because it does nothing to add or detract from the M1330s undeniable good looks. On the outside Dell continues its use of the Microsatin finish we've previously seen on the Inspiron 1520, which is reputedly a source of Dell's production problems.

In any case, these finishes are both very attractive and very durable, proving predominantly scratch proof unlike the glossy finishes we see on many notebooks these days. Our unit came in a fetching Crimson Red, while the M1330 is also available in "Tuxedo" Black - it's remarkable how many kinds of black there are. This coloured trim is framed by strips of silver either side, while the silver XPS lettering and inset Dell logo are a vast improvement over the rather clownish logos found on the company's other consumer offerings.

Clearly then, the M1330 is something of a departure for Dell. Moreover, as a design it strikes a lovely balance. Elements such as the outer finish give it a striking visual appearance; while the simple metallic silver and charcoal grey combination on the inside give it a classy and understated look. It's a powerful combination, making the M1330 ideal for both consumers and the business user who wants something a little out of the ordinary but not too garish at the same time.

There are plenty of other nice touches too, such as the slot loading optical drive, the touch sensitive media keys and the media remote, which slots discreetly into the 54mm ExpressCard bay. Also worthy of note is the display, in this instance a 1,280 x 800 resolution LED backlit panel. Dell also provides a standard panel that's cheaper, but the LED backlit version is truly superb thanks to superior brightness levels, vibrant colour production and razor sharp detail. A glossy high contrast coating helps in this regard too and it's not the most reflective finish we've seen either, which is a significant bonus.

Andrew Gosling

July 2, 2008, 1:28 pm

It sounds like a great system, so great that I've ordered one, but if I was you I would buy it direct from somewhere like Tesco's or PCWorld, ANYTHING other than deal with dell.

A call centre with staff who can't speak or write basic english.

Ordering over the phone involves walking the person on the other end of the line through their online ordering system, in exploring the options for the laptop, I knew more about the model and its options than they did.

Unexplained delays of many weeks with no notification (I only found out after going to check after hearing nothing for 3 weeks and the original delivery date approaching).

A complete disregard for all queries regarding the system and its status, they have all been either deflected or simply ignored.

Mine has now been in the packaging phase for 6 days, something their website states only take a day, and they have altered the website to make it appear that it has been only a day, essentially lying. When I called them on this and told them I was considering (note only considering) cancelling the order, they went straight ahead and cancelled it without even trying to work out the issues.

Dell customer service is about the worst I have ever experienced and I would not recommend it to anyone, not even my worst enemy


July 30, 2008, 3:05 am

I never considered one of these because of Vista (running Vista Business and hate it). My next laptop was going to be a Macbook, but this machine has more features than the Mac, i.e. HDMI out, media card reader, led backlight, express card, and so on.

I just wish Sony would use Ubuntu as well. Sick of all these manufacturers sticking with Windows and forcing us to either put up with it, or buy a Mac, or put up with the hassle of installing Linux. Love PC hardware (Vaio TZ comes to mind) but software SUCKS!!!

At least Dell has woken up, now let's see the others (HP, Acer, Lenovo, looking at you) wake up too!

xps owner

August 13, 2008, 10:01 pm

The XPS m1330 and m1530 are great notebooks. Sadly, however, I would caution against buying the xps m1330 or any other laptop (from Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or Apple) that comes with the faulty Nvidia m8400 or m8600 graphics. Nvidia has finally admitted that there a problem involving "a weak die/packaging material set" in their GPUs (see http://www.nvidia.com/objec....

These laptops are dying at an alarming rate. Mine died 3 times in the last 10 months. In each case the GPU was the cause and the "fix" was a motherboard replacement. The problem is that there is no guarantee that the replacement will last!

DEll and other manufacturers have offered graphics drivers and bios updates that cause the system fans to run more frequently thereby delaying the failure. However, they are yet to address the real problem which is faulty hardware. HP has offered free warranty extension for affected systems but other manufacturers including Dell are yet to follow.

There are hundreds of articles like this one (http://www.engadget.com/200... that describe the problem. There are even videos on YouTube showing XPS m1330 dying (http://www.youtube.com/watc....

So keep an eye for updates on this saga. In the mean time stay clear of affected laptop models and configurations until the manufacturers own up to the problem and recall or offer upgrades for affected systems.


December 7, 2014, 3:17 pm

I have XPS M1330 T5450 with Intel Graphic Media Accelerator X3100 intergrated graphics that my sister gave to me. It was in 2007 and now in 2014.. It works perfectly fine and beautifully. Xps owner say dying at an alarming rate is false. Look at mine. I am still using it and it works perfectly fine. It can last for many years to come since 2007 until now. It's running like a new. If you know what you are doing with your laptop and it will be a long lifespan. :)

PS: I hate VISTA so I replaced it to Windows 7 Professional. It rocks! :D


December 7, 2014, 3:19 pm

You can always replace Vista to Windows 7. Dont be a baby. It is awesome and affordable for people who do not know very much about the computers or something.


December 7, 2014, 3:21 pm

Sorry to hear your bad experience. I noticed myself but I wont order computers from DELL. Let's spread anyone to avoid Dell until they work on their way to their attitude fixed and professional training.

I got it from my sister so thats enough for me, hehe. Sorry about my English.

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