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Dell XPS M1330 - Dell XPS M1330

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell

Reviewed:

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  • Recommended by TR
Dell XPS M1330

Summary

Our Score:

9

Getting a bit more technical, Dell provides a plethora of options in keeping with the XPS brand that's reserved for "performance" products. Our sample unit came with an Intel Core 2 Duo T7300, which clocks in at 2.00GHz and features 4MB L2 cache and an 800MHZ Front Side Bus. Alternative options, in order of speed and expense, include the T5250 (1.5GHz), T7100 (1.8GHz), T7250 (2.0GHz) and T7500 (2.2GHz).

Of all these options, we'd say the T7250 is worth a look if you're after the best balance between performance and value. It features the same clock speed as the perfectly able T7300, but has half the amount of L2 cache and costs a good deal less. Indeed, it seems as though Dell and/or Intel are trying to phase out the T7300 since, if you spec it, you pay the same price as you would for the faster T7500. Because of this the price we're quoting in this review uses the T7250, since it's a more realistic option and the performance will be near to that of our system which uses the T7300.

This is supported by the obligatory 2GB of 667MHz DDR2 RAM, with graphics processing provided by an nVidia 8400M GS with 128MB of dedicated video memory. This particular choice of GPU is always a source of frustration because it's potentially more power demanding than Intel's X3100 solution, but it isn't powerful enough to be a truly compelling gaming option. For sure, it's significantly better than integrated options and will give you more gaming headroom, but that doesn't change the fact that it isn't and never will be a genuine gaming option.

Dell does allow for a model without an 8400M GS but, due to the vagaries of Dell's configuration system, you'll actually pay more for a system that's identical but for the lack of discrete graphics. Whichever way you look at it, Dell has probably missed a trick by not adding a switching capability as per the Sony SZ or upcoming Asus U3.

Our sample unit came with a 160GB 5400rpm SATA drive, which is ample for most peoples' needs. Options run up to a 250GB 5400rpm drive, while you can also specify faster 7200rpm drives in 160GB and 200GB capacities. Optical storage is fixed and cannot be configured, with all systems coming with the same 8x DVD+/-RW slot loading drive.

For network connectivity the M1330 won't disappoint. There's 10/100 Ethernet as standard, while Draft-N Wi-Fi is available as an extra on most models. Our sample also came equipped with embedded HSDPA, making this a genuinely mobile machine. Bluetooth 2.0 EDR is also available, with our sample unit coming with a set of Dell's surprisingly decent Bluetooth headphones.

In addition to all these features our system also shipped with some extra features, including fingerprint reader and a nylon carry case. These are quite useful and smart features respectively, but they do add approximately £70 to the overall price of the machine. Moreover, currently Dell is quoting a seven week delay for any system equipped with a Fingerprint reader, so it's probably worth avoiding unless you absolutely must have one.

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

Wackywavinginflateablearmflail

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/object/i....





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/2008/0... that describe the problem. There are even videos on YouTube showing XPS m1330 dying (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v....





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.



Guest

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

Guest

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.

Guest

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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