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Dell XPS M1330 - Dell XPS M1330

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell



  • Recommended by TR
Dell XPS M1330


Our Score:


Most notebooks come with a six-cell battery as standard, however for the purposes of this review we were sent both six-cell and nine-cell extended batteries. As previously noted, with the six-cell battery the XPS M1330 weighs just a fraction over 2kg. This is a nice portable weight for a notebook of this size, though it doesn't quite match Sony's SZ in this respect, which comes in at under 1.8kg with the same capacity of battery. In cheaper configurations Dell also allows for a four-cell battery that reduces the weight to 1.79kg, though you'll take a significant hit in the battery life department with this option.

Interestingly the nine-cell battery shares a similar design to that found on the MSI PR210, with a ridge shape that acts as a stand. This actually provides a very nice angle for using the notebook, while the nine-cell only increases the total weight of the notebook to an acceptable 2.15kg. As such, for those who require longer battery life this is quite a compelling option and although you can't specify both six-cell and nine-cell batteries at point of purchase, you could buy them separately.

For battery testing we've run a couple of tests, including a DVD playback test and one based on general real world usage. For the DVD Playback test screen brightness was set to around 70 per cent, which proved to be a nice balance between the brightness required to bring out enough detail, while maintaining decent black levels.

With the six-cell battery this produced a total of two hours and 23 minutes playback, which is a good return and will ensure you can watch most films on a single charge. With the nine-cell this was extended to just under four hours, at three hours and 58 minutes -- more or less double that of the six-cell. Overall these results were very encouraging, proving that you can watch DVDs at acceptable brightness levels and not resort to mains power halfway through a film.

To gauge battery performance under more typical conditions the M1330 was used for word processing and Internet browsing, in this instance using the six-cell battery with display brightness set to its maximum and with Wi-Fi enabled. While conducting our test it was very evident that as well as being great to look at, the M1330 is also a great notebook to use. It runs quietly and coolly during normal use, while the keyboard layout is truly excellent with none of the annoying issues one sometimes finds. Keys themselves are crisp and responsive, making typing a pleasure; while the touchpad below the keyboard is well placed and doesn't obstruct typing.

After two hours and 55 minutes the system ran out of juice, shutting down completely. This is an acceptable result, but its slightly short of the Sony SZ61VN which managed around 25 minutes longer thanks to its ability to use Intel's integrated graphics. Obviously reducing display brightness will improve things slightly, but the cumulative difference in battery life will always remain in favour of the SZ and the gap would likely increase given identical conditions. Of all things, this is one of the few areas the M1330 doesn't match its nearest competition.

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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