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Dell XPS M1330 - Dell XPS M1330

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell



  • Recommended by TR
Dell XPS M1330


Our Score:


Connectivity is, on the whole, good for a notebook of this size. On the left you'll find DC-in, D-SUB, Ethernet, HDMI and a four-pin FireWire port, as well as a single USB port. Audio connections can be found at the front, with dual headphone jacks and an input for an external microphone as well as an infrared receiver for the media remote and a card reader. Alternatively there are microphones built into the chassis, which sit either side of the 0.3-megapixel webcam. Strangely, though, if you opt for the cheaper non-LED backlit display you get a 2.0-megapixel webcam instead. It seems odd, but for its purposes 0.3-megapixels is perfectly adequate for a webcam.

Moving onto the right edge you'll find the only other USB port, making two in total. Though this is a small notebook, it would have been nice to have at least three USB ports considering the number of devices one tends to have these days. Also on the right edge, though, is a 54mm ExpressCard slot, which instead of the usual plastic blanker features a very welcome media remote. This is joined by an On/Off switch for the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules, with the Wi-Fi Catcher slider just a little further along. The rest of the space is taken up by the slot loading optical drive, whose Eject button is part of the bank of touch sensitive controls above the keyboard.

For raw performance testing the XPS M1330 was put through our usual set of benchmarks, including PCMark 05 and our in-house Photoshop Elements and Virtual Dub tests. Overall performance was in line with expectations, with a solid 4,573 Overall PCMark score and a CPU score just under 5,000 -- both of which are very creditable. Results from our in-house tests were also good showing that, were it needed, the M1330 is up to some more intensive tasks. In general use though, the M1330 with the Core 2 Duo T7300 is snappy and brisk. A fact that will change little if you spec the T7250, which given the pricing would be sensible.

Compared to competing models, the M1330 also fares well. Sony's excellent SZ Series is the M1330's most natural competitor and the Dell matches it in nearly every department, while surpassing it in many others. Whereas the SZ shows its age in some respects, the M1330 looks and feels fresh and exciting. It has a better keyboard, sports better connectivity, while features like the removable media remote make the M1330 a more adaptable performer. One of the few things Sony's SZ does have over the M1330 is the ability to switch between discrete and integrated graphics, giving it a slight advantage over the M1330 in battery life.

However, the difference wasn't enough to stop us concluding that the Dell M1330 is the best Windows based notebook in its class. Of all 13.3in notebooks available, none can match the combination of quality features, performance and design savvy that the XPS M1330 achieves. Thus, if you want a Windows machine of this size, you can't do much better.


As of now the XPS M1330 is the best Windows based 13.3in notebook you can buy. Its dizzying combination of great design and market leading features make it an adaptable machine, capable of satisfying both the mobile worker and those with more multimedia orientated requirements.

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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