• Recommended by TR
Dell XPS M1530


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Look familiar?

If you're a regular reader or just a signed up member of Gadget-a-Holics Anonymous (then you really ought to be a regular reader), then you'll know it looks distinctly like the truly wonderful Dell XPS M1330 - a notebook so good it managed to snatch second place in the Best Notebook category of the inaugural TrustedReviews Awards 2007. However, the M1330 it isn't, because today I'm looking at its new bigger sibling, the XPS M1530.

Announced not long ago, it takes the same basic design and expands it to house a larger 15.4in display and updated hardware. This was always a logical move for Dell to make given the success of the 13in model, providing a far more attractive and exclusive tonic to the solid but rather utilitarian Inspiron 1520.

Aesthetically then, it should go without saying that the XPS M1530 is everything one would hope it to be. Dell has done an excellent job of translating the already excellent styling to a larger chassis, losing none of the style or sharpness that made the XPS M1330 such a popular and in demand machine. Its combination of brushed metal interior, touch sensitive buttons and 'micro satin' exterior is eye catching and boast worthy - should that be a requirement.

Naturally enough it also keeps the same wedge shaped design and for a notebook of its size the M1530 is really quite slim, measuring 23.7mm at its thinnest point and 35.1mm at the back. It's also very light. Dell quotes a "starting weight" of 2.6kg, but our sample is a no less impressive 2.74kg with the supplied six-cell battery. You can also specify a nine-cell battery and though Dell didn't send us one, it's a good bet the overall weight should remain below 3kg.

Obviously this version is also wider, measuring 357mm across and 263mm deep. Much to Dell's credit though, it has resisted the temptation to use this space too liberally, keeping the same size keyboard and layout. Let me just say: this is a very good thing. Anyone who has had the pleasure of using an XPS M1330 will know just how good the keyboard really is, with a near perfect layout, firm and responsive keys and a total lack of any flex, such as that found on cheaper notebooks like the Toshiba U300-134.

Consequently, the XPS M1530 is every bit as enjoyable to use as its inspiration, while the touch pad remains well placed and proportioned. Other than this there are some very minor differences, with the glossy black strip that encases the touch sensitive buttons extending a little further down and around the edges of the keyboard.

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Paul Nicolson

September 2, 2008, 7:56 am

Should the score change considering the GPU failure rate on this laptop and infact all laptops fitted with 8000 series gfx cards ??

Dave Ambery

September 28, 2008, 7:33 pm

I just recently took delivery of the XPS M1530 choosing to go for 4Meg version with Blu-ray drive. The drive failed at the very first disc. So, am I out for Dells Blood? Well No not at all. I did get a little worried when an Indian sounding gentleman asked me try try another disc. (after I had told him 5 times that the first disc was still inside). Arrangements were made for at home service the following day. The service tachnician phoned to confirm and turned up promptly as stated. The Blu-Ray drive was faulty. This way replaced without delay and the original drive dismantled to retrive my disc. The drive was then tested and all was well.

Having had Dell computers both company owned and my own this level of service was one of the deciding factors when choosing my laptop.

It is true you can pay a lot more than the brochure price (� in my case) but this was with the additions and subtractions that I wanted not "We have this one Sir" that the most suppliers would offer.

One very minor letdown I wanted a Red cover, Dell do one but when you try to order you can get Black, Dark Blue or Pink. So Blue it was, oh well, but Why?

All else though Well Done Dell.

Dave Ambery.


October 26, 2008, 11:41 pm

Hey Dave^ the red option is available on a dedicated Product (red) page on the top navigation bar, select Laptop as a drop down option then go to Product (red) page and there you have it. Took me forever to find it too, quite well hidden I must say.

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