• Recommended by TR
Dell XPS M1530


Our Score


User Score

Review Price free/subscription

Indeed, if one were to have any particular complaint about the XPS M1530 at this present time, it would be that Dell hasn't quite delivered on the range of customisation one would expect of an XPS branded notebook. For example, though the 250GB SATA HDD is very generous, there's no option for larger 300GB drives that are now available, or a faster 7200rpm drive in any size at all.

As far as display options go, it would also be great to see 1,440 x 900 and 1,680 x 1,050 resolutions available, while the 512MB version of the 8600M GT would be necessary to help power games at those higher resolutions. With any luck Dell will begin to introduce these more extensive options as it ramps up production on this model, which given its record would seem likely.

Putting aside these disappointments, there's still plenty of great options available. Those with cash to burn will appreciate the chance to equip a slot loading Blu-ray drive, while integrated HSDPA is also available. For a small amount extra you can also opt for 802.11n Wi-Fi, for those who'll appreciate the extra range and transfer rates. As standard, though, you get Intel 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi, with 10/100 Ethernet and Bluetooth 2.0 EDR both integrated as well. As with the XPS M1330, there's no modem, but who gives a damn anyway?

Connectivity has been bolstered for the larger version, with an extra USB port added along with S-Video. Thus, on the left edge you'll find the DC-in, two USB ports, the D-SUB port, Ethernet port, HDMI and a 4-pin FireWire port. You'll notice that just below the right side of the keyboard is a fingerprint reader, which is included on all configurations - as is the 2.0 Megapixel camera.

Moving to the front, audio connections are rounded off with dual headphone jacks and the microphone/ Line-in jack. These are joined by an infrared receiver for the included media remote, which fits snugly into the 54mm ExpressCard bay and is another great touch. Also on the front is an 8-in-1 memory card reader, which should be able to deal with most card formats you throw at it.

Finally, the right edge is taken up mostly by the slot loading optical drive. However, there is space for the aforementioned 54mm ExpressCard slot, another USB port and an S-Video output. Overall, this is a very strong selection, with HDMI obviously being the highlight for those wishing to connect their notebook to a TV.

This is obviously a big attraction these days, while Dell's Media Direct software can be booted outside of Windows for quick access to your media. Unfortunately, video codec support is somewhat limited, though it does prove a useful and quick way to access music. Another benefit is that since it doesn't load a lot of the normal Windows services it should enhance battery life, making it good option when watching DVDs on the move.

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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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