Dell hits yet another, more mainstream, notebook with the attractive stick.
To say that we were rather besotted with Dell’s M1330 would be somewhat of an understatement. In fact, our in-house notebook guru, Andy, even found himself swayed towards purchasing one. Today sees the introduction of the M1330’s big brother, the M1530. As the name (sort of) implies, this is a 15.4in animal and though it offers the ever-so-pretty styling of its sibling in a less portable form it compensates by allowing the use of higher-end components.
Starting with the disappointing, the panel is a mere 1,280 x 800 pixel affair where we’d have rather seen a 1,440 x 900 or even 1,680 x 1,050 model. Making up for that omission, processor offerings range from a 1.5GHz T5250 to a 2.6GHz T7800, up to 4GB or DDR2 800MHz RAM can be specified and graphics grunt is provided by either a 128MB nVidia 8400M or 256MB 8600M GT. Draft-N wireless also makes the bill, as does HSDPA (hooray!) and the usual plethora of USB ports, ExpressCard slot and so forth.
If that isn’t enough to raise your interest (they had me at HSDPA) how about the choice of several hard drive options, including a 200GB, 7200rpm drive, a 300GB, 5400rpm part or a 64GB SSD flash model. If that isn’t good enough maybe the chance to replace the slot-loading dual-layer DVD drive with a slot-loading Blu-ray drive will satisfy you. All in all, the range of specs is reasonable and the US site is currently listing the base price at around $999, which would probably put the UK model at around the £600 mark, although, obviously, in fine Dell tradition the higher the spec chosen the more expensive the system. We believe the UK site should be updated soon with the new system available.