Yessssss, It Finally Arrived: my Dell XPS M1330

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I’ve been playing with my new Dell XPS M1330 quite a bit over the past couple of days – after waiting forever for it, it’s great to finally have it in my hands. My first impressions, stream of consciousness style? Here we go…

It’s impressive. Incredibly fast. Great fit and finish. Love the red satin cover, love the aluminum on the inside. Slot load DVD drive is cool – but the eject button doesn’t always work. 802.11n is fast (I’ve connected up to 117 mbps), but seems inconsistent and I’m not seeing transfers speeds as fast as I’d expect. Only two USB ports – pity. No CompactFlash slot (darn). Came pre-loaded with Norton AntiVirus, Google Desktop Search, Google Toolbar, Google Desktop Sidebar – none of which I want, so I’ll have to reformat the whole thing and re-build it from scratch (grumble). Did I mention it’s fast? So damn fast – I installed City of Heroes and the video card (128 MB NVIDIA 8400M GS) handled it without a problem, smooth like butta’. The screen is gorgeous, very bright at max brightness, but so very dull at anything less than about 70% brightness. The 1280 x 800 resolution isn’t bad, but higher would have been better – why not 1440 x 900? If the Dell 14.1″ screen notebooks have an option for 1440 x 900, why not this high-priced beast?

Gonna’ see about getting 4 GB of RAM put in there, I’ll only get access to 3.5 GB, but hey that’s better than 2 GB. Lightroom runs great on this, the CPU is very fast (I got the 2.2 Ghz model). Overall the unit is very quiet, and you can only just barely hear the fan under heavy load. Seems to be some quirks with suspend/resume – it just takes way too long, screen flashes off and on, seems sloppy. My old XP-based Fujitsu upgraded to Vista is faster at suspend/resume, so this is just unacceptable. The fingerprint reader is a neat gimmick, but the software is sloppy and dysfunctional, I don’t know if I’ll use it. So far, I’d give this an 8 out of 10 rating as a laptop. Dell did quite good here, but my expectations were a touch higher for an XPS laptop that’s eight months into Vista’s cycle.

  • I forgot to add my thoughts about the battery: the 9 cell battery sticks out with a big hump, but it does act as a small laptop stand, boosting the laptop up a bit – that’s kind of neat. Battery life is pretty good – I haven’t done any serious testing yet, but I think it will last 5 hours under normal conditions without a problem. What sucks is that I’m coming from a laptop that lasted 10 hours, so that’s an adjustment for me. I’m trying to get my hands on a 6-cell battery, the one that doesn’t hump out…but I may just get used to this hump battery.

  • Bonni98

    Shame how dell replaced this excellent notebook with their cheaper headache inducing designs. Even 3 years on, the specs are in no way outdated?
    I will try going on dell outlet to get one at around £500.

    How would you rate the portability?

    Oh, and i haven't seen any DHT video of this one on youtube?

  • Boy, this is digging up an old post. 😉 I'd rate the portability as excellent with the 6-cell battery, and so-so with the 9-cell battery. I didn't mind the weight very much with the 9-cell battery, though some bags didn't fit it quite right because of the hump. As for the specs, sure they're outdated compared to some modern laptops – specifically in the GPU department; the CPU, RAM, and hard drive measure up pretty good compared to what's out there today. As for the videos, I bought this before I started doing YouTube videos regularly, so I never did any videos about it.