Dell XPS M1330 laptop
Polished, portable powerhouse
Review Dell’s XPS range has been synonymous with high-performance gaming computers. However, once it acquired gaming manufacturer Alienware, a subtle shift in branding saw some less focused multimedia-based machines being pushed out under the XPS banner.
The XPS M1330 follows in the footsteps of the XPS M1210, a 12.1in machine that was one of the first of the PC giant's ultra-portables to cram in a dedicated graphics chip. Although it could double the performance of its nearest rivals, it was also double the thickness, in order to keep hat GPU cool.
Dell's XPS M1330: similar to Sony’s SZ-series
The M1330 retains a dedicated graphics processor, but Dell claims that at just 25mm its machine is the thinnest 13.3in laptop in the world. Well, until the MacBook Air goes on sale - the Apple's machine's thickest part is thinner than the Dell's thinnest...
But these are not directly comparable machines. The first thing that sprang to mind when we clapped eyes on the M1330 was just how similar it is to Sony’s Vaio SZ series. With a 13.3in display, wedge-shaped chassis heavily tapered at the front and brushed aluminium palm rests, it could be the Sony’s long-lost brother.
In fact, Sony must be pretty miffed, as not only does the XPS share the SZ’s good points, it also adds a dash of style and colour. If black doesn’t do it for you, Dell also sells the XPS in Crimson Red - however, the additional colours available on other Dell products are strangely absent.
The coloured (or not) lid is finished in a rubbery plastic, which we found both tactile and hardwearing. The chassis itself uses magnesium alloy to offer strength and to peg the Dell’s overall weight at a highly portable 2kg.
Like the Sony, this machine is available with either an LED-backlit display or a traditional, cheaper (by £50) fluorescent panel. Our review model featured the former, and we recommend the extra outlay - it’s brighter than the regular screen and its colour reproduction was sublime.
Why do people like you blame a specific operating system for a limitation in chipsets and all 32 bit operating systems?
Linux is limited to 4GB RAM until you recompile your kernal and turn on PAE.
Windows can address more than 4GB (just not at the same time) as well by using the PAE switch.
This is all assuming your chipset can support it, if it can't, it doesn't matter what OS you run.
I seem to remember using an entreprise Windows 32 bit OS with 8GB of RAM and that was 5 years ago.
Why do people like you blame Dell for an Operating System Flaw. Do you see HP, Fujistu or Toshiba telling you that.....NO.
For those who do not have an idea what we are talking about it appears that Microsofts Operating Systems can only allocate a Maximum of 4GB of RAM. If for example you have a 256MB Graphics Card, Windows allocates 256MB of addresses, meaning that Windows can only see 3.75 GB of RAM.
If you have a Beast of a computer with two 512MB Graphics cards Windows will only be able to access 3GB of memory even if you have 4GB installed.
Its good to see that after all these years Microsoft are still shite at designing an OS for a top end machine.
/Just get my coat
Love it (part 2)
Re: the LED screen. Forgot to say how gorgeous the LED screen is. Haven't seen a direct comparison with the CCFL version, but again, it's a case of finding other laptops deficient when using them. On the M1330 the top brightness level is simply _too_ bright whilst indoors. I only ever need to crank it up to about 2/3 for comfortable use.
NB 2: The 6-cell battery is the one I have, and sits flush with the unit. The optional 9 cell is the one that protrudes a little and provides a "wedge" that makes the machine "sit-up" when on a flat surface. Some folk seem to like that.
Bought one of these from a local independent retailer 3 or 4 months ago (the 5 week wait was well worth it). Love it.
It was a split purchase between my GF and me (and my first laptop too). After she'd browsed around in the shops and seen a Vaio SZ in the flesh) I had to find something with the following specs before she'd pony up half the cash:
-14" or less screen (so as not to be unnecessarily unwieldy).
-Less than 2kg (for comfort when resting whilst sofasurfing).
-Not be Fugly (i.e. look as similar to a Vaio SZ as possible).
-Be half the price of an SZ.
That was it. With the SZ being the benchmark but far too pricey. A MacBook was almost the only thing that came close, but it's a Mac. There was a pretty decent little Fujitsu fella but it wasn't sleek enough. Everything else was too/big/heavy.
The XPS M1330 fitted the bill perfectly. Plumped for a £799, 1.5GHz, 2GB, 160GB model (with integrated GFX cos I have a console for games). No probs running Vista Home Premium or any other general multitasking job I've thrown at it. And it can stretch to around 4hrs of Wireless surfing/graphics editing.
After using a few other laptops of various description, they all seem deficient in some way when compared to the M1330.
Completely made up with it and now I want another so that my GF and I can have one each, I can set up a Wireless NAS and dispense with the Desktop/Server-of-sorts machine in the spare room.
I realise that I'm becoming the Dell equivalent of a Mac-vangelist now so I'll stop, except to say that as soon as Dell do their version of the Air at half Apples price, I'm sold.
NB: The ExpressCard slot has a dinky IR remote in it for control of media centre functions.
It looks like a pretty good laptop. I may consider buying one to replace my aging Fujitsu Siemens laptop.
If like me, you want something mobile when working away from home, but at the same time play the odd hour on a few games, then it seems like a good compromise.
But if they're bringing a model out with a high def drive, I may just wait for that.