Dell XPS M1330 review
Dell’s XPS M1330 is the cheapest luxury laptop on test by quite a distance. At £768 (exc VAT), it’s almost £140 less than the Toshiba Satellite P300, and yet it still feels more luxurious than many of the other laptops in this group.
The svelte form hides more than enough power for coping with work and web surfing, and it will cope easily with more demanding apps, too. A 2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T8100 processor, with the help of 2GB of RAM, pushed the M1330 to a score of 1.04 in our 2D benchmarks.
The rest of the spec is as good as you need from a portable, sub-2kg laptop. It has a decent 13in 1,280 x 800 resolution screen. Although the graphics chipset is only a mid-range offering, the M1330’s score of 22fps in our low-detail Crysis test suggests it will cope with less demanding titles.
There’s draft-n wireless and plenty of ports and sockets, too: an HDMI output, FireWire socket and a card reader sit with a trio of USB ports, audio jacks and a Gigabit Ethernet port.
And this spec results in relatively good battery life. The Dell lasted 4hrs 15mins in our light-use test – one of the best performances this month – although this dropped to 1hr 28mins under intensive use.
The chassis is one of the best of the smaller laptops on test. While there’s some flex in the lid, it isn’t as bad as that in the Asus U6 or Fujitsu Siemens, and the rest of the M1330 feels solid, too.
The keyboard and trackpad are also good. Typing is comfortable, and the trackpad is fast and responsive. Our only niggle concerns the mouse buttons, which feel cheap and flimsy.
For such a small laptop, the M1330 also packs in a surprisingly good screen. It’s one of the best small panels we’ve seen in the Labs this month, offering accurate colours and fine detail.
It’s this, coupled with the M1330’s numerous other qualities – power, portability, battery life and build quality – that make the Dell an ideal portable laptop with features that trump many more luxurious models this month. Add in the tempting price, and it’s clear that it’s well worth its Recommended award.
|Warranty||1yr collect and return|
|Dimensions||318 x 242 x 35mm (WDH)|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Core 2 Duo T8100|
|Motherboard chipset||Intel PM965|
|SODIMM sockets free||0|
|SODIMM sockets total||2|
Screen and video
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,280|
|Resolution screen vertical||800|
|Resolution||1280 x 800|
|Graphics chipset||Nvidia GeForce 8400M GS|
|Graphics card RAM||128MB|
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs||1|
|Hard disk usable capacity||173GB|
|Internal disk interface||SATA/300|
|Hard disk||Seagate ST9200420ASG|
|Optical disc technology||DVD writer|
|Optical drive||Matshita UJ-857G|
|Replacement battery price ex VAT||£125|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£144|
|Wired adapter speed||1,000Mbits/sec|
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|Integrated 3G adapter||no|
|Wireless hardware on/off switch||yes|
|Wireless key-combination switch||no|
|USB ports (downstream)||3|
|PS/2 mouse port||no|
|9-pin serial ports||0|
|3.5mm audio jacks||3|
|SD card reader||yes|
|Memory Stick reader||yes|
|MMC (multimedia card) reader||yes|
|Smart Media reader||no|
|Compact Flash reader||no|
|Pointing device type||Touchpad|
|Audio chipset||SigmaTel HD Audio|
|Speaker location||Above keyboard|
|Hardware volume control?||no|
Battery and performance tests
|Battery life, light use||4hr 15min|
|Battery life, heavy use||1hr 38min|
|Overall application benchmark score||1.04|
|3D performance (crysis) low settings||22fps|
|3D performance setting||Low|
Operating system and software
|Operating system||Windows Vista Home Premium|
|OS family||Windows Vista|
|Recovery method||Recovery partition|
|Software supplied||Creative LiveCam, Roxio Creator DE 10.1|