Dell XPS M1530

Dell XPS M1530
  • Dell XPS M1530
  • Dell XPS M1530
  • Dell XPS M1530
  • Expert Rating

    4.25 / 5

Pros

  • Strong build, nice design, powerful components and quick start MediaDirect functionality, Digital/Analogue TV tuner, HDMI

Cons

  • No e-SATA

Bottom Line

If you want some power under the hood but still need mobility this XPS from Dell is a great option. We're keen on the design and build as well as the features in tow.

Would you buy this?

Probably one of the most impressive notebooks we ever tested was the Dell XPS M1330. Now we're taking a look at Dell's 15in version of this beast-machine, the Dell M1530 and we're equally impressed.

The XPS M1530 offers some of the best performance currently achievable with a notebook, scoring an impressive 104 in WorldBench 6. It looks sleek with its brushed metal finish and feels about as sturdy as they come. The screen is sharp and clear, the media controls are stylish and easy to use, and it includes an Express card digital TV tuner for good measure.

On a hardware level the XPS M1530 we tested includes some of the most up-to-date components around. Be aware that Dell's notebooks are built to order, so our review model may not be identical to other models you see.

The M1530 is built on an Intel Centrino platform, and includes one of Intel's latest and more powerful CPUs, the T9300 2.5GHz Core 2 Duo. This CPU is built using the latest 45nm (nanometre) technology, has an 800MHz front side bus and offers a large 6MB L2 cache. A full 4GB of RAM has been installed, though Windows registers only 3582MB on this 32-bit Vista Ultimate operating system.

The move from 65nm to 45nm has not so much improved battery life, but seems to have improved performance without impacting heavily on the battery life. In our DVD rundown test the XPS M1530 lasted 80min. Most 15in notebooks last between 80min and 100min, but most don't perform quite so well. The CPUs performance is exemplified by our MP3 encoding test, in which we encode 53min worth of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3 files. Using iTunes to do the conversion took just 68sec, one of the fastest results we've seen from a notebook.

For graphics and gaming the XPS M1530 has an NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT with 512MB of GDDR3 memory at its disposal. It's not the top-dog in terms of notebook gaming performance, but it does handle games quite well. In 3DMark 2006 the XPS M1530 scored 4311. It's going to run high-end DirectX 10 games in full quality, but will play them in lower settings.

Aesthetically the Dell XPS M1530 is a gem. Our sample has a red lid, though there are a number of available colours. Lift the lid and you're presented with a clean black and silver interior. The silver has a brushed metal finish and the black above the keyboard houses a series of touch sensitive media controls.

Also found with the media controls is a MediaDirect button. This starts up Dell's media centre-style application, but fills a better role, too. Pressing the MediaDirect button when the machine is off runs the media centre application without having to start Windows. Put simply, you can have a movie, some music or some photos up on screen without having to boot right into Windows first. In our tests the XPS M1530 booted to MediaDirect from an off state in just 15sec.

The included hybrid digital/analogue TV tuner works very well. The drivers are pre-installed, so all you have to do is insert it into the Express card slot. We tried it out with the included aerial and were able to pick up all mainstream TV stations, as well as their digital and high-definition options. This tuner allows you to watch, as well as record, TV stations. With 320GB of hard drive space to play with, the XPS M1530 should be able to store a range of digital media for your entertainment.

Using the M1530 as a media centre is made even easier with the inclusion of an HDMI port, a handy addition. In fact, with the media card reader, USB, S-Video, D-Sub, FireWire and HDMI, the only port really missing is an e-SATA port.

It's not an ultraportable unit by any means, weighing 2.65kg, but it's still quite mobile. If you are on the road frequently you'll appreciate the loud speakers for movie breaks and you may also find the built-in webcam and microphone handy for video calls with friends and family.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

Bitdefender solutions stop attacks before they even begin! Get cybersecurity that 500 MILLION users already have and trust.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?