Dell XPS M1530
- Strong build, nice design, powerful components and quick start MediaDirect functionality, Digital/Analogue TV tuner, HDMI
- No e-SATA
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.
Price$ 2,199.00 (AUD)
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!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Huawei Y5 (2017): Full, in depth review
- 3 LG G6 Plus: Full, in-depth review
- 4 First Look: Nikon D850
- 5 OnePlus 5: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Google Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixelbook, Google Home Mini & Max: Everything Announced At Today’s Google Event
- MSI GE73 7RF VR Raider Gaming Laptop: Full, in-depth review
- Traditional Aussie PC market defies global downward trend again
- Acer expands gaming notebook lineup with Predator Helios 300
- ASUS Announces Two New Entries into the VivoBook Range with the VivoBook 14 and VivoBook 15
PCW Evaluation Team
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
- Jabra Elite Sport (2017) review
- How to download the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update right now
- Opinon: Life after KRACK
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- FTDeveloper- Xamarin, ASP.Net, Ajax, Java Script, MVC , AndroidOther
- FTBI / ETL DeveloperWA
- CCDevOps Developer (Chef/IAF/Linux)QLD
- CCNetwork and Security ArchitectNSW
- CCSecurity AdministratorQLD
- FTJunior iOS DeveloperWA
- FTLead Strategy Manager - ConsultancyOther
- FTSCCM Systems AdministratorOther
- CCLead Service DesignerACT
- CCPartner Marketing ManagerNSW
- CCLead Service Designer - CANBERRA BASEDVIC
- FTDigital Reporting AnalystOther
- FTProgram Manager - Agile / DigitalOther
- FTCampaign AnalystOther
- TPOrganisational Change ManagerQLD
- FTJunior IT Admin CoordinatorACT
- FTProject Manager - Software Development ProjectsOther
- FTSenior Business Analyst - AMLOther
- CCDrupal Developer / Site BuilderNSW
- TPData AnalystVIC
- FTNetwork EngineerOther
- CCSolutions ArchitectNSW
- CCSupport Specialist MQ and ESB AdministrationNSW
- FTImplementation ManagerOther
- FTSenior Java EngineerACT