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 Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® Portable SSD
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Huawei Mate 9
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Surface Pro 4
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell XPS 13 laptop
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Everything we think we know about Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3
- Lenovo's ThinkPad P71 will work with HTC, Oculus VR headsets
- Lenovo's Yoga A12 Android 2-in-1 has futuristic touch panel keyboard
- In PC comeback, ARM will battle Intel in Chromebooks and Windows 10
- Dell: Mainstream laptops with wireless charging are still years away
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCSenior Life 400 DeveloperNSW
- TPLinux Desktop Support SpecialistWA
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Supply Chain Modules)NSW
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Technical ArchitectACT
- TPBusiness Analyst AO7QLD
- FTSolution Architect l MS Exchange, O365NSW
- CCBusiness AnalystQLD
- TPSenior Analyst Programmer - ContractQLD
- TPGIS Developer - 6 month ContractQLD
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Technical ArchitectWA
- CCData Analyst - AutoHaulWA
- TPBusiness Analyst - Technical BackgroundQLD
- TPSenior Java Developer / DevOps - ContractQLD
- FTBranch Practice Manager - SecurityQLD
- CCProject ManagerSA
- CCTableau ConsultantVIC
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Supply Chain Modules)ACT
- TPTechnical Support Resource-Skype for BusinessVIC
- TPSenior Network EngineerWA
- FTProject / Implementation Coordinator (Junior-Mid Level) Sunshine Coast LocationQLD
- FTOnline Solutions AnalystNSW
- CCStorage System EngineerNSW
- CCSystem EngineerSA
- FTSenior Java Developers (Several positions available)QLD
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Sales & Marketing Modules)QLD