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!
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay A9 Speaker
Ballistix Sport AT
Apple iMac Pro
Samsung QLED 8K TV
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000
Toys for Boys
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
ESET Internet Security
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
Tivoli PAL BT
ESET Smart Security Premium
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
In multicultural Australia, the opportunity for home cooks to expand their culinary horizons is too tempting to resist.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy Watch review: Brilliant but not quite a breakthrough
- 2 HP Omen 15 (2018): Full, in-depth review
- 3 HP Envy x360 13 (Ryzen): Full, in-depth review
- 4 Dell G5 review: Easy to live with
- 5 Nokia 6 (2018) review: Simple. Solid. Supreme.
Latest News Articles
- Huawei launch their Matebook X in Australia ahead of Black Friday
- PAX AUS 2018: Alienware isn't looking to sell a gaming smartphone just yet
- PAX AUS 2018: MSI embrace Optane with GE63 RGB
- Dell launches its Rugged range
- Samsung unveil Galaxy Book 2
PCW Evaluation Team
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
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.
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.
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Oppo R17 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Google Pixel 3 XL review: Ghost in the machine
- 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