Dell XPS M1330 laptop

Dell may offer notebooks at amazingly aggressive prices but one thing you can never accuse the company of, is designing good looking machines. Even the XPS range of gaming notebooks, while having a nod to the stylish with the coloured lights and gaming touches, are still rather boxy and plain. This all makes the arrival of the XPS M1330 all the more surprising.

Before Dell bought Alienware, the XPS line was seen as its gaming line. Now, though, it has been re-imagined as Dell’s Premium line and the M1330 certainly lives up to expectations. This 2.1kg notebook is an amazingly lightweight machine made from brushed magnesium-alloy with glossy black highlights. What’s more, you can choose from a range of eight different coloured lids to add a hint of personalisation to your notebook.

Once you get over the good looks of the machine, the M1330 is just as impressive when it comes to performance. Powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo T7300, which runs at an impressive 2GHz and supported by 2048MB of memory, this is as powerful a specification as you're likely to need when travelling. What's more, with 160GB of storage space, you can store all your files and applications with ease. When it came to using the M1330 on the road, we managed to get well over 4 hours. So, the high-end specification doesn’t mean to have to sacrifice portability.

What makes this all the more surprising is that this isn’t some desktop replacement but a 13.3-inch notebook. Dell claims it is the thinnest such machine currently available, measuring a mere 24mm on the front edge. As the design is tapered, it isn’t that thin at the back end. Using LED backlit technology, the panel is thin but with plenty of padding to the lid, there is very little flex to be had. The panel is amazingly bright, far more so than the average notebook. This makes it great for watching movies and also when out and about you won’t have to deal with a washed out screen in sunlight.

This may not be billed as a gaming machine but Dell hasn’t forgotten the gaming heritage of the XPS name, as you’ll find the Nvidia GeForce 8400M GS packed 256MB of DDR3 memory onboard. This may be a mainstream graphics processor but it’ll easily handle anything you want to play when on the move, as well as ideal for online games.

Verdict

The Dell XPS M1330 has to be one of the most impressive lightweight notebooks of recent times. This isn’t a machine for someone simply looking to write emails or edit documents while travelling; this is a powerhouse machine that can easily handle anything, any time.

If you only have enough budget for one machine and need it to fulfil a range of tasks, this is the notebook for you.