Dell’s high end M1530 is for “Individuals searching design, function, and
performance” according to Dell. The M1530 is a 15.4 inch reasonably thin high
performance laptop available in a numbers of colours.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder as they say, but to me this laptop is an
attractive piece of kit. The high quality materials used in the construction
ooze quality, from the brushed metal around the keyboard to the high quality
plastics elsewhere. The keyboard and touch pad are well designed & ergonomic
and I found them to be a pleasure to use compared to the cheap Dell Vostro
models. The 9 cell battery offers superb performance although you can opt for
the 6 cell variant which is smaller and lighter, yet odly the same price. I managed to
get over 3 hours out of the 9 cell with varying usage from light to medium to all out 3d gaming. Connectivity wise the M1530 has 3 USB ports, HDMI, s-video & VGA for video out,
firewire gigabit ethernet, 8 in 1 card reader, dual headphone jacks & a mic jack,
and a biometric fingerprint reader. It also ships with a remote control which you can
conveniently store in the express slot & the other now standard Dell features like
slot loading DVD writer & touch sensitive controls above the keyboard.
This laptop is fast. The model I borrowed had a dual core 2 ghz cpu, 3 gigs of
ram and a 8600GT Nvidia graphics card with 256 megs of ram and a 250 gig
5400rpm hard drive. Vista home premium is fast and responsive. Productivity
applications ran flawlessly; programs feel as quick as they do on my high end
desktop. I ran 3Dmark 06 and the M1530 scored approximately 4000 marks which
is very good for a 15.4 inch portable. I also loaded up a couple of games.
Unreal Tournament 3 was perfectly playable at native resolutions at “High”
detail settings, framerates hovered around 40 fps. I also tried some Valve
Half life 2 engine games at max details and the M1530 coped easily. Don’t get
too excited though, Crysis is not going to be a silky smooth experience.
When the M1530 is under heavy load it does get a little warm & the fan spins
up to audible levels. Also, one thing did niggle me regarding the M1530, the
hard drive is mounted towards the front & I found the 250 gig model when
seeking was very noisy.
Overall the XPS M1530 is a great laptop which will handle almost any
application that you throw at it.