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Dell XPS M1330

The rainbow of colors available on Dell's new Inspirons
Customization is king with Dell's new line of Santa Rosa notebooks

Although Dell's XPS M1330 was leaked to the press earlier this month, today marks the official launch of the new 13.3" Santa Rosa-based notebook. Dell's follow-up to the XPS M1210 measures 12.5" x 9.4" x 1.43" and weighs in at under four pounds.

The XPS M1330 is powered by Core 2 Duo processors and backs its 13.3" TrueLife display (LED backlighting is optional) with a 1280x800 screen resolution. The standard graphics solution on the notebook is Intel's X3100 integrated GPU. Paying extra will get you an NVIDIA GeForce Go 8400M GS dedicated graphics card.

When it comes to connectivity, Dell provides a wealth of options. There are no less than three WiFi solutions offered (802.11b/g, 802.11a/b/g and 802.11n). Dell also offers an optional broadband modem for Sprint/Verizon (EVDO Rev A) or AT&T (HSDPA). Hardwire connections include two USB 2.0 ports, a Firewire port and HDMI-out.

Other niceties include a slot-loading DVD burner, an 8-in-1 media reader, integrated webcam with dual microphones, consumer IR remote (stores within the ExpressCard slot), optional 32GB solid state disk (SSD) and an optional fingerprint reader.

The Dell XPS M1330 starts at $1,299 and will come with a one-year XPS limited warranty, one year of LoJack Theft Protection Service and 10GB of storage with Dell Online Backup. Customers will be able to choose from three lid colors as well with the XPS M1330 (Tuxedo Black, Pearl White or Crimson Red).

Dell has also revamped its popular Inspiron notebook family. 14", 15.4" and 17" notebooks now fall under the Inspiron 1420, 1520 and 1720 nomenclature for Intel Santa Rosa-based notebooks and Inspiron 1521 and 1721 for AMD Turion 64 X2-based notebooks.

The new range of Inspiron notebooks are available with a dizzying array of options including RAID 0,1 support (1721 only), 3G wireless, 2.0MP webcam and a Blu-ray drive (Intel models).

Dell once again plays up the customization bit with the new Inspirons. Each will be available in Jet Black (matte finish), Alpine White (gloss finish), Espresso Brown, Flamingo Pink, Midnight Blue, Ruby Red, Spring Green or Sunshine Yellow.

Weight for the Inspirons range from 5.39 pounds for the 1420 to 7.67 pounds for the 1721. Starting prices begin at $799 for the 1420 and creep up to $999 for the 1720.

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For the Dell question
By TemjinGold on 6/26/2007 8:33:16 AM , Rating: 2

If you are concerned about cost, get the smallest amount of ram the configurator will allow you to, then buy your own pair of SODIMM modules and plug it in yourself. If you go for more ram with Dell, they will rip you off like every other custom build place will for ram.

As for the X3100 vs. 8400 card, the 8400 is WAY stronger but it will also suck up more juice. I just picked up a notebook myself (not Dell) and opted for the X3100 only as battery life was more important to me.

RE: For the Dell question
By TomZ on 6/26/2007 8:49:54 AM , Rating: 2
It's too bad you can't have both video options at the same time, and then switch the notebook between using one or the other depending on whether you are wanting to stretch the battery life.

RE: For the Dell question
By TemjinGold on 6/26/2007 9:00:56 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I think only Sony VAIOs do that...

RE: For the Dell question
By Chadder007 on 6/26/2007 1:58:52 PM , Rating: 2
Argh! It cost to much to upgrade to the NVidia. :(

RE: For the Dell question
By B166ER on 6/27/2007 2:26:01 AM , Rating: 2
$100 is wayyy too expensive for a video card. Makes sense.

RE: For the Dell question
By darkpaw on 6/26/2007 2:24:52 PM , Rating: 2
Heh, so true about the ram. If you want a good laugh see how much they charge for an upgrade to 4gb on the XPS 2010. Was like $1600 last time I checked for $200 in memory.

RE: For the Dell question
By TomZ on 6/26/2007 2:32:34 PM , Rating: 2
Upgrading from 2GB -> 4GB today with these Inspirions is "only" $1000. Yikes!

RE: For the Dell question
By BillyBatson on 6/26/2007 8:51:52 PM , Rating: 2
yeah I think I will be going with the 1gb for now and if I actually see a performance hit or a good deal on ram I will purchase it myself. Not sure about the rest since I have not owned a laptop in a long time. Battery life would be great but some power would be nice too. I do occasionally go to a LAN party but the only game I play at home is WoW. I would go with the cheapest CPU option and the x3100 video for cpu life but I feel like I might be limiting myself in the long run. Still considering the 1.8ghz or 2ghz cpu upgrade and the 8400gs. but it if cuts battery power in half it wouldn't be worth it.
What about the screen question? Do how much of a power difference is there between the LED and non-LED screens?

More expensive than a MacBook
By sefsefsefsef on 6/26/2007 1:12:37 PM , Rating: 2
A Dell XPS M1330 is considerably more expensive than a MacBook if both are configured to have a 2GHz Core2Duo, 1GB RAM, integrated graphics and 120GB HDD. The difference is on the order of $300. Both come in a ~13" form factor. I realize that even the newly refreshed MacBooks don't use the Santa Rosa chipset, but can that really account for the difference in price? What else does the Dell have going for it that makes it so much more expensive?

RE: More expensive than a MacBook
By dosun on 6/26/2007 1:47:16 PM , Rating: 2
Apples to oranges, the m1330 is a full pound lighter than the macbook.

RE: More expensive than a MacBook
By ATC on 6/26/2007 3:34:13 PM , Rating: 2
I was kinda thinking the same thing. However, Dell will drop their prices in due time as usual; this thing just launched today.

I know you cannot compare the Macbook Pro to the m1330 but for someone on the fence, and if the size difference between 13.3 and 15.4 is not a big deal for them, the Macbook Pro does indeed look great now.

I configured the m1330, loaded, and it came to about the same price as a MBP that has superior components to the 1330 (better webcam with the LED screen, 8600GT vs 8400GS etc...). You can even run XP or Vista along side OSX as well.

I might be taking that route in the next few weeks.

RE: More expensive than a MacBook
By B166ER on 6/27/2007 2:50:05 AM , Rating: 2
@ ATC, he was reffering to the macbook, not the pro. Nonetheless, the Dell has many more options that the MacBook doesnt even offer, namely the integrated graphics. But add the roll-your-own-1330 ability, that sells the deal to me immediately. Its still apples to oranges, but ultimately if you approach it logically, the Dell wins out.

RE: More expensive than a MacBook
By phryguy on 6/30/2007 10:48:21 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, not only is the Macbook stuck w/Intel GMA 950 video, you can't get a 7200 rpm hard drive on any Macbook (non-Pro). There's s no 2nd button for the touchpad on Macbooks. The only clock speed choices on the Macbook is 2 ghz or 2.16 ghz vs. 1.5 to 2.2 ghz. The FSB is 667 mhz on the Macbook vs. 800 mhz on the Santa Rosa based ones >1.5 ghz. There's also no LED backlight available on the Macbooks (yet).

By AlexSpy on 6/26/2007 7:30:24 AM , Rating: 2
Wonder when this is coming to the UK.. Looks good!

Anyone know if Asus has something similar lined up?

By KayKay on 6/26/2007 12:13:33 PM , Rating: 2
Asus has an W7S series laptop which has some nice specs as well, though this one looks more attractive due to the customization that dell allows you

By B166ER on 6/27/2007 2:44:40 AM , Rating: 2
W7S was a prospect for me until I found that you cant get it w/o Vista Business (now you can find it w/o, but its hard to find). Not to mention you cant get dual channel mem, and reports of shoddy cust. service, I ruled out Asus a while ago. Nice spec'd machine, tho, I'd just rather my money go to Dell.

more details?
By BillyBatson on 6/26/2007 7:58:15 AM , Rating: 2
I am at now building one that suits me since I have wanted a laptop like this for a while now and didn't want to pay $2600 for the Sony version.
My main question is about the screen, sure it says it is the thiniest 13.3 but that is obviously with the LED backlit display correct? I can't seem to find size info or images using the standard monitor
My other questions are... Video: how much more powerful is the nvidia 8400m over intels integrated x3100? Ram: I understand people recommend 2gb as ideal for vista but seeing as this is a laptop will 1gb do or is 2gb still ideal?! CPU: since I want this to be small and portable should i stick with the T5250 for battery life or will i actually see a big enough performance increase going to the T7100 with double the cache and faster FSB? how bad would the battery life be affected?

I think that is all I have (:

RE: more details?
By Duraz0rz on 6/26/2007 9:53:40 AM , Rating: 2
8400m is way better than the integrated video.

More ram in Laptop = better, but buy the least amount you can now, then just buy some SODIMMs later and install them yourself. It's cheaper, like the guy above said.

IIRC, the battery life isn't affected a whole lot between Santa Rosa and whatever platform was before (just remembering what I read from the AT Santa Rosa article). Just depends on how you use it. Just know that they all idle at the same speed and voltage.

At least, that's what I remember off the top of my head.

RE: more details?
By TomZ on 6/26/2007 2:17:45 PM , Rating: 2
I just ordered a 1720, and I did the Dell Kiosk thing (see ref below), and got them to give me an additional $150 off on top of the sales and discounts available at the Dell web site.

Hopefully others may find this handy.

Nice notebook
By mdogs444 on 6/26/2007 6:42:40 AM , Rating: 2
Although I'm not a dell fan by any means, I think the features packed into this notebook are very nice for users wanting a small, yet powerful pc.

I like the integration of dual microphones, because every notebook ive used w/a built in mic - the quality has been downright awful. Also seems like Dell is trying mirror the Apple notebooks w/ the integration of a webcam, which nonetheless is a nice added feature.

What strikes me curious is the 10GB of online backup space. Where exactly is this storage at? And who is going to monitor this? Im not sure Id want to trust 10GB of data in somone elses hands - especially dell!

RE: Nice notebook
By Sazar on 6/26/2007 1:42:57 PM , Rating: 2
You have gigs of space on your Gmail account (if you have one) that you can use for storage.

If one doesn't freak out over that, why worry here?

And it's designed for backup purposes so consider it as a resource to restore from when formatting.

RE: Nice notebook
By TomZ on 6/26/2007 3:29:20 PM , Rating: 1
The point of the 10GB space is the following: recurring revenue stream.

You get that service free for some period of time, after which there is a monthly or annual cost. They are of course hoping that people find it useful and continue to pay for the subscription after the loss-leader free period has ended.

Some interesting features
By Cunthor666 on 6/26/2007 7:00:18 PM , Rating: 2
Hardwire connections include two USB 2.0 ports, a Firewire port and HDMI-out

Kudos for Dell for finally ditching the useless VGA out! It is also nice to see that Dell has in fact been looking through ideastorm project, and actually did what public demanded - fingerprint reader, LED backlight, removable 8-1 card reader (CF slot yay), SSD drive, Direct X 10 compatible video card, colour configurations and best of all its all optional.

Oh, and just reading on Dell website, it seems they also have VGA out on this model.

RE: Some interesting features
By B166ER on 6/27/2007 2:53:06 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, kudos, but where, oh where can I get ESATA ports?

By jay2o01 on 6/26/2007 9:18:33 PM , Rating: 2
Does the Nvidia chip have this generations hardware decode acceleration? (i know its called uvd for ati... not sure if its purevideo or soemthing else for nvidia)

RE: 8400
By TomZ on 6/28/2007 10:25:37 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know the answer, but here is an AT writeup/review of that NVIDIA family:

Almost perfect
By Visual on 6/27/2007 2:02:43 AM , Rating: 2
At around an A4 folder size, this is quite perfect for carrying around to me.
8400M GS seems good enough even for high quality gaming on the low resolution of the screen.

Now if only they made this into a tablet convertible... I'd be all over it.

I can't wait for a decent tablet, the last generation only had the Tecra M7 and some gateway... hopefully Santa Rosa can provide more.

RE: Almost perfect
By Sazar on 6/28/2007 7:36:07 PM , Rating: 2
Dell has a tablet coming out soon.

I think endgadget had the scoop. Supposedly the lightest or one of the lightest tablets coming out.

By swatX on 6/26/2007 6:12:21 AM , Rating: 1
i wonder when they will refresh the notebook design alltogether

RE: interesting
By shaw on 6/26/2007 9:12:24 PM , Rating: 2
I personally prefer the design of the Latitudes models myself. XPS and Inspiron models seem blocky and goofy looking.

One thing I'm noting....
By SiliconAddict on 6/26/2007 10:38:43 PM , Rating: 2
The midrange XPS really didn't get upgraded. The XPS M1710 was released last year. I'm hoping dell has something planned for this model because I don't like it from both an internal and external design standpoint.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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