Dell XPS M1330 Review

Although I wasn't unhappy with my ASUS W3J laptop, which I've owned for a little over a year now, it was never quite the ultraportable to match my beloved, dearly departed three pound Dell Inspiron 300M. That's why I recently purchased a Dell XPS M1330 laptop.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at:

I think the DVD writer is still necessary. Just to read DVDs at least, otherwise performing some installations will be a pain.

I was looking at M1330 but the slot loader gave me pause since I never use dvds either. Some of the ulra portable fujitsu’s allow you to pop out the dvd and put in an extra battery giving something like 11 hours which is pretty tempting.

Could you comment on the LED display? I’ve never seen one. Thanks!

Why do you prefer to lug a bunch of external USB devices (HD, optical drive, flash memory, etc) instead of having them built in? I hope it’s just to reduce power consumption because your portable gets a lot less portable and heavier with all these tag-alongs.
One of my most important requirements is the screen resolution, especially with the absurd waste of space that is Vista’s aero UI. So without going the 17" route, the only interesting laptops for me are the rather heavy 15.4" Dells that have the 1680x1050 option.

TreeSize isn’t bad; it used to be the tool I used. I’ve since switched to WinDirStat; if you haven’t tried it, I’d suggest you give it a try.

How is the trackpad? I’m torn between this and a macbook pro. The pro absolutely has the nicest trackpad I’ve ever used. My dell d620 trackpad is tiny and uncomfortable.

It also doesn’t have the pencil eraser that I’ve come to use in place of the trackpad that my 620 has.

Sounds dumb, I know, it’s just a trackpad.

The future of laptops is not storage on any sort of hard drive. It is storage on the web.

I still use the Samsung Q30 (Dell had an uglier version of it in black only, I think it was the X100 - my Samsung is a beautiful candy apple red), it is a little slow but at just over 2 pounds it IS portable. It get that way through not having an integrated DVD/CD player and it has a smallish battery but the big battery is less than 1/2 pound. I saw the SS drive on Samsung’s site a while ago and was tempted but I think the lightest was the Samsung model that you are now testing - I can’t go back to 4 pounds.

Incidently, “it has ridiculously good design for a Dell” because it is a Samsung design just as the X100 was a Samsung design. Too bad Samsung is unable to sell in the US because of the Dell relationship, they make some super laptops - my Q30 was bought in London and has Korean keys.

If you like TreeSize, have a look at SpaceMonger.

Sounds very nice, I’ve been thinking of getting an SSD for a little older, small Thinkpad (I like the pointers).

I, too, would like to hear more about the LED display-- although I suppose your linked reviews probably cover it.

Congrats on your new machine and enjoy, you spoiled…

I understand your opinion on the pre-installed bloatware. With many of my own computers the first thing I do is format and install Windows. But I found this awesome program, I haven’t used it yet but it looks pretty good. It supposedly removes all the non-sense that comes with many PC’s out of the box without the need of formatting.


It looks quite nice of design for Dell indeed, as far as ultralight goes, it will come with lots of performance and feature packs. So considering that you weighted portablily more favorable, it definitely will come off with lighter hardwares and fewer features. I was surprised that your HD is only 32 GB, even for laptop, that seem small in today’s standard, but if it is solid-state, then I think that price in about right…overall, you got a nice portable machine there Jeff!

Pretty much everything on my primary partition is now ntfs compressed, including windows and my profile. Savings is about 25%, could get you out of a jam if you do end up filling up. On the other hand, I realized years ago that cpus were so far beyond hard drives that the burden of decompressing things was nothing compared to the savings of reading less. This might not hold true on solid-state, since it reads faster.

There’s a lot of bad advice out there about disk compression, apparently based on 1996 hardware capabilities, that put me off of it longer than it should have. Wish I hadn’t listened!

The future of laptops is not storage on any sort of hard drive. It is storage on the web.

Interesting, what about all the iPods that use local storage… maybe they should be pulling down songs over WiFi or cellular networks instead?

Why do you prefer to lug a bunch of external USB devices (HD, optical drive, flash memory, etc) instead of having them built in

I don’t carry any of that except for the external 2.5" self-powered hard drive, which is hardly a burden. The thing is tiny. The external hard drive is for virtual machine use, mostly:

it’s clear to me that solid-state hard drives are absolutely the
future for all laptops, and possibly even for desktops in some
scenarios. You boot up faster[…]

How much of that is perceptual, due to the ‘clean install’ effect [], and how much is actually booting up faster?

Nice laptop, Jeff! It would be nice to put a second hard disk (ordinary one) in place of the DVD… On the SSD, it’s sure nice but aren’t you worried about it? Last time I checked, these flash memories couldn’t handle too many writes, and if the drive is near full, the drive controller has no much playfield to write all around the memory to balance the “number of written bits”… I find using swapfile and stuff a bit concerning, it’d be a shame to ruin a $500 drive within half a year. Or these SSD’s can handle this situation better than I’d imagine?

The future of laptops is not storage on any sort of hard drive. It is storage on the web.

Thats funny. Maybe in the year 2525 when the net will be wireless wormhole interdminesional 1TBit connection.

Very nice laptop, but probably over my budget (I live in Brazil, taxes here go up to 105% for IT products).

I would also really like a SSD, but I think the prices are too high at the moment.

How do you feel about using Visual Studio on a laptop? My goal is to get rid of my desktop at home, and only use a laptop. I don’t work at home though, I just code for fun. And I am tired of a big and noisy computer that has to be in the same place all the time.