"Excellent Laptop"on by ishbuggy
Pros Asthetics, Performance (as long as you get good components), Graphics, Gaming
Cons Only a couple audiophile complaints
Summary I have had my M1530 for a few days now and it has been incredible. I got mine with Intel Core2 Duo 2.2Ghz Processor, 2GB RAM, 256MB NVIDIA Graphics and it has performed beautifully. It has had no trouble with any tasks I have thrown at it. The processors give ample room for both multimedia multitasking and gaming. So far it can easily handle all but the most advanced games (ie. Crysis...). One interesting and very useful feature of Vista that I have used on this machine is ReadyBoost. It allows you to allocate space on a flash drive or SD type card and use it as a RAM cache. I have added almost another whole GB of RAM using a SD card with this feaure, and the difference is noticable. I would recommend using this with and SD card, as it fits into the slot without protruding from the side, as a flash drive would.
With all this power, any multimedia looks and sounds fantastic on this machine. The HD screen displays movies and videos extremely well. As far as music goes, it works very well. Using either Windows Media Center or Dell's Media Direct gives a great experience. There it no lag time between songs, pictures or anything else. The included remote (you get 2 by the way) works very well and fits nicley in the express slot. In addition, you can use Dell's Media Direct system without booting up the OS, simply by pressing the media button above the keyboard. It works pretty well, gving you access to all your media, contacts, documents, presentations and more.
Aside from the raw power, this system simply looks amazing. It is eye-catching in just about every way. This laptop will certainly draw the envy of everyone at the starbucks, lecture hall, hotel, or wherever you use it. The screen it beautiful and the colors pop out. When I ordered mine, there as only one choice for screen resolution, but now you can get it in higher resolutins and maybe they will have it with an LED backlit screen soon.
So far, the battery life has bee pretty good. I got the extended nine cell battery, and I have gotten well over 4 hours of battery life (not playing any hardcore games and not having the screen at it absolute brightness) and have been very impressed.
Build quality is excellent. Being XPS, Dell didn't skimp on anything here. The brushed metal surface on the inside looks great, while being scratch resistant and the elegantly simplistic design on the lid is durable and asthetically pleasing at the same time. The touchpad is average in size (about 4.5 x 7cm), and responsive. The mouse buttons are not to small and not loud either. Some notebooks have very loud clicks when you press the mouse buttons, but that is not present here. At the top of the keyboard is a touch strip with media and volume controls, all of which work very well and respond quickly. One of the most interesting features is the slot-load DVD drive. It takes some getting used to if you're used to the tray system, but trust me when I say it is so much better. I always felt like te trays seemed so fragile, but with the M1530, that is not a problem. To unload the disc, there is a touch button above the keyboard that does that for you. The only problem with the slot load drive is that is a bit noisier than a normal tray one. When you insert and unload a disc, it is significantly noisier, but once it is in, the noise is not a problem. It also makes a louder noise when you start up the computer, but it is not a problem.
The only problem I have found with my M1530 is that there is a noticeable hiss when you use the headphone jacks. With the volume turned down low, it can get a little annoying, but it is not that big of a deal. Only big time audiophiles would have a serious problem with this. With any luck, Dell might fix this with a later update.
All in all, this is an incredible machine, both in looks and power. With the ability to play all the latest games and use all the best software, while staying relatively lightwieght and looking slick while doing it, the Dell XPS M1530 is easily one one the best laptops on the market, if not the best.
Pros FAST, maxed out features, everything I wanted
Cons Critical hardware failure after only two months, currently unresolved
Summary I just posted this review on the Dell website and wanted to share. I love the machine and got all the maxed out features, but the battery had a problem and it only worked on AC power, until the tech changed out the motherboard, which killed it completely.
Review follows: I ordered this with all the bells and whistles, maxed out processor and RAM, just under $4K total package. Fresh out of the box and beginning the setup, the speed amazed me. Tuned the Vista functions and setup the online DataSafe backup, started using it in my master's classes, and life was good for two months. Then I experienced a critical hardware failure and I discovered it's also too bad the XPS service doesn't live up to the hype, or the price tag. I honestly didn't expect to have my last 7 year's of work, pictures, and personal data relying on that online backup so soon. Please read on to hear about my buyer's remorse.
Two months into its life, almost to the day, the battery had an error - system tray says 0%, not charging. Dell sent me a replacement power pack in two days, but it didn't fix the problem. Second try diagnosed a bad motherboard, cause unknown. Dell sent the parts to a tech in 48hrs, who came to my house to replace it, took apart the machine and reassembled it with new parts, but now it won't even turn back on. Apparently, the hardware warranty doesn't cover a situation when the tech can't fix it, so they had to 'make an exception' to send it back to the depot for repair, and say it'll be another 5-10 days until I get my $4,000 machine back. Man, if this were a car (and for the price, I could go buy one), do you think I'd be able to get by without a vehicle? I'd get a loaner, even if it were an overnight service. What if they took apart your car to fix the battery and it wouldn't even start afterwards? I suppose Dell doesn't look at it that way, or even care about the interruption to their customers. I just wanted a replacement machine that I could switch out the hard drive so I could get up and running again, but I guess that $700+ price tag for the service contract wasn't enough to actually deliver some real customer service.
I just want my laptop back and working, I want a reliable machine. I'd love the same exact package back with some kind of guarantee it'll keep working - but it has to work to rate satisfactory. I use the tune-up feature and take care of it with system maintenance, but when a real problem develops, it seems like so much fumbling on the part of Dell's techs, and exposes a huge hole in their customer service. I'd even settle for just having my laptop run on AC power only until they could really diagnose it, but they're taking my use of the machine away for two work weeks when the tech failed to complete major surgery on it in my living room. Honestly, Dell, your actions to resolve this quickly are your last hope of ever keeping me as a customer, disappointment with my dream machine's demise after only two months aside. I'll update this when you fix the problem. I'm also posting this on every tech review website I can find - I hope this will either be a happy success story or that it will tarnish your image and expose your lack of customer service, Dell.
Pros nice looking
Cons laptop casing seems to be flimsy
Summary As a long term Dell system owner, I am thoroughly disappointed with the service and Dell's inability to comprehensively address shortcomings that arise as a result of Dell activities.
By now, my complaints are probably well documented. They primarily resolve around customer service and third party interactions, that Dell puts its customers in contact with.
1. I am promised a shipment and delivery date that does not occur until three days later. I would have and did offer to pay for next day shipping. The agent told me that I would get it. Then when I proved to her, that it was not documented as happening that way - she gave me an excuse. I decided to let it ride, believing that the laptop would ship out when she said it would. I needed the system by a particular date. I did not get it. Dell's response: Oh, we're sorry, but there's nothing we can do"
2. Dell charges me TWICE for the same laptop. 1st when the purchase was made, then again when the purchase was shippped (two days later than it was suppose to be shipped). Dell's response, after it took me more than fifteen minutes to get through to the agent what the problem was: We apologize. We've processed a credit and recommend that you dispute the charge with your credit card company. Do the representatives not check before billing a customer? A silly and sloppy mistake.
3. Dell gives DHL incomplete delivery address, AFTER I specifically ensured that Dell had the correct and complete shipping information. Dell's response: We aplogize, but there is nothing we can do about it. The result was that DHL's delivery was delayed.
I spent HOURS on the telephone with DHL to clear up the mess created by Dell. Dell's response: We apologize, but there's nothing we can do.
4. I had problems connecting my bluetooth device to the laptop. The service rep spends almost two hours installing, uninstalling and re-installing the software for blackberry. He is unable to get it to work. Once he fails, I try it again myself. I go to Blackberry's website, download the correct version and it works. HOWEVER, the system still tells me that it is missing a driver, even though the bluetooth communication processes completely. I use COMMON SENSE to figure out that after one or two re-installs, it cannot be a software problem. It must be that the correct version is not installed. The entire process took me just over three hours.
5. The Anti-virus software sold to me and installed by Dell gives me information that I cannot validate. I call the software company to resolve the issue. Instead of providing a solution, they tell me to disable the feature. I ask why would I disable a feature that is telling me that other computers are accessing my network and possibly my computer. Why not just tell me where the infomation is coming from. The software must be picking it up from somewhere. Nothing....
But Dell does not offer the customer the choice of Anti-Virus software to be installed. what it does is sells security software that is not highly rated, according to the users and some experts who've evaluated security software. I want my money back for this shakey software. I've already installed a separately purchased program that I know is of a high quality.
I call customer service and ask for a refund on this product, particularly the third year activation sold to me by your sales rep. Dell's answer: We can't do that.
The result is that Dell gets away with selling me software that gives the user information that may be erroneous, misleading or malfunctioning. You can't tell, because the software company doesn't even know how to validate security information it provides to the users.
I attempted to install visio. the system would not accept it, telling me that it was not compatible with Vista. I aborted the installation. However, an image of visio is apparent on the C:drive, when i look at the drives from "my computer". the technician couldn't remove it either, after thirty minutes of effort.
Roxio, installed by Dell didn't work properly either. It took the technician almost two hours to continually un-install, re-install to get the program working properly. He said he would call the next day to address the visio problem, but never did. that was three days ago.
6. I am thorougly afraid of what type of service I will receive if the hardware begins to malfunction. I hear horror story after horror story. I've owned Dell computers for more than ten years. This is the worst, I've seen it. My clients complain, complaints are all over the internet.
Previously, somewhere on or near Tuesday, Feb 19, 2008 a customer service representative promised to get back to me. It never happened. I sent two e-mails to a sales rep supervisor to advise her of the billing issue and shipment issue. I got no response.
I will communicate my displeasure to consumer advocacy, the attorney general in my state and any other potential customer who asks me what my experiences were.
While the people are polite, there is no resolution. Apologies are not enough. The question is: What are you going to do about it? From the current customer's perspective, the answer is nothing. Dell has our money and major market share - they don't care about the customers, as long as they have volume sales. Maybe Dell banks on the fact that most people will simply accept poor performance.
I purchased this computer through my graduate university's student program. I will be certain to tell them of my misfortune.
It's rather unfortunate, but it's obvious all Dell will offer is flowery language but no action, no accountability. Just take the customer's money and let the customer live with the problems. Dell can always sell them service contracts from third parties.
Pros Style, finger scanner
Cons Support, price, video card, Vista
Summary I have had my laptop for only a few weeks, but even so I have spent more than 10 hours on issues. I have had drive corruption issues, video issues and blue screens. The hassel is just not worth the price that I have paid for the system.
This is my first time dealing with Dell support, and I must say that I am very disapointed. The support staff has been very nice, but they can not solve the issues. You receive the XPS premium support, but the support staff is not even running Vista. The XPS support staff is still on XP. They do not know what screens you are seeing unless they log into your system remotely, and remote access does not allow them to see the screen saver. The support staff has told me tha Vista has some issues, but the bottom line is that Dell has certified this laptop is Vista ready.
The system can not even run the photo slide show screen saver without getting a video hardware error. Vista displays an error that the video card has stop responding after about 20 minutes with 60 or more pictures. I have not checked this issue with all the themes, but it happens on random or stacked. This system has the NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT video card.
The first backup I tried to preform would not occur due to corruption on the drive. I could not get the Vista error checking to run, and fix the problem. I finally had to boot from the cd to fix the issue.
I installed Microsoft Office 2007, and started to get the blue screen. The system file checker showed more corruption issues. I finally ended up reinstalling the OS, and I am still getting video errors. I have run every patch from NVIDA, and Hot fix from Microsoft. I am still having issues. I have not even tried to run any intensive grahpics applications.
It is exciting to get a new laptop. I love having a new toy and trying out what it can do, but that feeling is quickly replaced when you feel like you have bought a lemon of a system. The problems may be Dell, Vista, NVIDIA or a combnation of things, but I have to send the system back. I can not justify the cost for something that is continually having problems.
Your money is better spent on something with XP and proven hardware. I never had issues like this with my older XP laptops.Updated
Check out http://www.nvidia.com/object/io_1215037160521.html before you buy. NVIDIA has not stated which GPUs are affected, but from the blogs that I have read the m1530 has the bad GPU. Also the updated driver will not install on a Dell machine. You need to wait for Dell to update their drivers.
Updated on Mar 15, 2009This laptop has a known problem with the GPU. The Nvidia graphics have a high failure rate. You should avoid purchasing this machine. Any Google search will give you information on the issue. The fix that Dell has released for this problem does not resolve the issue, and could prevent the problem from occurring until after your warranty has expired. From what I have read it appears that the graphics chip can suffer from metal fatigue turning the system on and off. The fix that Dell has released only runs the fan longer to keep the GPU cooler. As your system ages, and the fan performance decreases the failure could occur.
I also can not recommend Dell?s support. I felt that I was given the run around when I had a video driver problem. There only option is to replace the hardware. I don?t care how many times they replaced the motherboard; it was not going to fix the driver. They have finally updated the video drivers. Maybe they got tired of replacing the hardware.
Pros Loaded with features, looks great
Cons Comes with Windows Vista
Summary First off, CNET's review is off a bit. The thickness of this laptop is 0.9" (2.4 cm) at the front to 1.4" at the rear (3.5 cm). At least those are Dell's specs; I didn't take a ruler to mine. Not far off at all from the M1330 in thickness (which is 2.3 to 3.4 cm with the standard CCFL screen).
I'm also not entirely sure how CNET got their price up to $2,000, but I suppose it's possible. When Dell has its promotions, easily discernible from their website (there's a "see all promotions" link), this is a very affordable high-end laptop. The base model can be had now for $898.
I got mine configured with the base processor, which is sufficient for me, the Core 2 Duo 1.5 GHz, a 160 GB hard drive (+$50), 1680x1050 high-resolution screen (+$100), 256 MB NVidia video card (+100), an upgraded WiFi card (+$10), and Bluetooth (+$20). Everything else is standard. I immediately upgraded the RAM from 1 GB to 2 GB myself ($37 at Buy.com for two 1 GB DIMMs vs. paying $125 for Dell to upgrade it). I also took off the PC-cillin security for a $39 savings. There are antivirus programs available free that are perfectly acceptable.
As configured, my laptop weighs in at 5.7 lbs., which isn't bad. It looks great with the magnesium-alloy case and brushed aluminum keyboard tray/palm rest. I got mine in "tuxedo black."
Standard features are great -- integrated 2 MP webcam with dual digital microphones, a multi-card media reader, slot-load DVD burner, HDMI output, fingerprint scanner, and all kinds of media goodies (Vista Home Premium, Dell's MediaDirect, capacitive touch-sensitive controls that glow blue when touched, media remote control card that fits in the ExpressCard slot, dual headphone jacks). XPS laptops also come with XPS-branded extras like a very nice padded slipcover, a leatherette portfolio, excellent Creative Labs earbuds, etc.
Performance is very good, although like many people, I'm not overly thrilled with Windows Vista. It would have been nice to have the option of going with XP.
In any event, I got mine with all the upgrades mentioned for about $1,170 which includes a 3-year in-home warranty and 1-year LoJack protection. Add my own memory upgrade, and it's roughly $1,200 for a very good 15.4" laptop. It looks great, doesn't run too hot, performs very well, and with a 3-year warranty, should prove to be a very suitable laptop for quite awhile.