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Dell XPS M1330-126B

>> Saturday, January 10, 2009

One of the few competitors to the MacBook is Dell's 13 inch XPS 1330, which we first saw in the spring of 2007. The system hasn't had a serious overhaul since then, but this fixed configuration retail model, the $1,149 1330-126B, offers a decent mix of components and features for just north of the $1K mark, along with more than three hours of battery life. It's still hard to beat the best selling 13 inch MacBook, but XPS 1330 at least offers a stylish Windows only alternative.

Specification
  • Price as reviewed $1,149
  • Processor 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7250
  • Memory 4GB, 667MHz DDR2
  • Hard drive 320GB 5,400rpm
  • Chipset Intel GM965
  • Graphics Intel GMA X3100 (integrated)
  • Operating System Windows Vista Premium (64-bit)
  • Dimensions (WxH) 12.5x9.4
  • Dimensions (Thickness) .87-1.4 inches
  • Screen size (diagonal) 13.3 inches
  • System weight / Weight with AC adapter 4.5 / 5.2 pounds
  • Category Thin and light
Physically identical to the first XPS 1330 we looked at last year, the system is slightly wedge shaped, going from 0.87 inches in the front to 1.4 inches in the rear. It also manages to come in about a pound less than the Apple MacBook. The brushed metal keyboard tray has touch sensitive controls for volume and media playback, an eject button for the slot loading DVD drive, and a quick launch button for Dell's proprietary Media Direct software.

We'll repeat the complaint we made in the original 1330 review the tiny, 2.75 inch touch pad is too small, especially given that there's plenty of room on the wrist rest for a bigger pad. With a 1280x800 pixel native resolution, the same as on the 13 inch MacBook or a lower end 15 inch system, you get the decent mix of screen real estate and readability.

This version, however, does not have the LED backlit display you can get as a $125 option when you use Dell's online configurator. The LED screen is slightly thinner, lighter, and better for battery life, but the trade off is that there's only room for a VGA quality Webcam, instead of the 2 megapixel model built into the standard display.

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