Form and function meet in the middle in one supremely well-made packageDell’s XPS brand was once synonymous with futuristically tailored, high-performance gaming systems. But with the acquisition of Alienware in 2006, Dell sought to steer the XPS name away from its specialist heritage and usher in a new, luxurious, design-led range.
The first product of that change was the radical, briefcase-sized desktop replacement, the Dell XPS M2010. Since then, Dell has added the 13.3in XPS M1330 and, now, the XPS M1530 has arrived to fill the 15.4in-sized hole in the line-up.
While the M2010 was remarkable, it wasn’t until the arrival of the M1330 last year that the XPS range found its true identity. It was, and still is, the finest-looking laptop Dell has ever produced, so it’s no disappointment to find that the M1530 shares its fine sense of style.
In a refreshing departure, Dell hasn’t made recourse to the glossy black cliché. Instead, the lid is adorned with a single block of colour, interrupted only by chrome-effect Dell and XPS logos, and flanked neatly in grey.
Our review model was finished in an attractively subtle, muted shade, dubbed Midnight Blue, but depending on your tastes there’s the choice of Crimson Red and Tuxedo Black. Whichever you choose, the MicroSatin paint that Dell uses makes sure the M1530 feels as good as it looks, with a wonderfully tactile, silky-smooth finish.
It isn’t often that practicality and fine design converge, but you only need spend a little time with the M1530 to see that its creators thought long and hard about every facet of its design. Tilt the lid back on its strong, stiff hinges and the Dell’s interior continues to impress. The brushed-aluminium wristrest looks and feels luxurious, and provides a supremely comfortable typing position. Even the omission of lid catches is forgivable – those strong hinges won’t allow the lid to flop open in a bag.
And turning on the M1530 is another pleasure. Depress the silver On button and the row of touch-sensitive buttons to its right strobe into life with a gentle blue glow. They look lovely and work well, too: all it takes is a light press of the finger to mute the volume, or pause a track, each button illuminating and then gently fading away.
Price Check: Check out the latest prices for the Dell XPS M1530 at www.dell.com.au.
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