Thursday, June 08, 2006

Dell XPS M1210

I've been in the laptop market for a couple of years now, researching and waiting for that one perfect laptop to be available which will give me the best of both worlds, portability and performance. I started off with the Intel Prescott based laptops as they had heat issues and were available for dirt-cheap at one point of time, I then looked at Acer and HP's AMD Turion based laptops, I spent days researching over various Centrino based ones but couldnt decide on one. Suffice to say, I could never make up my mind on which laptop to buy as there was not one perfect laptop which would have satisfied me in all aspects a personal computer can.

That laptop was finally announced a week back, the Dell XPS m1210. I've ordered one from Dell India. That makes me the first person to have ordered a PC from the Dell XPS line in India (atleast the sales guy claimed so). Anyway, the lappie is expected in 15-20 days.


Dell XPS 1210


Some of it's important features of my laptop include:

  • Intel Core Duo 1.83 GHz processor T2400
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 100 GB HDD
  • Nvidia GeForce Go 7400
  • 12.1" WXGA (Widescreen 1280x800)
A perfect laptop as a desktop replacement and at the same time perfectly portable.


The weight should come to around 4.8 pounds which should make it almost-portable and the only problem I see here is the 12.1" screen which can get a bit small, but since it's a widescreen and portable I guess it's a fair compromise.


The other laptops I considered during this time were the Lenovo V100 (review) and the Apple Macbook. The Lenovo lost out because of the unimpressive build quality and the Macbook received a thumbs-down because of the heat problems. The final decision was actually a tough one to make, on one hand was this gorgeous beauty and on the other was a roaring performer. This blog-post by Mark Pilgrim and the comments within it helped me finalize on the Dell. Also Dell's build quality and the fact that ASUS is behind the manufacture of the XPS laptop line gave me confidence. The XPS M1210 casing is the same as ASUS's top-of-the-line laptops. If I had got a macbook, I would have been running Firefox and gVim on it for most of my needs. Also the fact that Apple doesn't allow me to install Linux (easily) put me off, Linux today on the macbook is a hack at best. People looking for a laptop in the 60-70K should consider the DELL m1210.


For me this laptop is a long-time commitment, a laptop which should last atleast three years and this looks like it's outfitted with the right stuff to last much longer. NotebookReview.com has a wonderful review. The forums on notebookreview.com were also helpful.


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44 Comments:

At 7:36 PM, June 09, 2006, Blogger RamantheB said...

hmm..so you have gone for a dell!!

good luck and let me know how it goes.

I am sure you are gonna go for a linux/windows dual boot. i would like to know what the linux performance is.

 
At 7:29 PM, June 13, 2006, Blogger Toufeeq said...

Rama, I doubt I'll be using Windows much on this baby. There will be one usable distro (UBUNTU) and a developer distro (DEBIAN).

Windows might exist on a small 7-8 GB partition just for Dell's sake, in case something happens and I need to take it back to Dell.

 
At 3:20 AM, June 14, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

can you please comment a bit on how you install linux on the Dell (distributions, drivers for the wireless/wired ethernet, sound, etc).

thx,

 
At 9:31 AM, June 14, 2006, Blogger Toufeeq said...

Anonymous,

Well I don't have the m1210 with me right now, will get it in a week. Will post a detailed installation report and a review then.

Judging by the specs I don't think installing linux should be a problem.

 
At 2:34 AM, June 16, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, I'm also looking at picking up this machine, def post how linux runs on it :)

 
At 4:20 PM, June 23, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey, I am ordering this with higher configuration
(T2600 2.16 GHz) , I did enquird about the upgrade path for new processor coming from intel and he said yes. In case if you have received the XPS can you please post the first hand experience, I have placed the order but yet to pay I have 2 more days to go!!!

 
At 4:27 PM, June 23, 2006, Blogger Toufeeq said...

I've not got mine yet. Will post a review once I get it, should be some time around next week.

 
At 9:58 PM, June 24, 2006, Anonymous Brian Di Croce said...

Sweet! I am interested in that exact laptop too. I have the Inspiron 700m (now 710m). It's the same dimension and weight, but not as performant. The hard disk is only 5400RPM, and it is SLOW....really slow.

Can you tell us if the integrated webcam is supported by Ubuntu once you've installed it?

Keep up the great work and the excellent blog!

Cheers,

Brian

 
At 11:54 AM, June 27, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

is it a bit ugly?

is a sony vaio sz not a better option?

 
At 12:57 PM, June 27, 2006, Anonymous Barce said...

Hi, I definitely want to hear about the Linux install, too. I just got mine and am not sure what distro of Linux to use.

 
At 1:16 PM, June 27, 2006, Blogger Toufeeq said...

Anonymous,
All DELL's are ugly. XPS or not.. :)
But I'm not in it for the "looks"..

Barce,
Try Ubuntu(http://ubuntu.com). Most of the stuff should work out of the box with that distro. Fedora Core 5 is another nice option.

 
At 3:46 AM, June 28, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi, interesting write up - have you gottne the m1210 as yet - Would like to know your thoughts!

 
At 5:13 AM, June 28, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

for the price it should not be ugly!
the sony vaio is bogged down with lots of preinstalled junk and its difficult to wipe the machine clean and start again- same problem with the dell?

 
At 3:12 AM, July 01, 2006, Anonymous Steven Bakker said...

I'm also curious to see how you get along with a Linux install. I just got my XPS M1210 a couple of days ago; wiped the "restore partition", kept diagnostics & XP, resized XP and installed FC5 on the free space.

Boots fine, *very* crisp image. IPW 3549 is up and running, nVidia driver kindly packaged by Livna.

Problems 1: nVidia GL not working correctly. This shows up in GoogleEarth where whole sections of the globe are not filled in. My Radeon X700-pro does not have that, so I guess it's the nVidia driver.

Problem 2, and this is more serious: suspend/hibernate do not work. No matter what I try, the screen will not turn itself on again after a suspend. In fact, the whole system seems to hang. Hibernate will start up, seem to hang, and then reboot.

If you find any solutions, please post them here!

 
At 5:03 PM, July 02, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hah hah hah
should have a bought a sony vaio sz premium!

 
At 12:40 AM, July 03, 2006, Blogger Carlos said...

The problem with Hibernate/suspend seems to be because hard disk has serial ata interface. The modules to management that has problems to deactivate/restore sata module.

I have seen that problems not only laptops, but desktop with sata disk has the same problems. I think that problem go for that way.

Sorry my bad english.

 
At 3:54 AM, July 03, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read your blog. Please let me know how you like your m1210. I have an opportunity to purchase m1210 with following configuration for $1,199.00. What do you think?

XPS M1210
Intel Core Duo Processor 1.66ghz
Windows XP professional
1 GB ram
8 x CD/DVD Burner (internal
Integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator
80 GB SATA hard drive
6 cell Lithium Battery
Intel PRO/Wireless Mini Card (internal
4 years Limited Warranty
4 years of at-home service
4 years Complete Care
2 years antivirus suite
12.1 inch screen
Windows Vista Capable

Thanks,
Chester

Chester Bateman
College of Education
Oregon State University
200 SW 15th Street
Corvallis, Oregon 97331-3502
Office: 541.737.8836
Fax: 541-737-8971
chester.bateman@oregonstate.edu
http://oregonstate.edu/education/

 
At 5:48 PM, July 04, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

did you received the XPS system? if yes please let us know how many days it take to get it delivered, I have ordered it on 26th June and the status is still same as on day one.

 
At 6:20 PM, July 04, 2006, Blogger Toufeeq said...

Anonymous(above),

Yes I've received it. it took around 20 days for me to receive it (in India). I've not got my hands on it though, as I'm not in chennai(home) currently. Will be going there this weekend.

 
At 8:00 PM, July 04, 2006, Blogger Toufeeq said...

About the Sony Vaio SZ series,

I'm not going to pay twice the amount and get a laptop with the same configuration as the m1210 just so that I can have a "lifestyle-laptop". Thanks for the recommendation though.

I'm not in it for the looks. ;)

 
At 6:41 AM, July 06, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

speaking for myself i would rather go for the lifestyle option- it pulls more girls!
the only girls who are attracted to dell have short hair, tattoos and are called kevin!

oh yeah and they weigh 200 kgs

 
At 6:01 PM, July 10, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

just received my xps m1210- brilliant!

fortunately I am not aesthetically minded because it looks like a badger's arse. nevertheless it is well specced and very cheap- vaio's are for pufters

 
At 7:05 PM, July 10, 2006, Blogger Toufeeq said...

I finally got the laptop. Have been playing around with it for a couple of days now. Got Debian working on it, but _EVERYTHING_DOES_NOT_WORK_OUT_OF_THE_BOX.

I'll post a much indepth review soon. Give me some time to work out all the nigles..

It's an awesome laptop !

 
At 4:43 PM, July 12, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

awesomely butt ugly and full of bloatware

 
At 4:30 PM, July 14, 2006, Anonymous charles said...

really ugly, i agree with anonymous
powerful though but geez face like the backend of a donkey- gimme lifestyle

 
At 2:53 PM, July 16, 2006, Blogger Toufeeq said...

Linux on the XPS m1210 : http://toufeeq.blogspot.com/2006/07/linux-on-dell-xps-m1210.html

 
At 6:08 AM, July 21, 2006, Anonymous 3vi14n931 said...

I recently purchased a XPS 1210, i am running Ubuntu 6.06. It runs great, even the media keys on front work by default, not to mention Wireless card, modem, and nic. It was a bit of a tricky install with the SATA interface. but nothing to strenuos. The only real problem im having is getting my Nvidia 7400 go to work the way it should, (mainly dual head)
P.S. i orderd mine on a tuesday, and had it in 8 days.

What brother dont know, wont hurt him...

 
At 12:26 AM, September 26, 2006, Anonymous bbrown@nevo.com said...

I bought an XPS 1210 and I am running Fedora Core 5 on it. It works nicely, but I am having trouble with the microphone. Have you tried getting it to work?

 
At 9:55 AM, September 26, 2006, Blogger Toufeeq said...

@bbrown: I havn't tested the microphone yet. Can you explin the problem a bit, have you checked if the microphone is muted ? :P

 
At 7:21 PM, November 25, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what about toshiba laptops

 
At 7:28 AM, January 11, 2007, Anonymous Chris said...

Can you confirm if the M1210's BIOS supports the hardware virtualization (HVM) feature of your Core Duo?

I'm keen on being able to run Windows under Linux under the new KVM features in the upcoming 2.6.20 kernel. However, it appears like some vendors (cough HP cough) are disabling the ability to run this CPU feature.

Thanks,

Chris

 
At 8:02 AM, January 11, 2007, Blogger Toufeeq said...

@ Chris :

My processor is not the Core 2 Duo and does not support Harware VM. It's the plain Core Duo.

 
At 4:20 PM, January 11, 2007, Anonymous Chris said...

Intel claims the T2400 supports VT.

http://www.intel.com/products/processor_number/chart/coreduo.htm

So, if you're BIOS is able, you should be able to use Linux KVM.

Regards,
Chris

 
At 5:11 PM, January 11, 2007, Anonymous Chris said...

Oops, screwed up the link:

Intel's Core Duo Capability Chart

Regards,
Chris

 
At 6:29 AM, January 25, 2007, Anonymous Chris said...

To answer my own question (USDxK later) KVM/Virtualization CAN be activated in the M1210 BIOS (at least AC05).

The relevant setting is (confusingly) in the POST menu. It is off by default, so you'll have to change it.

Regards,
Chris

 
At 3:53 PM, February 20, 2007, Blogger Binoy said...

@Chris,
VMware player is working pretty well with XP home as the guest OS in Edgy.

 
At 10:36 AM, September 10, 2008, Blogger Andreya said...

Hi Nice Blog .This hp laptop battery is compatible, and portable. Its easy to place into the laptop, and runs while youre on the go. It will last a long time, and also charges your battery. Its durability and power make it a great asset to your computer. It is also lightweight, and has light indicators on the side to inform you of how much it is charged.

 
At 8:36 AM, April 27, 2009, Blogger ron_megana said...

Hi guys!

I have a problem with my XPS m1210 laptop. After my laptop was idle for 5 months, when i tried to use it, i found my vista OS not functioning. It just hang-up during loading of windows vista. When i tried to reinstall the OS, installation was interrupted or something and could not complete the installation. But when i tried to install WinXP, the installation was successful but it won't work on narmal mode. I could only use it in Safe Mode.
Can someone help me with my problems.... please guys....

 
At 2:27 AM, June 13, 2009, Anonymous Dell 1320c toner said...

That must be one of the nicest gifts I have ever seen. Really, I mean it's not something typical or anything like that, it's more of an enhanced upgrade to the original production. It's always fun to give something that looks like there was a lot of thought put into it which is what we all like to call, "priceless". So let's all take at least one day every so often, maybe even be spontaneous and let's form some sort of gift to give someone special to us that bit of recognition to know that we still care :) it'll be fun!

 
At 3:51 PM, September 16, 2009, Anonymous cheap computers said...

I could never make up my mind on which laptop to buy as there was not one perfect laptop which would have satisfied me in all aspects a personal computer can.

 
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