Black Book vs Dell XPS M1330

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by solaris7, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. solaris7 macrumors regular

    Feb 17, 2008
    Hello! I am going to college this fall and i am stuck between these two models. I have never tried OS X in my entire life and am willing to try out leopard. I have had an on-off relationship with vista, though, i can say that most problems were caused by the hardware (HP). So, i don't mind using vista if its on a xps system (considered a premium system right?). However, i know i will enjoy a painless and better life with the MAC OS X.
    The problem is, since i am ECE major, i will probably be using for classwork and all that, and stuff like ms office is much better suited for vista than OS X.
    Another thing is the LED screen of the xps, it is much more appealing than the screen of the macbook.
    I will carry my laptop to and fro for class, so i am wondering if there is a great difference in weight between them?
    I don't really care about the battery life(atleast 2.5 hrs) since i will be living in a dorm close to college where i can just connect it to a power supply.
    I kind of like the present BTS promotion that apple has, but , its like I am being used as a tool to clear old stock(though i do love the current ipod touch and don't have an ipod of my own) when better products will be introduced later. I will be happy with a shuffle!
    Also, there is an apple store nearby, so in case something goes wrong with my laptop, i can go there and get it fixed. Don't know much about the dell warranty, but i think i need to have it shipped or something in case something goes wrong.
    I am also planning to keep the laptop for my 4 years at university so i am looking for the one which is more durable, i don't mean dropping it off a two storey building or rolling a car over it, but the damage which comes from general use (soft knocks off walls, or short drops, keys not fall off keyboard etc.)
    Also, money is no issue as long as it does not cross the $2000 barrier.
    Thanks if advance for your opinions!
  2. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    Well, judging from your needs and conditions of the laptop, you should check out the MacBook. It's very popular in college and durable as well (polycarbonate shell). The overall components of the system is plenty to use BootCamp with XP/Vista. Basically that just means you can choose which OS to boot up when you press the power button. It's simple to setup, and free with Leopard, should you find the need to ever run a few programs on Vista/XP.

    Also, if you compare the same-spec Dell XPS to the MacBook, the Mac wins in terms of price and compatibility.You mentioned an LED backlit screen, this shouldn't hinder you too much and won't make much of a difference. And last but not least, in college I think you would prefer easy transport. The MacBook is slim yet durable from scuffs, and the power adapter is neatly designed without the need of a power "brick". And, with the mac option, you get a free ipod touch ($299) if you purchase using a educational discount. So by and by, go ahead and purchase the MacBook, Mac + iPod = Perfect College Life lol. :)
  3. Pixellated macrumors 65816

    Apr 1, 2008
    I have had my dell for a year alongside a blackbook. My dell has the same specs as the M1330, But keys are about to come off etc.... But it is really up to you.
  4. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    The main difference between the two is that the Dell machine has a reasonably powerful dedicated graphics chip, whereas with MacBook you'll struggle to run 3D applications smoothly.

    Also, please ignore "SnowLeopard2008", you do have a power brick with a MacBook and it's quite large and heavy. Here's a picture:


    I find Windows Vista and Mac OS X to be pretty much equal in terms of performance and features, so make your decision based on the hardware you get.
  5. dsnort macrumors 68000


    Jan 28, 2006
    In persona non grata
    Hmmm, now I don't know what they're using on the 1330, but my Apple power adapter is about 1/3 the size and weight of the power adapter on my parents new 15" Dell.

    Cannot agree here. Vista is decent, and Mac OSX is not perfect, but Mac OSX > Vista x 5. It's like OS X has evolved to the level of tool making while Vista is still trying to figure out what to do with those opposable thumbs.
  6. pinktank macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2005
    To sort your problems, I actually find the os x version of office more relaible than the x86 version. Therefore you shouldn't have any issues with the macbook. To my knowledge and experience, macs proved much more durable then equally priced dells, albeit obvious disadvantages in 3d applications.

    I would get the macbook for convenience and portability and the seamless stanby and wakeup you can get between classes, resuming and saving all your work)vista does this too but it's not as seemless yet) and it will save you time as it will have less problems to deal with. Know it though that the new macbook isn't released yet and none of can vouch for a error free launch while the current one has been tested thoroughly.
  7. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
    You mentioned Vista being better suited for Office, and while in the past I would have agreed with you 100%, I just can't agree now.

    One of my friends who I've had multiple classes with uses a newish Sony Viao with Office 2007. It never works right. Ever. It messes up list indentations, randomly changes the margins on the pages, doesn't like to Insert properly, etc... Using Word on the Mac everyday, I see some abnormalities (usually in list indents), but they are must easier to fix than on Vista. Office 2007 seems to be much more "stubborn" than 2008 on the Mac, and only wants to do things its way.

    Also on the Mac we have iWork, which I've started using regularly, especially for spreadsheets. I do all my assignments and projects in it now, and I've never had a problem opening/exporting Office documents for PC users. It has some huge advantages for page layout and presentations, which always blows away the audience/teacher when I need to do presentations (either spoken or report-style).

    I would also recommend the Macbook for you. You can run OS X or Vista, and even if you decide you need something more powerful later, the Macbook will retain its resale MUCH better than any PC, making upgrades less painful.
  8. tmelvin macrumors 6502


    Mar 17, 2008
    Well, I can't speak about the M1330, because I haven't used it. I have used the Latitude D820 and D830, and they're junk compared to the Macbook. The keys pop off, and the display is not that great, even the 1680x1050. It's washed out, and not that crisp at all.

    Get the MB and don't look back. If you're unsure about the update, wait and see what it looks like. Apple will still have plenty of Refurbs of the current rev on their site well after the release.
  9. Techguy172 macrumors 68000

    Feb 2, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    People comparing inspiron's to XPS's should be shot, they are a lot different in build quality, The XPS is far superior to the MacBook's build quality. Office is certainly better on windows than mac. It does not have any problems this is coming from someone who uses it daily for a career and quite heavily.

    If your are going to end up using windows anyways why not just get the dell.
    Just because lots of people use apple at college doesn't mean it's the best, it's the same thing as the iPod just because lots of people have them doesn't mean they are the best either.
  10. FuuFuu macrumors regular


    Jul 8, 2008
    i'll just be ignorant here and say


    : D
  11. tmelvin macrumors 6502


    Mar 17, 2008
    I didn't see where anyone did that? I mentioned a Latitude, which is the DELL business laptop. To do a true Orange to Orange [sorry, couldn't say Apple to Apple, sounds to clique] I should have stated the DELL D630. But it's really not that much different than the D8?0 series; just a smaller screen. The keys are all the same, etc....
  12. jroller macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2008
    Charleston, SC
    My first reaction is that you should try Leopard before you buy. I believe it is better, but that doesn't mean you will. There is a learning curve involved, but I sincerely believe after that you will understand why Mac users are generally so giddy about OS X.

    That said, I would recommend a MB for you, as well. Office 2004 runs fine on a Mac; I disagree with the assertion that it runs better on Windows. I, however, have abandoned Office in favor of Pages, from Apple's iWork suite.

    I also believe you will find your MB to last you at least 5 years. I strongly recommend AppleCare as well. Keep in mind a laptop does not spend its life sitting on a desk.

    My .02...
  13. eddieiseddie macrumors member


    Jul 9, 2008
    you mentioned ur concern on durability, well ive had some gut churning experiences with my BlacBook that turned out ok, of course. Like when i was using the computer while it was charging, my sister came running between me and the wall and she had accidentally kicked the brick violently; i was expecting the laptop to fly off my lap... but the magsafe plug simply popped out of the socket :D This feature wasn't so important to me until this happened. Like Steve says: It's the small things that make a great product, or something like that :D Good luck with ur desicion. Oh and the  on the front lights up when the LEDs on! I always loved that about the MacBooks. It's so cool and flashy. And when u turn the brightness up all the way, now it's a party! ;D haha.
    one last thing: U said u didn't want anything over $2,000, well u can get a MacBook Pro for $1,999 :D... tax is a bitch though:p
  14. fatefulwhisper macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2008
    I have actually owned both the xps m1330 (with the faulty nvidia chip -- 8400M) and a macbook (I have a whitebook instead of the blackbook; given to me by my company). Both had the same processor and ram -- 2.0 GHz processor, 2 GB of RAM.

    I will tell you now to avoid the m1330. Don't even waste your time. Look up "m1330 build issues" then "m1330 gpu issue" on google and youtube. I used to work in IT and I thought that the Dell Latitudes were decent machines enough to persuade me to purchase a dell m1330 last year. I thought that the XPS line was a step above the Latitudes and was going to keep my machine for the next 3-4 years. I was so wrong. Dell dropped the ball on this one--at least for the M1330. They did a terrible job and I paid so much for it too. I've long since sold it on ebay months ago; during a recent business trip to London, UK, the stupid laptop died on me. I got the dreaded Nvidia issue with it and it refused to stay on for more than 5 minutes after that. What a joke. I was stuck with a dead brick for 2 weeks and couldn't get any work done. The point is, I regretted bring the M1330 instead of the macbook with me that time. I trusted Dell too much. Other problems I had were mostly with Vista; even after reformatting and reinstalling the OS twice, I still ran into issues. Explorer crashed on me everyday, just on copy and pasting, even after the reinstalled. It might've just been me, but I was using Dell's OEM Vista discs that they gave me (vista ultimate too btw). At the time, I chose the Dell over the Mac because I was more familiar with Windows in general (and Vista), and I wasn't too crazy about the one button mouse at the time.

    My first impression of the Macbook was it looked kind of cheap. However, after playing around with it for a day, my experience with it overshadowed it's exterior shell. Office 2008 loaded faster and more reliably than Office 2007 on the m1330's Vista. Leopard in general is a solid OS, very reliable compared to Vista; at least Finder does not crash everytime I want to do a copy and paste. I do actually have to use Windows once in a while so I loaded XP via VMWare Fusion and it works great. I got over the one button trackpad very quickly as Leopard has this unique ability to use two fingers to do a right click, and the two finger scrolling is VERY useful; I use it all the time. I got used to it very quickly and I find myself using the same finger gestures on a windows based laptop sometimes--and getting bummed out that it doesn't work that way in Windows. There was another person who posted earlier that it was the very little things that count w/ the macbook and that person is absolutely right; there's so many little details they thought of that I can't list, but Apple's engineer's are very ingenious. Overall, I'm really happy with the macbook; it has worked out really well for me, even though it's a hand me down (there are a ton of scratches on it, a huge dent on the side), but the fact that it has actually worked without crashing on me once makes it better than the xps m1330. Sure it's a bit heavier, but I'd rather take the extra 1 pound of weight over not being able to do work.

    If you want to save your sanity, I suggest you get the Macbook. If I had a choice back then, i would've gotten the blackbook too. I only have the whitebook because my company bought the cheapest macbook at the time and handed it to me.

    To be fair-I bought the m1330 w/ the nvidia chip. I guess if I got it w/ the Intel GPU instead, i wouldn't have any major issues; that's another thing with DELL--they were UNWILLING to let me exchange the nvidia GPU one w/ the Intel GPU. Even though the nvidia model costs more. DELL said I was pretty much stuck with that faulty GPU.
  15. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    wow, you're dumb. without the extender cable attached its light and compact. Here's a picture of mine, with my hand for size reference. its the white "box" under my hand, and it fits in my pocket, so its small.

    Attached Files:

  16. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley

    did i ever say they're better? think, use your APPLE sized brain for god's sake. I just said if you have a problem with your macbook, you have other ppl to turn to, where as Dell is less popular. And the OP said theres an apple store nearby, whereas Dell doesnt. read first. and before doing that, learn the alphabet, b/c these replies are pissing me off.
  17. kjs862 macrumors 65816


    Jan 21, 2004
    Don't forget you can install bootcamp on your mac and run windows native
  18. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    that too, although i just realized you are going for the black book, which is considerably overprice compared to the white macbooks.

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