By Cisco Cheng  |  Posted 2006-05-31 Print this article Print

It is a rare and exciting experience—at least for me—to bring an ultraportable on a business flight, let alone one as travel-friendly as the Dell XPS M1210. Luckily, I just happened to have a trip planned the same time the M1210 came into PC Magazine Labs. The M1210 is light enough to carry around comfortably and powerful enough to get all my work done.

Even with a nine-cell 84-Wh battery, the unit weighs a mere 5 pounds. (The AC adapter adds another 0.8 pounds.) You can opt for the six-cell battery and bring the units weight down to 4.2 pounds, but with discrete graphics and the power it consumes, I highly recommend going with the extended cell. The transreflective widescreen display measures 12.1 inches; with excellent contrast and color saturation, this screen is better suited for DVD movies and photo editing than a matte screen is. The screens true beauty, aside from great movie play, is that the display opens up all the way even with a fully reclined seat in front of me. There was even enough room on my tray table for a bag of potato chips.

The notebook did feel warm after an hour of use, which isnt surprising for an ultraportable with this much power. (The M1210 is running some serious mobile components, which Ill talk about in a bit.) Both the full-size keyboard and the mouse buttons are noise-free and comfortable to use. Theres also a touchpad, which is very responsive. Physical volume and DVD-playback controls sit on the front bezel and are easy to access. I used them while watching King Kong on DVD.

Upon boarding, I employed the easy-to-use wireless on/off switch, which turned off all my wireless cards: 3G (EV-DO), 802.11a/g, and Bluetooth. Flip the switch in the opposite direction, and it becomes a handy Wi-Fi locator that works when the machine is off. Another big addition is the internal dual-layer DVD+R optical drive—great for reading and burning DVDs on the road. Other connectivity options include a whopping four USB ports, a FireWire port, and S-Video and VGA out ports. Theres even a 1.3-megapixel webcam on top of the screen thats great for video chatting.

Read the full story on PCMag.com: Dell XPS M1210

Cisco Cheng is PC MagazineÔÇÖs lead analyst for laptops and tablet PCs. He is responsible for benchmarking, reviewing, and evaluating all laptops and tablet PCs. Cisco started with PC Magazine in 1999 as a support technician, testing printers, PC components, networking equipment, and software. He became the lead analyst for the laptop team in 2003 and since has written numerous reviews, buyer guides, and feature stories for both PCMag.com and the print magazine.

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