We're not sure who or what is putting these XPS M1330 laptops together for Dell, but not only are they having a horrible time of it even getting the laptops out the door, but this particular man's shipment was just a little lacking in the quality department when it arrived two weeks ahead of the estimated ship date. The $2k+ laptop looked fine at first glance, but when Pradeep popped it open and hit the power button, it immediately booted to a blank, white, flickering screen. After 10 minutes, nothing had changed, no Dell logo, Vista boot screen or anything -- not only had Dell forgotten an OS, they didn't even manage to squeeze in a system BIOS before they shipped this one. That wasn't all that Dell screwed up on this M1330, the power button is defective, the Microsoft seal underneath the machine is partially ripped and burned, there's a problem with a grill cover protruding, and the WiFi radio switch is so loose it almost falls off when pushed back and forth. Sure, this is just one guy's experience with one M1330, and his mom got a similar computer -- after a much longer shipment wait -- that worked just fine, but we're still thinking Dell might try and shore up quality control just a little bit before somebody manages to get something shoddier than this out the door. Dell's giving Pradeep a new laptop, labeled "priority" in the build queue, and offered him a $50 gift certificate for his trouble.

Update: After spotting this article, Dell contacted us for help getting a hold of Pradeep, and is currently helping expedite his new system. Pradeep did say his replacement was already "priority" before this article went up, but we're sure the PR people are going to speed things up considerably for him. Of course, this is just one person's experience, and we hope Dell will show the same courtesy to everyone involved in the M1330 fiasco -- or better yet, start shipping these things intact and on time!

Update 2: Dell hit us up, apparently after doing some diags on Pradeep's machine, they claim to have discovered that while the M1330 in question did have Windows installed on its drive, just so happens that whomever assembled the system didn't connect the LCD's LVDS to the motherboard. Not that that's much better or anything. Anyway, it seems like all's well that ends well for Pradeep, but we aren't sure we can say the same for the rest of Dell's M1330 customers.

Man's XPS M1330 arrives sans OS, quality

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Man's XPS M1330 arrives sans OS, quality