I bought a Dell XPSM1330 in 2008 and had some apprehensions on the connector that goes in the laptop (looks very fragile with a delicate pin). In mid 2009, suddenly the battery stopped charging and the problem was solved by a replacement power adapter from Dell.
I have also been experiencing sudden black outs especially while doing Skype video chat as the laptop would become very hot. I brought this to the notice of Dell but no solution came out. This week after few blips the battery charging sign went off again. I wanted Dell to check the machine and was told that it will cost equivalent to 300USD. Next call got connected to a different location and they sent me a quote for 900USD. The most annoying part was take it or leave it (but we suggest you buy a new laptop) without a justification why the repair or inspection will cost almost same as new laptop.
Can someone share their own experience on how to go about?
Assuming the system needs a replacement system board - which is likely -- make sure that if you go ahead with a repair, that you get the INTEL version, and NOT another nVidia board.
The nVidia chips on these systems are of known faulty design.
The boards run in the $250 range:
Add $100 or so of you have to pay a shop to replace it. You will also need a new heatsink unit to change from nVidia to Intel video.