Dell XPS 13 first look – Dell enters the ultrabook market

Dell has shown its first ever ultrabook at CES 2012 . The XPS 13 has a distinctive look and feel compared to many of the other thin and light ultrabooks we’ve seen at the show.

For more ultrabooks, see our Best ultrabooks at CES 2012 video round-up.

Dell XPS 13 – key features and specifications

Dell takes the XPS into ultrabook territory

Dell’s powerful XPS range gets smaller than ever with the addition of this new 13-inch ultrabook. ‘Ultrabooks’ are thin and light laptops that meet certain criteria set out by Intel and aim to offer a winning combination of both power and portability.

Specs-wise the XPS 13 is powered by a choice of Intel Core i5 or i7 processors and 128GB or 256GB solid state hard drive – faster than a traditional hard disk drive (HDD). Graphics are provided by Intel’s HD 3000 and there’s 4GB of RAM. Battery life is claimed at a pretty impressive 8 hours, 53 minutes – beating Samsung’s Series 5 ultrabook, for example, hands down.

In terms of size it certainly keeps up with the other ultrabooks we’ve seen here at CES. It weighs just 1.4kg and is 18mm thick at its widest point. The base is made from carbon fibre which helps keep the weight down but should also mean it stays cool on your lap.

The 13.3-inch screen is made from gorilla glass so should be pretty scratch resistant – handy in a laptop you’re likely to be using on the go.

Dell XPS 13 – Catherine’s first impressions

The XPS 13 is 18mm thick at its widest point

It’s really rather refreshing to see a ultrabook that has no real resemblance to an Apple laptop. The styling here is Dell all over. The thin bezel means the screen reaches right to the edges of the body and the glass touchpad is large and has a nice feel to it.

Unfortunately the model on show was screwed to a stand so I couldn’t get a good idea of how it feels to hold. I could however see that despite its thinness it’s still robust. Moving the lid back and forth there was no flexing and it felt solid.

This model is planned to launch in March and will be available on Dell’s website. There’s no word on pricing yet but like all ultrabooks, it’s not going to come cheap – around £1000 probably won’t be much off the mark.

In the full review…

These are just our first impression on the Dell XPS 13 but we’ll be getting it into the lab as soon as it’s available in March. Our experts will give you the definitive verdict on – performance, screen and sound quality and these are just a few of the elements we put to the test. Find out more about how we test laptops.

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One reply

  1. Hello,

    I bought one of those recently (dell xps 13, in November 2013) and its wireless card is faulty. Reading comments online, it looks like quite a few of people have got the same issue.

    It’s a great laptop otherwise, but it’s a disgrace that dell keeps selling those when so many people have the same problems. I would advise buying something else.

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