Dell recently launched one of the lightest ultrabooks on the market, the XPS 13 with a 13 inch screen, solid state drive and an eye popping slimeline appearance has gone down a storm- our friends over at Dell sent us one to test out! Now… I know Dell products haven’t really identified as slick portable machines in the past but it seems the brand is determined to switch things up with this one (and others to come that I can’t talk about) *awkward silence* More after the break.
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The Aesthetics (the important stuff)
I’ve been testing out the XPS 13 for a month or so now and my opinions on it have not changed from first impressions. Design wise it’s very pleasing, I was immediately won over by its silver aluminium casing; and reminiscent of my old MacBook (R.I.P), Dell branding slap bang in the centre. The bottom of the device is made from carbon fibre which not only feels great but is durable and provides grip… which is important. Like I said, this is one of the lightest of its kind. Weighing in at a mere 1.36kg and only18mm at its thickest point, you could practically play Frisbee with this bad boy; although I do strongly advise that you do not as it won’t be eligible for repair under warranty…
Upon opening the mac XPS 13, I see a Matte finish keyboard which looks amazing but is also a nightmare trying to keep clean, has to be said. As compact as this machine is, the keys are very well spaced and it’s also backlit which can be very exciting in the dark… The touchpad is also quite easy to use although I think it could benefit from gestures like the four finger swipe and two finger zoom in- I guess that’s critique for Microsoft.
One of its best features is also one of its flaws; the screen. 13.3 inches of thick scratch resistant Gorilla Glass, the entire lid is completely covered with this fascinating glass that is capable of displaying 720p footage. My one grievance with the way the laptop is built is the fact that the screen doesn’t go back as far as sometimes needed to offset the fact that it’s not very visible in the sunlight. Every time I push the screen back I have to endure a mini heart attack due to fear of snapping it off.
The Other Stuff
Top features for me include:
- Solid State Drive
- Intel® Core™ i7-2637M processor (It is pretty fast)
- 6 Hour battery Life
- The Screen (13.3” Gorilla Glass)
- Backlit Keyboard
As a result of packing a solid state drive, the XPS 13 switches on in less than 4 seconds… it’s thrilling! Of course this is complimented by quite an impressive processor and with 6 hours battery life; it will never leave your sight!
Being an ultrabook, size and portability become a priority when sacrifices have to be made and while it is an impressive machine, here are a couple of things that have limited my experience or might limit yours in case you fancy getting one.
- There is no memory card reader
- There is no CD slot
- No Ethernet Port
Having said that, it’s an ultrabook… they’re built to be fast and portable; this it does fulfill. It looks slick and it’s an overall powerful machine but it is let down by the reflective screen and lack of ports. Dell are currently shifting these at £949 for the base model which is pretty steep to be fair! But it’s definitely a contender for the Macbook Air.