Excerpt: The march of innovation in consumer electronics is more persistent and grueling than any other industry. CES 2013 proved this once again as even refreshed designs were rarely based on hardware more than a year old. Yet, among this crowd of new and altered products, there was one that remained resolute: Dell’s XPS 13. To call this a refresh would be charitable. The laptop, which was revealed at CES 2012, boasts only one significant upgrade: a 1080p display.
Pros: Rock-solid build quality, Pleasing keyboard, Class-leading 1080p display, Small and light, Above average battery life
Cons: Poor audio quality, Can run very hot when gaming, Not the best value
Excerpt: Dell’s XPS 13 certainly isn’t wanting for style. Sporting a slick wedge profile that measures .24–.71 inches front to back, the XPS 13 is all matte-silver, machined aluminum up top, with a carbon fiber base. A soft-touch surface on the bottom makes the device easy to grip and two rubber “feet” that run horizontally along the underside will surely hold it in place on any surface and promote airflow.
Pros: Attractive styling; good build; strong performance.
Cons: Loud under load; not easy to open; TN panel; pricey.
Summary: The Dell XPS 13 is impressive: in a form-factor slightly bigger than the Macbook Air 11”, Dell has managed to provide a powerful 13” thin-and-light platform that scales up to a Core i7 processor, 256GB of SSD storage and 4G as an option. At $999, it offers twice the RAM and twice the SSD storage when compared to the current ($999) Macbook Air 11″, and its battery is 50% higher as well (7.5hrs vs 5hrs).
Summary: How would I rate my first Ultrabook experience? The XPS 13 is a fine, well-made, durable-seeming laptop. I feel uncharacteristically stylish using it. Yet personally, if it were my money, I would opt for a faster processor and a lot more storage - and I don't care if that means a spinning disk.
You can argue that Ultrabooks are all about portability, but that's clearly not the case.
Excerpt: Dell’s entry into the ultrabook world may not break any new ground, but does it have to? By covering all of the ultrabases in a good-looking package, Dell’s XPS 13 keeps up with the Joneses while not really trying to show off. The strategy works. You’ll find absolutely no surprises under the hood here, as the XPS 13 stays almost exactly in lockstep with the rest of the ultrabook market .
Summary: The Dell XPS 13 is probably the smallest 13-inch ultrabook out there. And despite its slim-trim dimensions, Dell packs the XPS 13 with a lot of hardware firepower and features an excellent look, feel and design to propel it amongst the best ultrabooks available in the market.
Pros: Elegant, premium look and design, Metal and carbon fibre chassis, Gorilla Glass display, Very good hardware configuration, 3 year hardware, software warranty
Conclusion: The Dell XPS 13 has become one of our top Ultrabook picks. You really can't go wrong with most first gen Ultrabooks since they share similar specs and shoot for higher end appointments, but Dell has a winner with their combination of premium materials, excellent performance and great looks. The XPS 13 is extremely sturdy yet slim, uses innovative materials like carbon fiber and a Gorilla Glass display and is the most compact 13" Ultrabook so far.
Pros: Excellent build quality and top notch materials and components. Good backlit keyboard, works with large high resolution monitors, nice display. One of the best Ultrabooks on the market.
Cons: Fan can be boisterous when working the notebook hard, trackpad not the best.
Round Rock's first ultrabook is a chip off the old block
6 March 2012
Summary: Our quest for the perfect ultrabook continues. The XPS 13 isn't quite there, held back by its display, somewhat disappointing battery life, and lack of ports or adapters. It's a shame, too, because it feels like Dell came quite close to a truly excellent machine. Perhaps the battery life couldn't be helped in the smaller frame, but with a higher-quality display to match its well-designed keyboard and chassis, it'd definitely have my recommendation.
Summary: From its stylish and compact carbon-fiber design to the backlit keyboard to its fast SSD, there's a lot to like about the $999 Dell XPS 13. Intel's Smart Connect technology is yet another plus, which will help you get right back to work when you lift the lid. However, the lack of an SD card slot and the below-average battery life detract from what is otherwise an excellent system. Overall, Dell has delivered a solid Ultrabook for $300 less than the MacBook Air .