Excerpt: The ideal Windows laptop is very hard to find. Some laptops come with beautiful designs, some are very portable, some include powerful hardware and others excellent battery life. A device that combines all of those features into one package would be truly excellent, but thanks to the usual trade-offs of past and current generation hardware, it's not something we're likely to see soon.
Summary: Dell XPS 13-9343 Touchscreen Ultrabook is set to prove some manufacturers wrong. Dell’s latest Ultrabook pull out all the stops with smart revisions to an already widely-praised design, completely with a top-notch 13.3 inch QHD+ IPS touchscreen. It has a fabulous battery life and a good build quality with well-tuned backlit keyboard and touchpad for the input. The system’s performance is generally good and runs all the applications as expected.
Conclusion: Other than an update to the touchpad, there's very little we would change about Dell's redesigned XPS 13: It's compact and well-built, with a gorgeous screen, fast performance and surprisingly good audio quality. You'll pay dearly to get it with a touchscreen, but even then, it's priced in line with other flagship Ultrabooks -- and in some ways it's a better choice, too.
Pros: Nearly bezel-less display allows it to be more compact than other 13-inchers, Vibrant screen, strong audio to match, Attractive design, well-built, Comfortable keyboard, Fast performance, Lots of configuration options
Cons: Merely average battery life, at least on the touchscreen model, Touchpad could use some fine-tuning, Doesn't come standard with a touchscreen -- and is expensive if you do opt for that feature
Conclusion: Dell’s XPS 13 looked amazing on the show floor, but sometimes first impressions hide flaws that become obvious on close inspection. Thankfully, that’s not true here. This notebook is an excellent piece of engineering that combines the latest Intel hardware with a robust, attractive and portable system. There are minor flaws.
Pros: Light, but solid, Attractive design, Great touchpad, Beautiful display, Solid battery life
Cons: Limited ports, Quiet speakers, Fan can be loud at full load
Summary: If you don't care about having a touchscreen display and are willing to sacrifice a bit of performance, Dell offers a non-touch XPS 13 Ultrabook starting at $1,049.99. As configured, the one reviewed here runs $1,299.99 and sits in the middle of three baseline configurations.
That's not cheap, but neither are the parts inside – you get a Haswell-class processor, 8GB of RAM, and an extremely fast solid state drive that keeps data flowing.
Pros: Sleek and Refined:, Pinch, Poke, You Owe Me a Coke:, Zippy Performance:, Great Battery Life:, Backlit Keys:
Cons: More Ports, Please!:, Non-Removable Battery:
Conclusion: Despite a few of minor moans – some fan noise, a slightly reflective screen and exaggerated battery life claims – there’s not an equivalent Windows laptop we can commend more highly than the Dell XPS 13. It’s enough to give Apple something to chew on. Take one look at it: the Dell XPS 13 is a good looking, well conceived laptop with a smaller footprint than any 13-inch competitor on the market.
Pros: Unparalleled infinity screen design, powerful overall performance, small and lightweight, the Windows 8 laptop to give Apple something to chew on
Cons: Fan noise under little pressure, screen a little too glossy, battery life should be better (12,000mAh expansion pack accessory is available however)
Pros: Gorgeous Infinity display, Strong performance, Super light weight, The XPS's edge-to-edge display differentiates it from all other Ultrabooks. It's hard to imagine a small form-factor laptop delivering captivating visuals, but that's exactly what the XPS 13 does. By trimming the border surrounding the laptop's display, Dell was able to provide a cinematic viewing experience. Even if you choose to go with the full HD version, rather than the quad HD+ touchscreen upgrad...
Cons: No Ethernet port, Off-center webcam, Almost all of the XPS 13's flaws are superficial. The power button's placement is problematic and may cause accidental misclicks. The new battery life gauge is also poorly placed and is more difficult to use than simply checking your desktop. You won't love the speakers, but they won't detract from your listening experience. Perhaps the biggest drawback is the XPS 13's lack of an ethernet port. However, Ultrabooks and ethernet port...
Conclusion: This is the best Ultrabook we've seen. It might have a daft numberof connections, making it ever so slightly impractical, but for us, it captures what the whole Ultrabook thing was supposed to be about. And that was the little skip of the heart people get when they look at a MacBook Air. The fact is, Windows 7 is a terrific operating system. It and OS X are hardly rivals anymore, they're equals.
Pros: Lovely to look at, more than enough power, superb screen, great keyboard and trackpad, built incredibly well
Cons: A total of three ports is not enough, quite expensive, battery life could be better