Dell XPS 13 (Q1 2013) Ultrabook Review: What a Difference 1080p Makes
21 March 2013
Conclusion: I don't think I'm out of line for being disappointed that the fundamental flaws of the Dell XPS 13's chassis design that I cited a year ago haven't really changed. Maybe I'm the only person that uses Intel's Quick Sync, but I've found it to be a tremendously useful tool in the field as a videographer just for making it easy to hand off YouTube ready clips to anyone who wants them, and the lack of an SD card reader in the XPS 13 is aggravating.
Excerpt: Thin and light is the name of the game. You no longer have to lug around a heavy laptop to get the full PC experience, thanks to the recent generation of Intel-powered ultrabooks. Today, we take a look at the Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook that slots right into that market.
Conclusion: The Dell XPS 13 brings nothing new to the ultrabook market, as the basic performance shows. But what it does do, and with a lot of class, is an ultrabook form factor that’s desirable by many. You’re not stuck with different aspects of a design you may or may not appreciate. The XPS 13 is a class act from Dell, and if you ignore the rather liberal inspiration from the MacBook Air, then the aluminum chassis with carbon fiber composite base presents an aesthetically...
Conclusion: Upon opening the lid we find a good quality, spill resistant keyboard with LED lighting and impressive screen which has automatic brightness, crisp detail and vibrant colours, though the panel which covers it uses a reflective coating which may not be to some tastes. The finish on the wrist rest area with its soft touch, slightly rubberised feel is good though.
A high quality take on the Ultrabook concept.
Excerpt: For $999, you get an incredibly capable, attractive and compact notebook that will sway some buyers away form the MacBook Air 11.6″ model. While this notebook isn’t perfect, it is one of the best Dell notebooks I’ve used. From portability to performance, the XPS 13 Ultrabook brings a lot to the table.
Conclusion: Dell's first entry into the ultrabook market is a patient and smart one. They've arrived at the party a bit later than the competition, but they're fashionably late: instead of a design that just apes the Apple MacBook Air, Dell has taken care to produce something unique to them with the XPS 13.
Conclusion: Outweighing these minor demerits, however, are the XPS 13’s great looks, stellar build quality, and snappy performance, all of which come in at a reasonable $999. This machine costs less than either the $1,199 Asus UX21E ZenBook or the $1,495 Lenovo IdeaPad U300s models we reviewed, while offering similar performance and a build quality that’s as good as (if not better) than its higher-priced competition. What can we say?
Pros: Rigid build quality, Performance and battery life good for an ultrabook, Standard warranty includes accident and theft protection
Cons: Low-resolution display with lackluster color reproduction, No memory-card slot
Excerpt: Ultrabooks are an interesting phenomenon. It's like the industry took a long hard look at the emaciated netbook market and decided consumers deserved better. Thank God. We're big fans of the thin and light trend in notebooks, and netbook price points are something we all can appreciate. However, as performance enthusiasts, netbooks just leave us flat, to be honest; no matter how small they are, how inexpensive or how miserly they are on power consumption. It's...
Pros: Best performing ultrabook yet, Gorgeous edge-to-edge display with Gorilla Glass, Best light duty battery life so far, Backlit keyboard!, Great SSD performance
Cons: Shallow key travel and slightly plastic feel, Occasional fan whine under even moderate loads, Can eat up battery life under heavier workloads, No SD card slot or micro-HDMI port
Conclusion: So is the Dell XPS 13 the perfect Ultrabook? Unfortunately not, even if the manufacturer has done a lot right. Once again let's look in detail at what we found in the review. Above all the high-tech case sits on its throne, made of carbon fibre and aluminium, whose stability and build quality are on an exemplary level. Even amidst its high-quality competition, the XPS 13 occupies a top spot.
Pros: Excellent workmanship and stability, Very good application performance, High mobility, Backlit keyboard, Fast SSD hard disk, Above all thanks to its impressively fast SSD, the Ultrabook performs excellently in applications and delights with its ability to boot-up within a few seconds. Also the Core i7 processor is well-equipped for demanding tasks.
Cons: Reflective display with a weak contrast ratio, Rather loud and hot under load, Poor range of interfaces, Keyboard with low feedback