Dell XPS 13 Review
- Elegant, premium look and design
- Metal and carbon fibre chassis
- Gorilla Glass display
- Very good hardware configuration
- 3 year hardware, software warranty
- Trackpad needs work
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.
The XPS 13 marks the first Dell ultrabook in the market, and it’s one that deserves our attention. It has standard innards like most of the ultrabooks out there, but where it differs is with its feature offerings and a build and design that’s quite noteworthy. If you prefer Dell as a brand and you’ve been waiting for them to launch a worthwhile ultrabook, your wait is over. Read on.
Design & Build
Just like the Asus Zenbook UX31E, the Dell XPS 13 is yet another ultrabook that steps very close to mimicking the Apple MacBook Air’s look and design. The Dell XPS 13 has a plush silver-grey metal screen lid that complements its dark coloured base. The Dell ultrabook features rounded edges and minimalistic design to heighten its overall elegance and appeal. It’s a premium laptop through and through. It may not be as thin or light as the 11-inch MacBook Air or the Toshiba Portege Z830 (which weighs 1.11 kg), still the Dell XPS 13 is quite thin and its 1.35 kg frame is very easy to carry around.
Another interesting highlight of the Dell XPS 13 is its petite frame. The ultrabook’s dimensions, in terms of its width and depth, are smaller than a conventional 13.3-inch frame laptop -- e.g. the MacBook Air or any other 13-inch ultrabook we’ve reviewed. This gives the Dell XPS 13 the impression of being a 13-inch laptop in a smaller 12-inch frame. It’s a noteworthy achievement and Dell’s right to make a big deal out of it. The Dell XPS 13 ultrabook has a Corning Gorilla Glass display; not only this, but the XPS 13's bottom panel is made of carbon fibre -- even the finishing and texture on the bottom panel feels rich and premium. This combination of metal and carbon fibre lends the Dell XPS 13's frame a degree of robustness that defies its super-slim profile. From its hinge design to the overall finish of the ultrabook, the Dell XPS 13 blends attractive looks extremely well with dependable build quality which is simply a cut above the rest.
Screen, keyboard, touchpad
The Dell XPS 13 ultrabook’s 13-inch screen is glossy and bright in nature, with a 1366x768 pixel resolution. It has edge-to-edge Gorilla Glass layer, but average viewing angles. Having said that, the Dell ultrabook’s performance is good whether it’s watching movies and video clips for personal entertainment or reading text. There’s a 1.3 MP webcam grooved into the screen’s top bezel which is great for video chats, and Dell also throws in a webcam utility that promises to add a bit of fun to your video chat sessions.
The Dell XPS 13’s keyboard is almost exactly similar to the Dell Adamo XPS 13, which had a very good keyboard. Likewise, the Dell XPS 13 features wide chiclet-styled backlit keys that are very well laid out and just a treat to type on. All the alphanumeric keys and frequently used keys like Space, Enter, Shift, Alt, etc, are accurately placed. Overall, we’re very impressed with the Dell XPS 13’s keyboard, it’s as great as any Lenovo ThinkPad laptop launched last year.
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