2014 Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook With Touch Review

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Dell aims to give users a premium mobile experience with the company’s XPS line of laptops. Not long ago, we had some hands-on time with Dell’s XPS 15 and really liked it. Last year, we also took a look at the 2013 version of Dell’s XPS 13. Here again, we had many positive things to say of Dell's top shelf ultralight 13-inch machine.

Today we’re going to take a look at the latest version of the XPS 13. This updated version has not been redesigned, but it does include a new, larger capacity battery (55WHr compared to the previous 47WHr battery). And along with Intel's 4th generation Haswell Core series processor for more efficient computing, Dell claims the new XPS 13 can deliver up to 11 hours of wireless web browsing on a single charge. Other key updates for this iteration of XPS 13 includes an optional 13.3-inch touch-enabled 1080p display and Windows 8.1.

Like previous versions of the XPS series, the 2014 version of the XPS 13 features machined aluminum and carbon fiber for strength and durability. The carbon fiber composite base helps make the XPS 13 very lightweight—as little as 2.95 pounds.

Dell worked hard to squeeze a 13.3-inch display in a footprint that’s similar to what you may find on an 11-inch laptop. According to Dell, the XPS 13 is the most compact 13-inch laptop on the planet. Thankfully, Dell didn’t skimp on the display either, which features 1920X1080 resolution and 350-nits brightness. Behind the scenes, you'll find Intel integrated HD 4400 graphics on board the XPS 13 as well.

2014 Dell XPS 13
Specifications & Features
Processor
Options
4th Generation Intel Core i3-4010U processor (3M Cache, up to 1.7 GHz)
4th Generation Intel Core i5-4200U processor (3M Cache, up to 2.6 GHz)
4th Generation Intel Core i7-4500U processor (4M Cache, up to 3.0 GHz)
4th Generation Intel Core i7-4650U processor (4M Cache, up to 3.3 GHz)
Dimensions
(HxWxD)
Height: 0.2-0.7 inches
Width: 12.4 inches
Depth 8.1 inches

Starting at Weight
2.95lbs
3.03lbs for touch

Display options
13.3-inch FHD (1920x1080)
13.3-inch FHD (1920x1080) touch display
350-nit, 72% color gamut, 800:1 contrast ratio
178° wide viewing angle - 89° / 89° / 89° / 89°
Capacitive touchscreen – 10-finger touch support
Construction
Machined aluminum
Carbon fiber composite base
Edge-to-edge Corning Gorilla Glass NBT
Magnesium palm rest with soft touch paint
System Memory
4GB or 8GB Dual Channel DDR3L-RS SDRAM at 1600 MHz (On Board)
Graphics
Intel HD 4400 or HD 5000 (i7 4650U only)
Battery
55WHr battery (built-in)
SSD Options
128GB or 256GB SSD drive option with Intel Rapid Start Technology
Keyboard /
Touchpad
Standard full size, backlit chiclet keyboard; spill-resistant
Glass integrated button touchpad with gesture support
Wireless Connectivity
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 + Bluetooth 4.0
Intel Wireless Display (WiDi) 3.0 ready
Intel Smart Connect Technology
Sound
High Definition Audio with Waves MaxxAudio Pro
1.5W x2 = 3W total
Webcam
Widescreen HD webcam with dual array digital microphones
Ports and Connectors
USB 3.0 with PowerShare (2); mini DisplayPort (1); Headset Jack (1)
Software
Skype, Internet Explorer, My Dell Support application, PocketCloud
Operating System Options


Pricing:
Windows 8.1 (Windows 7 for non-touch)
Business only - Windows 8.1 Professional, Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium, Genuine Windows 7 Professional, Genuine Windows 7 Ultimate

Starting at $1049, $1649 as configured and tested


Dell is offering three configurations of the XPS 13 with prices startingat $1049 for a system configured with a 4th generation Core i3 processor, Windows 7 Home Premium, 4GB of memory, and a 128GB solid state drive. This system does not include touch. The midrange configuration is priced at $1299 and includes a 4th generation Core i5 processor, Windows 8.1, 8GB Memory, and a 128GB solid state drive. This system is touch enabled.

In this review, we’ll be taking a look at the high-end version of theXPS 13. Priced at $1649, this system features a 4th generation Core i7 processor, Windows 8.1, 8GB memory, a 256GB solid state drive, and is touch enabled. All of these systems come with one year of enhanced support, though the high-end SKU we're testing comes with 3 years enhanced support. Let's dive in...

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