2014 Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook With Touch Review - HotHardware

2014 Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook With Touch Review

12 thumbs up

Performance Analysis:

Simply put, the benchmark scores for the XPS 13 are impressive. In every test, the XPS 13 earns a score that’s within the top 4 results for any reference machine we've tested in the same class of devices; and in many cases, the XPS 13 comes in at the No. 1 spot. Perhaps even better is the fact that you don’t have to sacrifice battery life in order to achieve this level of performance.

Although the look and feel of the XPS 13 may not be anything new or revolutionary (after all, we’ve seen a similar style and finish on previous generation XPS models) the saying, “if it ain't broke, don’t fix it” is true in this case. Dell has achieved a look and feel that is rich and attractive while still very functional.

The XPS 13 doesn’t have a SD card expansion slot or an HDMI port. This isn’t too surprising, given the trend among manufacturers to skip “extras” but features such as these are still on our wish list. Still, with two USB 3.0 ports and an external card reader you can gain access to additional storage with relative ease.

Perhaps the biggest drawback for the XPS 13 is its price. Dell offers XPS 13 systems that start at $1,049 but the specs you’ll find on this lower priced machine aren’t going to compare to the high-end model we tested in this review which has a price tag of $1,649. For the additional money, you'll receive upgrades in the following areas: a touch screen, Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD as well as three years of enhanced support. Most likely Dell’s middle configuration, priced at $1,299, will hit the sweet spot for most users, in terms of that all-important price/performance ratio.

All in all, Dell’s high-end XPS 13 looks great, performs exceptionally well, and has the ability to last for a very long time without being tethered to the wall. Although it can be little pricey in the top configuration, you definitely get a premium experience in exchange for what you pay for.

 

     
  • Impressive battery life
  • Excellent performance
  • Fast boot
  • Great build quality
  • Nice 1080p display
  • High-end SKUs are pricey
  • No SD card slot
  • No HDMI output

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This machine is right up there in my top three favorite ultrabooks of 2014 thus far. Nice work Dell!

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What will you choose between this and MacBook Pro 13"?

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It depends really on what platform suits you best, Mac or PC.  There are specific reasons why you might choose one platform over the other.

 

That said, the XPS13 is very competitive versus the MBP 13.

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Light Book Comes Great Power lol

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Great review, but its a Dell, can't say I'd buy it

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I don't know what the issue is that some folks have with Dell sometimes. It's so unfounded. Some historical issue I'm not aware of I guess...

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I like the specs on this, but I can't say I'm thrilled about the touch screen functionality and windows 8. I know Microsoft wants everyone to have windows 8, but it's too bloated and unnecessary on laptops and desktops. As much as I hate to say it, they should have taken a page from Apple's book and made a different OS for tablets and laptops/desktops. While it looks like a great machine, the manufacturer could have saved us a few bucks by losing the touch screen.

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I think they actually took a page from Apple's book. Apple implemented the launchpad to try to help people who were used to iOS to use a laptop/desktop. Windows took it to another level though and just made everything the same from tablets to desktops. As great as Windows 8 is for tablets, it is not very desktop friendly unless you have a touch screen. I hope they fix things with Windows 9 as I'm staying with Windows 7 till they get the next OS right

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Would be nice to see a Wireless performance and strength test. The Dell XPS line has had many issues with this.

A Linux install review would be a nice touch as well. Happy to do it, please send hardware.

Great review.

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I recommend you to buy the 5 year warranty for dell computers, they are very efficient.

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