Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook Review

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Dell does an okay job of keeping the bloatware to a minimum, but there are a quite a few programs that load when the machine boots.  Some of these are welcomed utilities and apps, while others we could have done without.  On a side note, the XPS 13, like other ultrabooks we've tested recently, boots from the push of its power button to the Windows desktop in about 14 second flat.  We can't get enough of that almost instant-on goodness.  Impressive.



It's unimaginatively named but Dell's "Webcam Central" does a decent job of delivering basic functionality for the web cam, at least in terms of any recording or picture taking you might want to accomplish on your own.  For video conferencing Skype is just a download away.



Dell DataSafe provides backup and recovery services that you can target to or from a DVD or external Flash drive over USB.





Another strength for Dell with the XPS 13 is its sound system.  This is an ultrabook, so obviously we're not talking room-filling sound here with only a pair of 1.5W drivers at our disposal, but for what they are, the XPS 13's HD audio solution with Waves MAXXAudio technology is one of the better sounding setups we've heard in an ultralight machine.  As you can see, the included MAXXAudio software also offers quite a bit of customization and we liked ability to trim Bass, Treble and Midrange frequencies.



Dell's power management software for the XPS 13 isn't a slick utility where you can dial things in with a lot of granularity but it does offer some very aggressive power management features.  Out of the box, the machine is setup to sip power, dropping display power consumption dramatically.  We ended up dialing things up from Dell's presets, but with their settings that 8+ hours battery life claim could very well be reality for lighter-duty functions, like web browsing, word processing, etc.

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Dell did a great job with this machine. A few small gotchas for me along the way but overall this machine is one of my favorite ultrabooks that I've tested thus far.

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I'm really impressed with what Ultrabooks bring to the table. Light and responsive, they are great for students and business professionals alike that are on the go. Thanks for the review :)

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You're welcome LB! :) Thanks for reading.

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It appears like a BIOS fix is/maybe fixing the overly excessive fan noise. This would be very welcoming.

Can you comment on the horizontal and vertical viewing angles some more? How would you compare it to the likeness of a samsung series 9? Thanks!

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I would say a firmware update with a new fan profile could go a long way. Though the fan noise is really only evident on boot up and under heavier loads. Sometimes during extended HD video watching, it spun up a bit too much for my taste, for example. Under light gaming it spun up the loudest. Viewing angles on the display are decent, not stellar. However, when you're lined up optimally, the display is gorgeous for sure. I'm not sure about how it is versus the Series 9 unfortunately though. I have yet to see that machine.

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This is a very nice little Lappy. I like the power sipping abilities when no heavy workload is involved. (probably would be my main usage for one of these) I also like the key spacing since I have large hands.

It's overall appearance is pretty dang nice too.

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I'd love to get my hands on one of these. It seems like it would be night and day compared to the HP model my GF has.

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I've had mine for about 3 days now. Really like it. Haven't noticed much fan noise.

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My name is JD. I work for Dell. Your post about Dell's XPS 13 Ultrabook review is very informative. I suggest to visit Dell website at http://www.dell.com/uk/p/laptops for more information on Dell laptops for any business or personal requirements. looking forward for more such nice posts from you.Thanks for sharing.

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I've purchased one and am really happy with it. I wrote a review for a website I created for Dell XPS 13 owners or potential owners. http://www.dellxps13.org About the vs apple comments, its not really fair to compare them because Windows is such a hindrance. I run Linux Ubuntu on mine that levels the playing field.

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