As user continue to contemplate the choice between the power and functionality of a full laptop and the portability and touch capabilities of a tablet, we're likely to see more convertible ultrabooks come to market. Dell's implementation of a convertible ultrabook in the form of the XPS 12 is a great one. We like the fact that the keyboard is hidden behind the screen when using the machine in tablet mode. We also appreciate the backlit keyboard on the XPS 12 when using it in laptop mode.
Overall, the XPS 12 performed well in our benchmark tests. It earned the top spot in the PCMark benchmark which measures a system's overall performance and responsiveness. In real-world usage, the system performed well and felt very quick overall. Battery life is a bit of a disappointment with the XPS 12, however. Since the battery is not user replaceable, don’t expect to get a full day's worth of work from the machine without a nearby power source.
Dell offers the XPS 12 at a starting price of $1,199.99. More powerful systems than the one we tested, such as models with a Core i7-3517U processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB solid state hard drive are also available.
If you're in the market for an ultrabook, you'll quickly discover the XPS 12 isn't the cheapest option out there. However, the XPS 12 is a solid, well-built system that has some additional features you won't find on these lower-priced ultrabooks. For anyone who is willing to spend the premium to get a convertible ultrabook, we encourage you to check out the XPS 12.