Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook Getting Good Reviews But Beware of Style-Focus

Posted on 14 March 2012 by


I’ve just updated the Dell XPS 13 information page with links to a set of reviews that came out in the last week and I get the impression that most reviewers are impressed with the new Dell Ultrabook. It took a while to reach the shelves but at $999 it looks like a reasonable buy in the USA. In the UK, however, you’ll pay £1149 which is way more than one would expect. In the EU, €1149 is still a bit expensive. The Acer S3 can be had for €699, the Samsung Series 5 (which I’m testing right now) for 400 euro less and the excellent Toshiba Z820 and HP Folio for under 1000 euros.

I’ve added reviews from Cnet, MobileTechReview, Slashgear, Engadget, Anandtech and Expert Reviews which were all based on a US sample.

One the plus side you’ve got a good backlit keyboard and nice design in a relatively small chassis and features such as Smart Connect Technology which we haven’t seen used in an Ultrabook yet. Wifi should be reasonable and will support Wi-Di and My Wifi as it’s based around the Centrino Advanced-N 6230 which I talked about yesterday.

If you’re considering the Dell XPS 13 though, take note that there’s no SD card slot, a Mini Display port instead of HDMI or VGA, average battery life, slightly heavy weight, and a potential noise and heat heat issue which could affect the usefulness of ‘Turbo.’

The bottom line here is that the Dell XPS 13 looks great and performs just as an Ultrabook should and in the USA the pricing looks about right if the specs pass your tick-list. Outside the USA the sensible buyer may choose the HP Folio to save some money for similar functionality and performance and if large storage is an issue, the Samsung Series 5 is the obvious better choice leaving, in Europe at least, 400 Euro in the back pocket – enough for a 256GB SSD upgrade and bonus 500GB portable hard drive!

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  • Michael
  • mitch

    I was hoping ultrabooks were more portability focused. I thought there were going to be more 11.6″ versions with small overall dimensions (ie. not thin at the expense of the other dimensions) with long battery life. I guess I thought/hoped wrong. They’re more fashion accessories to show off at the local coffee shop than an actual useful ultraportable.

    • Lisa

      @Michael, learn how to read the spec, that samsung is only 2GB and 64SSD for $730, i rather get the z830 with 4GB and 128SSD for $800.

    • Michael

      i was hoping that too. The 13 inch and now the 14 inch as well as the 15 inch “ultrabooks” are massive. The footprint is so huge that it looks bulky when you carry it. I guess the cut off point is 11.6. If manufacturers continue to go for bigger ultrabooks, small 11.6 non ultrabooks like the upcoming Lenovo S200 and S206 would seem to be more appealing.

  • PolkSDA

    Michael :
    How to buy this when you have cheaper ultrabooks like this?

    Where to start…

    That link is an i3 CPU. The $999 XPS 13 is i5.

    That link is 2GB RAM. XPS 13 is 4GB.

    That link is 64GB SSD. XPS 13 is 128GB.

    That link is older generation SSD. XPS 13 is SATA3 Samsung PM830.

    That link is 11.6″ screen. XPS 13 is 13.3″

    The comparison is not even remotely close!

    • Michael

      You forgot to mention that Dell notebooks often breakdown whilst Samsung notebooks malfunction lesser Everybody knows that Dell quality has dropped over the years and many would buy Dell last despite them having the best onsite service.

      • PolkSDA

        Oh good grief. That is an idiotic generalization.

        I have personally owned several Dell/Alienware laptops, and my department at work uses Dell Latitudes and Vostros almost exclusively.

        Dell is no more susceptible to failure than any other large-scale laptop maker.

      • Michael

        Come out of your little shell and live in the real world. Once you expose yourself to the outer world, you will understand things better.

  • PolkSDA

    Michael :
    Come out of your little shell and live in the real world. Once you expose yourself to the outer world, you will understand things better.

    Oh please. The only reason you’re here is to rag on Dell.

    You start the comments on this article by making an inane comparison to a Samsung model that doesn’t even remotely resemble the XPS 13 with respect to specifications, and follow that up with a troll-like generalization.

    Samsung has nowhere near the market penetration that Dell does, so of course you’re not going to read the same number of complaints. As with anything else, the larger the number of people using brand X, the greater the likelihood that you will encounter a negative opinion of one; the sheer number of discussions about it are larger.

    If you want to make allegations of failure against a specific Dell model, that’s fine, but comments about “all Dell this” or “all HP that” are simply unfounded.

    • Eric

      Don’t listen to him. He’s also an Apple fanboy.

  • ColdSun

    I have a Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook. After much research, and since I live in the USA, I found this to be the best Ultrabook for my money. I don’t want an Apple. Ever. I really don’t think the Samsung Michael is talking about is even close in quality comparison. We can argue all day about Dell or HP and quality, but to be honest, I’ve had similar problems with Samsung, especially their Netbooks, which quite often had low ratings to begin with. I haven’t been impressed by Dell Notebook quality for several years, but they did this one right. When I go to the coffee shop, they aren’t asking the Macbook person what he is using, they are asking me. That’s a good feeling.

  • ColdSun

    By the way, the fan noise problem was fixed in a bios update and I haven’t felt this thing get hot once. I can even play some of my higher powered games on it in low settings. Personally, Chippy, I think you should get one for review before you judge it thus harshly based on the price. This thing is premium. By the way, I purchased the I7 version. Nice to see I remember the days when people laughed at me when I mentioned a tablet. :)

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