XPS 14 Brings Ivy Bridge and Discrete Graphics to Dell’s Ultrabook Lineup, Claims 11 Hour Battery Life

Posted on 28 June 2012 by

Unlike the “new” XPS 13 which we warned you about the other day, Dell’s XPS 14 Ultrabook actually is new and starts at $1099 for the base model with a 1600×900 display. Dell says it’ll last for 11 hours on a charge. Four configurations are offered, all of which are Ivy Bridge, and range from Core i5 with integrated graphics to Core i7 with discrete graphics. Step inside and we’ll break it down.

Dell’s XPS 14 Ultrabook is made from machined aluminium and has a sharp look to it. Dell claims an 11 hour battery time on the SSD equipped model. The claim is believable thanks to a large 8-cell 69Wh non-user-removable battery. Big, yes, but as per our 2/3 rule for realistic battery capacity we’d estimate around 7 and a half hours of good use from the XPS 14.

Of the four configuration options, the first two use Intel’s Ivy Bridge Core i5-3317U processor @1.7GHz (turbo boost up to 2.6GHz) while the latter two use the Ivy Bridge i7-3517U processor @ 1.9GHz (turbo boost up to 3.0GHz). All four variants come equipped with a 14″ 1600×900

The base option runs $1099 and uses the aforementioned Core i5 and pairs it with 4GB of 1333MHz RAM and a 500GB HDD + 32GB performance SSD. Jump up to the next model for $1199 and you add the NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M discrete GPU with 1GB GDDR5 VRAM. Add $300 for the next model up ($1499) and you move up to the Core i7 CPU and 8GB of 1333MHz RAM. Last but not least, add yet another $500 for the top model ($1999) which grants you a 512GB SSD. For these prices we’d at least hope to see Dell using 1600MHz RAM, but alas….

The port set is the same across all variants of the Dell XPS 14. It’s not shabby, but we do think the inclusion of only two USB ports will leave some users wanting. On the XPS 14 you’ll find full HDMI, mini DisplayPort, 2xUSB 3.0, ethernet/LAN (RJ45), a 3.5mm headphone slot, and a full SD card reader.

The XPS 14 scrapes the ceiling of Intel’s Ultrabook thinness criteria at 20.7mm (21mm is maximum for 14″ displays). The unit weighs in at a rather heavy 2.1kg, likely thanks to it’s large battery.

Be sure not to mix up the XPS 14 with Dell’s XPS 14z Ultrabook, they are two completely different computers!

  • joe

    Is that battery life only for the integrated graphics model? Also, has any company mentioned anything about sending in a notebook for a battery replaceement (under warranty, costs, not at all, etc.)?

    • Ben Lang

      The 11 hour claim is for the top end model with 512GB SSD, Core i7, and discrete graphics. Despite being equipped with discrete graphics, the XPS 14 uses Nvidia Optimus to toggle between integrated and discrete, so you can bet your bottom dollar that the 11 hour claim is toggled to use integrated graphics rather than discrete.

  • Adam

    Any idea on the battery capacity on the low-end model?

    This is definitely an interesting model for the battery life geeks.

    Adam

    • Ben Lang

      All models of the XPS 14 have a 69Wh battery.

  • Battery capacity is 69 Wh for all XPS 14-models. There’s a preview of it here (swedish so use appropriate translator): http://www.nordichardware.se/barbara-datorer/46096-dell-xps-14-sverigeexklusiv-foerhandstitt.html

  • mr.chainsaw

    Too bad the screen is so glossy…. how can one use Gorilla Glas for notebooks?!
    The 14″ would be an interesting Device with a matte screen.

  • DavidC1

    DDR3-1333 vs DDR3-1600 isn’t a issue. The iGPU is too power/thermal limited to be getting big benefits from bandwidth, and CPU wasn’t sensitive to it anyway.

    The bigger problem is that quite a few of the 4GB RAM Ultrabooks come with single DIMM, meaning single channel memory. Now that there will show differences. Also I don’t like asynchronous dual channel operations. People should go for 2 2GB sticks or 2 4GB sticks. All other configs are either asynchronous(bad) or single channel(worse).

  • mauro

    a couple of point, one general, onespecific to this Dell.
    The AC/DC converter weight is never mentioned.
    Is it included in the total weight or not ?
    Specific to this Dell: Dell Italy is crap. XPS 14 with IVy bridge is in the news, but isn’t possible to order it because… they have too may of the old generation..

  • ben martin

    I checked out this review http://search4laptop.com/ before getting my Dell XPS 14z and it was quite helpful, not cheap but would highly recommend getting one, I love the aluminium chassis, very cool and good quality.

  • Jorgen

    It’s a huge shame that this model is only available with a 512GB SSD if you do not want to accept the hybrid model. This pushes the AU price to the $2500 territory.

    I think I’ll wait for the XPS13 refresh.

  • Dan

    How come this laptop has not been added to the comparison section? It is the best ultrabook with a discrete GPU I have seen so far! I will definitely be getting one soon :D

  • Dan

    Dan :
    How come this laptop has not been added to the comparison section? It is the best ultrabook with a discrete GPU I have seen so far! I will definitely be getting one soon

  • Dan

    bump

  • Mark

    Jorgen :
    It’s a huge shame that this model is only available with a 512GB SSD if you do not want to accept the hybrid model. This pushes the AU price to the $2500 territory.
    I think I’ll wait for the XPS13 refresh.

    I have an XPS14 on eBay which I upgraded to SSD, for those who don’t want to spend $1999.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200798704430#ht_2254wt_1397

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