Dell XPS 11 Haswell Ultrabook Flips Like the Yoga, Brings 11-inch Retina Display (video)

Posted on 03 June 2013 by

At Computex 2013, Dell is showing off their new XPS 11 Ultrabook — it’s an impressive combination of many of the latest technologies. First is Haswell / 4th-gen Core, Intel’s latest processor, then there’s a high density 11-inch screen. On top of that, we’re looking at a convertible Ultrabook that flips just like the Lenovo Yoga. Impressive as it may be, we see some early red flags.

First let’s get to know the Dell XPS 11. Inside there’s a Core i5 Haswell (4th gen) processor — probably the low-power ‘Y’ variant given the XPS 11’s small size. For ports we’re looking at 2x USB 3.0, full HDMI, full SD, and a 3.5mm headphone/mic combo jack. The weight is reportedly 1.13kg (2.5 pounds).  Then there’s an impressive 11.6-inch 2,560 x 1,440 IPS touchscreen which comes in at 255 PPI. Engadget’s hands-on says that they’ll be including an active digitizer as well:

This is an Ultrabook convertible — directly positioned against the Lenovo Yoga 11 — which uses a similar method of conversion; the screen flips all the way back on the base until it’s opposite the keyboard, leaving you with a tablet on one side. As we understand it, Lenovo patented the Yoga’s unique hinge system, so presumably Dell has come up with a slightly different way to flip the screen back.

Then there’s the keyboard, which could be the deal-breaker. In a decision that was likely made to reduce width (and eliminate the feeling of keys on the back of the device when in tablet mode), Dell has gone with a touch-keyboard that looks an awful lot like the Microsoft Surface Touch Cover. There’s zero travel on these keys. Having used the Surface Touch Cover before, I’m downright afraid of what it could mean for the XPS 11.

But, I certainly can’t jump to judgement before trying it. Engadget seems to indicate that there is some haptic feedback (perhaps vibration?) when pressing the keys. Maybe that will help?

The other deal-breaker could be the price. Given what’s in this thing — a brand new processor, an innovative hinge design, a touchscreen with active digitizer, and a high-density IPS display — I can’t imagine we’ll see this starting anywhere under $2000, but I’d be happy to be proven wrong. I’m looking forward to seeing devices like this come down to mainstream prices. Engadget says that the unit is expected during the holidays.

Developing: See our list of Haswell Ultrabooks here

  • JohnCz

    The Touch Cover keyboard with haptic feedback and backlight is a good approach. Lets keep in mind that this a 11″ convertible. Its not exactly sized for long duration typing anyway. Maybe 2 hour stints maximum and full time stints when docked to external monitor & keyboard. In the end, I think this leans more towards tablet usage over productivity. And that is what it should do in my opinion.

    As for pricing, I don’t believe the cost will be as astronomically as you fear. You can get a i5 version of the Sony Vaio Duo 11 today for under $1100. I’m guessing the Dell XPS 11 will go for about $1600. Whatever they do though, I do wish they would consider offering a 1080p version and shave off several hundred off the price.

  • DavidC1

    Not paying this much money for Dell again, or perhaps at all.

    Want to see what Lenovo has in store.

  • Charles

    Any new Linux (Ubuntu) news for Dell ultrabooks?

    • Ben Lang

      Nothing yet : (

  • Don

    How can you say the price is a deal-breaker and then go on to say you don’t know what the price will be?

    • Ben Lang

      Because we have good reason to believe that it will be expensive : ). Obviously if it is low-cost then it won’t be a deal breaker.

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