At 1.29 KG this 13-inch touchscreen laptop creeps inside our radar for ultra mobile PCs, and it does it in style. I’m not talking about the amazing edge-to-edge display or the great casing materials, I’m talking about the stamina of the Dell XPS 13. I’ve just produced a video of the latest version with Core i7 Skylake inside and the QHD touchscreen. It’s not cheap at over 1500 euros but there’s a Full HD non-touch matte-screen version available that weighs 90 grams less and will save you a few hundred euros. The new XPS 13’s have USB-C with Thunderbolt and a re-worked trackpad but there’s not much else that’s different on the outside.
The Dell XPS 13 always was a well-rounded Ultrabook but the 2015 versions with Broadwell are looking like no-brainers for people needing a highly mobile laptop. The entry-level price of $799 for a non-touch 1920×1080, a weight of 1.17 Kg (2.6 pounds) and a 54Wh put this at the top of a lot of lists. It looks fantastic too! Ultabookreview have just completed a full review of the new Dell XPS 13 and after reading the review you’ll probably have it on your wish list.
Back-lit keyboard? Check! AC Wifi? Check! Touchscreen option? Check!
Ultrabookreview have the Dell XPS 13 9343 Signature Edition (Microsoft no-crapware version) with full-HD matte display and a Core i5 CPU with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD which performed very well under the tests.
Battery life is superb thanks to the 52Wh battery and, unlike Core-M based laptops it looks like entry-level desktop gaming is possible. Check out the review for performance figures for Dirt 3, Grid 2, Tomb Raider, NFS Most Wanted and Bioshock Infinite.
There’s good news on fan noise as it remains silent until put under load and there’s more good news from the keyboard and touchpad testing. It looks like Dell have everything right. Almost…
Screen brightness was raised as an issue and I’ve spoken to Andrei, the reviewer, about this. It’s possible that he’s got a faulty unit as other reviewers are reporting good screen brightness. We’ll have to keep an eye on this as other reviews come in.
There’s some heat under load and a slow-charging issue to take note of too.
At under 1.2KG with 5-10 hours of true battery and this much processing power, for $899, it’s difficult to see anything coming close to the new Dell XPS 13 during the Broadwell lifespan, which could take us through most of 2015. If you’re getting close to choosing a new mobile laptop, read the review and bookmark our information page.
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I’m looking closely at the specs, watching the hands-on videos from CES 2015 and thinking, yes, perhaps this is ‘the one.’ The XPS 13 not only looks fabulous but it’s got specs, a great battery life and starts at just $799 with a Full HD ‘infinity’ display.
The Dell XPS 13 is finally in our hands, just in time for the live webcast this evening. Late yesterday evening I managed to get an overview video made and it’s embedded below. It’s a fantastic looking device which a punchy screen and a great keyboard but there’s also an issue of ports. For photographers and videographers, one of the target ‘creative’ markets for the Ultrabook, you’ll miss any form of SD card slot. For those using VGA and HDMI screens, you’ll be annoyed at having to buy one or two adaptors and even more annoyed when you forget to bring them to that presentation! The XPS 13 is certainly not the cheapest Ultrabook, it’s not the lightest either. Will the style be enough for you?
Reminder: Live Webcast starts at 2100hrs (Berlin time)
Dell have just kicked off a project with Ubuntu Canonical. Project Sputnik is a 6-month effort to try to pull together a solid Ubuntu build on a solid laptop, for developers. The Dell XPS13 has been chosen as the first target platform.
We’re constantly getting questions from developers about which Ultrabook to buy but the problems is the word ‘developers.’ I’m a developer myself but the only tool I use is VI as I hack my PHP and HTML for the Ultrabooknews product database. Other, more serious, developers need source code control, collaboration tools, compilers and integrated development environments. Project Sputnik is aiming to deliver a standard Ubuntu build (currently based on 12.04) and additional, downloadable profiles. So if you’re developing for the web, you might add in a web-focused profile. If you’re developing for Android, there could be a better profile for you.