Dell XPS 14 Ultrabook Review – 2012 Version

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Dell XPS 14 Ultrabook

Dell XPS14 Ultrabook Performance Review

Dell is a bit of a powerhouse in the computer world, today we were able to get our hands on one of their ultrabooks. The Dell XPS14 just one of many of Dell’s entries into the world of Ultrabooks. The XPS14 is certainly one of the top contenders from the Dell pool of Ultrabooks. Though within the XPS family there are three XPS14 models. Each carries different specifications as well as different price tags. The first version of the XPS14 retails for $1099. This version features Intel Core i5 3317U processor, Intel HD 4000 Graphics, and a 500GB hard drive with a 32GB SSD in Intel SRT. The top version of the XPS14 series retails for $1999. The top version steps away from the traditional hard drive and uses a 512GB SSD. The processor has also been upgraded from the i5 3317U to the Intel Core i7 3517U. It also ups the graphics capabilities with a NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M with NVIDIA Optimus Technology.

The XPS14 that we have in our labs today, combines the two models mentioned above. Though it’s much closer to the top, with the only difference being the storage. Unlike the $2k model, we are using the 500GB hard drive with the 32GB SSD configured in Intel Smart Response Technology. There is one other major difference between our review sample, and the top XPS14, price! Using the 500GB hard drive and 32GB SSD cuts a significant amount of money off the price, $500! Our Dell XPS14 carries a suggested retail price of $1499. This certainly isn’t an entry level Ultrabook, but more a case of you get what you pay for.

The design of the Dell XPS14 is slick to say the least. We will look at the details more later on, but first impressions I’m a fan. The brushed aluminum surfaces have a very sleek look to them, aside from the Dell logo on the back of the 14″ display there isn’t any clutter or overbearing features. It’s a very simple design yet aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. Once we open the XPS14 the contrast between the colors is superb. The black against the brushed aluminum looks great.

Dell XPS14 Ultrabook Specifications


3rd Generation Intel Core i5-3317U processor (3M Cache, up to 2.6 GHz)
3rd Generation Intel Core i7-3517U processor (4M Cache, up to 3.0 GHz)

Operating System Windows 8, 64-bit, English
Memory 4GB DDR3 1600MHz Memory
8GB DDR3 1600MHz Memory
Chipset Intel HM77
Video Card Intel HD Graphics 4000
NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M with 1GB GDDR5 VRAM
Display 4.0″ HD+ (900p) Truelife Infinity Display with Skype-Certified Hi-Def Webcam
Audio and Speakers High Definition Audio + Waves MaxxAudio 4 2W x2 = 4W total
Productivity & Entertainment Software Adobe Reader X, WebCam Central, Skype with H.264 enablement, Internet Explorer,
Windows Live Essentials Wave 4, McAfee Security Center trial, Dell DataSafe
Hard Drive Up to 512GB9 Solid State hard drive
Up to 500GB9 SATA hard drive (5400RPM)
Power 69WHr battery; 8-Cell Li-Polymer (built-in)
AC Adapter 65W AC adaptor on Intel graphics; 90W AC adaptor on NVIDIA graphics
Camera 1.3MP webcam with dual array digital microphones
Keyboard / Touchpad Standard full size, backlit chiclet keyboard; spill-resistant Glass integrated button touchpad with gesture support
Wireless Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 802.11 a/g/n + Bluetooth 4.0
Intel Wireless Display ready
Intel Smart Connect Technology (with 512GB SSD only)
Ports, Slots & Chassis USB 3.0 (2) 1 w/PowerShare
mini DisplayPort (1)
HDMI (1)
RJ-45 (1)
3-in-1 card reader
headset jack (1)
mini Kensington lock
Dimensions(HxWxD) Height: 0.81″ (20.7mm) / Width: 13.2″ (335.8mm) / Depth 9.2″ (233mm)
Starting at Weight Starting at 4.6lbs (2.1kg)
Construction Machined aluminum in silver
Aluminum display back
Silicone base with machined aluminum casing
Magnesium palmrest with soft touch paint

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