Dell XPS 13: Up Close and Personal
Would you believe the new Dell XPS 13 is smaller than a MacBook Air? 23% smaller to be exact. I didn’t believe it until I got my hands on one and tried replacing my MacBook for a week to see if I could survive. Spoiler: I survived, and may have fell in love.
To give you a closer look at all the bells and whistles the Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook has to offer, I decided to take a few photos. Unfortunately my camera didn’t want to help me with this post, so I asked my friends at The Awesomer if I could snag a few of their pictures. Thanks, boys!
As much as I hate to admit this, I weigh my opinion heavily on a laptops aesthetic, almost as much as I do with what’s under the hood. The Dell XPS 13 is a thing of beauty. It’s made from premium materials, with machined aluminum giving you the strength and resilience you want in a laptop. The top cover and base are cut from a single block of aluminum.
On the left you will find inputs for the 45w AC Adapter, mini DisplayPort, USB 3.0 w/ Powershare (2), headphone jack, battery gauge button and indicator, and a speaker.
On the right you will find a speaker, 3-in-1 Card Reader, USB 3.0 w/ Powershare (2), and Noble lock.
The XPS 13 display, shown in better detail at the top of this post, might be my favorite feature on the computer. Its almost borderless “infinity” display is 13″ and comes in either 1080p or 3200×1800 “QHD+” touchscreen panel like the one shown here. If you’re worried about how this tiny computer will handle editing, I assure you it performed very well when using Photoshop and Lightroom.
There is very little room for complaints with the infinity screen, and the XPS 13 for that matter, but if I were to nitpick just one thing it would be the placement of the webcam. Because of its edge-to-edge Corning Gorilla Glass display, the engineers had to place the camera in the lower left corner. The result of this ends up being an odd angle that gives even the most chiseled jawline a double-chin. Personally, I could live without a webcam. But for those that like having it as a feature, the webcam on the Dell XPS 13 is widescreen HD (720p) with dual array digital microphones.
Continuing with the premium materials, the Dell XPS 13’s palm rest is made from carbon fiber, making it thin and strong like aluminum but cool and comfortable to touch.
A keyboard can make or break a laptop. This system has a full sized backlit “chiclet” keyboard with a large multitouch trackpad measuring 4-1/8″ x 2-5/8″. The touchpad supports two-finger scrolling, pinch and zoom.
The XPS 13 has several Intel Core processors, starting at a core i3-5010U (3M cache/2.1GHz) topping off at a Core i7-5600U (4M cache/3.2 GHz). The review unit I received was the Core i5-5200U (3M cache/2.7GHz) with the “QHD+” touchscreen panel. Though the i7 would have been nice, the Intel Core i5 bullied its way through my daily apps I use for work with ease — Photoshop, Microsoft Office, WordPress, etc. Depending on which model you go with you get 4GB or 8GB of RAM. Personally I think 4GB is great for someone who is a casual user and just emails, browses the web, and does some light Office work. For me, and my constant photo editing and tweaking, 8GB is necessary. As for the hard drive, it’s user-upgradeable unlike the RAM. Choose from a 128GB, 256GB or 512GB SSD hard drive.
Thanks again to The Awesomer for letting me use their pictures. You can read their review of the Dell XPS 13 over on Technabob.
Disclaimer: Dell sent me the new Dell XPS 13 for review. All opinions are my own.