updated 04:35 pm EDT, Thu September 29, 2011
Dell promises XPS 14z in a few weeks
Dell once again staked out a position against Apple Thursday with word that it would launch the XPS 14z. A 14-inch version of the XPS 15z we reviewed earlier, it will stay under an inch thick with the screen size. Dell bills it as the "world's thinnest fully-featured laptop" at 0.9 inches, attempting to once again challenge the MacBook Pro for the title among systems with optical drives.
The system may be one of the lightest in its category. While it will be slightly lighter than a 13-inch MacBook Pro at 4.36 pounds with a conventional hard drive, going to a slimmer, lighter solid-state drive will drop that to 4.12 pounds. It should have an overall footprint closer to its Mac counterpart as well through the use of an LG Shuriken LCD that lets it use much narrower side bezels.
As with the 15z, some of the thinness will come from moving some of the expansion to the back rather than putting it all on one side. Performance will sit in the mid tier with either a 2.4GHz Core i5 or a 2.8GHz Core i7 as well as dedicated NVIDIA video with live Optimus graphics switching.
China should already have access to the XPS 14z now with North America and Europe due in the fall.
While it has yet to be measured against its Apple counterpart, the 14z has the potential to be a more honest claim than the 15z. Dell at first claimed that the 15-inch notebook was the thinnest in absolute terms. Later, it quietly limited that claim to Windows PCs after many pointed out that its own measurements and objective comparisons showed the MacBook Pro was still thinner.