Printed from http://www.electronista.com

Hands-on: Dell XPS 13 looks familiar

updated 06:00 pm EST, Fri January 13, 2012

Dell XPS 13 tested on the show floor

We've at last had a first-hand look at the upcoming Dell XPS 13 on the CES show floor. The ultrabook on an initial glance bears more than a passing resemblance to the MacBook Air, down to the side port layouts and the single-piece, multi-touch trackpad; there's no question of who inspired the design. It remains something of its own beast, however, and the combination of aluminum (mostly on the lid) as well as a tightly constructed body give it a much more premium feel than we're used to from Dell.

The primary catch is weight: it's considerably heavier than a MacBook Air, and while still very portable, it's clear Dell made some tradeoffs.

Inside, the performance is much like that of most ultrabooks. The system at the show carried a 1.6GHz Core i5 and a 128GB solid-state drive, and the combination of the two led to apps opening quickly and the overall notebook being very responsive. We're not the largest fans of the display, though: while dim, colored lighting didn't make for the best testing area, it seemed slightly more washed out than on the MacBook Air.

The keyboard may be a highlight: it's accurate and responds quickly without large amounts of noise. Dell's choice of trackpad is somewhat mixed, however; it's good for general mousing, but it feels a bit stiff to click down and is somewhat fussy about right clicks, which require a sometimes overly deliberate press on a specific part of the trackpad. Apple still has the edge here.

For $999, the XPS 13 promises to be a reasonably good value with a bigger screen, more base RAM (4GB) and twice as much SSD space at 128GB than Apple offers at the same cost. We're not sure the $200 savings over a same-size Air is necessarily worth it, but among Windows-based ultrabooks, it's on the short list for ones we'd consider.













By Electronista Staff
Post tools:

TAGS :

toggle

Comments

  1. DaJoNel

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2010

    +4

    PCs

    "It's clear Dell made some tradeoffs." Show me a PC maker that doesn't make significant trade-offs to "compete" with Apple, and I'll show you a f**king miracle.

  1. rumplestiltskin

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2010

    0

    So 20th Century

    What's with the chrome trim around the base? Looks like something from a 1970 Ford Torino.

    Steve was right; These people have no taste.

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.

toggle

Network Headlines

toggle

Most Popular

Sponsor

Recent Reviews

Patriot Supersonic Rage XT 128GB USB drive

USB thumb drives are getting larger by the day, their growth speeding along with the availability and expansion of memory chips. But h ...

Crucial MX100 256GB SATA-3 SSD

While the price-per-gigabyte ratio for magnetic platter-based hard drives can't be beat, the speed that a SSD brings to the table for ...

Narrative Clip

With the advent of social media technology, people have been searching for new ways to share the events of their daily lives -- be it ...

Sponsor

toggle

Most Commented

 
toggle

Popular News