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Dell XPS 13

The Dell XPS is back. The undeniably famous brand name that even Dr. Sheldon Cooper himself owned before he got his AlienWare machine! (Yes, I just made a Big Bang Theory reference).

Dell was a little late to enter the Ultrabook trend with this new device. Today we’re looking at the XPS 13 after many other Ultrabooks from different brands have hit the market.

Body & Specs

Holding the XPS, you’ll notice that it feels like a very sturdy device, it’s actually very well built with everything packed neatly into one solid pack. The top cover is manufactured out of a sleek plate of machined aluminum, while the base is made out of carbon fiber.

The wedge shaped  casing has black carbon fiber and aluminum silver lining on the side, and is tapered neatly varying in thickness between 18 mm at its thickest, to as thin as 6 mm on the palm rest side.

Inside this sturdy shell, you’ll see one of the most beautifully designed keyboards. Big keys with smooth round edges that have a very futuristic looking all-caps font. The palm rests are made out of dark magnesium covered in soft touch paint, while the touchpad blends beautifully with all of this–bringing some useful multitouch features to the device.

The 13.3 inch screen is covered in gorilla glass, packs 1366 x 768 pixels and has very rich colours, much better than what we’ve seen on other similar Ultrabooks.

As is the case with many other Ultrabooks, the XPS ships with an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, 4 GB of RAM, 256 GB Solid State Hard Drive and an Intel HD Graphics 3000 graphics chip.

This device comes with two USB posts, one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0, a headset jack and a mini DisplayPort. It has a 1.3 MP webcam and two microphones build into it, and includes your standard connectivity options like WiFi, Bluetooth and you can even connect it to an additional screen using the built in Intel wireless display adaptor (WiDi).

Software and performance

The XPS 13 runs Windows 7 home premium smoothly and comes packed with lots of software from the manufacturer for various supportive features.

We have to say the computer will run most of your software very smoothly, it’ll even run some 3D games using the Intel HD graphics chipset. Again, and much like most Ultrabooks, don’t expect it to run on the highest setting. The Samsung-made SSD hard drive runs great with a very high transfer rate and has scored a very high score on the PCMark Vantage benchmark.

The cooling fan can be a little annoying. It’s not the loudest of fans per se but it just runs constantly and nonstop, so you’ll keep hearing this hissing noise in the background. However, Dell says they’re working on a BIOS update that would improve the fan performance.

The Verdict

Aye. It’s good to see Dell come back with a very impressive device to re-launch the XPS brand; it’s a good computer for both the average and professional user.

This review was done by Fahed Sabbagh – proud geek and passionate blogger. You can catch him wax poetic on all things geeky at www.nerdyface.com.

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