Dell XPS 13 Windows 8 Ultrabook

Acer, Asus, HP, and even Apple—they all came with their very own versions or even redefinitions of what an ultrabook truly and essentially is. While almost all of them had their fill this year, Dell’s entry to the class was a bit late. Being tardy is just one side however, but the entrance can be considered grand also in such a way that Dell presented its own version to the point consumers will truly understand what an ultrabook ‘should’ be in the very first place. Thanks to Dell, then, for showing up with its new XPS 13.

The Dell XPS 13 is as in its name a 13.3-incher ultrabook cased in a somewhat 11-incher body. That said, what users are promised upfront when the device is unboxed is but the totally sleek and more compact body build. Incredibly, the XPS 13 of Dell also is one of the thinnest and the lightest in its category with its thinnest point measured 6mm, and with a body weight of not more than 3lbs. All these are made possible with the inclusion of a machined aluminum lid for that sophisticated premium feel without the weight, a magnesium-coated palm rest for comfort and durability, plus the rare carbon-fiber base that is not only meant to be stronger than the usual steel, but is a lot lighter, and what’s better is that it also keeps the body temperature to a degree everyone would surely love.

Opening the very slim lid, we are greeted with Dell XPS 13’s great display panel that is almost out of bezel. Featured in this display is edge-to-edge Corning Gorilla glass for that premium but industrially standardized feel without losing any particulars on aesthetics. The glass looks very glossy, and one big problem I had so far was the reflections, which were more distracting than expected. Nevertheless, for the almost-borderless technology, the display appeared richer in content, not to mention yet the 1366×768 native resolution. Lastly, the display may not have IPS or any ambient light sensing, but the almost 400-nits brightness and the relatively versatile viewing angles make the display something one would still enjoy.

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Adjacent to the display of the Dell XPS 13 we have the very gorgeous keyboard, which for me is but one of the best keyboards I’ve ever tested. The keyboard has a seemingly shallow travel, but this is not bothersome as typing is truly comfortable without the usual tactile noise. Keys are also well spaced with the softer curved edges, making them feel sturdy enough and ergonomic. This is even harnessed by adding backlight that users can optionally adjust the brightness.

Below the keyboard we have the touchpad that is more like a clickpad actually—a going-common feature taking place in the latest ultrabooks. Made out of glass, the touchpad feels comfortable and smooth enough with great responsiveness to gestures. But on the other side, there seemed like some sort of hiccup for the driver as if it is still unfinished yet, making the touchpad a bit of unresponsive—or even jerky—when rolling over web pages in a browser. We’d love to know any news if the pad driver gets a reliable update, but as of now, we can only prefer an external pointing device to play along.

Ultimately, being an ultrabook the Dell XPS 13 must also pass through the needle hole with the right specs and performing juice. Backed with a company-claimed 8-hour battery which in my test ran only at around 4-6hours, the XPS 13 of Dell has a 2nd-generation Intel Core i5 processor with Ivy Bridge (upgradeable to i7 for a few more dollars), 4GB of RAM, 128GB of SSD (upgradeable also to 256GB SSD), Wi-Fi, WiDi, BT, DisplayPort, but only two USB ports (one of which is a 3.0 version). Sadly, though the lack for an optical drive is forgiven, the lack for an Ethernet port and an HDMI is something worth noting about, not to mention yet the lack also of a card reader.

For my verdict, the Dell XPS 13 is surprisingly a very good ultrabook entry from the company from the design down to the battery life. Its being short with essential ports may affect a fraction of potential users, but the performance—especially with the SSD—makes boot-ups and even games fantastic enough for everyone to enjoy.

Dell XPS 13 Windows 8 Ultrabook Price in the Philippines: Approximately Php 50,000.00

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