Feeds
80%
Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook

Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook

Airs and graces

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Speedy

Laptops, especially smaller ones, generally rise or fall on the strength of their keyboard. Dell has given the XPS 13 a good one. The full-size keyboard uses the now ubiquitous chiclet type keys and, thanks to their slightly concave centres, they are very comfortable to type on. Another useful feature is that the keys are backlit which helps no end when typing in poor lighting conditions.

Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook

The keyboard is backlit

The XPS 13's storage comes in the form of a solid state disk. It’s an interesting choice of drive: its 256GB Samsung 830 is one of the very few quick drives around that doesn’t use either a SandForce or a Marvell controller.

Dell claims that the XPS 13 can resume from sleep mode in just one second, which may sound a little far-fetched but when tested my example came into life in just under two seconds from lifting the lid to a working desktop. Starting from a cold boot into a workable Windows desktop took just 23 seconds.

Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook

Fast starter

Battery life is decent, when tested with FutureMark’s PowerMark benchmark I got 3 hours 26 minutes out of it under the Balanced test; 2 hours 47 minutes from the Entertainment test; and a very impressive 5 hours 13 minutes from the Productivity test. You should get more in the real world.

Dell has chosen to give the XPS 13 a mini DisplayPort output instead of the much more useful HDMI. Just to rub it in, it’s an additional £20 for either a mini DP to DVD-D adaptor, or mini DP to HDMI. Nice. To go with this odd choice of port there are just two USB ports - one 2.0, one 3.0 - and a headphone output. That's your lot - there’s not even an SD card slot or an Ethernet port.

Dell XPS 13

Verdict

Dell might have been late to the Ultrabook party, but the XPS 13 certainly makes a head-turning entrance with its superb design. It’s not faultless by any means - connectivity is limited, and it would have been nice to see a higher resolution screen - especially with the price tag it carries, but it's an impressive, speedy first attempt at the genre. ®

More Notebook Reviews

Lenovo
IdeaPad
U300s
Toshiba
Portégé
Z830-10N
Asus
Zenbook
UX21E
Samsung
Series 7
Chronos 700Z5A
Acer
Aspire S3
Ultrabook

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

80%
Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook

Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook

Dell enters the Ultrabook party with an impressive 13.3-incher.
Price: £1299 RRP

More from The Register

next story
Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads
Only 7 of 50 parliamentarians plump for Samsung Galaxy S
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
Intel's LAME DUCK mobile chips gobbled by CASH COW
Chipzilla won't have money-losing mobe unit to kick about anymore
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?