Dell extends XPS laptop line
14in Ultrabook and more
Dell has extended is XPS line of laptops, with 14in and 15in models joining the 13in Ultrabook it launched earlier this year.
The bigger of the new machines can't claim the right to attach Intel's skinny laptop trademark to their names, but the XPS 14 does.
XPS 14 Ultrabook
It comes with a choice of Core i5 and i7 Ivy Bridge CPUs which provide the integrated graphics, though Nvidia's discrete GeForce GT 630M 1GB GDDR 5 chip is available in some models. The GPU drives a "900p" display - 1440 x 900, presumably.
There's a standard 4GB or 8GB of 1333MHz DDR 3 available, and up to 512GB of SSD storage or 500GB of HDD capacity. No optical though. You get 2.4/5GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi as standard. The XPS has USB 3.0, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort and Ethernet portage.
The XPS 15 sports a 15.6in, 1920 x 1080 display, 6-16GB of 1333MHz memory, 500GB to 1TB of HDD storage and, again, Ivy Bridge processors. All models in the line come with an Nvidia GeForce GPU: either a GT 630M with 1GB of video Ram or a GT 640M with 2GB.
There's the same ports as the 14 albeit with an extra USB 3.0 jack. Wi-Fi is the same too. There's room in the XPS 15 chassis for an optical drive: a DVD rewriter or a Blu-ray burner, the choice is yours.
Prices for the XPS 14 start at £1079/$1100. The XPS 15 hasn't yet made it to the UK, but it'll be priced from $1300 in the US. ®
Re: Seriously, help me out here
It is not the thin-ness per se that we're paying for, but the low weight, ease of portability, and good battery life. I have the Asus Zenbook (13 inch), paid $1200 for it (i7 256gb ssd model), and I love it.
I can carry it around in a bag, and it's so light that it doesn't feel like a burden to lug around - helped by the fact that the battery life is long enough that I don't need to bring the charger. I can take it down to the park across from McDonalds (for the free wifi) half a mile away and work outside on a warm spring day, then do some errands on the way back, without feeling like the computer is weighing me down.
It's easy to move around my place as well, and light enough that it's easy and comfortable to say, rest it on a pillow and use it in bed if I'm feeling particularly lazy (and the thermals are good enough that it doesn't overhead when sitting on soft surfaces). Oh, and it has an SSD, so you have less to fear from an accidental drop or bump.
So get a netbook you say?
I have one. I've used it maybe a dozen times. It has a tiny low res screen, a keyboard made for a hobbit, a miserably slow processor and minimal RAM. In short, the specs are insufficient for doing any meaningful task. The Zenbook has a full keyboard, a beautiful Asus display that can be used outside on a sunny day, and the performance is sufficient for any task I've thrown at it. If i'm away from home, my Zenbook completely satisfies my computing needs.
But yeah - with an Ultrabook, you're paying the premium for extreme portability while still being capable. The build quality on the Ultrabooks is also (generally) better than cheap notebook computers, which is worth some portion of the price premium too.
And on the topic in general, these are some sexy machines. I'm really glad to finally see a laptop release touting decent screen resolutions, too. It's a pity they're from Dell, which doesn't bode well for their reliability (Dell's consumer division doesn't get good reviews on laptop reliability, per consumer reports 2011)
Re: Seriously, help me out here
Because Intel decided for you that that was to be this years obligatory purchase.
Yeah especially as you can pick up a thicker but just as good older xps 15 for £500 that has a GT525m in there. A cracking budget gaming laptop that uses optimus to run slower for work. I swear by mine (apart from needing a dongle to convert to vga for presentations but needs must and apple people need to do the same I suppose).
Twice the price for a bit of thinness? No ta.
For the 14" model £1079 does not = $1100. It's still too expensive, and isn't competitive with Apple - these need to be £800 tops for the base version and no more than £900 with 256Gb SSD.
Looks like the ultrabook market isn't growing again this year unless someone can break the pricing trend.
Re: XPS 17?
Hopefully soon, and hopefully they offer less options then currently, or they quit changing the available features on what is called the XPS17.
I've ordered around 10 XPS 17s for customers of mine in the past 2 months with 4 orders cancelled because they could not be sold in the configuration approved by the website (of which I had to place another order), some of the cancellations have come almost a week after the initial order. Even day to day the pricing and available options seem to change. $100 off on the touchscreen option, to the next day no touchscreen option to the next day the choice of a 1080 over 900 screen size. The amount of volatility in the ordering process is insane.