2014 Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook With Touch Review

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Dell’s XPS series has been known for using premium materials such as machined aluminum, carbon fiber, and hardened Corning Gorilla Glass NBT on its display. This combination gives the XPS series a high-end look and feel. Dell continued this look and feel on the XPS 13, complete with a machined aluminum finish with Dell’s logo on the center of the bezel and the top of the lid. All four corners of the notebook are rounded, making it easy to slip the XPS 13 in and out of your bag. The lid is nice and sturdy and the notebook had solid positioning staying open at any angle.

As you can see from the pictures, the XPS 13 uses a tapered design. At its thickest point, the XPS 13 measures 0.7 inches. Near the front, it’s a mere 0.2 inches thick. Our high-end model with touch weighs in at 3.03 pounds.

Our test unit featured the 13.3-inch FHD (1920x1080) touch-enabled display. This display features a brightness of 350-nits and excellent viewing angles at up to 178 degrees. Like the previous generation XPS 13, the 2014 version supports a 72 percent color gamut. Color fidelity is decent in this panel, though there are wider range displays on the market, which of course would command a premium. During our time with the XPS 13, the display was very crisp, sharp, and vibrant. Above the display, you’ll find a widescreen HD webcam as well as dual array digital mics.

The Power button for the system is located to the left of the Esc key. The keyboard is backlit and features slightly curved keys that are comfortable to type on. Centered below the keyboard is the roomy glass touchpad with integrated buttons and gesture support. A magnesium alloy palm rest with soft touch paint surrounds the touchpad and keyboard. This finish is cool and smooth and perhaps best of all, it doesn’t attract fingerprints. 

On the left edge of the XPS 13, you’ll find the power jack, a USB 3.0 port with PowerShare, and a headset jack. The right edge of the ultrabook contains a battery gauge indicator (press the tiny circular button to see the battery indicator lights), USB 3.0 port with PowerShare, and a mini DisplayPort. The PowerShare ports are a nice addition, giving you the ability to charge USB devices even if the ultrabook is turned off or in standby mode.

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Dave_HH 9 months ago

This machine is right up there in my top three favorite ultrabooks of 2014 thus far. Nice work Dell!

illus1ons 8 months ago

What will you choose between this and MacBook Pro 13"?

Dave_HH 8 months ago

It depends really on what platform suits you best, Mac or PC.  There are specific reasons why you might choose one platform over the other.


That said, the XPS13 is very competitive versus the MBP 13.

JefferyPruett 9 months ago

Light Book Comes Great Power lol

BigKihd 9 months ago

Great review, but its a Dell, can't say I'd buy it

Dave_HH 9 months ago

I don't know what the issue is that some folks have with Dell sometimes. It's so unfounded. Some historical issue I'm not aware of I guess...

idiot5 9 months ago

I like the specs on this, but I can't say I'm thrilled about the touch screen functionality and windows 8. I know Microsoft wants everyone to have windows 8, but it's too bloated and unnecessary on laptops and desktops. As much as I hate to say it, they should have taken a page from Apple's book and made a different OS for tablets and laptops/desktops. While it looks like a great machine, the manufacturer could have saved us a few bucks by losing the touch screen.

MeenaRagheb 9 months ago

I think they actually took a page from Apple's book. Apple implemented the launchpad to try to help people who were used to iOS to use a laptop/desktop. Windows took it to another level though and just made everything the same from tablets to desktops. As great as Windows 8 is for tablets, it is not very desktop friendly unless you have a touch screen. I hope they fix things with Windows 9 as I'm staying with Windows 7 till they get the next OS right

vssf204 9 months ago

Would be nice to see a Wireless performance and strength test. The Dell XPS line has had many issues with this.

A Linux install review would be a nice touch as well. Happy to do it, please send hardware.

Great review.

AlbertoGarcaAlcolea 9 months ago

I recommend you to buy the 5 year warranty for dell computers, they are very efficient.

coolqban123 8 months ago

My last dell was an Optiplex 755 years ago. This looks like a huge upgrade to that haha.

lviggiani 7 months ago

Hi, I've looked at dell web site but I couldn't find any configuration/custumization option including the "4th Generation Intel Core i7-4650U processor (4M Cache, up to 3.3 GHz)" with "Intel HD 5000".

The top one is the i7-4500U with Intel HD 4400. Are you sure the Intel Core i7-4650U with HD 5000 version is actually available?

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