SLIM FIT

A FULL-FLEDGED MA­CHINE THAT IS LESS THAN AN INCH THICK AND PRO­VIDES ENOUGH SAT­IS­FAC­TION TO THE USER.

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - GG CHOICE - TEXT BY NANDAGOPAL RAJAN & PHO­TO­GRAPH BY RA­JWANT RAWAT

It might not look all that slim, but the Dell XPS 14Z is not even an inch thick and looks stylish, cer­tainly from some an­gles. The an­odised alu­minium body looks very trendy, but the shiny metal­lic hinge kills the punch with its very 1980s bling feel.

What re­ally sets this lap­top apart is the wafer thin top cover which en­cases the 14-inch HD dis­play with edge-to-edge glass. And it’s not just about the size of the screen, the 720p WLED Tru­elife screen re­ally comes up with one of the crispest images around with colours that do jus­tice to the real thing.

De­spite the unit be­ing very com­pact in its 33-cm body, the back­lit chi­clet key­board is stan­dard full size and spill-re­sis­tant. Users will, how­ever, have to make sure that they don’t spill any­thing on the ugly metal­lic speaker grills that flank it— in In­dian con­di­tions, the grill is wide enough to play mag­net to tonnes of dust too. That doesn’t mean that the sound is ugly. In fact, it is one of the best we have heard in lap­tops, thanks to the Waves Maxxau­dio which is now stan­dard in new Dell’s Stu­dio lap­tops.

The XPS 14Z comes with the choice of In­tel’s sec­ond gen­er­a­tion i5-2450m pro­ces­sor 2.5 GHZ or i72640M pro­ces­sors and Win­dows 7 Home Pre­mium or Win­dows 7 Pro­fes­sional. A 4GB 1333MHZ DDR3 SDRAM is stan­dard, while an 8GB op­tion is also avail­able. All this ex­plains the solid power you feel while us­ing the lap­top. The NVIDIA Geforce GT 520M 1GB graph­ics is ideal for play­ing games, though this lap­top is not made with hard­core gamers in mind.

The in­built Dell Stu­dio ap­pli­ca­tion presents it­self in the form of a dock, show­cas­ing your mu­sic, pho­tos, videos and games along with other ap­pli­ca­tions like the Zinio mag­a­zine reader. Users can add more apps and short­cuts eas­ily, keep­ing the desk­top clut­ter-free.

The multi-touch­pad, again with a metal­lic frame, comes with scrolling and ges­tures and me­chan­i­cal left/right buttons be­low. There is a Slot load 8x DVD +/- RW drive along with a 7-in-card reader. Most of the ports—in­clud­ing the HDMI 1.4, Mini Dis­play­port and USB 3.0— are all tucked away be­hind the chas­sis. But we are not sure it is such a good idea to have pen drives pro­trud­ing be­hind the lap­top.

The 8-cell Prismatic (58WHR, 2.0AHR) bat­tery seems good enough to en­sure around six hours of life on full us­age. The lap­top weighs around 1.98 kg, but the start­ing price of

66,900 might weigh more heav­ily ` on peo­ple look­ing to buy this one.

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