Dell XPS 14 Ultrabook
The XPS 14 is powered by the Intel Core i5-3317U processor (3M cache, up to 2.6GHz), so it was no surprise that the full start up was just 38 seconds while from sleep it took three seconds to wake up. The high-resolution pictures that we tested all loaded without and lag and could be flipped and zoomed as we wished. We also compressed a 30second 1080p clip into a 3GP format file in under 10 seconds.
From pressing the start button, the time to go online can be under one minute if you don’t have to log in for an Internet connection. From sleep this can be under 10 seconds using a fast browser like Chrome. We tested download and upload on a Wi-Fi connection and the speeds were similar to the connected PC. With a Tata Photon dongle, the speeds differed at various time and locations.
Like other laptops, the camera isn’t one of the strong points of the XPS 14. However, the 1280x1024p option gives decent stills with not much noise. The pictures don’t have much quality when blown up beyond 100 per cent and the noise is hard to miss. The video recording is also good at this resolution, but by good we mean in the sense of a video chat.
The Ultrabook didn’t take an extra second to load games and the image rendering was good. The lack of a Full HD screen really shone with some of the high-end games we tried, but there was no heating up at any time. During the 3D Mark test we noticed some lines of the screen though.
Portability & Design
Ultrabooks are thinner and lighter than traditional laptops. But they have been adding a bit of weight recently. So the Dell XPS 14 is 2.1 kg, about 500 grams more that some of the lighter laptops. The XPS 14 is still a thin machine with dimensions of 0.81 inch height, a width of 13.2 inches and depth of 9.2 inches. The slightly larger built and weight of this machine is also because it has a 14 inch screen.
Despite the large screen and high processing power the XPS 14 delivered very close to the promised battery life of 10 hours. We got a good eight hours with regular use, including tests and browsing with idle time in between. So the 8-cell Li-Polymer, 69WHr battery is pretty much as good as it gets.
The XPS 14 has a 14” HD+ WLED display which gives a crystal clear image all the time, but it is not Full HD and has a resolution of 1600x1200p. The viewing angles are okay, though the Corning Glass reflects light in some angles. Like all new Ultrabooks, this one too has great sound thanks to Waves MaxxAudio 4.
Data Storage & Transfer
Unlike other Ultrabooks, the XPS 14 has a host of connectivity options including Wi-FI, Wi-Di, Bluetooth 4.0 wireless connectivity, two USB 3.0 ports HDMI and even an RJ-45 port. For storage there is a 3-in-1 card reader along with the 500GB 5400rpm hard drive. The Bluetooth 3.0 port ensures that data from external drives are transferred quickly.
With a full-size backlit chiclet keyboard, content creation is not at all an issue with the Ultrabook. The XPS 14 also has a Glass integrated button touchpad with multi-gesture support which gives more precision than regular touchpads. Running Windows 7 Home Premium, this device gives you access to the entire Microsoft ecosystem of software.
Value for Money
You can buy Ultrabooks for prices starting around 50,000. However, the XPS 14 is priced at
79,038 + taxes, which put it at the top end of midrange Ultrabooks.