Dell XPS 14 Ul­tra­book

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - COVER STORY -

Pro­cess­ing Power

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.

Web Ac­cess

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.

Cam­era

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.

Gam­ing

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.

Bat­tery

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.

Au­dio Video

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.

Pro­duc­tiv­ity

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.

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