I finally got a good look at Dell Philippines‘ ace in the ultrabook game, the Dell XPS 13, at its local debut.
The first thing that strikes me about the XPS 13 is its handsome exterior. The frame is made of machined aluminum, precision-cut from a single chunk of metal. To keep it running cool, it has a carbon fiber base with a thin, rubberized coating. A pair of rubber feet at the bottom provides additional ventilation, allowing warm air to pass through the exhaust grill. Combined, these features add up for a lighter, cooler, and more rigid ultrabook that feels as good as it looks.
The Dell XPS 13 has a seriously slim bezel that holds a 13-inch, 720p screen (1366 x 768-pixel native resolution), protected by scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass from edge-to-edge. It also weighs in a little less than 3lbs and measures just 6mm at its thinnest point and 18mm at its thickest. Dell is able to squeeze in a 13-inch device into an 11-incher’s body.
Flip the ultrabook’s lid, and you get an island-style, full-size, backlit keyboard to help you during low-light situations. Its keyboard tray and palm rest receive the same color treatment as the black keyboard but have a rubberized feel similar to the coating used for its carbon fiber base. I feel comfortable typing on the XPS 13, even if its keys are relatively smaller than average.
The trackpad is another story. Sure, it’s large and expansive, and multi-touch gestures seem to work well with it, but the trackpad’s soft touch finish can get a bit sticky and problematic, causing me to miss some clicks no matter how precise I try to be. In Dell’s defense, a software update or cranking up the trackpad’s sensitivity may solve this issue, but I didn’t have the opportunity to try out both.
Another issue is the Dell XPS 13’s port limitations. It’s fitted with two USB ports (one is USB 3.0), a DisplayPort, and a headset jack. That’s all. If you’re looking for an ultrabook with an SD card slot, Ethernet, HDMI, and VGA connections, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
Depending on which configuration you choose (out of three that are available), the ultrabook offers a choice of Intel’s second-generation Sandy Bridge processors (Core i5-2467M or Core i7-2637M) and hard-drive capacities (128GB or 256GB solid-state drives). All three are equipped with the standard-issue Windows 7 Home Premium operating system, Intel HD 3000 graphics card, 4GB DDR3 RAM, and non-removable 6-cell battery.
And be prepared to shell out between P59,590-P79,990.
For more information about the specs, refer to the table below.
People think releasing an ultrabook months after other brands have been replenishing their stocks in retail stands may cost Dell in the long run, but Dell Philippines’ Alvin Go, brand manager for client product solutions, begs to differ. “With every product that we come out with, we always want to make sure that we offer the best. We study the market first to see what we can offer. We don’t want to be just the first because being the first is not necessarily being the best. We’re not too far behind because we’re offering something unique and different to the market.”
- Available in PH this April: ASUS Zenbook UX31 in hot pink
- So you want a more affordable ultrabook?
- Top CES 2012 gadgets we want to see in the Philippines now