2015 Newest Model Dell XPS13 Ultrabook Computer - the World's First 13.3" FHD WLED Backlit Infinity Display, 5th Gen Intel Core i5-5200U Processor 2.2GHz / 4GB DDR3 / 128GB SSD / Windows 8.1
Introducing the Dell XPS13 2015 Newest Model: an Ultimate Ultra-Portable Laptop:
Premium Construction, Excellent Portability, Fifth-Generation Intel Core i5 Power-the New Dell XPS13 is 30% More Efficient than Previous Models. It Also Features the World's First Infinity Display, a Virtually Borderless 13-inch Screen Placed into the Body of an 11-inch Laptop. With an Industry-Best 15 hours of Battery Life, the XPS13 Keeps You Powered up for Full Days of Work and Long Nights of Play
- The World's Frst Infinity Display of 13.3" Full HD (1920 x 1080) Backlit WLED Screen
- 5th Generation Broadwell Intel Core i5-5200U 2.20 GHz with Turbo Boost Technology up to 2.70 GHz
- 4GB DDR3 RAM / 128GB SSD / Intel HD Graphics 5500
- Exceptionally Long-Lasting Battery Life up to 15 hrs
- Windows 8.1 (64-bit), light weight only 2.6 lbs
I like the Surface Pro 3, but I need a laptop that has good performance + a good keyboard + long battery life. So far the XPS 13 appears to have answered all of my prayers. Here are some of my quick thoughts on the device thus far:
- Beautiful "bezel-less" screen. Wide viewing angles. Can be viewed in direct sunlight
- Thin screen bezel allows this 13" laptop to fit within an 11" laptop size chassis
- Build quality is solid. There's no flex in the keyboard or the bottom of the device
- Thin, light weight, and ultra-portable. Its soft touch carbon fiber material looks and feels premium
- Performance is good for a low power, Intel core processor
- You can opt to save money and battery life and get the 1920x1080 non-touch screen model, or you can upgrade to the 3200 x 1800 touch screen model
- HD Video looked good and worked as you expect it to
- While researching Ultrabooks, I found many to have trackpad issues. The XPS 13 doesn't have this problem. Its trackpad is accurate and nicely sized
- The trackpad allows you to perform some gestures (scrolling, pinch and zoom, etc.) that will help you miss the touch screen less, should you go with the non touch screen model
- It includes 802.11ac dual band Wi-Fi for maximum wireless performance. Bluetooth 4.0 is included as well
- It has a backlit keyboard
- Battery life is great. Plus you can add a small external battery to increase battery life even further
- Low starting price, although I would suggest that most upgrade to the i5, 8GB ram unit.
- It has a full size SD card slot, which should make photographers happy. Note that 1/3 of the SD card protrudes from the slot
- Includes a display port. Optional Dell adapter allows you to add HDMI, VGA, and Ethernet ports. Or you can get a cheap HDMI adapter
- Optional docking station supports up to three external monitors, including 1 4K monitor
- The PCIe M.2 SSD drive is upgradable. Unless you need 512GB, the Dell $100 upgrade to 256GB is a good value.
- You can plug the AC adapter into the optional external battery, then plug the external battery into the XPS to charge the XPS and external battery simultaneously.
- The fan kicks in when you are taxing the system. If you use the High Performance power setting, the fan seems to run constantly
- The screen on the touch-screen version is very glossy. I don't mind glossy but some people will.
- Key travel on the keyboard is a tad bit shallow. It's not bad but it's worth noting.
- Due to the thin bezel, the web cam is under the screen. As a result, your fingers may show up on the webcam while you type during webcam sessions
- The body can get warm, although I have yet to experience uncomfortable warmth
- Air vents are on the bottom so be careful about resting the XPS 13 on your bed or rug
- The speakers are on the sides instead of the front and sound tiny
- The low entry price increases quickly once you add a few upgrades
- No HDMI port, although you can add one via an optional Dell Adapter
- No Stylus pen support.
- No 4G option as of this writing
- Don't expect to play 3D games with this laptop as its integrated graphics can't handle it
- Just like with all Windows Computers, before you begin using your XPS 13, run Windows Update. Repeat running Windows Update until there are no more updates available.
- If you have the Ethernet equipped Dell adapter accessory, consider using the Ethernet port to speed up the update process.
- If you encounter a failed update, restart your computer and try again. Another thing to try is a clean restart before performing the update. (Google: windows 8 clean restart)
- I find that I get the least amount of fan noise when I use the default Dell Power Settings. In High Performance mode, the fan runs constantly.
- Unless you need 512GB of storage or more, get the Dell $100 256GB SSD upgrade. It's more economical than an after market upgrade to 256GB (unless you can sell the 128GB PCIe M.2 SSD drive you are replacing)
✔ ACCESSORIES I HAVE:
- The Dell Power Companion 12,000 mAh external battery works great. Plus you can charge it and your XPS 13 with the AC Adapter at the same time
- The Dell Adapter adds these ports to the XPS 13: HDMI, VGA, Ethernet, USB 2.0. I got it primarily to add VGA and Ethernet ports.
✔ TOUCH SCREEN vs NON TOUCH SCREEN:
Non Touch Screen...Read more
Things I Like:
The aluminum finish is extremely clean. It's a tad darker than Apple's aluminum finish and both the lid and bottom are solid with that cold metal feel upon touch. The palm rest area has an interesting carbon fiber pattern that adds a unique look and has a very nice soft touch finish. The Dell logos on the lid and beneath the screen is tidy and minimalist.
+Size & Weight:
I considered the MBP 13" Retina to be one of the smallest 13" notebooks but the XPS 13 is even smaller thanks to the extremely thin bezels. The XPS 13 may not be the thinnest but it has the smallest foot print of any 13" notebook - it's basically the size of the MacBook Air 11". I am very much enjoying the compact size and the associated lack of weight (2.6 lbs for my model).
Fit and finish are impeccable. Despite the small size, the XPS 13 feels extremely solid. The carbon fiber palm rests feel sturdy and rigid and there is no creaking when I put pressure on them. The hinge is nice and tight and there is no screen wobble when typing. There are no gaps between the carbon fiber deck and bottom panel nor are there any between the screen and bezel. The keyboard is rigid on the perimeter and has minimal flex in the center.
I chose the 1080p non touch option because for me, 1080p on a 13" screen is more than enough. Additionally, it's matte! I'd pick the matte 1080p panel over the 3200x1800 glossy panel on any day of the week. Having no glare and gaining ~4 hours of battery life is worth more to me than an (unnecessarily) high resolution.
At $899, I was expecting the 1080p screen to be a cheap TN panel, but it's not! The colors are pretty vibrant and the horizontal and vertical viewing angles are wide. Adjusting the screen angle produces minimal color shifts. With the default scaling to 150% DPI, text is sharp and easy to read. Overall, this is a much, much better panel than that of the MacBook Air's - I'm absolutely impressed at what you get for this price.
Also, I'll note that the screen tilts back at a farther angle than the previous model. Standing and using the XPS 13 is comfortable.
Most Windows PC touchpads are not so great but Dell has cooperated with Microsoft to make their "Precision" track pad for the XPS 13. Basically, the responsiveness is very close to the MacBook track pads and I haven't experienced any errant cursor jumps while typing. Coming from a Mac, I got situated pretty easily - the only thing I miss are the touch gestures of OS X.
Pressing on the track pad actuates a rather loud click and the left and right buttons are marked by a painted line. I use tap to click on all track pads so the noise isn't an issue for me. This is much better than the track pad on the Surface Pro 3's keyboard cover. The XPS 13's track pad has less friction and is bigger compared to the coarsely textured track pad of the SP3's cover. The XPS 13's track pad is thus much easier to use.
Speaking of typing, the keys offer decent travel for the thickness of the machine. I'd say the key travel is similar to the Macbook Air models but slightly shorter. The keyboard is definitely full sized despite the XPS's compactness and I got used to it very quickly. I'd be pretty satisfied with this keyboard for long periods of work.
The top function rows are inversed - meaning if you press f1 you will mute the volume instead actually activating f1. The f1 key is activated by pressing fn + f1 and so on for f2, f3... I consider this a nice touch that saves time when wanting to adjust basic functions like display and keyboard brightness. However, if you wish to inverse this behavior, just press fn + esc to set the function keys as default.
My Core i5, 4 GB RAM, and 128 SSD model performs perfectly. I've not experienced any hiccups or crashes. I mainly use the XPS 13 for MATLAB, CAD through remote desktop connection, MS Office suite, and general internet and email browsing. I also watch the occasional YouTube video but I don't play any 3D games.
Compared to my Surface Pro 3 (Core i3, 4 GB RAM, 64 GB SSD), the XPS 13 is smoother in every day operation. The Surface Pro 3 suffers from throttling with the Core i5, i7 models so I opted for the lower end Core i3. The Core i3 SP3 unfortunately stutters from time to time and 1080p YouTube videos are slightly choppy. With this experience in mind and the fact that Broadwell only offers at most a 10% performance increase over Haswell, I would steer clear of the Core i3 XPS 13. The $100 upgrade to a Core i5 is a must if you want absolutely smooth performance.
There are people who clamor for 8 GB or 16 GB RAM minimum, but in my experience, you don't really benefit unless...Read more