CES 2012: Dell Unveils XPS 13 Ultrabook


Dell is the latest tech vendor to show off its ultrabook offering, a 13.3-inch machine dubbed XPS 13

Dell has used the CES show to officially unveil its ultrabook offering, namely the XPS 13.

The compact 13.3-inch ultrabook features an edge-to-edge hardened Gorilla Glass, near “frameless” display and powerful battery life.

Starting at just under 3 pounds and less than a quarter-inch at its thinnest point, the XPS 13 offers Intel technology such as Rapid Start and Smart Connect.

Cloud Storage

The XPS 13 will be available at the end of February in the United States through the company’s website and in select retail stores nationwide at a starting price of $999 (£646) with an Intel Core i5 processor, 128GB solid-state disk (SSD) hard drive and 4GB memory.

The XPS 13 is part of Dell’s XPS brand and boasts second-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, Intel HD 3000 graphics, and a high-definition WLED 300-nit display. For users who store media files, the XPS 13 has 128GB and 256GB SSD options, plus an additional 100GB of cloud storage through Dell DataSafe for content backup and sharing at no extra cost. Additionally, all XPS 13 units include a 12-month Skype Premium subscription.

“The XPS 13 is the culmination of an extensive design and development process focused on creating the best ultrabook on the planet,” said Jeff Clarke, vice chairman, Global Operations and End User Computing, at Dell. “It is specifically engineered to help both our consumer and commercial customers be more productive and connected in every way possible. From the edge-to-edge frameless display that packs more screen into a compact body to the innovative carbon fibre base that is lightweight and cool to the touch, the XPS 13 exemplifies our commitment to offering industry-leading mobile solutions that deliver durability and performance without compromise.”

The notebook also features a full-size backlit keyboard with a large glass touchpad with integrated buttons and multi-gestural support, as well as up to 8 hours, 53 minutes of battery life. The 13.3-inch display with slim bezel fits in a body size similar to the form factor of an 11-inch product. Smart Connect technology is also included, which wakes periodically to detect known networks and update calendar and email. Dell will also integrate location awareness via Skyhook and Google Places shortly after launch.

In addition, the first 10,000 customers to purchase an XPS 13 in the United States will receive a free T-Mobile 4G Mobile HotSpot, which links up to five WiFi devices to high-speed Internet, and 90 days of free mobile broadband service at up to 4G speeds on T-Mobile’s 4G Network with no annual contract at time of purchase.

Balanced Device

“The XPS 13 represents the most balanced of the ultrabook class of notebooks to hit the market so far,” said Rob Enderle, analyst for the Enderle Group. “Ultrabooks started by forcing people to make a choice between beauty and practicality, and Dell took the time to make sure their offering would not only be very attractive, but address the critical needs of business and education buyers as well. Perhaps the best way to describe the XPS 13 is ‘beautifully uncompromised.’”

Security features include standard Trusted Platform Module for BitLocker Data Encryption and optional ProSupport after-sales service and Configuration Services such as custom imaging and asset tagging. In addition to the Limited Hardware Warranty, Dell is including one year of Accidental Damage Service and one year of theft protection with Computrace LoJack for Laptops Theft Recovery Service as standard. Accidental Damage service protects against drops and spills and other accidents that may occur, while Computrace LoJack for Laptops Theft Recovery Service helps track, locate, lock down and recover a stolen system, and can also remotely delete sensitive data.

Dell also designed the XPS 13 with the environment in mind. Its energy-efficient LED displays have no mercury or arsenic, and Dell eliminated toxins such as Brominated Flame Retardants and Polyvinyl Chloride (BFR/PVCs).

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