Review: Dell’s Sweet XPS 13 Ultrabook

dell xpsI don’t do many products reviews but ever since hearing about Dell’s new XPS 13 Ultrabook, I’ve been keen to check it out. A couple of weeks ago, Dell asked if I’d like to have one, I quickly agreed.

The first thing that strikes you about the XPS is how it’s a streamlined machine. It’s a long way from the image I had about bulk Dell laptops, and a lot like the MacBook Air – nicely packaged and designed, sleek, light and thin. For anyone like me who works everywhere and anywhere, the XPS 13 should be an attractive option.

With an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, the XPS starts and reboots quickly, and easily handles multiple applications.

As a MacBook Pro user, it took awhile to get used to using Windows again – sort of like speaking a foreign language – but the transition was pretty quick, although it took some time getting used to the fact that hitting the “Delete” button works in different direction (forward) than on a Mac (backward).

It helps that so many applications are cloud-based, so it was easy to get up and running. To personalize the XPS, I downloaded Chrome and DropBox, and I’ll add 1Password soon.

One of the most exciting things about using the XPS was the ability to use Windows Live Writer to create blog posts. I’ve used a variety of blog writing software for Mac (e.g. MarsEdit)  but I have yet to find one that has the features and functionality of Live Writer.

The only quibbles I have with the XPS is how notifications for add-on services such as McAfee anti-virus software and Windows updates keep popping up.

For anyone looking for a light laptop, the XPS should be part of the mix. At $999 to $1,499, it compares in price to the MacBook Air, while offering a similar look, feel and design.

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  • chippy

    How did you find the battery life?

  • Mark Evans

    I haven’t done any stress testing – trying to work without power for a long time – but it seems pretty good.