The computer has gone through a couple of evolutions. With each cycle, it emerges slimmer, less power hungry and more efficient. Though Charles Darwin denounced evolution, he would readily identify with this. He would smile at what the nimble yet powerful Dell XPS 13 could do to his research and experiments.
The XPS 13 occupies all the checkboxes of an ideal portable computer. Slim? Yes, its 9mm girth will sit lightly on your lap and snugly fit into a shoulder bag, no more backpacking. Reliable? Definitely, it can run through the day on battery power and is powerful enough to handle most of your computing needs. Beautiful? But of Cause! The super slim design accommodates the 13-inch screen ‘beautifully’ and any gadget lover will get jelly kneed on sight.
There is more to the Dell XPS 13 than its tiniest 13-inch laptop on earth.
First, there is the starting price. A reasonable $799. Then there are the customizations. The standard version gives you a non-touch slate with a true HD 1080p screen while a full touch version presents an impressive 3200×1800 pixel real estate. Both models feature a super thin bezel – a feature Dell chose to give a fancy name, the Infinity Display. It won’t teleport you into Darth Veder’s Executor but it lets dell cram a large display into a smaller space.
With such a compact design to pull off, Dell needed more than mere plastic to keep things in check. They had to go Apple way but dodge the MacBook Air design by giving the XPS 13 a wedge shape and a darker finish. The metallic deck and track pad has a black soft touch finish that gives your hands a welcoming rest place even after a day’s long use.
Overlooking the eerily placed web cam (it sits at the lower left corner of the display) and assuming that you wouldn’t type when Skype-ing might make things better. Coupling this with two USB 3.0 ports, a full sized SD card slot and its mini Display Port gives you a bunch of lucrative tradeoffs.
To compensate for the missing HDMI and VGA ports, Dell offers an optional adapter that will convert one of the USB ports that will give you these basic video ports and Ethernet functionality.
The keyboard is compressed, yes, the backspace might be a tad smaller but the other keys are regular sized. With backlight on all the keys, you can keep working in the dark or once the cabin lights dim as your flight settles into the monotonous hum of the calm air.
While Dell claims a 13 hour, hands on tests barely clocked over 6 hours. This is frustrating, and so is the highly unpredictable touch pad that keeps on jumping all over the place as you use it.
The Dell XPS 13 might not be perfect, it might not last the 15 hours you would like, you might have to plug in a mouse to tame the cursor, but it is a worthy pioneer of the future. It is not a tablet obnoxiously blotted to act as a computer. It is a real computer squeezed into a portable and functional package.