A 14 inch ultrabook
Ultrabooks generally need a charger if you decide to use them while traveling. Which is very uncomfortable. So Dell comes with something new: their 1,099 XPS 14z uses a battery that weighs more, but has a longer life. It will not appeal to people who use an ultrabook at home, but this model will certainly attract those who travel a lot. So here are our thoughts on this device. Check them out in the following review.
On the outside, the new Dell XPS 14z looks very much like Apple’s MacBook Pro. It features the same brushed aluminum on its sides and the lid. But it all ends there. Because when we opened the laptop’s lid, we saw that the product came with one very good-looking black magnesium deck painted black magnesium. In our benchmarks, the underside was definitely one of the most appealing parts of the device, because it was made of silicone which felt very good to the touch.
The measurements of the XPS 14z are as follows: 13.2″ x 9.2″ x .8″ and 4.8 pounds. The latter is a lot of weight, but that’s because of the battery.
The keyboard was another thing of interest to us. It looked great and it was an island-style one with backlighting. The palm-rest was very comfortable. We didn’t really miss letters that much. Our Ten Thumbs Typing test returned the following result: 85 words per minute. The ultrabook also sports a 3.9″ x 2.8″ Synaptics touchpad without buttons. Its gesture support was excellent and the navigation it provided was accurate.
The Dell XPS 14z has a screen of 14″. It is of a WLED type and features backlight. The resolution is 1600 x 900 pixels. Images looked bright and sharp. However, when we looked at them from another angle than the head-on, content began to look washed-out.
Dell’s newest laptop did not have heat problems. When we streamed a 15-minute clip, the touchpad registered 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The only thing that got warm was the underside: 99 degrees Fahrenheit.
A 1.9-GHz Intel Core i7-3517U processor contributes to this ultrabook kicking it. The 500GB 5,400 rpm hard drive including 32GB Flash cache, the discrete Nvidia GT 630M graphics chip and the 8GB of RAM made the laptop perform great. But if you want to try a game that demand a lot, this device is not indicated.
The pre-installed speakers were not enough to guarantee excellent sound quality. But the songs we listened to sounded accurate. Quality will start to fade if you wnat to listen to hard rock music. The MaxxSense settings offer better quality once used.
Without optical drive
The battery is a 69W type. It managed to last 8 hours, a pro that we appreciated a lot.
There is no optical drive on board the XPS 14z. And the connectivity options it features are nowhere near as many as we would have loved to see. There is one headphone jack, 2 USB 3.0 ports, HDMI out, one 3-in-1 SD card reader, 1 Ethernet jack, a Kensington lock slot and one mini DisplayPort. And that is really all you get.
A 1.3-megapixel webcam surprised us with the colorful and sharp pics it took. Low light was no problem at all. It even has many funny effects you can use when talking to friends and so on. On the whole, we dug this webcam more than any other.
The team at Dell did a fairly good job with their newest XPS 14z. There are other models better than this one, but it surely deserves a go.