XPS 14 is the new beast to the XPS series, with its ultra low voltage processers but which supports the hard drive, full size ports, optional distinct graphics and a bigger battery, Dell has the new ultra book.
Well the entire chassis looks like Macbook Pro except the glossy black border around the screen. All the ports are on the left hand side but the looks so similar to Macbook Pro that as if it’s a product of Apple rather than Dell. Though the layout is spacious and comfortable, the silver and black combination appeals you a lot. There is not that much logos on the lid which looks elegant as most of the logos are at the bottom. It weighs 4.6 pounds and is 20.7mm thick which is quite heavy and lacks behind compared with any new ultra book. The ports include HDMI port, pair of 3.0 USB slots, a Mini display port and an Ethernet port. On the right you will find 3.5mm headset jack, a full size SD card slot and a Kensington lock slot.
Dell hasn’t changed its backlit chiclet keyboard, the rounded concave keys are comfortable to touch and type with. But the engineers have put a silicon component beneath the WASD keys which are little bit hot and it’s annoying when playing games. Dell stepped up with the new track pad, Synaptics ClickPad Series 1.5 in place of the XPS 13′s Cypress model which is not that bad. Two finger scrolling is smooth but dragging created a little problem. And the soft touch rubber surface causes the finger to skid, Palm rejection works quite well and it’s good for typing.
SCREEN AND SPEAKERS
The screen is just amazing at 1600 x 900 and 4 inch size and a protective Gorilla glass adds on to its uniqueness. The viewing angles are a bit problem and colors are drifted as you change the angles. If you are looking at a image dead on the image at the bottom doesn’t match the image at the very top. The speakers are located at the very front of the unit and gives out a nice crunchy sound. They are fairly loud and also gives a good bass.
PERFORMANCE AND SOFTWARE
The XPS 14 starts at $1,099 with a 1.7GHz Core i5-3317U processor, 4GB of memory, a 500GB 5400RPM hard drive and a 32GB solid state cache but only integrated Intel graphics. But for a $1,199 you can add a 28nm Nvidia GeForce GT 630M GOU with 1GB of GDDR5 memory or for $1,399 a 1.9GHz Core i7-3517U processor and 8GB of RAM. There are no glitches or hang on phases and works efficiently and well. The 32GB cache made it responsive when you are opening programs or apps. But for gaming this is not the thing to get, even with the additional GeForce GT 630M GOU you run the high end games at low settings. And it has some problems with its CPU whenever you are playing games and Dell is saying there seems to be some problem which they are going to resolve.
BATTERY, NOISE AND HEAT
The battery life is another advantage of XPS 14 as it gives 6 hours and 50 minutes of battery life on a high usage which includes high res images, high brightness and extreme browsing. This gives a excuse for a thicker ultra book, as it comes with a 69Wh pack. Most of the times it is cool and there is no noise a all.
XPS 14 is for someone who wants little bit of everything and who wants a great battery life.