The latest entrant into the Ultrabook category in Australia is Dell, with their thin and light XPS 13.
I managed to get hands-on with Dell’s Macbook Air competitor at the recent KickStart Forum. Initial impressions were good, in that it’s weight and therefore portability is very competitive. Weighing 1.4kg, its substantially lighter than other Dell offerings. Dell claim up to 8 hours and 53 minutes battery life, which is pretty precise and without a full review will have to be taken on their word, if true, that’s impressive.
Remember Ultrabooks aren’t Netbooks, that means we’re not facing massive performance compromises for the size. One of Dell’s main selling points for the XPS 13 over competitors is its edge-to-edge display. While it may not seem like much, the smaller form factor is important if your working on the go like a bus or plane for example.
The size difference is graphically demonstrated by my photo below. On the left is the Dell XPS 13, on the right is the latest generation 13” Macbook Air. The physical size difference is the largest difference between the two, in almost every other way these two Ultrabooks are very similar.
This brings us to price. The Dell XPS 13 comes in 3 varieties ranging from A$1,119 to A$1,699. At the entry level you get the almost standard Ultrabook spec list, Core i5, 128GB SSD, 4GB RAM, at the highest end, you can get a Core i7 and 256GB SSD.
While its not under that magical sub-$1,000 price point, these are serious performers. For $1,199 the XPS 13 is great value when compared to the MBA 13 at A$1,449 for basically the same hardware. I will say after fondling both pieces of hardware, the Macbook Air does still feel like a better piece of hardware, but is it $250 better, probably not.
If you’re in the market for an Ultrabook, the Dell XPS 13 is definitely worth some serious investigation and is a great entrant into an ever increasingly crowded space.
Check out Dell’s new fancy page to show off the XPS 13 Ultrabook.