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Review: Dell XPS 13

01 Aug 12

Plenty of hardware manufacturers have attempted to combine the performance and productivity of a traditional computer with the light weight of an iPad and the battery life of a cellphone, but for my money, the XPS 13 is the pick of the bunch. It has a sharp and sexy look to it, boasts a 13.3-inch (diagonal) display despite being less than 15 inches from corner to corner, and IT departments will love the enterprise-friendly features. Oh, and it boots up in around eight seconds from cold.

Part of Dell’s high-end XPS brand, re-launched last year to meet the needs of today’s mobile professionals, the XPS 13 delivers on its promises, and delivers well.

Among those promises is the Intel Smart Connect technology, which wakes periodically to detect known networks and update the user’s calendar and email. In other words, it knows what you want to have synced, probably before you do. Combine this with a battery life of several hours – I used it on battery for six hours without any problems – and speedy boot up of just a few seconds, and you really do have the best of all worlds.

The XPS 13 uses second-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, 128GB and 256GB solid state hard drive options, Intel HD 3000 graphics and a bright high definition

WLED 300-nit display to full advantage to deliver quick processing times and crisp, clear imagery.

Light enough to carry in a simple sleeve – or a handbag – there is nothing flimsy about this little notebook. Despite weighing less than 1.5 kilos and being around ix millimetres at its thinnest point, it still feels and looks stable and sturdy.

For an SME looking to equip a team, it would be hard to go wrong with the XPS 13, especially as Dell has included a standard Trusted Platform Module for BitLocker Data Encryption, optional ProSupport after-sales service, andConfiguration Services such as custom imaging and asset tagging, in order to offer IT security and reassurance.

Take the XPS 13 home and it becomes a great personal machine for web browsing and day-to-day computing. Graphics are crisp, sound is clear, and browsing is uncomplicated.

For small business or for personal use, the XPS 13 would be my current pick of the bunch

Price Range $1699-$2399

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