I am not going to bury the lead. The new 2015 version of the Dell XPS 13 is without question the best Windows notebook you can buy..and it will give the MacBook Pro a run for it’s money too. Now I will tell you why.
For starters this is a really good looking notebook. Dell set out to produce as large a screen in as small a chassis as possible. The result is a laptop that has a conventional 13 inch screen, but a body that’s as deep and wide as a normal 12 inch model.
Only 0.6-inches at its thickest point and 2.8 pounds for the touch screen version the XPS 13 is cases in machined aluminum top and bottom that gives it a solid well built feel.
Open the cover and you will find a really nice carbon fibre composite deck with a typically solid Dell keyboard that feels good even if the keys are a little small and cramped. The touchpad is the best you will find on a Windows machine.
Then there is the screen…it is nothing short of spectacular. The XPS 13 Dell sent me has a QHD+ 3,200 x 1,800 touch screen. That comes to a whopping 276 pixels per inch (PPI) versus 226 PPI for the new 12-inch MacBook. And the almost non-existent bezel makes it all that much more impressive.
One compromise for that narrow bezel..Dell had to move the webcam from it’s usual centre top to the lower left corner which results in an up the nose shot if as I did, you forget to look down.
Now about that touch screen. Personally I find it awkward to use and really not necessary with a good touchpad. It’s only reason foe existence is to accommodate the abomination Windows of 8.x that Microsoft foisted on the world. I hope Windows 10 will send touch screen Windows machines to the junk heap where they belong. I hope Dell will offer a model dropping the touch function from this spectacular screen and shave off about $200 and 0.2 pounds.
This little notebook is also built for real work.The fifth generation Intel® Core i5-5200U Processor (3M Cache, up to 2.7GHz) and Samsung 256Gb SSD provides solid performance for just about anything you would want to do on a notebook. Gaming will have to be casual so hard core gamers stay away. Dell promises 11 hours of battery life. My experience over a few weeks of use has been that I get a full day of surfing and writing..often outdoors which means power sucking high screen brightness..with WiFi turned on as well.
I have been impressed with Dell’s XPS line of notebooks going back to the XPS M1210 I bought nearly a decade ago. So if you want simply the finest ultrabook you can buy today, then you should go to the Dell website and get the Dell XPS 13 2015 with touch screen. I don’t say that just because of the great screen, the really good looking chassis, the small footprint, great performance and exceptional battery life. The XPS 13 is also well priced for a premium notebook at $1749 for the model I tested.
While you are at the Dell website you will also see a non touch version with an average 1920 x 1080 screen. It is $150 more than the entry level model but well worth the difference to get the i5 processor and 8Gb of RAM.
Whichever model you choose the Dell XPS 13 is perfect for that student heading back to school. A good idea would be to team it up with a Dell Premier Backpack.
The Dell Premier Backpack was designed for students looking for a streamlined, secure way to transport a notebook, tablet and accessories securely. The backpack’s multiple storage pockets keep documents, books and accessories organized, while its dedicated notebook and tablet compartments keep your electronic devices safe and protected. It is roomy enough for a change of clothes or shoes. It has everything the busy student needs for only $115 at the Dell Web Store