Dell added two new models to their Ultrabook range this week. Joining last year's XPS 13 is its bigger brother, the XPS 14, and the student-targeted Inspiron 14z. Dell brought both models down to HardwareZone's premises for us to take a closer look.
The 14-inch XPS 14 is the bigger brother to last year's XPS 13, with a very similar look and some matching features, but without the tapered profile and carbon fiber base. The machined aluminum lid looks beautiful. Like its little brother, however, there is a strong 'Macbook' vibe to its aesthetics. The model Dell showed us was armed with an i5-3317U (1.7GHz) Ivy Bridge processor, 500GB HDD with 32GB SSD cache, and 4GB RAM. Like the XPS 13, it features a hardened Corning Gorilla Glass screen and we're glad to see that the resolution has been bumped up to 1600x900.
Inside, the keyboard appears to be the same as the one on the XPS 13. The glass trackpad is slightly bigger, and feels smoother and faster than the one found on the XPS 13.
The battery light indicator seen on the XPS 13 returns, this time on the base of the unit.
Connectivity is fairly good, with a Mini DisplayPort, HDMI port, RJ-45 port, headphone/microphone jack, two USB 3.0 ports, and a multi-card reader (something that we felt was sorely lacking on the XPS 13).
The overall footprint is quite small for a 14-inch notebook, although it's overall portability takes a hit due to its hefty 2.1 kg payload - a result of the Corning Gorilla Glass that we also noticed raised the weight on the XPS 13 and HP's Envy 14 Spectre.
The standard configuration with the above-mentioned specs starts at $1,399. An alternative option with discrete graphics, using NVIDIA's GeForce GT 630M GPU, which also comes with an upgrade to 8GB RAM is available for $1,799. An upgrade to a full 512GB SSD has also been mentioned by Dell, but pricing and availability have not been released at this time - expect it to be expensive though.
A Core i7 configuration using an i7-3517U (1.9GHz) processor will be added soon.