Review and Giveaway: Is the new Dell XPS 13 the ultra ultrabook?

Looking for a new PC laptop that looks as good as it performs? Dell’s just released their latest ultrabook and, according to Cyris Cloete, it’s almost perfect. We’re also giving one of these puppies away to celebrate Her Majesty’s big day.

You know that laptop you’ve always been looking for? The one that fits comfortably on your lap, that’s sexy, thin and has immense power for it’s portable size. Well we may have just found the perfect Ultrabook for you – the Dell XPS 13.

Laptop, Netbook, Ultrabook. What’s the difference you ask? Laptops were the original portable computers and they work well mostly, but some people wanted something that was smaller and easier to carry around. Netbooks were born to fill that niche – smaller than a laptop and really just designed to give people internet and email access on the go. Functionality was limited though, mostly because the devices were simply too small to carry the powerful specifications of modern laptops. We are now in the Ultrabook era, where portable computing is lighter, thinner, sexier and still delivers the high-end experience we all demand.

Dell’s new XPS-13 is a 13inch Ultrabook surrounded by a stunningly beautiful brushed aluminium and carbon fibre chassis which feels so good to hold. The 13inch (1366×768 resolution) screen gives us a pretty good 16:9 aspect ratio that outputs clear 720p picture. This is powered by it’s integrated Intel HD 3000 Graphics. That means you won’t be able to play the latest high-end graphical games on it but it sure will be more than suitable for anything else. The small and slim design sure has its advantages for portability and feel, but unfortunately it limits the port capabilities since this only houses one USB2.0, one USB3.0, a mini-display and power port. But if you think about it, do you really need a lot more than that for a Ultrabook that’s meant to be portable?

What it lacks in port capability, it makes up for in power. Its impressive Intel 1.6GHz Core-i5 Processor will perfectly suit all your multi-tasking needs. If that’s not enough for you the XPS-13 also has 4GB DDR3 memory along with a 125GB SSD drive which, of course, is the latest and greatest technology when it comes to storage space. It lacks a DVD drive but has everything required to mean you’ll never need one in the first place with an ample 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. Personally I barely use DVD drives these days, with Internet connections readily available almost anywhere!

After using this Ultrabook for a while I’ve gotten a real good feel for it, quite literally. It’s very comfortable to hold and has a solid feel to it. A little heavier than you’d expect weighing in at 1.36kg but I personally like that, it feels like I’m holding a good solid product. I found the touchpad slightly annoying to use at first as it has a rubbery surface which my fingers got caught on while trying to move the cursor, but with a little practise you get use to it. The keys are a lot less “plasticky” than you’d expect and are a perfect size for typing, so all of you with big fingers need not to worry on this one. Of course, a must have these days is a webcam and the XPS-13 has a clear 1.3Megapixel camera built into the screen so you can Skype away with all your family and friends!

I bet you’re waiting for the one thing that puts you off? Besides its integrated non-removable battery, there’s not a whole lot you can try to use as an excuse to save your money I’m afraid. I am very very impressed with this Ultrabook and am currently seriously considering purchasing one. If I could describe this Ultrabook in three words, it would be “Simple but Perfect

So here is a quick summary of the things I like and things I don’t like:


Things I like:

  • The size of it, 13 inch is the ultimate portable size.
  • Super slim and sleek aluminium and carbon fibre chassis –  it’s eye candy.
  • Good Performance.
  • Powerful Speakers.

Things I don’t like:

  • Integrated non exchangeable battery.
  • Limited Ports.
  • Average battery life.
  • The price.


So what’s better than the Dell XPS-13 Ultrabook?

A FREE Dell XPS-13 Ultrabook! Luckily for you guys, Social Media NZ are giving away this outstanding product to one of our lucky readers to celebrate the Queens Birthday! All you have to do is tell us why you NEED this Ultrabook. Comment below with your Twitter handle or Facebook handle.

We’ll pick a random winner from those who commented below, and announce it on Twitter and Facebook on Monday,  at 5pm. Good luck!

UPDATE: The winner has been drawn for the Dell XPS 13 and it goes to @D1GI

Editor in Chief at here SMNZ, I have a passion for social and digital media. When not writing and managing SMNZ I am the Head of Innovation at TAG The Agency, a digital ad agency and the Head of Sales and Marketing for End-Game, a software development agency. I'm also involved with a number of startups and I am always keen to support those that are bold enough to give things a go. Start something, better to try than to live wondering what if...

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