Slim and metal-clad is all the rage these days, and as one of the largest laptop manufacturers in the world, Dell has a range of offerings in this division.
It has just added a couple of models to its higher-end XPS line of laptops, which was launched earlier with the XPS 13.
The latest addition, XPS 15, which hangs well with the Ultrabook crowd, is—you guessed it—slim and packed with features.
XPS 15 is superficially reminiscent of Apple’s MacBook Pro line of notebooks, except possibly better-looking. This new Dell is thinner than the standard MacBook Pro, though just a bit thicker than the new Retina model. It sports a gorgeous aluminum and magnesium chassis that mimics Apple’s aesthetic. The lid and laptop’s base are single pieces of milled gray aluminum, while the palm area and keyboard surround are darker magnesium. This doesn’t feel as cold to the touch and is a slightly softer metal—perfect for typing. It also helps to keep the weight down.
Thanks to all that metal and a lot of attention to detail, the build is good, with very solid hinge action and closely fitted panels. The only plastic parts are the keyboard keys and screen surround, though the latter is protected by a single glass sheet that gives a seamless display impression.
Each computer comes with a spill-resistant, Chiclet-style keyboard that’s back-lit, too!
Cheaper but not less chic
With XPS 15, you can even opt for Blu-ray. It’s pretty interesting that Dell chose to stick to an optical drive, while some manufacturers are looking past the feature. This makes an excellent alternative for users who want to upgrade, but need the ODD capability.
The Retina variant of the MacBook Pro is a really stellar device. If you’re looking for something a bit cheaper, however, the XPS 15 should be at the top of your list—above the non-Retina MacBook Pro 15. Dell has proved that you can make an affordable laptop that makes no compromise on design, and few on performance.
Aluminum display back, magnesium palm rest
350-nit, 1920×1080 display
Edge-to-edge Gorilla Glass
Up to Intel Core i7-3612QM processors
Integrated Intel HD Graphics, optional NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M 1GB
6GB to 16GB DDR3 SDRIM
500GB HDD + 32GB mSATASSD standard
Back-lit, spill-resistant Chiclet keyboard
Glass multi-touch trackpad with integrated buttons
DVD+/-RW Slot-loading drive, optional Blu-ray
65WHr, 9-cell Li-Poly battery (nonremovable)
Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 802.11a/g/n + Bluetooth 4.03
3x USB 3.0, 1x mini-DP, 1x HDMI, 1x RJ-45, SD card slot, headset jack
Built-in webcam: 1.3-MP with dual microphone array