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Dell XPS 14 Review, Lightweight with Qualified Graphic

Ultrabook is more often described as a lightweight laptop for mobile activity with a long working power (so it suitable taken away). Unfortunately, there are a lot of complaints addressed to the product such as graphics performance too “ordinary” to the physical structure fragility (due to efforts by the manufacturers concerned with thinness). This view was overhauled through this series of Dell XPS 14 with 14″ screen. This series also comes with a screen size of 15.6″(for XPS 15 type).

When compared to its predecessor (XPS 14z), there are unique differences. XPS 14 is slim (only two inches thick) with a silver color that looks luxurious. But the casing is very strong thanks to the use of hard aluminum combined with the use of magnesium in the palmrest area. While the inside of the ultrabook itself wearing silicone material.

The use of these materials makes the heat of ultrabook quickly spread evenly. Unfortunately, its impact on weight more than two kilograms making it less to call it as ultrabook.

Besides strong on their chassis, this products also equipped with screen display coated with Gorilla Glass. This unique glass famously tough to protect the screen with 1600×900 pixels resolution. Dell seems to want XPS 14 to work as a sturdy laptop since these products will often used in outdoors (so it has risk of bumped/scratched by hard objects). For other similar reason, lithium-polymer battery 8 cells was also made unremovable so they can not be opened/replaceable by user.

XPS 14 available with Core i5/i7 equipped with 8 GB of RAM and nVidia GeForce GT graphics chip 630M. Graphics module is enough to give 3D graphics. This chip has proven able to play games that are not too heavy. Unfortunately, there  I/O facilities which are limited. These include the lack of optical drive supposedly provided for this heavy laptop.

What do offered XPS 14 indeed looks different now. The robust design plus long battery life become a value added that patching lacked of this product in terms of its weight which quite heavy. Products with persistent performance and not fragile design is a great option for those who want high mobility.

Testing Results

This product specification qualified with the battery life is outstanding. Long battery performance due to the use of lithium-polymer battery 8 cell. In addition, Intel HD 4000 duet with NVIDIA GeForce GT630M produce two times performance faster rendering in 3D Mark11 testing.

testing Dell XPS 14 Ultrabook (Intel Core i7-3517U 1.9 GHz, 8 GB RAM, 500 GB HDD, 14″ display) Samsung NP900X3C-A02ID (Intel Core i5-3317U 1.7 GHz, 4 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD, 13.3″ display)
Sysmark 2012 V1.0.1.84 116 109
PCMark7 Professional Edition v1.0.4 4096 4774
3DMark 11 Pro v1.0.3.0 P1203 P608
Cinebench R11.5 2.78 2.42
video encoding 22 minutes 13 seconds 25 minutes 7 seconds
audio encoding 1 minute 22 seconds 1 minute 34 seconds
Battery Life
Playing HD Video 3 hours 13 minutes 2 hours 24 minutes
Battery Eater (Text) 7 hours 42 minutes 4 hours 27 minutes

Specifications

processor Intel Core i7-3517U (Dual-Core 1.9 GHz, 4 MB Smart Cache)
memory 8 GB, DDR3
chipset Intel HM77
graphics card Intel HD4000 + nVidia GeForce GT 630M
sound card Realtek ALC275
hard disk HDD 500 GB SATA III
Optical drive none
facilities Wi-Fi b/g/n, LAN, card reader (3-in-1), Bluetooth 3.0, USB 3.0 (2), HDMI, mini-DisplayPort, 1.3 MP webcam
screen 14″ 1600×900 pixel resolution
operating system Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit
battery 8-cell Li-polymer
dimension 33.6 x 23.3 x 2.1 cm
weights 2.14 kg
guarantee 2 years on-site
Website http://www.dell.com
Price (range)* US $ 1800
Backlit Keyboard
Backlit keyboard with other facilities make typing activities can be done at any time, including in the dark/dim.
Lack of Port
I/O ports series centralized on the left side (except the card reader and audio). Unfortunately, the number of I/O ports are not quite complete although there is still a sufficient area.
The XPS plate
XPS emblem plate on the undersides can be opened with a finger (on the triangle). You will see Windows serial number and other serial number including the battery information.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Rugged design;
  • Qualified specs;
  • Long battery life.

Cons

  • heavy weights;
  • edge of the body tapered;
  • the price quite expensive.
Score Assessment

 - Performance: 4.25
 - Facilities: 3.5
 - Usage: 3.75
 - Price: 1.5
 - Total Score: 3.38

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