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Dell XPS 14 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : 1,129
inc VAT

You get decent gaming performance and a high resolution screen, but it's heavy and comparatively expensive


14 in 1,600×900 display, 2.1kg, 1.9GHz Intel Core i7-3517U, 8.00GB RAM, 500GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Powered by an Intel Core i7-3517U running at 1.9GHz, the XPS 14 is one of the most powerful Ultrabooks we’ve seen on paper. Turbo Boost can push the clock speed up to 3GHz when thermal limits allow and 8GB of RAM is more than enough for heavy multi-tasking. It managed to score 54 overall in our multimedia benchmarks, which proves opting for a Core i7 in an Ultrabook won’t necessarily get you significantly more performance than an i5 – luckily Dell lets you configure your choice of processor when ordering.

The Nvidia GeForce GT 630M graphic chip means you’ll be able to play games, although you’ll still have to make some sacrifices when running the latest titles. An average of 32.8fps in our Dirt 3 test is great for a laptop of this size and, without anti-aliasing, you’ll be able to play at the native resolution, but the system fan has to spin up to very noticeable levels to keep the system warm when playing.

Dell XPS 14

Despite the presence of a dedicated graphics card, the XPS 14 still manages to last an impressive seven hours on battery power alone. Nvidia’s Optimus technology switches over to Intel’s integrated GPU when away from the mains, so it doesn’t lose out to other Ultrabooks when away from the mains.

The XPS 14 is a well-built, fast and good looking ultra-portable. It’s not the smallest or lightest, but the addition of a dedicated graphics card could be worth the trade-off to some. Its main obstacle is price – at over £1,000, it’s one of the most expensive Ultrabooks around. However, if you’re looking for an ultra-portable machine with drop dead gorgeous looks and that’s able to handle a little gaming, the XPS 14 is a good choice.

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Basic Specifications

Rating ****
Processor Intel Core i7-3517U
Processor clock speed 1.9GHz
Memory 8.00GB
Memory slots 2
Memory slots free 0
Maximum memory 16GB
Size 21x336x233mm
Weight 2.1kg
Sound Realtek HD Audio
Pointing device touchpad


Viewable size 14 in
Native resolution 1,600×900
Graphics Processor Nvidia GeForce GT 630M
Graphics/video ports HDMI
Graphics Memory 1,024MB


Total storage capacity 500GB
Optical drive type none

Ports and Expansion

USB ports 2
Bluetooth yes
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support 802.11n
PC Card slots none
Supported memory cards SDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro/Duo
Other ports 3.5mm audio output


Carrying case No
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore option restore partition
Software included Microsoft office 201 Starter Edition
Optional extras none

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £1,129