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.
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.
|Intel Core i7-3517U
|Processor clock speed
|Memory slots free
|Realtek HD Audio
|Nvidia GeForce GT 630M
|Total storage capacity
|Optical drive type
Ports and Expansion
|Wired network ports
|Wireless networking support
|PC Card slots
|Supported memory cards
|SDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro/Duo
|3.5mm audio output
|Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
|Operating system restore option
|Microsoft office 201 Starter Edition
|one year RTB