Dell XPS 12 convertible Ultrabook review
- Cleverly crafted plus solidly built convertible tablet
- Tactile keyboard
- High-quality 12.5in. screen
- No Ethernet port
- No SD card slot
- Moderate power life
- Heavy whenever employed inside pill mode
Dell’s XPS 12 convertible Ultrabook is an attempt to be all factors to all persons. By day it may function because a standard workplace ultrabook, running Windows 8 inside desktop mode as well as the routine range of efficiency applications, with all the added advantage of a touchscreen. By night it may transform into a tablet-style device running the Windows Metro interface — plus naturally there’s nothing stop we utilizing it inside pill mode inside the workplace, to deliver presentations or do additional company functions.
That’s the idea, anyway. However does the combination certainly function? For the cost of even the entry-level adaptation of the XPS 12 you are able to purchase a pill along with a computer, thus it actually does need to meet both sets of demands perfectly enough to justify the cost.
The 1.54kg (3.39lb) XPS 12 measures 31.7cm broad by 21.4cm deep by 0.8-2cm thick (12.48in. x 8.43in. x 0.31-0.79in.). Its swivelling Gorilla Glass-protected screen has a resolution of 1,920 by 1,080 pixels.
Dell has forced the boat out with all the shape of the XPS 12. We’ve watched convertible laptops before, naturally, nevertheless Dell’s take is completely different within the traditional twist-and-lay-flat shape. The screen swivels inside its silver bezel, rotating about 2 hinges thus it is lain flat facing outwards. It’s a quite smart idea, as well as the system itself is smooth. The screen gently locks into position inside the bezel through 4 hinges (2 about every of the lengthy screen edges), plus it feels truly secure.
There’s a knack for you to get the swivel to function correctly. A sharp flick at a screen corner looks to become the right action, completely turning the screen before laying it to rest found on the keyboard. To revert to clamshell mode, lift the lid plus then flip the screen — don’t try to lift plus flip together.
Judged because an ultrabook, the XPS 12′s total fat of 1.54kg (3.35lb) is fair. But, that’s 3 instances the fat of the contemporary pill, thus it feels thick whenever selected because mode.
Dell hasn’t skimped because far because shape plus build are worried. The chassis is made of carbon fibre plus aluminium, whilst the screen bezel, base surround plus lid are all tough plus strong. The keyboard surround has an odd rubberised finish of the sort more normally found about smartphone backplates. The same finish is utilized found on the baseplate plus lid, plus both share a clean two-tone grey-and-black checkerboard shape.
The screen, that is made of Gorilla Glass, is fairly reflective. We discover that distracting whenever inside ‘business’ mode, nevertheless the screen does have a lot choosing it. For a begin, its resolution of 1,920 by 1080 pixels puts standard workplace notebooks to shame. And with all the pixels crammed into a 12.5in. screen the show provides real punch: colors are wealthy plus bright, text is sharp plus webpage are a fun to consider.
The screen’s touch responsiveness is great too, though inside Windows Desktop mode factors is a small hit-and-miss when you’re stubby-fingered. You are able to, naturally, usually take the conventional mouse or trackpad path, exiting touch for whenever you’re utilizing Metro.
The keyboard is a fun to utilize. The keys are good plus springy, plus perfectly spaced. Touch typing is comfortable plus you like the click which the keys deliver. Two factors irritated you though: the cursor keys are a small little plus, more really, the double-height Enter key is just half-width inside the bottom half. We missed it very a lot till you got chosen to hitting it with all the proper small finger.
The Fn keys all have beneficial 2nd functions like amount control, media playback, screen flipping — even a power meter callup. The keyboard backlight bleeds out a little from behind the keys, yet it may be toggled with a Fn key combination.
There are different iterations of the XPS 12 accessible, with 3 standard models accessible off the page (inside the UK, where this review was conducted). The entry-level model runs about a 1.8GHz (as much as 2.7GHz with Turbo Boost) Core i5-3337U plus bills £999 (inc. VAT), along with a 2.0/3.1GHz Core i7-3537U variant is the many pricey at £1,299 (inc. VAT). In the US, there are 4 pre-configured models, with costs ranging from $ 1,199 to $ 1,699.
The entry-level XPS12 comes with 4GB of RAM along with a 128GB SSD, when the many pricey model doubles both of these to 8GB plus 256GB repectively. Our review device had a 1.9/3.0GHz Core i7-3517U, 8GB of RAM along with a 256GB SSD.
All XPS 12 variants are loaded with Intel’s integrated HD Graphics 4000 GPU, dual-band (2.4/5GHz) 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi plus Bluetooth four.0.
There’s no optical drive plus, because about several ultrabooks, connectivity choices aren’t great: we receive 2 USB 3.0 ports found on the appropriate edge, and a Mini-DisplayPort slot. And that’s it: neither Ethernet neither an SD card slot receive a look-in. Whichever technique we consider it, this feature set is minimal inside the extreme.
The appropriate edge furthermore houses a little switch you are able to press to receive an indication of power force. Up to five white LEDs can illuminate whenever we press it. This really is a pretty clean feature because we it lets we check whether you ought to apply several charge without really flipping the XPS 12 about.
The left edge has a headset jack, a amount rocker, a switch to lock car screen rotation as well as the force switch. Stereo speakers deliver remarkably superior sound — maybe the greatest we’ve come over about a laptop. You are able to crank up the amount without undue distortion, plus there’s not too much treble. The sound subsystem might handle a multimedia presentation to a tiny group without recourse to outside speakers.
Above the screen there’s a 1.3-megapixel webcam, plus below it a Windows Home switch. This is utilized inside both laptop plus pill mode: tap it to toggle amongst the Desktop plus Metro house screens. It’s a borrow from Microsoft’s Surface pill, plus it functions well.
Performance & power life
The XPS 12′s Windows Experience Index WEI) score of 5.4 (from 9.9) corresponds to the lowest component score, that went to Graphics (desktop images performance). The different scores were 6.4 for Gaming images (3D company plus gaming images performance), 7.1 for Processor (Calculations per second), 7.4 for Memory (RAM Memory operations per second) plus 8.1 to Primary difficult drive (Disk information transfer rate).
This adds as much as good performance for mainstream company plus customer use, though demanding graphical apps plus games might need the program with discrete instead of integrated images.
In true ultrabook fashion we can’t access the 6-cell power, whose existence is not the XPS 12′s sturdy suit. We struggled to receive from the full day when which day included a measure of movie playback, plus think various workplace employees should connect into mains energy at several point throughout the functioning day.
Dell’s swivel-screen answer is very effective, smooth inside procedure plus ergonomic used. The build standard is strong, as well as the screen is delightful to consider inside both laptop plus pill methods, though it can be too reflective for certain tastes.
Battery existence is not desirable, though, plus this program is severely lacking inside connectivity — even by ultrabook practices.
If there are by without Ethernet port or SD card slot plus simply 2 USB ports, plus we want pill plus laptop functionality inside 1 machine, this might be a excellent method to receive it. Note, though, that Dell is currently quoting a delivery date of early April for several XPS 12 models, including the many pricey variant.