Pros + Beautiful super high resolution 1920x1080 12.5" screen
+ Very high build quality
+ Incredibly fast boot time (10-15 seconds)
+ Very good keyboard
+ Fast SSD drive in all configurations
Cons - No HDMI or VGA port
- Only two USB ports
- Battery is not easily user swapped/replacable
- No GPS
Summary This is one of a new breed of convertible laptops created to take advantage of the Windows 8 paradigm, which allows use as both as tablet and a laptop. While this category is expected to grow, right now, there are essentially only a modest number of entrants, and only two that could be reasonably be called innovative: The Dell XPS 12 (this one), and the Lenovo Yoga 13. The Dell and Lenovo sport similar power specs (cpu, memory, hard drive, battery life), but the Dell has a much higher resolution, better, screen. In my opinion, the Dell takes that competition handily.
Focusing on the XPS 12, this is a terrific piece of hardware, with a lot of pros, and only a few significant cons.
Beautiful super high resolution 1920x1080 12.5" screen
Very high build quality
Terrific innovative screen that rotates in the frame to go from laptop/keyboard to tablet configuration
Very responsive with even the base configuration of an Intel I5 processor and 4Gb memory
Incredibly fast boot time (10-15 seconds)
Very good keyboard
Responsive touchscreen which operates in both laptop and tablet modes
Fast SSD drive in all configurations
Decent webcam (1.3mp)
Light, portable charging cable.
Bluetooth, Wireless N (5 + 2.4Ghz)
Backlit keys on keyboard
Battery life is 5-5.5 hours.
Weight is 3.5 pounds, which isn't heavy, but isn't super light for a 12.5" laptop. A bit heavy feeling in tablet mode
Speakers are predictably mediocre for a small laptop
Base configuration has only a 128Gb SSD hard drive. However, the hard drive IS user replaceable.
No HDMI or VGA port. Only a graphics mini displayport, which means you will need to carry a mini displayport -> HDMI or VGA adapter if you want to use this for business or with a TV/external monitor.
Memory is soldiered to motherboard and is not upgradeable. Fortunately, even the base configuration 4Gb of memory is more than sufficient.
Only two USB ports (both USB 3.0, however)
Battery is not easily user swapped/replacable
No built in media card reader. If you want to the SD card from your camera, you'll need to carry an external reader.
Of the cons, the worst, in my opinion, is the fact that the battery is not easily swapped/replaced. While the 5-5.5 hour run time is pretty respectable, one can expect battery life to diminish over time, and I am not looking forward to dealing with that eventuality. Also, I like to carry a spare battery to swap out for long trips. That's not possible here.
Having struggled with various underpowered Android based tablets, including the Asus TF301/keyboard dock, I can say that using the XPS 12 in tablet mode is like a huge weight has been lifted. The XPS 12 screams when surfing the web, which is something I can't say about any Android (or Mac) tablet I've used--and I've used a lot of them.
People have complained about the lack of apps in the Windows 8 app store--and it's true that the Windows 8 app store is pretty anemic compared to Andoid or Mac. But some of the most important apps are there (Skype, Netflix, etc.) and it's still growing. There are enough to make using the tablet mode acceptable now...and the responsiveness provided by the Intel I5 processor makes it a pleasure to use.
There are a few configuration options available for the XPS 12, all related to the processor (a few speeds of I5 and I7), memory (4Gb or 8Gb) and hard drive size (128Gb or 256Gb). My recommendation: Any of the available processor speeds will be more than acceptable and the difference between the I5 and I7 processors for almost any user will be negligible. Similarly, most users will not need the 8Gb of memory. Windows 8 runs perfectly fine on 4Gb of memory. Unless you plan on running memory hog processes (advanced video editing, certain scientific apps, etc.) you won't need the extra memory. If you do need the extra memory, however, you need to order the laptop with 8Gb installed from the factory, as the memory is not user-upgradeable (it's soldiered to the motherboard...grrr...) A larger hard drive than the 128Gb SSD that comes installed on the base model is definitely a nice feature. But the hard drive IS user replaceable, and the incremental cost of getting the 256Gb mSata SSD from Dell is more than it would be to buy that 256Gb mSata SSD on the aftermarket and clone your 128Gb drive onto it. (You will also wind up with a spare 128Gb drive that way). Unless you are scared of the idea of hard drive cloning/migration, I'd recommend that path. Please note that this laptop uses the mSata configuration hard drive, rather than a full sized SSD to save space. mSata drives tend to be a bit more expensive than standard SSD drives.
Note: Check Best Price for the "Dell XPS 12", I Suggest at: Laptopclicking.blogspot.com/p/dell-xps-12.html
Overall, this is a terrific laptop, and buying the least expensive configuration version is, for most, the recommended route.
Pros No more carrying 2 devices! Laptop & iPad. I gotten tired of iPad! I needed work & play at the same time! I looked at other Windows 8 devices & I made the right decision! I don't want to detach from keyboard!
Cons Need more Apps! Times will come! However, got old software installed on desktop!
Summary You know what! Don't listen to people say about Windows 8. Iy will takes time to learn. Microsoft made the right decision! They need to redesign their OS! I have Windows 7 HP touchscreen All-in-one desktop. Icons too much for touchscreen. Windows 8 is perfect touchscreen! Got me hook! I love my iPhone! I hated Mac operating system! I thought to myself why do I need iPhone, iPad & MacBook in my briefcase? & now Mini iPad? Too much! I just need my iPhone & Dell XPS 12! That's it! I used my iphone as Personal Hotspot to connect with my Dell! Perfect! Dell XPS 12 is a solid build! Nicely design! Only one thing missing is SD slot.
Pros Great design
Good battery life
Awesome touch screen
Great tablet mode
Cool battery meter
Cons No SD card slot, but I never use that anyway
Summary I bought the Lenovo Ideapad Yoga first because of CNET's review, but I didn't like it very much. I returned that one and bought this and I am EXTREMELY PLEASED with this Dell. BUY THIS!!!
"Simply Awesome"on by benlm54
Pros Beautiful screen
Useful form factor
Cons No SD slot
Summary First let me say, this is not a tablet! You should not buy this if what you really want is a tablet.
This is an ultrabook that is flexible enough to allow the user to get the most out of Windows 8 and it's touch based interface. With a touch based OS like Windows 8, sometimes a keyboard just gets in the way. The Dell XPS 12 lets you conveniently do that.
Let me also say, that Windows 8 is a joy to use on this thing. This is the kind of device that Windows 8 was made for. All of the complaints out there about Windows 8 are from people who haven't used it in any meaningful way on a device like this.
$1200 may sound steep, but for what you are getting it is a bargain. The best screen I have ever seen on a laptop, super fast performance, competitive battery life, outstanding build quality, and the perfect form factor with which to enjoy Windows 8 make it a great deal.
Pros > Screen
Cons > Lack of ports (especially microSD or SD)
> Windows 8
> No side vents for heat dissipation
> Flexible base
Summary I have a number of Dell laptops for family use including an Alienware M18X and an XPS13. I wanted an ultrabook to take on weekends away for my photography hobby and hence the XPS13 was bought. That has great light weight and reasonable speed for an ultrabook (can cope with Lightroom 4 etc) but the screen was a disappointment.
I've had the XPS12 for 5 days now and so far I can say that for me it't the better purchase because in everyday use it's fast enough (8GB version with i7 and 256GB) and the screen is lovely. I can use it for my photography and for dialing into the office (Citrix VDI) and multi task quite comfortably. Compared with the XPS13 though it is a lot deeper (about an inch), thicker and you can certainly feel the difference in weight.
The colours and contrast of the screen make up for it though. :-)
Gestures work well on screen, but it gets confusing for me what is and isn't touch enabled. I don't want this to turn into a review of Window's 8 but as it's inextricably linked to the use of the touch screen it's difficult not to. I use Windows 7 normally and have Android phone (HTC) and Nexus 7. This could be a great device but boy, does it take getting used to.
Dare I say again, the screen is lovely and it takes gestures/touch well. For some reason it doesn't feel quite as well built as the XPS13 - the base has a bit more give and you can feel the components underneath as you pick it up because you have to grip it more due to the extra weight. However, there doesn't seem to be any flex in the screen and the screen frame itself seems very strong. Not sure about the catches - perhaps roller catches would have been better - but it seems to hang together well. The sound quality is good if not great but I use a bluetooth speaker when away anyway, and it works well with the external portable drive I have for my photos using the USB3. It does get warm if you don't watch the vents (no side vents) but no surprise there! Battery life is better than I had been led to believe, but not as good as the XPS13 which just seems to go on and on. Switch on and off times make me think about an SSD for the other laptops . . .
So to conclude, would I get it again? Well yes I believe I would. It pretty much meets all of my needs and I could even see me using it at work as a BYOD. It's surprisingly nice. Is it worth the premium cost - not sure, but there are plenty of vouchers around for it at the moment (I got 11% off and free delivery). It feels 'quality' to the touch and has the sort of fit that makes you want to stroke the thing (yes, I know I'm sad). I just hope that it lasts too - but I bought the 3 year premium care for that! If your eyes aren't 20/20 then get some glasses or up the font size for longer strain free use - but it is a very tasty screen that works well as a tablet. As others have said, re-orientating can take a bit of time (seconds) but it get's there. This looks like becoming my 'main' laptop both for my hobby (photography) and work (web development). Only downers - weight, Windows 8 and Dell service.