Pros Screen, sound, keyboard, SSD, beauiful design, battery, materials, mini-display port, fast access security software, keyboard shortcuts (ie play, pause, forward, backward)
Cons tracpad, fan noise
Summary This ultrabook is stunningly beautiful. I have to say this is the best fit and finished laptop (ultrabook) of any currently on the market right now.I apologize for the formatting of my paragraphs being off. Somehow they were re-arranged when I submitted my review.
People have complained about the screen not having the best resolution on the marker compared to the other ultrabooks. However, the screen is one of the brightest available on any ultrabook right there with Samsung. I don't think I could handle any higher resolution on the screen because the text and images would be too small and unreadable. Higher resolution doesn't always equal a better screen. The viewing angles are good and the colors are vibrant and "pop" so to speak. There isn't much better available compared to the overall experience of this screen. I also like the fact that there's gorilla-glass protecting the screen from those notorious SCREEN POKERS !
The sound is loud and vibrant. The sound has bass to it although it won't replace your stereo system. If you plan to use this system in clamshell mode or watch it on an external screen for others to view, I wouldn't bother attaching external speakers unless you are having a full surround sound system available.
Battery life seems to be as advertised.
Keys are responsive and comfortable; the best keyboard on any ultrabook I've tried. Its right there with the macbook air. However, the keys have a different feel of all their own. They curve slightly inward (concave) towards their center leaving a slight dip. I enjoy the key-design very much and it helps with typing accuracy. Its also worth noting that this system has a full sized keyboard in a very small chasis
As I previously stated, the design is gorgeous. I like the design of this system more than a macbook air considering this system is called its clone considering they both have wedge-shapes and the lids are made out of the same materials. Don't get me wrong, this system took many ques from Apple, but it also stands on its own with its all black rubber touch interior, black and slim bezel gorilla-glass covered screen, and carbon-fiber bottom (eye-candy). The inside of this system is a design and theme all its own. Compared to the 13.3" Macbook air (MBA), the Dell XPS 13z makes the MBA look like a overgrown monster.
Although the track-pad in itself is a beautiful piece of hardware, the function of it is less desirable. The drivers are from Cypress, which I've never even heard of before. The drag-lock feature can be jumpy sometimes when I deselect and box and it will at time automatically lock onto something else after I just locked off a box. There is no right-tap (menu) click feature which is pretty standard on most ultrabooks. I'm dissapointed about this as I do like having an all touch and no click experience. Trackpad scrolling is a less than smooth experience.
Overall, I'm very excited an satisfied to own the Dell XPS 13Z after experiencing nearly every ultrabook on the market. I only knocked this system down half a star because of the track pad and the fan is noise when it kicks on once in a while even when I'm not doing processor-intensive tasks. Dell has themselves a winner !
The Dell software is pretty standard and nothing really worth mentioning. However, the system comes with face-recognition softfware that is worth mentioning, Fast Access. Fast Access is great for quick startups without having to enter in your password every time you put the system into standby or shut it down.
Super-responsive and more than enough computing power for my daily needs. I don't know the exact startup time, but I can say its probably towards the lead as it only takes a little more than a few seconds from a cold start-up. One thing worth noting though, is the fan is somewhat loud when it spins up. I find this slightly annoying although its not that big of a deal. Its not a frequent thing, but enough that I notices
Updated on Mar 2, 2012
Updated on Mar 2, 2012I would also like to mention that the glare from the gorilla glass is minimal and not very obtrusive or distracting; this was another concern I had had when getting this system compared to the matte finish screen of the Samsung Series 9 ultrabook.
Pros Keyboard and matte surface around it has a very nice feel compared to my macbook air. Keyboard a better typing feel to it. Great fit and finish. I liked the carbon fiber rubberized bottom, espcially for setting down on granite countertops etc.
Cons Could use a higher resolution screen. From article above, battery life. I will have to update this after several weeks of use compared to macbook.
Summary First ultrabook that has a better design then the macbook air. Rubberized carbon fiber chasis, and better keyboard, smaller form factor etc. were all nice, all with a price point for several hundered dollars less then Apple. I purchesed through a dell kiosk that I knew was getting them in. First 10,000 Dells sold come with free T-moobile 4g hotspot good for 3 months. My out the door price was less then $1,000. I would imagine this will be the case for most people.Ok so owning the laptop for 10+ days it has been a great piece of hardware. My wife keeps coming into my home office to borrow my computer. She has issues running some excel functions in OSX on her Macbook air. The battery life has so far exceeded the expectations of what I thought I was going to get based on cnet and Walt Mossberg. I run windows on the macbook air and she has taken them both of the charger and used them side by side, ie dual screen (mouse without borders) and the 13 macbook air will actually die before the dell. That is running windows though. I haven't tried the same test running same programs in osx.
Updated on Mar 8, 2012
The only realy complaint I have is the fan. When using only battery the fan is quite, and I never notice it. When it is plugged in the fan tends to be louder then I would prefer.
As to qustion on Ubunto, I can't tell you. As to pricing, dell is alwasy willing to give discounts. I already sold the T-mobile hotspot on ebay and my net cost is now below $875.
Updated on Mar 8, 2012In my original review I gave it less then 5 stars based on the screen resolution, because I'm used to using 3 24" ultra high resolution monitors at my desktop. After using the computer quite a bit for my purposes the resolution is just fine. In a 13" screen if I made my icons any smaller they would be hard for my eyes to use.
Using Autocad, excel and email I've been perfectly happy with the resolution. I haven't actually watched any movies or videos outside of some basic youtube videos on the computer though.
Another advantage I noticed with this computer above the Asus or the Macbook is screen height and size. The dell sits almost 1.5" less in height and about 1" less in depth then the Macbook air. If you are traveling much this will definitly help when setting it on a coach class tray.
Pros Not an Apple / Walled Garden
More solid feel than the Asus, Lenovo, HP, and other Ultrabooks
Good battery life so far
Really a simple but elegant style not overblown like Asus (which I do like too)
Small and light, but feels solid
Cons Lack of SD is the main issue I have.
Summary Overall this is a well put together machine and it amazes me that it is a Dell.
While I love the fit and finish of Apple products, I personally am not a fan of the walled garden approach. I am not anti Apple, just not for me.
This is a product of what Apple has done on the market and has brought a great product out of a company that I would not have guessed.
This is an impressive product and after testing the Asus, Lenovo, HP, and Toshiba Ultrabooks, this is easily my favorite.
Pros Light and thin.
Cons *** No Hibernation.
*** Trackpad/touchpad very irritating to use, very jumpy or hardly moves.
*** Screen can only be opened very little past vertical.
*** Minimal ports. 1 USB 2, 1 USB 3.
Summary I highly recommend not to buy this XPS 13. You will avoid a lot of headaches. It is apparent that Dell released this model before ironing out many critical issues. For the price we users deserve a much better finished product. Here is why:
Cannot hibernate, and Dell knows it and cannot fix this critical issue. Cypress Trackpad is irritating to use , even with driver update, Dell should install a much better trackpad/touchpad hardware for this expensive laptop. Screen cannot be opened too much past vertical making viewing standing up nearly impossible. Having SSD the Windows Defrag was not disabled as it should have been, it was scheduled, which is a big no no with SSD drives.
Seriously thinking of returning this troublesome and irritating ultrabook.
Pros Great keyboard! Bright, colorful screen! Good specs! Nice backlit keyboard! Good gestures for a PC! Super light and thin! Good speakers! Really small but still has a great size keyboard and screen! Really fast and has instant on. Starts up very fast.
Cons No SD Card Slot
I can live without these things, though.
Summary This is an overall great laptop that is ultrafast and has instant on. It is easily the best looking ultrabook on the market. Cheaper than MacBook air by 200$ but without sd card slot. HAS AN AWESOME BATTERY METER ON THE OUTSIDE WHICH IS USEFUL TOO SEE HOW MUCH BATTERY I HAVE LEFT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I HIGHLY RECCOMEND THIS LAPTOP TO EVERYONE!!!! On the second day we got it our friend decided to buy one cause they loved it!