CNET First Look
Dell boosts battery life in an updated XPS 12 hybridThis unique flip-screen laptop/tablet gets a bit better with each new version.
I'm Dan Ackerman and we are here to take a look at the Dell XPS 12. I'll get this part out of the way first. What makes this a laptop-tablet hybrid is that the screen rotates but right in the middle like this, so you flip it all the way around to the back and then you have kind of a kiosk mode, or you fold it all the way down like this and then you have a fairly chunky but still pretty reasonable tablet. And when you're done with that and wanna go back you a basic clamshell laptop you just flip the screen back and you have something that is a clamshell laptop and like the best examples of this like that Lenovo Yoga 13 doesn't really compromise that laptop shape that you should be so used to. This is actually the 3rd time we've seen this design from Dell. Originally it was in a netbook years ago that had a hinge in the center like this, and the good idea didn't quite come together. Then we saw it as the XPS 12, one of the very first Windows 8 laptops and one of the very first Windows 8 hybrids and that worked pretty well, but the battery life was not great. The big difference here, physically this is almost exactly the same machine is that they've upgraded this to Intel's new 4th generation Core i series processors and that gives you much better battery life. So for example the XPS 12 we looked at back when Windows 8 first launched that got about 4-1/2 hours of battery life, maybe a little bit more and this guy is more than 7 hours. To me that's a pretty big improvement especially because they keep the price starting at about $1199. That's a little bit of a premium for the components that you get, but keep in mind this thing is made of carbon fiber and some aluminum and again it's got this really unique flip screen hinge here. It's not the kind of thing you'd probably use all the time, and if you have no need for it then there are other Ultrabooks that you get the same parts for less, but I appreciate that every time I see the XPS 12 from Dell it gets a little bit better. I'm Dan Ackerman and that is the Dell XPS 12.