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Laptops

Dell XPS 15 - First Take

The 15-inch version of Dell's high-end laptop line joins the 13 and 14-inch models.

Dell

Dell has announced a couple of new additions to its high-end XPS laptop series. The new XPS 14 and XPS 15 (both system names Dell has used before) join the current XPS 13, creating a lineup of aluminium body ultrabooks and near-ultrabooks.

We've reviewed the new XPS 14, and the XPS 15 is substantially similar in design and configuration options.

The past couple of generations of both Inspiron and XPS laptops -- the company's mainstream and high-end lines, respectively -- have been moving in the right direction designwise, even if dragged there by the growth of Apple's MacBooks and the push toward thinner, snazzier ultrabook-style laptops.

That 13-inch XPS was also made of machined aluminum, and its tapered design clearly (and no doubt deliberately) brought to mind Apple's MacBook Air (we jokingly called it the DellBook Air at the time). The XPS 14, and its big brother, the also-new XPS 15, are similar, but not identical.

The aluminum outer chassis in the new XPS 14 and 15 is combined with a magnesium alloy wrist rest and a soft-touch silicon bottom panel. These larger XPS laptops are more slablike, rather than tapered. One could even say they look more like the MacBook Pro than the Air, from the matte aluminum finish to the black backlit keyboard to the large one-piece click pad (and the sealed battery compartment).

The XPS 14 and XPS 15 are both available to order now. The XPS 14 starts at $1,099, and the XPS 15 starts at $1,299. That base configuration of the XPS 15 includes an Intel Core i5-3210M CPU, 6GB of RAM, a Nvidia GeForce 630M GPU, and a 500GB HDD, coupled with a 32GB SSD.

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