XPS 13 Ultrabook Specifications – Dell Hits One Out-of-the-Park

Update: Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook Gets Optional Full HD 1,080p

We covered the Dell XPS 13 ultrabook in February of 2012, and actually ordered one for our company's use the first day it became available; something we typically do not do. The reason was the truly excellent build quality. Industry-wide however, the consensus seemed to be that it came up a bit short in display screen resolution. That became a glaring deficiency over time, as displays for all mobile devices continued to improve markedly.

Issue resolved: With no time-line announced, Dell will offer full-HD 1,080p resolution display screens, but only as an optional upgrade. No other substantial changes to the XPS 13 have been announced.(01/08/2013)

If that round logo on Dell products were to be a baseball, the general consensus seems to be that Dell may have just hit one right out of the park. The XPS 13 is smaller than a MacBook Air 13-inch, and just a bit larger than a MacBook Air 11-inch. Carrying virtually the same specifications, in a smaller form-factor, it is also $300 less than the MBA 13. The base price for the XPS 13 is US-$999.

Essentially designed for 'prosumers' and corporate business users, the quality of the build is excellent with an aluminum lid and carbon-fiber base. The large glass touchpad with integrated buttons offers multi-gestural support. A class-leading, backlit, full-size keyboard accentuates the above average build quality.

Businesses and consumers will like the Rapid Start and Smart Connect technology, which wakes intermittently to connect to recognized networks to update or synchronize with email, social networks, calendar, and other scheduled functions. Battery life may be better than you've experienced on your current notebook, but not as long as on some other ultrabooks. Ethernet will be through a USB adapter if needed.

Corporate IT departments will applaud optional configuration services such as asset tagging, custom imaging, and optional ProSupport, as well as standard security features such as BitLocker data-encryption, utilizing the standard ‘Trusted Platform Module’. Above and beyond the limited hardware warranty, Dell is providing as standard, one year of theft protection using Computrace LoJack for Laptops Theft Recovery Service. A 12-month Skype Premium subscription, one year of Accidental Damage Service, and 100GB of cloud storage for back-up through Dell DataSafe are also included. That's a lot for an IT department to like.

Tim Peters, of Dell's Client Business Strategy and Planning, was quoted by SlashGear as saying, “We looked at XPS and a key trend of consumerization of IT .… You had a consumer that wanted aesthetic appeal, premium design, craftsmanship and a lightweight design, and Apple’s MacBook Air came in and really hit that hard. They always wanted the instant-on, accessible data and location-aware of a device like a tablet. Then they also wanted horsepower and substance. I don’t want to compromise on taking a Core i3 only, I want something real to be productive. And, I’d like to be able to use this as my personal device, and the only way an IT manager would allow that to happen is that if it’s data-secure.” ....“We started our development a year and half ago,” said Peters, “it’s taken us a lot of time, in fact we’re the last ones to come out with an ultrabook, because we were crafting something a level above in terms of innovation.”

Specifications - Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook

  • Sandy Bridge Intel Core i5-2467M base model, or optional i7-2637M, Ivy Bridge CPUs to arrive later in 2012

  • 128GB solid-state drive (SSD) standard, or optional 256GB SSD

  • RAM: 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1333Mhz

  • Graphics: Intel HD 3000

  • Screen: 13.3-inch Gorilla Glass with very narrow border, HD WLED,1366×768, resolution to be upgraded later in 2012

  • Sealed, built-in, non-removable 47 W/Hr, 6-cell battery

  • LED Battery gauge on side

  • Waves Maxx Audio 4.0, hi-definition sound

  • Dual-array digital microphones

  • Webcam 1.3MP

  • Wi-Fi 802.11 A/G/N

  • Bluetooth v3.0

  • USB port 3.0 (1) & USB 2.0 port with Power-share (1)

  • Mini-display port

  • Headset jack

  • Full-size, backlit keyboard with integrated glass touchpad

  • Windows 7

  • ENERGY STAR® qualified / EPEAT registered

  • 2.99 lbs / 1.36 kg

  • Size: smaller than a MacBook Air 13-inch, larger than a MacBook Air 11-inch

  • Price: $300 less than the 13-inch MacBook Air with similar specifications


We placed our order for our own XPS 13 today, February, 27, 2012. The Dell web-site charged us US-$875, plus a T-Mobile 4G Mobile HotSpot priced at $124.99, for a total of US-$999.99.

It's ultrabook time, even if your name is Miller. Please ask a beer-drinking friend, if you need that statement explained.

Topics: Technology News Dell Laptops & Ultrathin Ultrabooks

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