Dell today started selling the XPS 14 and XPS 15, following up on its release of a 13” version in March of the XPS 13, and these two new models released today are likely to generate praise. For advisors looking for a Windows laptop that can replace a desktop, either of these new machines are a good candidate.
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An XPS 14 with a 3.0 GHz Intel i7-3517U quad-core processor, 8GB RAM, 512GB solid state hard drive, 64-bit Windows 7 and 64-bit Office Professional costs $2,800 — and that includes a four-year service plan.
About 18 months ago, when I purchased my Sony Vaio Z, which is a pound or two lighter and has a 13.3” screen and a 256GB solid state drive, it cost $3,000 with a three-year service plan. In comparison, the Dell XPS 14, provides a solid state drive twice the size, a faster processor, and an extra year on the warranty.
The XPS 14 represents the first of the desktop-replacement laptops as powerful and portable as the Sony Vaio Z.
In an incredibly thorough review of the XPS 13 in March, Sean Hollister on The Verge said that new Dell model did a lot of things right, but criticized the machine for three things: display, somewhat disappointing battery life, and a lack of ports or adapters. The XPS 14 appears to address all three of these issues. The XPS 14 has two USB ports and an SD card slot, claims up to 11 hours of battery life, and includes a 1920 by 1080 display.
The design of the XPS models is Mac-like. Dell copied the tear-drop shape and curves of the MacBook Air. Less than an inch thick, it sports Gorilla Glass, and a 1GB NVIDIA graphics adapter.
Looks like the XPS 15, which offers up to 16GB of RAM, is also a contender. In fact, if you need a computer for video editing, the XPS 15 is a better option than the XPS 14 because it can be configured with 2GB video adapter and twice the RAM of the XPS 14. Unfortunately it does not have a solid state hard drive.