Disclaimer: I am being seeded with the Dell XPS 12 for a 3 part review. For the first part, I will talk about the unboxing and design of the Dell XPS 12.
The Dell XPS 12 was announced back in 30th August 2012 at IFA 2012. Currently the base model is retailing for S$1,828. If you intend to get it from Dell Online Store, you might need to wait for 20 working days due to overwhelming demand.
The Dell XPS 12 is not just an ordinary ultrabook because the screen is able to flip the other way round, effectively becoming a tablet like the picture you are going to see at the bottom. Dell call this the flip-hinge design. It is running on Windows 8 Pro and as you might know by now, Windows 8 is designed to be used by both computers and tablets.
For the base model of S$1,799, you can get the following specifications:
- Windows 8 Pro, English (64bit)
- Processor: 3rd Generation Intel Core i5-3317U Processor (3M Cache, up to 2.6 GHz, TPM)
- RAM: 4GB Dual channel DDR3
- Storage: 128GB Solid State Drive
- Chipset: Mobile Intel QS77 Express Chipset
- Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000
- Display: 12.5 inch LED Backlit Touch Display with True Life and FHD resolution (1920 x 1080)
- Audio: Realtek ALC3260
- Microphone: Dual digital-array microphones in the camera assembly
- Camera: 1.3MP webcam (1280 x 1024)
- Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 802.11 a/g/n with Intel Smart Connect Technology
- Bluetooth 3.0
- Intel Wireless Display (WiDi) 3.0 ready
- Intel Smart Connect Technology
- Keyboard: Standard full size, backlit chiclet keyboard; spill-resistant
- Trackpad: Glass integrated button touchpad with gesture support
- 1x 9-pin USB 3.0 port
- 1x 9-pin USB 3.0 port with PowerShare and Windows debugging
- 1x 20-pin mini-display port
- 1x headphone/microphone combo port
- Battery: 47WHr battery; 6-Cell Lithium Ion (built-in)
- Machined aluminium panel rim in anodised aluminium color
- Premium carbon fiber display back and base
- Magnesium palmrest with soft touch paint
- Dimensions (H x W x D): 8mm-20mm x 317mm x 214mm
- Weight: 1.54kg
After unboxing the main box, you will uncover 2 more smaller boxes, the power cord box and the Dell XPS 12 box.
The black box you see at the top contains nothing but jut a power cord. I was expecting more stuff in it. I guess they separated the cord from the adapter so that they can repack it easily for different power sockets in different countries.
The main Dell XPS 12 box contains very minimal stuff. The Dell XPS 12, power cord and some guide booklets.
The top and bottom panel is made up of carbon fiber while the frame of the top panel is made up of aluminium.
The keyboard is a standard full-size backlighted chiclet keyboard and it is spill-resistant (I would not want to test it). The trackpad is made of glass and has 2 buttons integrated in it. It also supports multi-touch gestures.
The keyboard area is made of magnesium and coated with soft touch paint. I am not a fan of the soft touch paint because it traps sweat and oil easily and it is really obvious when that happens. I would rather see aluminium being used or even better quality plastic without any coating.
At the thickest end (on the left) it measures 20mm and on the thinnest end (on the right) it measures 8mm.
The build of the Dell XPS 12 is very solid and well made, you will not find any “squeaks” when using it. I expected the screen’s frame to be flimsy, since it looks structurally weak. But even the frame of the screen felt solid because it is made up of aluminium. You can lift it up just by carrying the frame (I did that a couple of times).
Because of the materials used and the sturdy built, the Dell XPS 12 is a little heavy (weighing at 1.5kg) if you compare it with other ultrabooks.
To Be Continued …
For the second part of the review, I will talk about the functionality and features and for the last part, I will talk about my experience of using the Dell XPS 12. So stay tuned!