Ultrabook Dell XPS 13: coming soon in Russia

    They brought Ultrabook Dell XPS 13 to my office. In Russia, this model is still not for sale, and the copy, scary to say, is the only one in the whole country. I had to get it for a test a couple of weeks ago, but Dell took part in one conference in Monaco, and the ultrabook flew there. It just so happened that I was also among the participants of this event, and there we met for the first time. Another 2,500 kilometers in the air, a couple of taxi rides, and now the acquaintance continues in Moscow.


    One of the important features of the ultrabook according to Dell is that it has a 13-inch screen, and the case dimensions are similar to that of 12-inch laptops. This is achieved due to the very narrow frame around the matrix. Inside, the Intel Core i5-2467M with a frequency of 1.6 GHz is quite standard for the current generation of ultrabooks, but it will soon be replaced by an analogue on Ivy Bridge. As a result, not only will increase battery life, but also significantly increase the performance in games. An integrated GPU in the Ivy Bridge family of processors will be very good.


    Speaking of battery life. If we open the XPS 13, we find that the layout is very, very tight. The memory (4 GB) is wired directly to the board. SSD is also not easy, but with the mSATA interface. 128 GB is, in principle, sufficient for basic needs. But if it is not enough, it is better to purchase an external hard drive, because it is not easy to find a more capacious SSD with mSATA, but it costs twice as much as the analog with SATA.


    One can’t but rejoice that the Dell WiFi adapter was used in the Dell ultrabook, the Intel one - with support for the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. I was somehow unlucky with the more common Atheros: in the usual “office” mode they work fine, but if you start to drive HD video through the air, twitching and just “freezing” of the picture occur cyclically. I was not too lazy, I ordered two Intel 6200 PCI-E adapters on eBay. They are not the newest, and therefore they cost quite humanely - $ 14 apiece (including delivery). And now, for two months now, no, you see, twitches while watching a movie on both home laptops. However, we were distracted.


    Ultrabook XPS 13 has a few connectors: 1 USB 2.0 port, 1 USB 3.0 and mini Display Port. The card reader did not find a place on board, which for me personally, of course, is not very convenient. On the road, you usually have to take a lot of pictures, and an external card reader is a no-no, but forget it at home. Well, there's nothing to be done. But the USB ports are conveniently located on the sides and do not overlap when working from the outlet.

    The keyboard and touchpad are beyond praise: in spite of their compact size, it’s archi-convenient to work. I’m telling you as a ThinkPad user, and we are picky guys. In addition, the keys have a built-in diode backlight, which cannot but come in handy on the road.


    It’s also great that the bottom is made of rough carbon fiber, and instead of small rubber legs that have the habit of instantly falling off and being lost, two wide rubber strips are glued. And the ventilation hole is almost the entire width of the case. It will not be hot for either the knees or the filling. The only cooler inside the case has a very ... resilient sound. He wakes up infrequently, but not to notice his work will not work with all his will. There is nothing to be done, the current generation of processors still needs quite intensive cooling. Most likely, with Ivy Bridge, acoustic comfort will increase markedly.

    When you turn on the XPS 13 first thing ... determined its coordinates in space, and quite accurately. I was really glad that there is a built-in GPS-receiver, but no - while the coordinates are calculated by WiFi access points. “Bye” - because the preinstalled software has a GPS module tab and even a utility for testing it. Apparently, hurt for the near future.

    Ultrabook works very, very fast. Second-generation Core i5, normal memory, 64-bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium, and in combination with a decent SSD (7.4 points on the built-in Windows benchmark) - there are simply no brakes to come from. The screen first makes a very decent impression with bright shades and the absence of a pronounced graininess, like some budget matrices. But it’s worth looking at the image not at a right angle, but a little from the side, as you know - alas, we have before us the usual TN-ka with all the consequences. Text on a white background is decently readable from any angle, but photos lose color even when the degrees deviate by 40 ... On the other hand, I have not seen ultrabooks with IPS or * VA yet. They will appear, then we will be capricious.

    The sound of the Dell ultrabook is quite loud. This is perhaps all that can be said about him. It is recommended that you listen to movies and music with headphones; otherwise, many details of a work of art will not reach your ears.

    The thickness of the Dell ultrabook case is 16 mm. But it’s one thing to just talk about millimeters, and another thing is to attach something. As an “something” was my old iPhone 3GS. This is not the thinnest phone to date, but perhaps not the thickest. And this is a PHONE, not a laptop. Compare them with an ultrabook in the thickest place ... Oh wow! And the iPhone seems thicker!

    Well, they survived.

    Of course, there must be a measure in the pursuit of grace, and it is unlikely that anyone will be pleased if, taking an ultrabook by one edge, we find that the second one ... hangs a bit under its own weight. I dare to assume that the block with the keyboard will soon lose weight completely, but the screen part, on the contrary, will grow stout. After all, becoming a sensory one, it will certainly be requested to be free from the keyboard.

    I tried working on the Dell XPS 13 in my normal mode - Word, ICQ, the web version of Twitter and Facebook, occasionally Photoshop for processing illustrations. In this mode, the battery requested mercy after four hours and twelve minutes. I think if you abandon Facebook, you can easily pass for five hours of autonomy, because the web interface of this social network really loads the CPU. Would you like more? Yes, perhaps - especially considering the fact that the battery takes up more space in the case than electronics. But personally for me (personally for me) the guaranteed four hours is quite enough.

    We can’t but rejoice at the fact that at Dell they thought about approximating the size of the power supply to the energy consumer, and it turned out to be quite compact.


    The only pity is that the fork is still hefty.


    In the USA, such an ultrabook costs $ 999 plus sales tax (another 8-10%). I dare to suggest that in our rich country the price at the start of sales (March) will be slightly more expensive, but then gradually decrease to 30-32. This, of course, is not as cheap as we would all like. But, I remember, a year and a half ago, when I needed a really mobile, durable and fast laptop, the most profitable offer started at around 45,000 rubles, and in the end I bought a copy for 60,000. Now the price bar has dropped to a more humane level - without damage to mobility, strength and speed. That would be something else useful cheaper at the same pace. For example, real estate.


    Have you already looked at ultrabooks?

    PS Some of the pictures for this post were made on the Nokia Lumia 800 smartphone. The rest, as usual, on the Nikon D90.

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