Dell Unveils its XPS 13 Ultrabook at CES

Dennis Faas's picture

In 2010, Apple's iPad became an instant hit, and was widely praised by critics. Ever since then, hardware vendors have been trying to compete with the iPad, but attempts have been met with very little success -- and in some cases, downright failure.

In the past few months, however, vendors have shifted their focus to "ultrabooks," a cross between an ultra-lightweight, thin laptop and a powerful PC.

Dell Joins Ultrabook Bandwagon

Asus, Acer and Lenovo have all previously announced plans to begin marketing devices in the ultrabook class, and now Dell has announced its own entrant into this exciting new market: the XPS 13.

Dell worked hard to unveil the XPS 13 at this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, placing it a little behind the competition in jockeying for position within the ultrabook race. However, the device it finally demonstrated turned a lot of heads, thanks to its relatively low cost and relatively large processing power.

Under the Hood: Low Weight, Big Processor

Weighing in at just 2.99 pounds and sporting a 13-inch display, the XPS 13 remains extremely portable. It's also quite powerful, boasting an Intel Core i7 processor and either a 128GB or 256GB solid-state drive (SSD). (Source:

There are two significant drawbacks to the XPS 13's design, however: first, Dell has refrained from including a powerful (and admittedly, expensive) graphics card, opting instead for tame integrated Intel HD3000 graphics. The choice probably won't make gamers happy, but it does help keep the unit's street price down.

Second: there's no HDMI port on the device, effectively preventing users from streaming video from this Dell ultrabook to a high-definition television, for example. The XPS 13 is also lacking a memory card slot, which could present major limitations for some users. (Source:

Dell Hopes System Appeals to Business, Home Users

Overall, Dell says it has designed the system for both business and home users. In fact, the XPS 13 is part of Dell's "Consumerization Ecosystem," a term intended to highlight Dell's ongoing efforts to blur the line between consumer and professional laptops.

Industry observers are already thinking about where the XPS 13 will fit into the highly competitive ultrabook market. Given its portability, processing power and the weakness of its graphics card, many think the unit will likely be most popular with business users.

The Dell XPS 13 will become available sometime later this year, with basic models priced below $1,000.

| Tags:
Rate this article: 
No votes yet