Dell said on Tuesday that it has introduced a version of its XPS 13 Ultrabook (opens in new tab) here in the United States that sports a Full HD (1080p) display.
Starting at $999 USD, the previous XPS 13 Ultrabook model launched a year ago and featured a 720p display powered by an Intel Core i5 processor, a 128 GB SSD and 4 GB of memory. This new 1080p model now offered by Dell starts at $1,399 USD, and packs a Core i5 CPU, a 256 GB SSD and 8 GB of RAM.
"The new 1080p display contains almost 2x the pixels of a typical 720p display, and the difference is noticeable," said Dell chief blogger Lionel Menchaca. "Everything looks sharper, whether you are viewing high resolution images, watching 1080p video or even reading text on an eBook or a web page. More pixels also means you’ll have more screen real estate, so you will see more of that spreadsheet (see image below) or that you’ll be able to see more detail in a high resolution image than you would compared to a typical notebook screen."
Essentially Dell now offers four XPS 13 Ultrabook models, all sporting a 13.3-inch display: the 720p Core i5 model @ $999.99, the 720p Core i7 model at $1199.99, the 1080p Core i5 model @ $1399.99, and the 1080p Core i7 model @ $1599.99. All four default configurations feature Intel HD 4000 graphics, and there doesn't seem to be any option to upgrade to Nvidia or AMD chips.
In fact, after looking over the "customizations", Dell only offers the basics: productivity software, essential adapters and tools, on ther go accessories, security software, tax software and more. That said, these Ultrabooks are locked in hardware-wise, so it's good that Dell has introduced two new Ultrabook models with a higher resolution.
"The XPS 13 is smaller than the MacBook Air 13 because we fit a 13-inch screen into something barely bigger than an 11-inch footprint," Menchaca. "The 1080p display offers 44% more pixels than the 900p display that it currently offers. For those who want to compare it against the MacBook Pro 13, while the retina version (opens in new tab) does offer a higher resolution, it also adds several hundred dollars to the price and over a half pound of weight in the process."
Consumers looking for a new Ultrabook with a 1080p resolution should see what Dell has to offer (opens in new tab). That way, if you actually do buy it (and it seems that Michael Dell really needs your business right now), we get to say "Dude, you're getting a Dell!".
My God, do you know what kind of serious 1080p 17" gaming laptop you can get for $1500 with a dedicated GPU? Who in the WORLD would want one of these?
That said, with 1080p becoming common even on 4-8" screens and 1440-1600p becoming almost standard on 10" tablets, 1080p on screens 13" and larger are starting to sound very much old-news... you can get 22" 1080p desktop LCDs for ~$150 so integrating a 14" in a laptop should be substantially cheaper - no AC-DC PSU, no multi-input or analog front-end, much smaller and simpler housing, no buttons, etc., just a straight LVDS panel with backlight and minor tweaks to the lid to fit it.
If I were Dell, I would be a little ashamed about boasting about 1080p redolution on a laptop costing over $1000. At this rate, I am not going to be buying into the UltraHype any time soon... I'll stick to conventional laptops that have more features for nearly half the price.
Businesses. Dell's On-Site warranty, in most countries, is very good and takes away a lot of the expense of keeping extra technicians on-site for hardware support. The XPS lineup is also very well-built and well-supported with some docks/extensions/port replicators that Dell also supplies for its Latitude and Precision notebooks. In most cases as well, these notebooks use Intel's network chips, so if you have a network admin proficient with vPro, helpdesk support gets a lot easier.
It's such a pain in the ass to find a 16:10 monitor anymore...
Would you like to sell a kidney for such a machine?