Dell Unveils First Ivy Bridge-Based XPS Notebooks

Similar to the XPS 13 Ultrabook, which Dell unveiled in January running second-generation Intel CPUs, the XPS 14 and XPS 15 boast a longer battery life and a boost in performance compared to prior generation XPS systems. According to Lionel Menchaca, chief blogger for Dell who introduced the new systems in the company's corporate blog, the new 14-inch XPS 14 and 15.6-inch XPS 15 are the most impressive notebooks the PC maker has put out to date.

"I’ve been here at Dell almost 17 years, and in my opinion, these systems are the best laptops we’ve ever made," Menchaca wrote Tuesday. "I also believe with the mix of performance, features, portability and battery life, these XPS laptops can compete with any other laptops currently available."

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The lower-end and slightly smaller XPS 14, which measures 0.81 inches thick and weighs 4.6 pounds, delivers up to 11 hours of battery life and runs an Nvidia GeForce GT 630m graphics card. Both the XPS 14 and XPS 15 are available with either an SSD or traditional hard drive.

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Menchaca explained that the XPS 14 running an SSD is technically an Ultrabook, as it meets all of Intel’s industry-standard specs for the super-thin notebook form factor. SSDs are required of Ultrabooks in order to deliver certain Intel technologies, including Rapid Start and Smart Response for faster boot-up times.

The larger XPS 15 is 0.91-inches thick -- missing Intel’s Ultrabook mark by 0.08 inches -- and weighs a heftier 5.79 pounds. It delivers up to 16 GB dual-channel DDR3 1600MHz memory and comes equipped with either an Nvidia GeForce GT 630m or the higher-end GeForce GT 640m card. The battery life of the XPS 15 falls short compared to its smaller counterpart, delivering around eight hours.

Both the XPS 14 and XPS 15, like the XPS 13, have an edge-to-edge, Gorilla Glass display. The XPS 15 has a screen resolution of 1,920-by-1,080, a higher pixel count than the XPS 14’s 1,600-by-900 display. USB 3.0 and HDMI Out ports are also included.

According to Menchaca's blog, the XPS 14 and XPS 15 are available starting Tuesday, priced at $1,099 and $1,299, respectively.