Text and photos by Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla
At less than 1" thin and featuring 2nd Gen Intel Core processors, the new XPS 14z from Dell offers a well rounded and fully featured laptop with a built-in DVD player with a 14" screen in a 13" body. While clad in anodized aluminum with a premium look and feel, the XPS 14z is geared towards functionality and portability without compromising functionality.
The XPS 14z (starting at $1000) is relatively thin at 0.9", it is no ultrabook though and the 4.36 pound weight is something to consider. You do get a completely updated design, second generation Intel Core processors with all the ports and drives anyone would need including a DVD burner.
The XPS line has always been the premium or professional line of notebooks and showcases the latest designs wrapped around the most recently available technology.
Dell has really upped the ante in industrial design with the XPS 14z and the details reveal how much thought and careful planning has gone into this notebook. The unique look and feel of the backlit keyboard is a departure on the square chiclet style we've seen in many notebooks today.
The satin-smooth treatment on the anodized aluminum surrounding the case also denotes a premium focus as does the fanciful lattice design of the speaker grilles.
The XPS 14z notebook feels solid all around and has the unique feature of squeezing the equivalent of a 14 inch screen in a 13 inch computer. They do this by applying a borderless design on the screen. As a result users get a 14” HD display with edge-to-edge glass and an ultra-thin laptop frame. And it all comes in a compact form roughly the size of a 13” laptop.
In terms of performance, our review unit ran Windows 7 Professional flawlessly. It was receptive although we were constantly distracted by all the pop-ups and reminders from the included bloatware.
The quality and clarity of the 14 inch screen is above average and while we would have preferred a matte screen, we found the viewing angles and color reproduction to be good.
We found it up to task for most of our computing and even entertainment needs and the 5 hour battery life was normal for a 13-inch computer and even better considering you are actually watching a larger 14 inch screen.
Overall, the Dell XPS 14z is a capable and clearly premium notebook that brings unparalleled portability to the 14" full featured, two-spindle notebook line.
Raating: 4 out of 5