A couple of months ago, I got an email from a Dell Canada representative, offering me one of their newest ultrabooks to use and review. As a Dell user and a blogger who spends a lot of time online, I obviously jumped at the opportunity. My old Dell Inspiron laptop got me through university and the years that followed, but it was definitely too large to carry with me, and let’s face it – was getting quite old.
From the moment I opened the box, containing my new Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook, I was impressed. The computer was sleek, stylish, super slim, and lightweight. I charged the battery and settled in to explore its many features.
More after the jump!
As I mentioned above, from the get-go, I loved this ultrabook’s design. It really is a pleasure to use/touch/hold/look at. XPS 13 is thin, portable, and easily fits into most bags (and purses!). The high-definition display is vibrant, and boasts edge-to-edge Gorilla Glass for the klutzes among us. There’s a built in camera, which comes in handy when you use the facial recognition tool to log into your user account. And in case you missed that last sentence, here it is again – a FACIAL RECOGNITION TOOL! It took me a few tries to perfect, but after a bit of learning, the machine was able to recognize me and log me in in seconds. How cool is that?
My XPS 13 also came loaded with all the essentials, like Photoshop (Elements, I believe), and Microsoft Office (not the full version, but good enough for most users). Battery life of the XPS 13 is also pretty impressive. I could take my ultrabook outside, blog, edit and upload photos, read my books, and still have power left a few hours later. No problems there. And its speed…well, it certainly did not keep me waiting around. Granted, it was a brand new unit, but still, there were no glitches that I encountered while using XPS 13 as my main blogging computer.
Even though I loved most aspects of my new XPS 13, it did lack one key (for me) component – SD card reader. As someone who tends to download a ton of photos daily, it would’ve been awesome to be able to just plug in my SD card, and go. Of course, there are other ways to download photos, either directly from the camera (via a cable, which I always seem to misplace), or via a removable SD card reader (about $20), which I bought and kept plugged into the ultrabook at all times. It was a pretty easy fix, so I guess it wasn’t a huge deal after all.
Well, the ugly isn’t really about the computer, but mostly about theft. Yup, computer theft happens, folks. In fact, it happened to me. Not wanting to part with my new XPS 13, le bf and I brought it on our honeymoon, and while it survived our transfers/travels from Toronto to Rome to Naples to Sorrento to Florence to Barcelona…it was stolen on our final day at W Barcelona - probably the most high-end hotel we stayed at our entire trip. It definitely put a damper on the last day of our honeymoon, but it also taught us a very important lesson – jot down your PC’s serial number before traveling!
As we later found out, Dell’s XPS 13 comes with the best standard protection plan in the industry. In addition to the Limited Hardware Warranty, Dell includes one year of Accidental Damage Service and one year of theft protection with Computrace LoJack for Laptops Theft Recovery Service as standard. Accidental Damage Service provides customers with peace of mind by protecting against drops and spills and other accidents that may occur, while Computrace LoJack for Laptops Theft Recovery Service helps track, locate, lock down and recover a stolen system, and can even remotely delete sensitive data.
If only we had recorded our ultrabook’s serial number (at the bottom of the unit), we might’ve been able to track it and erase all sensitive data from the computer. So, please, learn from our sad mistake, and always record your PC’s info before traveling.
Super sleek, portable, easy-to-use, and loaded with fun extras, XPS 13 is the ideal ultrabook for young professionals, students, and anyone on the go. For the two months that I had this ultrabook, it was a joy to use, and I would recommend this laptop to anyone without hesitation. For technical specs and more photos of the unit, please visit Dell Canada’s website.
Photo Credits: Dell
Disclosure: The unit reviewed was gifted to me by Dell Canada