Xps 14: Dell XPS 14 review: Dell XPS 14

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Dell XPS 14 review: Dell XPS 14

Forget the image of Dell laptops as generic-looking plastic boxes (or, less generously, cheap-looking ones). The past couple of generations of both Inspiron and XPS laptops — the company’s mainstream and high-end lines, respectively — have been moving in the right direction in design, even if dragged there by the growth of Apple’s MacBooks and the push toward thinner, snazzier ultrabook-style laptops.

The latest revamps of the Inspiron and XPS laptops are the best either system has ever looked, and the new flagship may well be the 14-inch XPS 14. A midsize version of the Dell XPS 13 we saw earlier in the year, this is a similarly solid, slablike system, with an eye for aesthetic minimalism but with enough extra features, from a higher-res display to a backlit keyboard to a DisplayPort jack, to feel premium. Our review sample included an Intel Core i7 CPU and discrete Nvidia GeForce 630M graphics, for $1,499.

There are a still a couple of things that give me pause. This is a thin midsize laptop, but it’s heavier than any 14-inch laptop without an optical drive needs to be. Too heavy to be a laptop for serious daily commuting, to be sure. I said the same thing about the recent MacBook Pro with Retina Display, which weighs a little less (4.46 pounds versus 4.7 pounds), but has a larger 15-inch screen.

And, if you want a thin 14-inch ultrabook laptop with a third-generation Intel Core i-series processor, discrete graphics, and a combination of solid-state drive (SSD) and hard-drive storage, Dell’s recent Inspiron 14z may also fit the bill, for a few hundred dollars less (and it weighs only 4.1 pounds). The Inspiron tops out at a Core i5 CPU, the screen resolution is lower, and the graphics come from AMD, not Nvidia, but our review configuration of that system cost $899, versus $1,199 for an otherwise comparable XPS 14. Plus, the Inspiron 14z is a pretty sharp-looking system, especially considering the price. No, it’s not as sharp, as configurable, or as solidly built, as the XPS 14 reviewed here, but hey, it’s your money.

Price as reviewed / Starting price $1,499 / $1,099
Processor 1.9GHz Intel Core i7-3517U
Memory 4GB, 1,333MHz DDR3
Hard drive 500GB 5,400rpm / 32GB SSD
Chipset Intel HM77
Graphics Nvidia GeForce GT 630M / Intel HD 4000
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
Dimensions (WD) 12.2×9.2 inches
Height 0.8 inch
Screen size (diagonal) 14 inches
System weight / Weight with AC adapter 4.7 pounds / 5.7 pounds
Category Midsize

Over the years, the XPS brand from Dell has gone through many different designs, but the current look seems best suited for the overall theme of a high-end laptop that mixes productivity with premium materials and construction. This generation of XPS laptops started with the XPS 13 earlier in 2012, which was also Dell’s first ultrabook.

That 13-inch system was also made of machined aluminum, and its tapered design clearly (and no doubt deliberately) brought to mind Apple’s MacBook Air (we jokingly called it the DellBook Air at the time). The XPS 14, and its big brother, the also-new XPS 15, are similar, but not identical. The aluminum outer chassis in this case is combined with a magnesium alloy wrist rest and a soft-touch silicone bottom panel. These larger XPS laptops are more slablike, rather than tapered. One could even say they look more like the MacBook Pro than the Air, from the matte aluminum finish to the black, backlit keyboard to the large one-piece clickpad (and the sealed battery compartment).

The XPS 14 feels as solidly built and as sturdy as any nonrugged laptop I’ve tested. I’m not sure it would stop a bullet, but it would definitely do some damage if you dropped it onto a glass coffee table. The flipside of that is the system’s weight. Dell says the XPS 14 starts at 4.6 pounds, I weighed our review unit and it was exactly 4.7 pounds, without the power cable. Note that that’s also without an internal optical drive.

There’s no way around the fact that it feels heavier than it looks, and is likely too heavy to be a frequent travel accessory. That’s a shame, as it’s labeled as an ultrabook, meaning only that it meets Intel’s requirements for a 14-inch laptop, which may be surprisingly different from what you thought an ultrabook should be. As mentioned previously, both the Dell Inspiron 14z and the new Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display weigh less.

Once you get past that, the interior ergonomics are excellent, with a keyboard that’s similar to the island-style ones found in systems from Apple, Sony, and others. The backlight is strong, and the shift, Tab, CTRL, and other important keys are a good size. Only the four directional arrows seem to get shortchanged a bit.

The large, button-free, multitouch click pad is a design we see more often now. This iteration works especially well with multitouch gestures, such as two-finger scrolling, and is as responsive as any I’ve tried, save for Apple’s MacBooks. If you dive into the settings menu for the touch pad, there’s an inertial scrolling option that can be turned on, but I found it to be imprecise and not all that helpful.

The 14-inch display has a native resolution of 1,600×900 pixels, which is really the sweet spot for a midsize laptop. The more common 1,366×768-pixel resolution is too low, especially as you get into more expensive laptops, and 1,920×1080 pixels, which you sometimes find on premium systems, is unnecessarily high for many people. Interestingly, Apple’s Retina Display MacBook Pro throws a wrench in this, with its 2,880×1,800-pixel screen that can be set to mimic several different resolutions. In the XPS 14, the screen was bright, with edge-to-edge Corning Gorilla Glass over it, but with a disappointingly small optimal viewing angle. Move just a little bit off-axis vertically, and the image deteriorates quickly.

Video HDMI, mini-DisplayPort VGA plus HDMI or DisplayPort
Audio Stereo speakers, headphone jack Stereo speakers, headphone/microphone jacks
Data 2 USB 3.0, SD card reader 2 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0, SD card reader, eSATA
Networking Ethernet, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, optional mobile broadband Ethernet, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, optional mobile broadband
Optical drive None DVD burner

Nearly all the ports and connections are gathered on the left side of the system, which is hopefully where you like them, unless you don’t mind wrapping cables all over the place. On the right side, where an optical drive slot or tray would normally go, is a single SD card slot. Both USB ports are 3.0 (much as Apple made the same 3. 0-only switch), and in the future, I suspect we’ll see fewer and fewer USB 2.0 ports on laptops in any price range.

This particular configuration runs $1,499, and includes an Intel Core i7-3517U, along with 8GB of RAM, Nvidia’s GeForce GT 630M GPU, and a 500GB hard drive, coupled with 32GB of quick SSD storage. You can get as low as $1,099, with a Core i5 CPU and no discrete graphics, but that seems pointless when similar configurations are available from other laptops for so much less. Note that a couple of the available configurations have only a 500GB HDD, without the 32GB SSD, making them not technically ultrabooks.

In our CNET Labs benchmark tests, the XPS 14 powered through faster than the Core i5 Inspiron 14z, but slower than Apple’s quad-core version of the 15-inch MacBook Pro. In single-app tests, the performance was close to that of the Maingear EX-L 15, another new Ivy Bridge laptop, but one pitched exclusively for its performance. That’s all to say that the specs here are more than powerful enough for any task you’re likely to throw at the XPS 14, and you could even elect to jump back to the less expensive Core i5 version and not even notice the difference.

While the XPS 14 has a discrete graphics card — something of a rarity for ultrabooks of any size — it’s Nvidia’s GeForce 630M, which is considered a mainstream part, not one for hardcore gamers. It’s still more than adequate for casual games, and you’ll be able to play most current games if you turn down the detail settings a bit.

In our low-end Street Fighter IV test, at 1,600×900 pixels, the XPS 14 ran at a decent 43.4 frames per second. The more challenging Metro 2033 test ran at 11.7 frames per second at 1,366×768 pixels, which is actually not a terrible score. Interestingly, we got about the same levels of performance from the other new Dell 14-inch ultrabook, the Inspiron 14z, which has discrete AMD graphics instead.

With a high-powered CPU and discrete graphics, you’d be right to worry about the battery life on the XPS 14. Fortunately, a big chunk of that 4.7 pounds must be battery, because the system ran for 6 hours and 8 minutes in our video-playback battery-drain test. That’s within an hour of the 15-inch MacBook Pro, and great for any midsize laptop. This is one area where the XPS model beat the Inspiron handily, by more than an hour.

Dell offers a special level of service and support for XPS products, which is always welcome. As the XPS 14 hasn’t gone live on Dell’s Web site as of this writing, we’ll have to update the details on exact warranty options and upgrades when that information is available. On previous XPS laptops, Dell has offered a default one-year mail-in service warranty, along with 24-7 toll-free phone service and Web support, including documentation and software drivers that are easy to find.

The Dell XPS 14 continues to stretch the definition of an ultrabook, and not particularly for the better. I loved the overall design, and the inclusion of high-end components, including discrete graphics. However, for $1,499, I expected a full SSD drive, as ultrabooks with 128GB SSD drives are available for as little as $800. All that aside, the biggest hurdle for the XPS 14 is its weight. While 4.7 pounds doesn’t sound like a lot for a midsize laptop, it feels incredibly heavy for its slim size compared with other slim midsize laptops we’ve reviewed.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Apple MacBook Pro 15.4-inch (Summer 2012)


Maingear EX-L 15


Dell XPS 14


Dell Inspiron 14z-5423


Adobe Photoshop CS5 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Apple MacBook Pro 15.4-inch (Summer 2012)


Maingear EX-L 15


Dell XPS 14


Dell Inspiron 14z-5423


Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Apple MacBook Pro 15.4-inch (Summer 2012)


Maingear EX-L 15


Dell XPS 14


Dell Inspiron 14z-5423


Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Apple MacBook Pro 15. 4-inch (Summer 2012)


Dell XPS 14


Dell Inspiron 14z-5423


Maingear EX-L 15


Find out more about how we test Windows laptops.

System configurations

Dell XPS 14
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 1.9GHz Intel Core i7-3517U; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 630M / 64MB (Dedicated) Intel HD 4000; 500GB Hitachi 5,400rpm

Apple MacBook Pro 15.4-inch (Summer 2012)
OS X 10.7.3 Lion; 2.3GHz Intel Core i7-3610QM; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 512MB Nvidia GeForce GT 650M / 384MB (Shared) Intel HD 4000; 500GB Hitachi 5,400rpm

Dell Inspiron 14z-5423
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 1GB (Dedicated) AMD Radeon HD V18 + Intel HD 4000; 500GB Hitachi 5,400rpm

Maingear EX-L 15
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-3820QM; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 2GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 675M + 64MB (Dedicated) Intel HD 4000; 750GB Seagate 7,200rpm

Asus Zenbook UX32V
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 1. 9GHz Intel Core i7-3517U; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 620M + 64MB (Dedicated) Intel HD 4000; 500GB Hitachi 5,400rpm

Dell XPS 14 (2012) Review

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Laptop Mag Verdict

The Dell XPS 14 is one of the longest lasting Ultrabooks yet and features Nvidia graphics, but the relatively heavy weight and high price give us pause.

  • Heavy for an Ultrabook

  • Limited viewing angles

  • SSD option is very pricey

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What good is an Ultrabook if you have to take the charger with you? Dell’s approach with its new XPS 14z (starting at $1,099) is to pack a beefier battery than the competition does in exchange for a chunkier (albeit striking) design. Plus, our $1,499 configuration includes Nvidia graphics, making this Ultrabook a potentially solid MacBook Pro alternative. Is this 4.8-pound machine worth the weight?


Click to EnlargeWhen closed, the Dell XPS 14 looks an awful lot like a MacBook pro with its brushed aluminum lid and sides. Like the MacBook Pro, the XPS 14 has a white power light on its front lip that flashes when the system is asleep and stays solid when its awake. The Apple comparisons stop the minute you open the lid and see the luxurious soft-touch black magnesium deck with its black island-style keyboard. We couldn’t stop touching the spongy, silicone-based black underside.

Because of its high-capacity battery, the Dell XPS 14 weighs a bulky 4. 8 pounds, which strained our wrist when we tried to pick it up with one hand. This notebook is dense. At 13.2 x 9.2 x 0.8 inches, the XPS 14 isn’t the thinnest Ultrabook, either. HP’s Envy 14 Spectre weighs just four pounds and is just 0.79 inches thick while the upcoming Lenovo ThinkPad X1 carbon will weigh around three pounds with a 14-inch screen. The 15-inch Samsung Series 9 weighs just 3.8 pounds while measuring only 0.58 inches thick.

Keyboard and Touchpad

Click to EnlargeThe island-style, backlit keyboard on the XPS 14 has good key placement and a comfy soft-touch palmrest that kept our wrists from getting sore. However, the keys didn’t have as much vertical travel as we like, leading us to occasionally miss a letter we thought we had hit. On the Ten Thumbs Typing test, where we average 80 to 85 words per minute and 1 percent error rate, we managed a solid 85 words per minute but with a 2 percent error rate because of the shallow keys.

The subtle back light operates at two brightness levels, a low level that we found just good enough to make out and a regular level that we’d recommend for most users.

Though its smooth black surface was a little slippery for our taste, the 3.9 x 2.8-inch buttonless Synaptics touchpad provided accurate navigation around the desktop without any of the jumpiness we’ve experienced on many clickpads.

We were impressed with the pad’s strong gesture support. While we often have to attempt a multifinger gesture a few times to have it register once, the XPS 14’s touchpad almost always picked up pinch zooms, rotates, three-finger swipes (to go back and forward between pictures), four fingers up to switch tasks, four fingers down to minimize all apps and even three finger hold to launch the browser.


The Dell XPS 14 stayed relatively cool throughout our testing. After streaming a full screen video for 15 minutes, we measured the keyboard at a reasonable 90 degrees and the touchpad at an icy 80 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the underside got a little warm at 98 degrees. We consider temperatures below 95 comfortable, those between 95 and 100 as potentially uncomfortable and those above 100 disturbingly hot.


Click to EnlargeThe Dell XPS 14’s 14-inch WLED backlit, 1600 x 900 screen offers images that are really sharp and bright when viewed head-on but appear washed out when viewed from any other angle. At 435 lux on our light meter, the screen was one of the brightest we’ve tested on a notebook, clearly outshining the thin-and-light notebook average of 186 lux, the 13-inch MacBook Air (268 lux) and the HP Envy 14 Spectre (249 lux). The ASUS ZenBook Prime UX31a had a similar 423 lux.

Productivity-oriented users will really appreciate the additional screen real estate that the XPS 14 offers over the flood of notebooks with 1366 x 768 displays, because those extra pixels let you see more text in your documents, e-mails and Web pages without scrolling. Unfortunately, the glossy panel, made out of scratch-resistant Gorilla glass, didn’t provide the best color accuracy.

When we played a 1080p MP4 trailer for “Sky Fall,” details like the stubble on Daniel Craig’s beard or the wrinkles in another man’s forehead were particularly sharp, but colors — especially blacks — appeared washed out. When we moved to even 45 degrees off center, the dark parts of the image completely inverted, making the movie unviewable. By comparison, the same video on the MacBook Air 13-inch was bright, vibrant and viewable from much wider angles.


The sound from the XPS 14’s bottom-mounted speakers did not offer sound that was nearly as rich as from last year’s Dell XPS 15. However, music playback was excellent, particularly with the Waves Maxx audio software configured to music mode. When we played the bass-heavy tunes “Forget Me Nots” and “Summer Madness,” sound was accurate and we could even make out a solid separation of sound between the two speakers.

However, when we played hard rock tunes like “Breaking the Law,” “Symphony of Destruction” and “Smoke on the Water,” the guitar seemed a little distorted, particularly at higher volumes. The maximum volume was loud enough to fill a huge room.

The bundled Waves Maxx audio software provides both manual bass / treble sliders and presets for different types of sound, including movies, music and MaxxSense which decides for you. We found that most songs sounded better at MaxxSense settings, which uses the MaxxLeveler volume leveler to give you the best combination of high volume and fidelity. With Waves Maxx disabled, music sounded flat and lifeless.

Ports and Webcam

Click to EnlargeDespite its girth, the XPS 14 lacks an optical drive and packs a modest selection of ports. On the right side sit a headphone jack, a 3-in-1 SD card reader and a Kensington lock slot. On the left side you’ll find two USB 3.0 ports, a fold-out Ethernet jack, and both mini DisplayPort and HDMI out connections. Considering all the empty space on the right side, we’d like to have seen at least one more USB port and a VGA connection for attaching the system to the many monitors and projectors that have neither DisplayPort nor HDMI.

The 1.3-MP webcam captured sharp and colorful photos under good lighting and still managed to deliver strong images in low light. When we shot a picture with a window in front of us, our facial features were sharp and skin tones accurate. When we sat in a shadowy area of our office, the webcam brightened up the image so it looked as if we were in direct light. As a result, though, the image suffered from some noisiness and blockiness. Still, we were impressed because most webcams would have delivered an image under the same conditions that was both noisy and dark.

As with most webcams, the XPS 14’s lens completely washed out our features when there was a bright light source behind us. The bundled Dell Webcam Central software allows users to add goofy overlays such as a set of cartoon stars or green prison bars on top of the image. It also has an avatar section that lets you substitute a picture of a silly character like a cartoon cat for your face.


Click to EnlargeWith its 1.9-GHz Intel Core i7-3517U CPU, 8GB of RAM, discrete Nvidia GT 630M graphics chip and 500GB 5,400 rpm hard drive with 32GB Flash cache, the XPS 14 turned in solid performance numbers that are excellent for productivity, media consumption and casual gaming. They won’t let you play really demanding games.

On PCMark07, a synthetic benchmark that measures overall system performance, the XPS 14 scored a solid 3,323, well above the thin-and-light notebook category average of 2242, but not as fast as the 4,989 turned in by the ASUS ZenBook Prime UX31a, which has the same CPU but uses a 256GB SSD. The Samsung Series 9 15-inch achieved a score of 3,636 with a slower 1.6-GHz Core i5-2467M CPU and an SSD.

Click to EnlargeThe 500GB 5,400-rpm hard drive plus 32GB cache booted Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) in a modest 46 seconds, faster than the 59-second category average but way slower than competitors with SSDs like the Samsung Series 9 15-inch (16 seconds), ASUS ZenBook Prime UX31A (23 seconds) and the HP Envy 14 Spectre (35 seconds).

The lack of an SSD affected the XPS 14’s ability to complete file copies as quickly as its competition. The 5,400 rpm hard drive took 2 minutes and 43 seconds to complete the LAPTOP File Transfer test, which involves copying 4. 97GB of mixed media files. That’s a rate of 31.2 MBps, slightly faster than the 29.6 MBps category average but one fifth the speed of the 154.2 MBps turned in by the Samsung Series 9 15-inch, less than half as fast as the HP Envy 14 Spectre’s rate of 74.8 MBps and not close to the ASUS ZenBook Prime UX31a’s rate of 51.4 MBps.

Due to its speedy 1.9-GHz Generation Core i7-3517U CPU, the Dell XPS 14 was able to handle compute-intensive tasks better than disk-centered ones. The notebook took just 22 seconds to transcode an HD video with Cyberlink Media Espresso, far better than the 1 -minute and 18 -seconds category average.

The XPS 14 also took a solid 5 minutes and 26 seconds to complete the LAPTOP Spreadsheet Macro test, which matches 20,000 names with addresses. That’s comfortably ahead of the 6:05 category average and the 7:04 time offered by the Samsung Series 9 15-inch.


Click to EnlargeThe optional Nvidia GT 630M graphics on our review configuration provide enough oomph to let you play mid-level games but not to turn this multimedia maestro into a gaming system. On 3DMark06, a graphics benchmark that measures overall graphics prowess, our Dell XPS 14 scored a solid 6,886, higher than the 5,060 category average and the 3,438 offered by the Envy 14 Spectre.

When we tried playing “World of Warcraft” at auto detect settings, the Dell XPS 14 managed a strong 76 frames per second, which dropped to a still-playable 34 fps with special effects turned up. Those numbers beat the tar out of the 51 / 29.1 fps category averages for thin-and-light notebooks.

However, when we tried to play Batman: Arkham City at the XPS 14’s 1600 x 900 resolution, we could get only a slideshow-like 18 fps with the special effects set at low. Only after we dropped the screen resolution down to 1366 x 768 were we able to get a somewhat -playable 26 fps rate.

Battery Life

Click to EnlargeWith its built-in 69 watt hour battery, the XPS 14 lasted a whopping 8 hours and 14 minutes on the LAPTOP Battery Test, which involves continuous surfing over Wi-Fi. That time is hours longer than the thin-and-light notebook category average of 6 hours and 18 minutes and the HP Envy 14 Spectre’s time of 6 hours and 24 minutes, the ASUS ZenBook Prime’s 6 hours and 28 minutes, and the Samsung Series 9 15-inch’s 6 hours and 59 minutes. The MacBook Air 13-inch turned in a nearly identical time of 8 hours and 10 minutes, but weighs 1.8 pounds less.


The Dell XPS 14 starts at $1,099. For that price, you get the notebook with a low-voltage 1.7-GHz Core i5-3317U CPU, 4GB of RAM, integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics and a 500GB 5,400-rpm hard drive plus 32GB mSATA flash cache. Our $1,499 review configuration comes with a 1.9-GHz Core i7-3517U CPU, Nvidia GT 630M graphics, 8GB of RAM and the same 500GB hard drive plus 32GB cache. A $1,999 model comes with a 512GB SSD instead of the hard drive plus cache, but there’s no way to get a smaller, less expensive SSD.

You can get a variety of different configs in prices up to $1,999, a couple of which include integrated mobile broadband cards that operate over Dell’s prepaid NetReady 3G service. NetReady starts at $.99 cents for 15 minutes of use and goes up to $69.96 for 5GB of use over the course of a month.

Software and Warranty

Dell preloads the XPS with a minimum of utilities and a small smattering of trialware. Dell Support Center provides you with some information about your hardware, the ability to perform a PC Check hardware scan, a visual readout of your available hard drive space and the ability to download new driers. Its Backup & Recovery feature allows you to either create a system recovery disk or use 2GB of free cloud storage from Dell’s DataSafe service.

As mentioned above, Dell Audio lets you exert fine control over the Waves Maxx sound output while Dell Webcam Central lets you control the webcam and shoot pictures.

The XPS 14 also comes with Office 2010 Starter, a trial version of McaFee Security Suite, Windows Live Essentials and Skype. Except for Office 2010 Starter, all of these applications could be downloaded by anyone using the Internet.

Dell backs the XPS 14 with a standard one year warranty on parts and labor, and offers extended warranties and IT-friendly services including ProSupport, Accidental Damage Service and configuration services that help organizations deploy the notebooks to many users with the same custom image.


Click to EnlargeAt first blush, the Dell XPS 14 has all the features you’d want from a 14-inch Ultrabook with an emphasis on media and productivity. Students who move from class to class all day and business people who go disconnected for long periods will appreciate the eight-plus hours of battery life as well as the comfortable palm rest and accurate touchpad. However, the notebook’s 4.8-pound chassis feels quite heavy in comparison to competitors, and the 5,400-rpm hard drive really slows the notebook down. (Anything above $1,000 should really have an SSD standard.)

For the same $1,499 as our review unit costs, you can get the three-pound ASUS ZenBook Prime UX31A, which doesn’t have discrete graphics or last as long on a charge, but sports a full HD screen and a zippier 256GB SSD. Mac fans could get the $1,199 MacBook Air, which offers just as much endurance and a superior screen. Overall, the XPS 14 is a well designed Ultrabook with plenty of punch and endurance, but it’s not the best value.

Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.0
Brand Dell
CPU 1.9-GHz Intel Core i7-3517U
Card Slots 3-1 card reader
Company Website www.dell.com
Display Size 14
Graphics Card Nvidia GT 630M
Hard Drive Size 500GB + 32GB mSATA SSD
Hard Drive Speed 5,400rpm
Hard Drive Type SATA Hard Drive + mSATA SSD
Native Resolution 1600×900
Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
Ports (excluding USB) Kensington Lock, Headphone/Mic, HDMI, Ethernet, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort
RAM Upgradable to 8GB
Size 13. 2 x 9.2 x .81 inches
Touchpad Size 3.9 x 2.8
USB Ports 2
Video Memory 1GB
Warranty/Support One year standard parts and labor
Weight 4.8 pounds
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/g/n
Wi-Fi Model Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 802.11 a/g/n


The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of Laptopmag.com since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP’s real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.

Overview of laptop Dell XPS 14 Updated design of laptops. Today we will talk about one such update – Dell XPS 14.

A novelty has been made in a style that is already beginning to claim the title of a branded one (for a line of ultrabooks). At the same time, the case is very compact and closer in size to 13-inch laptops. The weight of the laptop is approaching 2 kg, but this is due to the presence of a solid aluminum body. Thanks to this, there will be no complaints about the strength and scratch resistance of the XPS 14 case.

The novelty is equipped with a 14” TFT widescreen display with HD+ resolution, 1600×900 pixels… The screen is glossy. Thanks to this, the picture is good, with vibrant and eye-pleasing shades. The screen is protected by tempered glass Gorilla Glass, which allows you not to be afraid of scratches and scuffs during operation. I liked the display with a good margin of brightness (420 cd / m²), high visual clarity and the absence of noticeable graininess. A 1.3 megapixel webcam built into the display bezel and a microphone.

The keyboard is made according to the island type, the keys are separated from each other by a margin of empty space, the key travel is shallow, but comfortable, without clicks. The keys have subtle indentations that should help position your fingers. The keyboard does not flex even when pressed hard.

In addition, it is protected from moisture and has a key backlight that can be turned off manually or by timeout after a certain period of inactivity on the part of the user.

The touchpad responds well to touch across its entire area. Standard multi-touch gestures that are supported by the operating system work.

New use Intel’s efficient and cost-effective hardware platform based on cost-effective Ivy Bridge processors. The graphics core built into the processor, Intel HD Graphics 4000, supports DirectX 11 and provides good performance with low power consumption. The most interesting thing is that the new product has a discrete Nvidia GeForce GT 630M video adapter with 1 GB of fast GDDR5 video memory. Storage capacity – up to 500 GB. An optional solid state drive up to 512 GB is available.

The notebook is equipped with all ports necessary for everyday use. Their location can be found below.

The left side has a power connector, Ethernet (LAN), HDMI, mini-DisplayPort, 2x USB 3.0.

On the right are audio, card reader, Kensington.

The Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 adapter provides WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 support.

The claimed autonomy of the novelty reaches 12 hours.

Dell XPS 14 is a good laptop that has absorbed all the advantages of the company’s modern laptops. Worth noting is the claimed battery life, as well as the good performance of a dedicated Nvidia graphics card – a rarity in the ultrabook segment.

MUK-Service — all types of IT repairs: warranty, non-warranty repair, sale of spare parts, contract service

Dell XPS 13 9315 vs Asus Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3402): laptop comparison0004 54
out of 100


out of 100

Dell XPS 13 9315

Asus Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3402)

Select the laptop configurations you are interested in for the most accurate comparison


Dell XPS 13 9315 and Asus Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3402) core feature score 0 to 100

System performance

System and application speed

XPS 13 9315


Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3402)


Gaming performance

Graphic performance in popular 3D games

XPS 13 9315


Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3402)



Sharpness, color reproduction, matrix type

XPS 13 9315


Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3402)

7 6


Potential battery life

XPS 13 9315


Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3402)



Ports, webcam and other interfaces

XPS 13 9315


Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3402)


Case and design

Looks, materials, durability and comfort

XPS 13 9315


Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3402)


NanoReview score

XPS 13 9315


Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3402)


Key differences

What are the main advantages of each of the laptops

Reasons to choose Dell XPS 13 9315

  • Lighter – weighs 220 grams less (1. 17 and 1.39 kg)
  • Thinner bezels – 8% more usable screen area
  • Significantly smaller – has 15% less body area ( 589 and 692 cm 2 )

Reasons to choose Asus Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3402)

  • There is currently popular USB-A port
  • Higher screen refresh rate: 90 vs 60Hz
  • 64% better Cinebench R23 performance: 8949 vs 54 65 points
  • Comes with 24 Wh larger battery (75 and 51 Wh)
  • Better webcam video recording quality
  • Has a 44% sharper display – 243 vs. 169 PPI
  • 20% higher maximum screen brightness – 600 vs 500 nits

Tests and performance

Comparison table of test results and specifications


XPS 13 9315


Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3402)


Weight 1.17 kg 1.39 kg
Dimensions 295. 4×199.4 x 13.99 mm 313.6 x 220.6 x 16.9 mm
Area 589 cm 2 692 cm 2
Screen-to-body ratio ~88.4% ~82.2%
Side frames 3.4 mm 6.1 mm
Colors Blue, Burgundy Blue, Green
Material Aluminum Aluminum
Transformer No No
Screen opening angle 135° 180°

Size comparison

Cooling system
Cooling type Active Active
Evaporation chamber No No
Liquid metal No No
Number of coolers 1 1
Noise level 39.6 dB


1920 x 1200 (non-touch)

1920 x 1200 (Touch)


2880 x 1800 (non-touch)

2880 x 1800 (Touch)

Diagonal 13. 4″ 14″
Matrix type IPS LCD OLED
Refresh rate 60 Hz 90 Hz
Pixel density 169 dpi 243dpi
Aspect ratio 16:10 16:10
Approval 1920 x 1200 pixels 2880 x 1800 pixels
HDR support Yes, HDR10 Yes, HDR10
Synchronization technology No. No.
Touch input No No
Coating Matt Glossy
Light sensor Yes No

Screen area

Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3402)

14″ (16:10 ratio) = 88.1 in 2

XPS 13 9315

13.4″ (16:10 ratio) = 80.7 in 2

~9% more screen space

Screen tests
Contrast 1165:1 1000000:1
sRGB 100%
Adobe RGB 9 coverage0206

DCI-P3 coverage 69% 100%
Response time 31 ms 1 ms

Max brightness

XPS 13 9315

500 nits

Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3402)

600 nits



51 Wh

75 Wh

Voltage 11. 55V
Full charge time 1:50 am
Battery type Lithium polymer (Li-Po) Lithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Removable No No
Fast charger Yes Yes
USB Power Delivery Yes Yes
Charging connector location Left, Right Right
Charging power 45 W 65 W
Cable length 1 meter
Charger weight 200 grams


CPU Model

Intel Core i5 1230U

Intel Core i7 1250U

Intel Core i5 1240P

Intel Core i7 1260P

Base frequency 1 GHz 1.7 GHz
Boost frequency 4. 4 GHz 4.4 GHz
Cores 10 (2P + 8E) 12 (4P + 8E)
threads 12 16
L3 cache 12 MB 12 MB
Integrated graphics Intel Iris Xe Graphics (80EU) Intel Iris Xe Graphics (80EU)
Process 10 nm 10 nm


Geekbench 5 (single core)

XPS 13 9315


Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3402)


Geekbench 5 (multi-core)

XPS 13 9315


Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3402)


Cinebench R23 (single core)

XPS 13 9315


Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3402)


Cinebench R23 (multi-core)

XPS 13 9315


Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3402)


Add your Cinebench R23 results

Video card

GPU model

Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 (80EU)

Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 (80EU)

TGP 15W 15W
Graphic type Integrated Integrated
Process 10 nm 10 nm
GPU frequency 300 MHz 300 MHz
Boost GPU frequency 1100 MHz 1100 MHz
FLOPS 1. 41 teraflops 1.41 teraflops
Video memory size System Shared System Shared
Memory type LPDDR5 LPDDR5
Memory speed 5.2 Gbps 4.8 Gbps
Shader blocks 640 640
TMUs 40 40
ROPs 20 20

GPU performance

XPS 13 9315

1.41 teraflops

Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3402)

1.41 teraflops


Memory capacity







Planks 2×4 GB 2×4 GB
Frequency 5200 MHz 4800 MHz
Replaceable No No


Accumulator capacity







Tire PCI-E Gen4. 0 (4x) PCI-E Gen4.0 (4x)
Type SSD (M2) SSD (M2)
Channels 1×256 GB 1×256 GB
Replaceable No Yes
Total slots 1
NVMe Yes Yes
Audio chip Realtek ALC1319D
Sound format 2.2 2.0
Speaker power 4x2W
Dolby Atmos No Yes
Max. volume 81.8 dB
Microphones 2 2


Wi-Fi Version v6E v6E
Bluetooth v5.2 v5.2
Fingerprint scanner Yes Yes
Infrared sensor Yes No
Drive No No
Webcam Top of screen Top of screen
Webcam Resolution 1280 x 720 1920 x 1080
USB-A No 1x USB 3. 2
USB Type-C 2x USB 3.2 2x USB 3.2
Thunderbolt Thunderbolt 4 Thunderbolt 4
HDMI No 1x HDMI 2.1
DisplayPort No No
Audio port (3.5 mm) No Yes
Ethernet (RJ45) No No
Card Reader No Yes
Separate charging port No No

Keyboard and touchpad

Key type Island Island
Digital block No No
Backlight Yes Yes
Key travel 1 mm 1.4 mm
Size 11. 2 x 6.2 cm
Surface Glass
Windows Precision Yes Yes

*Please note! Ports, display matrix, speakers, and other options may vary by laptop configuration or country.


Which of these laptops would you prefer?

Dell XPS 13 9315

2 (20%)

Asus Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3402)

8 (80%)

Total votes: 10

Competitive comparisons

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Dell XPS 13 9315 vs Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320

Dell XPS 13 9315 vs LG Gram 14 (2022)