The Dell XPS 13 was a huge success and with the arrival of Windows 8, it was time for a new breed of Ultrabooks. The XPS 12 is the latest addition to the XPS line-up and is also Dell’s first hybrid notebook. On the face of it, it looks like just about any 12-inch Ultrabook, but it has one unique feature and that is, the screen is able to rotate within the bezel, transforming it into a tablet.
The XPS 12 carries forward the same premium DNA as the XPS 13 and we get a healthy blend of carbon fibre, Gorilla Glass and magnesium alloy in the chassis which makes it one of the sturdiest notebooks in the market. It’s also quite light-weight and portable, too. The rotating display snaps firmly into place, so it won’t slip or move even when you’re on the move. The display comes with a full HD resolution which makes everything appear stunningly crisp and sharp, both in desktop mode and tablet mode. The touchscreen is highly sensitive as well and Windows 8 is absolutely fluid.
Dell has smartly placed the ports on the side, so they can be used just as easily in tablet mode as they would in desktop mode. You get two speakers on either side for stereo sound. There’s also a volume rocker on the side, making it easy to adjust the volume. The power button is now a switch on the side, allowing you to power on and off in tablet mode as well. Dell has also added an orientation lock button. The notebook also has two USB 3.0 ports as well as a DisplayPort for video-out.
The Ultrabook comes at a premium. At a starting price of almost Rs90,000, you get a Core i5-3317U, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD and a 47WHr 6-cell battery. This itself is quite a powerful base configuration and easily runs all your applications. The tablet mode is fun to use. However, it’s not as light weight as a stand-alone tablet, so it’s not too comfortable for prolonged use. Dell has done an excellent job in crafting the XPS 12, but we don’t see it being the most practical solution. The flipping screen is a fun novelty, but a rather expensive one.