June 30, 2012, 7:46 AM — Dell has unveiled two new additions to its XPS laptop lineup including a 14-inch clamshell that can be configured as an Ultrabook and a more high-powered 15.6-inch device. The new laptops feature thin aluminum casings, edge-to-edge displays with hardened Corning Glass, backlit chiclet keyboards and multigesture touchpads. Both of the new laptops are available now and the specs are pretty close to what leaked to a Chinese tech site earlier in June.
Shared specs between the XPS 14 and 15 include USB 3.0 ports, a mini DisplayPort, HDMI Out, a 3-in-1 media card reader, and a 1.3 megapixel Webcam. Both devices also come with an Ethernet jack, but Dell says the devices were too thin to offer a full Ethernet option. To get around this problem the company included a hinged Ethernet port that expands to fit a cable when you open it.
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The XPS 14 standard configuration includes a 14-inch WLED display with 1600-by-900 resolution, dual-core 2.6 GHz Ivy Bridge Core i5-3317U, Intel HD Graphics 4000, 4GB DDR3 RAM, 802.11 a/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. For storage options you can choose a 500GB hard drive, a 500GB hard drive with 32GB mSATA SSD, or a 512GB SSD. If you choose one of the SSD options, the XPS 14 qualifies as an Ultrabook, according to Dell’s chief blogger, Lionel Menchaca. Dell claims battery life for the XPS 14 is between 8 and 11 hours, depending on the configuration.
To keep the XPS 14 thin Dell decided not to include an optical drive; the laptop measures 0.81 inches thick. Despite the XPS 14's thin size you will still feel it when you throw this thing in a backpack as the weight for the base configuration is 4.6 pounds.
The XPS 15 features a 15.6-inch WLED display with 1920-by-1080 full HD resolution, a dual core 3.1 GHz Ivy Bridge Core i5-3210M or you can upgrade to a quad-core 3.1 GHz Ivy Bridge Core i7-3612QM. Standard features include a Nvidia GeForce GT 630M graphics card with 1GB GDDR5, a 500GB hard drive with 32GB mSATA SSD, 802.11 a/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and a slot load DVD-RW (Blu-ray drive upgrade option available). The XPS 15 base configuration weighs 5.79 pounds and measures 0.91 inches thick.