Review: Dell XPS 12 a classy, convertible Windows 8 Ultrabook

By Paul Mah, CIO |  Mobile & Wireless, Dell, Dell XPS

The Dell XPS 12 makes its transformation from a laptop to a tablet.

It is worth noting that the touch display turns in one direction only; magnets positioned along the side latch on to hold it in place. The hinge felt robust and feels like it can take a fair amount of abuse. The screen itself is fronted by an edge-to-edge Gorilla glass, though the actual display doesn't extend to the edge of the panel.

Magnets in the Dell XPS 12 frame help lock the tablet screen into place.

In practice, this works, since flipping the display panel won't cause you to accidentally activate the touch screen. As a testament to Dell's attention to details, a couple of rubber bumps on the palm rest offers some protection to the screen should the XPS 12 be stowed in its laptop configuration.

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Another positive was the full-sized spill-resistant chiclet keyboard, which was a joy to use. The row of function keys along the top was also lined with a number of useful shortcuts. Among other tasks, this includes the ability to enable or disable wireless capability or toggle the keyboard backlight on or off.

There were a couple minor annoyances with the Dell XPS 12. There's no way to quickly determine if the wireless radio is on or off. In addition, the air vents along the bottom got a bit warm after some Web browsing, though I don't expect any issues under typical usage.

The Dell XPS 12 As a Business Ultrabook

In my opinion, the well-rounded specifications of the Dell XPS 12 culminate in a great laptop experience from which business users will benefit. The screen is a gorgeous IPS panel with support for touch, and it's lit to an impressive maximum brightness of 400 nits. Encryption in the form of BitLocker Data Encryption with TPM is supported, though Windows 8 Pro (or Windows 8 Enterprise) is required in order to access the feature.

The Dell XPS 12 screen is bright, high definition and touch-enabled.

On the other hand, the Dell XPS 12 does lack a number of capabilities that would be useful in the workplace. Specifically, there's no fingerprint scanner or VGA port for connecting to legacy projectors and displays.

The ultrabook doesn't come with a built-in Ethernet port either, which necessitates the use of a USB-to-Ethernet adapter should the IT department need to do any maintenance or upgrade over the network. Thankfully, having two USB 3.0 port allows for this and can offer easy expansion by means of an USB 3.0 external dock.

Originally published on CIO |  Click here to read the original story.
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