Dell XPS 14z Ultrathin with style and power

Premium notebooks made from premium materials and come with well-thought of design are the focus of notebook makers to capture a niche market demanding both style and performance from a PC.

Dell has come out with the XPS 14z, its latest addition to the XPS family of notebooks targeting fashion-conscious users as well as serious users such as multimedia artists or photographers.

The 13.3-inch ultrathin notebook features a 14-inch display, making the super bright screen almost hug all sides of screen borders. Measuring at only a mere 0.9 inch (23mm) and weight 1.98 kg, the XPS 14z is one of the thinnest and lightweight full-featured laptop around.

The case is made entirely of magnesium aluminum alloy (like Macbook Pro) and it encompasses not only the top of the display lid but the sides, the keyboard area, and the bottom part of the laptop, which, in other laptops is made entirely of black plastic. Design highlights include speaker grills that appear as tiny diagonal patterns on the left and right side of the keyboard and drum ring-patterned display hinges that not only secure tightly the screen but add accent to the overall look of the laptop.

As a full-featured laptop, it features a slot-loading optical drive. The chicklet-style keyboard is backlit and spill-proof. There’s also the presence of a “battery button” on the right side, which once pressed tells the user how much battery life remains through lighted tiny dots. This function plays up even when the laptop is turned off. Battery life is more than six hours generated by an 8-cell battery (fixed type).

The XPS 14z, like other XPS models, features an unusual arrangement of ports. For the sake of visually un-cluttering the right and left sides of the notebook, the usual ports such as LAN, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, HDMI, mini-display port are located behind. The SD card slot is neatly placed on the left side along with the headphone and microphone jacks.

As it is a Dell laptop, the XPS 14z comes with proprietary applications such as backup software and access to free 2 GB online storage. Dell has also improved the user-interface by adding a widget styled apps to access the most used applications, such as web browser, shortcuts, sync, support, documents, games, videos, photos, and even an app gallery.

The most interesting though is the “remote” widget as it gives the user the access multimedia files from other Wi-Fi capable devices. Setting this up requires the remote app to be also installed in an Android or iOS powered devices.

There are two versions of the Dell XPS 14z–one fitted with second-generation Intel Core i5 and the other with second-generation Intel Core i7. The newest addition to Dell’s XPS lineup also features an option for dedicated NVDIA graphics card (NVIDIA GeForce GT 520M with 1 GB graphics memory).

The one we have for review is a Core i5 XPS 14z with 8 GB onboard memory, a dedicated 1 GB NVIDIA GeForce GT 520M videocard, and a whopping 750 GB internal storage. Windows Index Experience gives the XPS 14z at 5.9 score.

XPS is Dell’s premium line of notebooks. And as such, the Dell XPS 14z features SRP of P65,150 (for the Core i5 version) and P69,590 (for the Core i7 version).