Performance + Style + Battery Life = Dell XPS 15z

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Over the last several days, many of you have been reading about a thin laptop coming from Dell. Today we made it official by introducing Dell’s XPS 15z laptop—the thinnest 15-inch PC on the planet, and the first in a series of new thin and powerful products from Dell to come this year. Dell’s XPS 15z is available today via for customers in the United States and Canada, plus several countries around the world (see the list of countries here).  

Starting at $999.99, the XPS 15z brings performance, style, battery life and craftsmanship together in a sleek package less than one inch thin. Dell designed the XPS 15z for the work-hard-play-hard ‘prosumer’ who needs and wants a high-performance laptop for a great work and entertainment experience, but who also places a premium on portability and style. 

How did we go about making a laptop that prosumers want? We made it thin… 0.97 inches (24.68mm) thin to be exact, and we packed it with performance via dual core second-generation Intel i5 and i7 processors paired with 1 or 2GB NVIDIA graphics cards and a beautiful optional full HD 1080p display. It also has a high-end standard feature set to match, including HDMI 1.4 out, two USB 3.0 ports, a 1.3 megapixel HD webcam and a 7200 rpm hard drive. All in a slick aluminum design that weighs just over 5.5 pounds (2.51kg).  

Dell’s XPS 15z laptop features standard Core i5 and i7 processors—not the low-voltage equivalents. That means this system will chew through processor-intensive tasks like encoding or transcoding true HD video, or editing layers on large RAW images taken from digital SLRs. Beyond the processors, in the United States, we offer it with either 6 or 8GB of DDR3 memory that runs at 1333MHz (places outside the US will offer a config that starts with 4GB). And like I mentioned before, all configurations come standard with 7200 rpm hard drives in capacities up to 750GB. On the software side, all XPS 15z laptops come standard with Dell Stage installed, so your favorite music, photos and videos are a click away.

Customers made it clear that solid video performance is a requirement. That’s why we offer two NVIDIA GPU options, both the 1GB and 2GB versions of NVIDIA’s GT 525M. These graphics card options provide more than twice the performance vs. other laptops using typical integrated video chipsets. Beyond that, all XPS 15z video configurations support NVIDIA’s Optimus technology. It optimizes graphics performance based on the power you need at the time. See NVIDIA’s explanation of the technology for a bit more information. 

Performance doesn’t mean much in a laptop without decent battery life. In our labs, the XPS 15z provides up to 8 hours of via an 8-cell battery according to MobileMark 2007 results. The display itself is also an important factor for our customers. The optional 1080p display (1920 x 1080) is 50% brighter than many other typical laptop displays. You’ll notice it’s easier to read outdoors compared to a typical notebook display. The full HD panel features a new color enhancement technology that produces more realistic and accurate images than any other Dell laptop. I’ll blog more about this sRGB-based display technology in the future – for those who are display technology enthusiasts, it means our optional Full HD display on the XPS 15z is comparable to sRGB standards.

Here’s a video interview with Brian Pitstick, Dell’s executive director for CSMB notebooks, that highlights the XPS 15z’s features and performance:

And like I mentioned in the title, design was a key part of the equation. Much has been written about Dell’s Adamo line and our decision to discontinue it. I agree with outlets like Gizmodo Australia who say that the Adamo line inspired the XPS 15z. No question that the Adamo line paved the way for the XPS 15z. You’ll see it in things like craftsmanship, premium materials such as anodized aluminum, polished and brushed accents in places like the speaker grills and other vents. Other nice touches like the latch-less mechanism to open the display and the standard chiclet-style backlit keyboard definitely shows off the XPS 15z’s Adamo heritage as well. After getting to use one for a few days, I can say the 15z feels like a solid and well-built machine.  

XPS 15z (top-down keyboard view)

Here’s what our Global Design VP Ed Boyd had to say about the design goals of the XPS 15z:

If you’re looking for a 15” laptop packed with features that offers great performance, style and battery life, the XPS 15z brings a lot to the table. And if you’re looking for these attributes in smaller laptops, stay tuned. The XPS 15z is the first in a series of Dell devices that will mix performance with slick form factors designed for mobility. You can read more about it in reviews like the ones on Engadget or PC Magazine, where the XPS 15z claimed an Editors’ Choice award.

I welcome your thoughts or questions in the comment section below. Otherwise, you can check out the discussion on Twitter by following the #dellxps hashtag. If you want to check out more images, take a look at the images that @SusanBeebe uploaded in the XPS 15z Flickr set.

If you just want to check out the XPS 15z highlight video, here it is:

About the Author: Lionel Menchaca

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