XPS Lives On: New XPS Laptops Bring Performance and Attitude

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Studio XPS 14, 15, and 17 Notebooks

Some of you might have seen the news on Engadget, Ubergizmo and Crave. Today, we’re rolling out three laptops worthy of the XPS moniker: the XPS 14, 15 and 17. All three are designed for customers who are looking for a premium performance experience, and they feature much of the latest technology you can purchase on a laptop.

With these three laptops, we’re re-introducing our XPS line. The XPS brand has always stood for uncompromising performance and flexibility. My first Dell was the XPS P60—the first Pentium desktop we had ever produced sixteen years ago. These laptops carry on that heritage. Moving forward, we will realign our premium desktop and laptop products under the XPS brand. XPS will replace the Studio and Studio XPS brands.

Our teams worked to pack features into all of these laptops. That means things like i3, i5 and i7 processor options all the way to quad core. It means embedded 3×3 dual-band wireless N and internal WiMAX network options. It means NVIDIA’s GT 400 series graphics cards with Optimus technology and up to 3GB (on the XPS 17) plus JBL-designed and certified speakers with Waves MAXXAudio 3. It means 3D Blu-ray playback and solid gaming capability.

Update: Click on any of product pictures to see larger versions. You can also take a look at the XPS Laptop Image Gallery for more. Here’s a promotional video regarding these new XPS laptops for folks who are interested:

Besides internal components, our designers paid attention to the outside details. The stylish laptops come standard with silver anodized aluminum display back and palmrest. Like I mentioned to Mastrcake on Engadget, this translates into a really sturdy laptop with no flex. All three XPS laptops have a distinctive hinge-forward design and feature premium surfaces, materials and textures like anodized aluminum display back and brushed aluminum palmrest and speaker grills. Taking a page from our Adamo systems, the laptops feature diamond-cut edges around palmrest and touchpad. Our goal was to match the overall feel of the laptop with the high-end performance. If you want your XPS to stand out a little more, you can personalize yours with one of more than 200 original designs from Dell Design Studio, including the new Susan G. Komen collection.

The new Dell XPS laptops are available beginning today directly from Dell.com. Models, configuration and options may vary by global region and retailers. Starting prices for the new XPS laptops are: $899 for the XPS 14; $849 for the XPS 15; and $949 for the XPS 17.

Base Configurations include:

  • Intel Core i5 460M
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 420M 1GB Graphics w/ Optimus (GT 435M on the XPS 17)
  • 500GB 7200 RPM
  • 4GB DDR3 Memory
  • JBL + WAVES Audio solution
  • 2.0MP webcam with HD video streaming capability

NVIDIA GT400-series graphics: Performance + Optimus technology + 3DTV capability:

Like I mentioned, the base configurations of all these laptops feature NVIDIA graphics with 1GB RAM. For customers who want even better performance, we offer NVIDIA cards with 2GB and even a 3GB option on the XPS 17—the first 3GB video card we’ve ever offered in a laptop. What this means is that you’re going to get great video performance that’s great for things like HD video playback, video editing, and gaming.

Besides great gaming performance, these laptops also feature HDMI 1.4 and bring 3D support via NVIDIA’s 3DTV Play software. If you have a new 3D HDTV, you can connect any of these XPS laptops to your TV through the HDMI connection. Once you do, you can enjoy the growing list of 3D Blu-ray movie titles playing on your XPS’s Blu-ray drive, or take advantage of almost 500 3D PC gaming titles. Take a look at Anandtech’s review of 3DTV Play for more detail.

nVIDIA Optimus TechnologyOne other cool feature that we offer on all three of these laptops is NVIDIA’s Optimus technology. Essentially, it optimizes graphics performance based on the power you need at the time. If you are answering e-mail or working on a Word doc, it provides the performance equivalent of integrated graphics. But when you’re watching a Blu-ray movie in 1080p or playing a pretty intense game, you get as much horsepower as you need on the fly. Why does this matter? It results in better battery life. It works kind of like a hybrid car engine—electric when you need a lower amount of power, gasoline when you need highway speed. See this explanation from NVIDIA for a bit more detail.

Enhanced Sound through JBL and Waves:

clip_image003 All three laptops feature JBL speakers and Waves MAXXAudio 3 with the standard configuration. That means you can expect some of the best audio you’ve ever heard in a laptop. It means more power and deeper bass than you’re used to as well. Both the XPS 15 and 17 base models come with a 12W subwoofer. The XPS 15 tops at 20W peak performance while the XPS 17 feature up to 22W peak audio performance. These systems have 2 headphone jacks that both support SPID/F and one headphone jack. All three systems also support 5.1 surround via HDMI, mini DisplayPort and three audio jacks.

Skype-certified laptops that can stream in HD:

XPS - Skype-certifiedAll three XPS laptops are the first to be Skype-certified. The integrated two megapixel webcam allows HD streaming. What this means is that you can video chat at full screen in HD at 720p. That equates to a lot more pixels compared to standard definition webcams. End result, you will look a lot clearer to the person you’re talking to on the other end.

Here are some specs on each. Please see the Technical Specification section on the XPS laptop product page for more.

XPS 14:

XPS 14 Laptop

  • Starting price (may vary by global region and retailers): $899
  • Size and weight: 5.35 pounds (6-cell battery); 5.72 pounds (9-cell battery)
  • Screen options: 14"  HD 1366×768 display (standard)
  • Ports: HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet, 2 headphone jacks  with SPID/F support, 1 microphone jack, Media Card Reader (9-in-1) 2x USB 2.0;  1x USB 2.0/eSATA combo with PowerShare

XPS 15:

XPS 15 Notebook

  • Starting price (may vary by global region and retailers) : $849
  • Size and weight: 6.14 pounds (6-cell battery); 6.51pounds (9-cell)
  • Screen options: 15.6" HD 1366×768 display (standard); 15.6 True HD 1920×1080 display (optional)
  • Ports: HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet, 2 headphone jacks with SPID/F support, 1 microphone jack, Media Card Reader (9-in-1) 1x USB 2.0; USB 2.0/1x eSATA combo with PowerShare, 2x USB 3.0

XPS 17:

XPS 17

  • Starting price (may vary by global region and retailers): $949
  • Size and weight: 7.57 pounds (6-cell battery); 6.51 pounds (9-cell)
  • Screen options: 17.3" HD 1600×900 display (standard)
  • Ports: HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet, 2 headphone jacks with SPID/F support, 1 microphone jack, Media Card Reader (9-in-1) 1x USB 2.0,  1x USB 2.0/eSATA combo with PowerShare, 2x USB 3.0

I know there’s a lot of information this blog post. If you have questions over any of the features I discussed (or some I didn’t), feel free to type them in the comments section. You can also keep up with the latest by following the #dellxps hashtag on Twitter.

About the Author: Lionel Menchaca

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