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  • Kristian Vättö - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    Out of interest, what's the SSD inside your review unit? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    256GB Micron C400 mSATA -- table on the first page. :-p Reply
  • trekker99 - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    Really? I have a XPS 12 and it has a Samsung PM830 in it. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    Not too surprising -- Dell and other large OEMs usually like to have more than one supplier. Reply
  • Sazar - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    Mine also has a Samsung PM830, but as others have pointed out, they do have sort of a part's bin. I believe all of the drives have similar performance though. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    Happens on many SSD equipped systems.
    I have an Ativ PC Pro with a PM830 while others (review systems and retail) have Sandisk U100. :)
    Reply
  • uditrana - Friday, June 07, 2013 - link

    Mine also Has a Samsung PM830. I wonder if it region based or pre-production/final production makes a difference. Reply
  • Rick83 - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    I don't see the point of the 12 inch touch screen, if it doesn't also feature a decent digitizer for pen input.
    With pen input, I could have recommended this device to anyone who needs a medium sized sketch pad on the go, but like this it's just a small laptop with a useless gimmick.
    Reply
  • nerd1 - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    With proper digitizer this would make a good note taking tool. Reply
  • piroroadkill - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    Couldn't have said it better.

    If I'm to get a machine with a large touchscreen, that's portable, it needs to have an active digitizer and a good pen, and a slot for that pen.

    Otherwise, why would I buy it? It doesn't have a good graphics card (so bored of this trend of thin machines with onboard graphics, my goddamn Sony Vaio Z12 is 9.7mm thicker than this thing, yet has discrete graphics, and indeed a DVD writer, is actually smaller in X and Y dimensions yet has a larger screen, faster CPU, larger battery.. Come back when you can compete with that.)
    Reply
  • nagi603 - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    My thoughts exactly. I'm looking to replace a rapidly aging tablet PC, and just can't find a good, modern convertible / tablet to replace it with... A shame companies eschew either the 8 gigs of ram, the pen input, the big enough battery or the not-insane price. Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    Lenovo Helix. HP 2760p (Ish) Reply
  • uditrana - Wednesday, June 05, 2013 - link

    ThinkPad Helix?

    Fits everything but the insane price.
    Reply
  • BrokenCrayons - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    Though really, for $1200+ dollars, I could buy a lot of ink pens and Marble Composition notebooks which don't seem to suffer from the same battery life problems that a tablet has and are probably somewhat lighter. Dropping one, even from the top of a building, or running over one with a car won't cause a significant enough amount of damage to make the notebook cease to operate either. Of course, you don't get an Internet connection to anything. Still, I'll take $1.75 each from Wally World plus a few cents for a good PaperMate pen for the durability, endurance, and weight savings.

    -BC
    Reply
  • Rick83 - Saturday, February 23, 2013 - link

    Weight saving?
    Have you ever tried to get 1200 dollars worth of pens and paper into your carry-on luggage?

    On another note: I don't think the limitation matrix in the post three up is quite correct: Price should be replaced by "with a decent screen".

    Currently not even 2500 dollars can buy something that's better in every way, compared to a Thinkpad X60 tablet from 5 years ago (which then cost around 2000 dollars, but was worth the money for those that were looking for pen support.)
    Reply
  • twin - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    I think you mixed up the weight on the table. It shows 2.87 instead of 3.35lbs.

    Any plans to look at the Lenovo Helix in the future? thanks
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    Oops... copy/paste of the Acer table and I missed updating the dimensions and weight. It's fixed now, thanks.

    As for the Helix, Lenovo has not seeded us with a laptop for review for several years, so unless that changes the only way to review it will be if one of us purchases one. I know personally it's more than I can spend, considering I have other laptops to use that don't cost me anything. I did play with it at CES, though, and it was decent; not sure about the mechanism for attaching to the keyboard base, as it just felt a bit clunky, but dockable tablets and devices always seem to have some issues there.
    Reply
  • StormyParis - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    Darn the first picture is ungly, to the point of making the damn thing broken, I initially thought the screen was on the tablet, separated from the rest of the device. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    The glossy display shows reflections quite well, so unless you really try to stage the photos you get a lot of stuff like that. Thought it was a nice shot for those that worry about glossy LCDs. :-) Reply
  • nerd1 - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    I wonder how long it takes to see the review of Ativ Smart PC (atom) and hopefully Ativ smart pc pro (i5 version)

    It literally took months...
    Reply
  • Visual - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    "(Note that the Surface Pro also comes with a pen, so that's probably a $50 add-on.)"

    Are you joking, or are you really that clueless?
    It is not just the pen that is added there, it is an active digitizer layer added to the screen that costs at least $150. And it is worth every penny. No sane person would want a tablet without an active digitizer after having experienced using one for a time.
    Reply
  • althaz - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    Whilst I would not buy a tablet without a digitizer and pen, it's a bit of a stretch to say that no sane person would want one without it. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    $150 isn't what it would cost to add, but they might add that much to the price. Just like upgrading from a $90 quality TN panel to a $150 IPS panel often adds $300 to the price. Reply
  • redmist77 - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    The flip screen is very sturdy (over-engineered if anything), works flawlessly and gives the best of both worlds. It's a bit strange to see the armchair experts in these comments passing extreme judgements despite clearly having zero experience with the product.

    This a fantastic Ultrabook with one of the best capacitive 1080 touch screens on the market that happens to fold into a tablet. Exactly what I wanted. I also *much* prefer glossy screens that add real depth and polish to on-screen images.

    I'm sure pen support would be nice but the pen screens I've used aren't anywhere near as responsive, sensitive or accurate as this one.

    My only minor gripe with the XPS12 is the poor color gamut.
    Reply
  • Sazar - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    I agree with most of your sentiments. I think I also lucked out on the color gamut because with very little tweaking, color's look great on my screen. In the interest of full disclosure however, I am partially color-blind :)

    My only concern has been a bug that is either tied to the panel, or Windows 8, where the touch-screen simply stops working. The only fix is to wake it after putting the system to sleep, or a reboot. Given how quickly it resumes or reboots, it doesn't take long to resolve, but it's annoying when it happens (about once or twice a month thus far).

    There are new drivers for the touch pad as well that make it a lot better.

    As an aside, for those interested, the frame is sturdy enough that you can flip the screen and then use the device in "tent" mode, like the Yoga. Works brilliantly.
    Reply
  • alexvoda - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    Please get Lenovo to send you a Thinkpad Helix review unit.
    I believe the Helix has the best combination of features and form factor with the only downside being the price.
    It can be used in more ways than any other simmilar device.
    IIRC the Helix is the only dockable tablet that an be docked in two ways giving it the use cases of both "flexible" laptops (Dell XPS12, Lenovo Yoga) and detachable tablets (Asus, Acer, Samsung).
    Reply
  • rwei - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    ^ this.

    After using an x120e more and more while traveling, I'm a solid convert to the TrackPoint. It seems like the obvious solution for putting a pointing interface into a space-constrained device, particularly when complemented with a touchscreen (which obviates the need for many gestures).

    Also love the option of just having the tablet on its own, which I'd probably do for my day-to-day use commuting in a subway.

    Then, on a plane, I can put it in stand/combined tablet mode for battery life.

    Then, when work inevitably gives me a task to work on during a trip, I can pop on the dock as a keyboard and deal with that.

    All within 3.3lbs total + charger, barely more than the x120e.

    Optionality is valuable $$$
    Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    "RAM is soldered onto motherboard"

    - Slapping in Vengeance performance ram REALLY does help improve the HD4000 so it's a DAMN shame.
    Reply
  • ssj3gohan - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    Really? I was under the impression that intel IGPs didn't care much for RAM bandwidth, it's the AMD chips that really suffer when using slower (higher latency) RAM.

    But I'm not really into this stuff, could be wrong here.
    Reply
  • Alexvrb - Saturday, February 23, 2013 - link

    You're not entirely wrong. Intel's IGP doesn't scale as well or as far as AMD's integrated graphics (especially A8 and A10 APUs). This is especially evident in Intel's low-voltage variants (such as the one in this model), which employ lower base and sustained turbo clocks than their higher-power brethren (despite using the same name). With that being said, they could have benefited somewhat from using DDR3 1600 even without a full-factory-power HD4000.

    However, I'd bet that using slower memory is actually quite intentional. I suspect that they're using 1.25V DDR3U 1333 instead of 1.35V DDR3L. During development, they must have determined the hit to performance was not enough to outweigh using less power hungry memory - at least for this particular combination.
    Reply
  • trekker99 - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    I have no problems with the wifi, so it could be dodgy hardware. There was a wireless driver update in mid Jan also.

    Agree on the touchpad though, The driver update in late Jan helps somewhat.
    Reply
  • retrospooty - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    "’I'm no longer confident that our testing procedure works properly for Windows 8 laptops. "

    Its not you its Dell. I just set up an XPS 13 with the new 1080p option yesterday (for one of our users, not mine). Absolutely brilliant laptop in every way, except the LCD. Great res, but the color is just... wrong. I never really noticed it before, but I then looked at some other Dell's. We use mostly enterprise class Latitudes at work. I checked 6 others of various models and ages. They all sucked. Even the more expensive ones with high res screens were awful in Win 7 as well.
    Reply
  • Termie - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    Jarred - I agree with you that 8GB should now be standard, but you have a mistake on the first page: "$45 for 2x8GB at retail" - that should say 2x4GB. Also, memory prices are actually rising very quickly, so right now that's more like $50. Nonetheless, it's a great point, so I wanted to make sure your message doesn't get lost in that typo. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    Fixed, thanks! Reply
  • ssj3gohan - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    I don't understand why laptop/tablet manufacturers even bother with 2x2 2.4/5GHz-only wireless-N if you can get 3x3 with dual frontends (i.e. simultaneous 2.4 and 5GHz communication, not just different bands on one or the other) for just a couple dollars extra BOM?

    I wasn't surprised to find a subpar wireless module (as a matter of fact, exactly the same as in the xps 12) in my budget laptop. There every dollar matters. Not in the XPS...
    Reply
  • guidryp - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    What's to understand?

    Same reason they use a third rate trackpad, same reason for small size of RAM, with expensive upgrade costs:

    They are in this to make money.

    $50 saved on production, using cheaper components in several areas, is $ 50 000 000 of additional profit on a million units.

    Last I checked registered charities weren't building consumer electronics.

    Every make of Consumer electronics does this (as do most other consumer goods).
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Monday, March 04, 2013 - link

    That's a great excuse for making another unsatisfactory piece of crap. They really do have everyone brainwashed like robotic retards.

    The era of the brand new high end junk, it's top of the.... and every flappy lipped turd pub economist knows why they did it...

    Crap is crap and they charge $50 more anyway.
    Reply
  • jhoff80 - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    Honestly? It could be much worse. At least this has a generally stable Intel Wireless card.

    The Surface Pro, supposedly Microsoft's flagship device, uses Marvell wireless and Bluetooth, and there's nothing but issues there.

    The same goes for the Surface RT's Marvell Wifi, which maybe, possibly, supposedly, is going to finally get a Wifi fix in the firmware in March.
    Reply
  • Egg - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    "while ARM and Atom can run a light OS like Atom fine"
    While I'd love to have a truly light OS on a microkernel, I think Android was meant here.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    Yup, fixed. Thanks! Reply
  • azdesertguy - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    With the dell, it's primarily a laptop that can stand in decently for a tablet. With the surface it's primarily a tablet that can stand in decently for a laptop.

    Both have compromises; The surface keyboard cover and stand are tough to use on an actual lap while the dell trades a superior keyboard and usable actual lap experience for additional weight and bulk as a tablet

    And both of them are expensive and less than stellar battery life (though good performance)

    in other words, at this point, most should buy either a tablet or a laptop if that's what they need and it's only a select few that need the jack of all trades type
    Reply
  • chrnochime - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    Well, the price shows close to 800 right now instead of around 700, so. Reply
  • azdesertguy - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    As commented in the article, calibrating the display on mine was a challenge and one I have not yet conquered.

    I have noticed wide swings in color accuracy and contrast dependent on the brightness setting. There is a term for this problem which escapes me at the moment.

    In addition the auto-brightness adjustment makes things 10x worse. So much so that I finally just turned it off
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    I've turned off auto-brightness on pretty much every device I've used that has it. Tablets in a room, being held in my hand, will often suddenly get very dark if you angle it away from the ceiling lights or accidentally cover the light sensor with your hand. I'd much rather have a constant 200 nits than swings from 100 to 300 to 200 ad nauseum. Reply
  • Cygni - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    STARTING? For this piece? You seriously have to be joking me. Reply
  • gescom - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    This integrated graphics standard called Intel hd4000 is like a ugly nasty virus. Everyday there's more of it. At least it's display has more of a meat than another virus called 1366x768. Reply
  • euler007 - Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - link

    I have maybe 15 laptops with HD4000 integrated graphics, haven't gotten a complaint yet.

    Not everyone is a gamer, some people just do office work with their laptop with occasional 3D use. No problems in navisworks.
    Reply
  • pattycake0147 - Monday, February 25, 2013 - link

    Maybe this just shows my ignorance on the subject, but is the battery really 47Wh? When you multiply 8.3V by 4160mAh the results is 34.5Wh. Like I said I'm not an expert, but that's my understanding. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - link

    Sorry, wrong figures other than 47Wh... the numbers in the table were probably from the Acer S7 and I missed updating them. I've corrected them now. Reply
  • Silma - Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - link

    Just genuinely curious,
    What apps are you missing, how long did you spend trying to find a similar app in Windows Store and are there no webpages offering a similar service?

    I really don't understant the fetishism for apps especially on devices with decent screen resolution. Very few of them are more than a glorified web pages, most of them are 100% buggy unsecure crap

    Looking at the 3 pages of googlestore's top paying apps I see mostly games, system utils (homescreen replacements, backup) and apps that exist on Windows phone (soundhound, tunein)
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - link

    There's a specific application I use on my Android tablet (that is also available on iOS) that has text versions of several thousand books and magazines, and it's all linked together (e.g. you'll see a reference to an article and you can click it to go there). All of the content is freely available on the Internet, but instead of staying within a unified full-screen app (with the ability to make notes and highlight material), you end up having a bunch of web pages open (which requires an active Internet connection) and you can't take notes directly or highlight passages, nor can you have any notes sync between devices.

    The best you can find in the Windows Store right now is an app that only has about five books, none of the magazines or other manuals, etc. I'm pretty sure the group that makes the apps for Android and iOS will have a Windows Store app in the future, but it might be a year or two (or it might be a month or two -- who knows?).

    When I use the XPS 12 as a laptop, none of the above bothers me much, but in tablet mode the fullscreen apps are far more important. I don't want to open web pages and type URLs if I don't have to; I don't always have Internet either. I don't have a GPS in the XPS 12, which makes getting turn-by-turn navigation directions impossible (sometime I can get on a $200 or less Android tablet).
    Reply
  • AncientWisdom - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - link

    " Maybe it was all in my head, but those extra couple inches make a big difference. " (Page 3)

    Sure made me laugh :-)
    Reply
  • IndyJaws - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - link

    I have a 15z, and while I've been happy with it overall, the Cypress touchpad is proof Satan exists. I'd have hoped they got their act together in the 2 years since I got my machine, but the issues Jarred describes are very similar here, but to an even worse degree. I've only recently found a driver for another Dell laptop that has made it semi-usable, but for the most part, I find myself using a wireless mouse instead. Reply
  • vectorm12 - Sunday, March 03, 2013 - link

    I keep wondering where the sub 700 € ultrabooks powered by AMD hardware went?

    There was loads of talk about how OEMs would design one Intel "Premium" ultrabook which would then filter down into more affordable and probably similarly performing ultrathins with AMD hardware inside?

    Right now I'm looking to replace my wife's 13" Macbook Pro with something halfway decent, but considering the small difference in price and the unfortunately high amount of shortcomings I'm still inclined to think spending a couple of hundred more on an Air is the smarter choice given the standard she's used to from the MBP.

    Dell, HP, Asus and the other OEMs should be able slam Apple on price/performance but in this case they are more like equals.

    At least I'm happy to see highres displays starting to show up on these machines.

    Honestly I feel a 13" MBP equipped with the retina display would be solid value. User-upgradeable battery, RAM(2 SO-DIMMs instead of the stupidly soldered primary SO-DIMM) and SSD/HDD. Would kill all competition even if it was priced similarly to the 13" "MBP with retina display".
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Monday, March 04, 2013 - link

    It's the proletariat crap consumerism we have nowadays.

    Then we get the insane bottom dollar acquisition talks about Apples production takeover strategies, and what's left is the crap sandwhich everyone pretends to hate until they buy one, then the love never ends.

    If anyone does produce the correct device that isn't a crap sandwhich, the first and only thing anyone ever hears is it's a ripoff.

    Instead, we get a crap sandwhich, and an on the spot economics lesson by the posting would be CEO, who notes that 50 cent a bom is 50 million bucks.

    So expect many crap sandwhiches, forever.
    Reply
  • JasonJ65 - Thursday, March 14, 2013 - link

    This Dell XPS 12 is by far the worst device that I have ever purchased. Touch screen stops working all the time, constantly unable to connect the wifi, cannot find hot spots, crashes at least once per week. Dell's solution is to continue reinstalling the drivers. Not what I expected for $1700. I've gone back to my $300 HP2000 which has turned out to be a much better purchase. Reply
  • simonmarksmith - Sunday, April 21, 2013 - link

    If the touchpad or touch screen stop working on your XPS try touching the metal casing with your other hand... Here's a video of what I found happened with mine.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3fWIEtOFfk
    Reply
  • sheehanje - Monday, April 22, 2013 - link

    I know I'm a bit late to the party with this review comment - but I would first like to point out that prices have started coming down on the XPS 12. I got an 8GB i7 model with 250GB SSD for $1300, and they are dropping even further.

    As a Network Analyst/Engineer/Duct Tape Master, I am constantly in wiring closets, in meetings, and on the go. The XPS is what I would call a perfect blend of Laptop/Tablet. For MY purposes, it works better than any other hybrid out there. One reason the flip screen works so well is for documentation - I can use it in full tablet mode, or just flip the screen around easily go through large PDF's in either portrait or landscape using the base (keyboard) as a prop. It is sturdy, unlike most tablet stands, were I can navigate without worrying about the unit flopping over.

    There are some glaring omissions on what could be a grand slam of the jack of all trades laptop. GPS is not included, which is disappointing to me. It's not a deal breaker by any means, but the cost of adding GPS is negligible these days in a modern device. Also, as mentioned, there is no digitizer pen capability with the XPS 12. I don't find that as crucial. It would be nice, but it does reduce the sensitivity of the touch screen - which the XPS is one of the best touchscreens I've ever used. I just ordered a Jot Pro for note taking - but even that will be used sparingly.

    My last con is the touchpad - it is ill conceived to say the least. I've had all the mentioned issues - and it has horrible response. Button presses often go amiss. One thing I will say, it has gotten me used to the touchscreen, because I'm now constantly trying to use gestures on my non touch screen Mobile Precision laptop.

    I highly recommend this hybrid to anyone that needs flexibility between a laptop and tablet. Especially IT pro's that need to between the office and the field. (The field being wiring closets or datacenters). To me, Dell hit a triple with this. It is so close to being a home run, but I'll take it given the current generation of Tablet/Laptops hybrids.
    Reply
  • rburnham - Wednesday, May 08, 2013 - link

    I don't mind the price of this because the specs are really good. However, the bulk worries me. In order to get a tablet with 256 gigs of storage and a 1080p screen, it seems like just about everything I can find are these sort of thick hybrid/convertible units. Sony's Duo slider unit comes to mind.

    What I would really like to see is something with a detachable keyboard, like Samsung's 700T tablet, which has the perfect style, but with 256 gigs of storage.

    I have not found the perfect Windows 8 tablet yet, but the XPS 12 come really close.
    Reply

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