Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook for the holidays

by Robyn Wright on December 13, 2012

in Reviews & Giveaways,Tech

Dell XPS 13 Ultrabookdell xps 13 thin

You all know I am a big fan of Dell, I have been for many years now. It is the computer brand I most recommend to friends and family when they ask me to help pick something out. My desktop computers have always been Dells, I have bought Dell computers for Hubby and T also. Good stuff.

dell xps 13 side openRecently the Dell Santa sent me a new Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook. This is my favorite laptop computer I have ever owned so far. It is not that any past machines have been horrible, but I just am finding the Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook to be exceptional for my needs. This machine also was voted PCWorld Best Ultrabook Summer 2012, Best Overall Lightweight Laptop by Good Housekeeping, and Editor’s Choice 2012 at, so I am not alone in my opinion of this Dell.

dell xps 13 screenSome of my reasons I really like using the Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook

  • It is thin and light – this is perfect for when I travel
  • Plenty of power for me – this machine is performing well for me on all of my regular tasks (internet, blogging, photo editing, biz apps, etc.). It has a 2nd gen Intel Core processor. I have found myself using this much more than I did my old laptop even while here at home because it does easily handle the work I need at a fast enough pace.
  • 8 second boot time and just 4 seconds from a deep sleep – fastest I have had
  • Good battery life – it lasts several hours with me working on it from a full charge
  • The keyboard has a great feel to it – since I do type a lot this is really important to me. The keyboard on the XPS 13 has a very nice touch to it with just enough click and just enough bounce.
  • The keyboard is backlit – I just love this feature
  • Good sound – most regular laptops do not have that great of a sound to them through their small speakers unless you have one focused on sound. I was pleasantly surprised at the nice sound this has when watching videos, doing Skype calls, and listening to music
  • Nice display – I love the glossy displays on laptops. My last one had the flat finish and the glass is so much nicer!
  • Quiet – with the Sold State Drive you do not have the sound of a small plane ready for take off – it is very quiet.

dell xps 13 keyboardMy machine came with Windows 7 on it, but I upgraded immediately to Windows 8 since that is what I am using on all my machines. It is running Windows 8 beautifully. If you buy a Dell XPS 13 with Windows 7 on it still you can upgrade for just $15 to Windows 8 and it is very simple. As I’m writing this it looks like the Dell XPS 13 is starting at $799.99 on the site – well worth this price I think. You can customize it a bit with upgrades for a bit more also if you want and it looks like most will get to you before Christmas if you are buying this as a gift. This is the ultrabook I would buy for a gift for anyone on my list this year that wanted a laptop. This definitely makes my Holiday Gift Guide!

Do you plan on buying a computer this holiday season for anyone?

dell xps in box

Photos from Dell – they are just much better than what I could take myself. The very last one is my pic of the box.

Disclosure: As mentioned above I did receive a Dell XPS 13 from Dell. My opinion of this machine is truly my own and I own other Dell machines I have bought myself and have been a fan of theirs since before I had any connection with them from my blog. They have consistently been the most reliable brand of computer overall that I have used and recommended to others.

© 2012, Robyn Wright. All rights reserved.

Comments on this entry are closed.


1 terry December 13, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Thanks for shareing robyn, the one i have is very basic the cheapest i could find considering my fixed income , but i have seen these and think they are great, it would be great to have one of these .

2 Robyn Wright December 15, 2012 at 5:24 pm

An option that might work better for you when you are ready to get a new computer is to look at Dell’s outlet store on their site. These are machines that are returned and rechecked, etc. I have bought several desktops from the outlet store with no issues and saved money!

3 Margie December 13, 2012 at 8:00 pm

We got a Kindle Fire HD, an early present for ourselves. We wanted it mostly for travel, with access to email and books. It seems to fill our needs pretty well.

4 Robyn Wright December 15, 2012 at 5:23 pm

Awesome Margie! A full laptop or ultrabook is not for everyone – the smaller devices like the Kindle Fire and such are sometimes able to fulfill a users needs. It is important to find what works best for your needs anytime you buy tech (or anything else). Sounds like you all made a great choice!

5 @GlArthy December 13, 2012 at 11:58 pm

my family have DELL and I’ve gone the opposite. These laptops are very workable, but like all offers now, it is sometimes hard to choose which will you go with. Thanks for sharing Robyn.

6 Robyn Wright December 15, 2012 at 5:21 pm

It really can be difficult, plus the machines from a brand can be very different as well. That is one of the reasons I personally have been a Dell fan, because for me I have had consistency with the various machines and products from them.

7 Katherine December 14, 2012 at 5:27 am

I would love alaptop to travel with, my kids have one but not me!~

8 Robyn Wright December 15, 2012 at 5:17 pm

We use the trickle-down theory at our house. I get the new item, then when I’m ready to move on Hubby gets first dibs, then our son gets if Hubby doesn’t want/need.

9 Robin O December 14, 2012 at 6:54 am

I am not planning on buying a computer this year, but I would love to get this one! The fast boot time and long battery life sound particularly appealing (compared to what I use now). Thanks for the review!

10 Robyn Wright December 15, 2012 at 4:21 pm

They are nice indeed!

11 angie December 14, 2012 at 8:31 am

You said that it has “Good battery life – it lasts several hours with me working on it from a full charge.” Can you be more specific? How many hours is several? Thanks!

12 Robyn Wright December 15, 2012 at 4:21 pm

The battery life depends on what you are doing and your settings – but with my work and moderate settings it lasts about 5-6 hours.

13 angie December 17, 2012 at 10:27 am

cool! thanks for the specifics!

14 Sheila Vives December 14, 2012 at 1:05 pm

I am always looking for reviews like this on laptops, especially the new thin lightweights. I however, would love to have a better understanding of the Pro’s and Con differences between Windows 7 and Windows 8.

15 Robyn Wright December 15, 2012 at 4:19 pm

The ability for Windows 8 to work with touch screens well is one of the big differences. More and more devices (computers, laptops, tablets) will have touch screens so that is important. The main start screen has changed and has “tiles” of your different apps and such that can be adjusted as you like. You can still view the more traditional “desktop view” that people are used to with Windows 7. The apps and the Windows store really allow you to use more apps on your traditional computer – like smartphones and tablets do – and it is nice if you have that same operating system across your devices for continuity. Windows 8 is also more suited to working within the cloud as more and more things go in that direction.

It is not imperative to upgrade to Windows 8 from a Windows 7 machine, but I personally always upgrade to the latest OS when it is released. If you have/buy a device that is a touch screen though I would strongly recommend that Windows 8 is a priority. Microsoft made it easier this time with the current low pricing also – $15 upgrade with purchase of many new computers or $40 for regular upgrade (I have purchased both).

16 Ravzie December 14, 2012 at 3:56 pm

My husband really wants a small laptop for traveling and work. I think the one he has is fine, but he says it is “big” and “heavy”. It’s about 3 years old, not the original laptops, LOL. This looks like it would really fit the bill. Hard to write that check though….

17 Robyn Wright December 15, 2012 at 4:11 pm

The heavier laptops feel a lot heavier when you are carrying them around through the airport and out and about for longer periods of time. The increased speed and power of a new one he would probably like too. Watch the Dell site for deals the next few days especially on them.

18 Wendi S December 15, 2012 at 9:05 am

Wow i really want one. With the thinness I would be able to hide this easily from my computer obcessesd autistic som.

19 Kecia December 18, 2012 at 9:26 pm

I just had to replace my three year old Dell laptop, and of course, I went with another Dell. My desktops and laptops have all been Dell for the past 10 years. This Ultrabook looks really nice but I’m not sure if I could handle the small 13 inch display.

20 Robyn Wright of Robyn's Online World January 3, 2013 at 5:23 pm

I thought I would struggle with size of screen too, but it really is not too bad. For portability and weight I sacrifice screen size and I’m good with that. I still have my Dell desktop machine that I use in my home office which I actually have two 21″ monitors for. But I also use a Surface tablet with a smaller screen and my smartphone with an even smaller screen. It really just depends on what I am doing with the device.

21 Ashley December 19, 2012 at 12:23 am

We aren’t buying any computers but my husband is begging me for the new iPad.

22 Robyn Wright of Robyn's Online World January 3, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Tablets are another great device!

23 Andrea December 30, 2012 at 6:37 pm

It sounds like a great computer. I’ll have to look into Dell when I’m ready to upgrade my laptop.

24 Robyn Wright of Robyn's Online World January 3, 2013 at 5:24 pm

You really should!

25 Wendy T January 3, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Looks like the Cadillac of laptops.

I have never owned a laptop…but I really like how think and light this one looks.

26 Robyn Wright of Robyn's Online World January 3, 2013 at 5:25 pm

This one is not the very top of the line, but it is a really great device for sure and you can tell the difference in build quality on this Dell than on other machines. I’m really impressed with it.

27 Karen Anderson January 3, 2013 at 4:32 pm

After having a few Gateways and a real lemon of a Lenovo laptop, I tried a Dell desktop and can say that I’m sticking with Dell from now on. VERY reliable machine.

28 Robyn Wright of Robyn's Online World January 3, 2013 at 5:25 pm


29 Julie January 4, 2013 at 1:39 pm

I have been using a Dell for as long as I can remember. When I entered my undergraduate studies I received a Dell from my parents. I honestly felt like it was a better option than a mac because it was so much easier for me to use. It comes at a decent price and really gets the job done

30 Donna January 4, 2013 at 2:43 pm

I’ve been debating about which computer to get my daughter for college. I’ve heard great things about the Mac and the Dell. This blog post was very helpful. I personally love backlit keyboards and I know that a long battery life will definitely be necessary for those long lectures she will have to be prepared for

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