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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2012
I am a front end web developer, which means, I guess, that I know enough about computing that I just expect things to work. But I'm also a Windows guy, so with that in mind, here's my review:

There's no question this is Dell's/Windows answer to the MacBook Pro. My wife owns the latest 13.3 in MBP and side by side these look and feel a LOT alike. The hardware specs on this Dell are superior, but my honest assessment is the performance is pretty similar.
While I'm not crazy about the Lion interface, one thing I like about the MBP is that it's quiet, all the time. This Dell is VERY quiet by PC standards, silent most of the time, but if I'm doing a lot at once (videos, graphics, other heavy applications) I will hear the fan. Not bad at all, but noticeable.
If you like the look and feel of the MBP but you're married to Windows, Google, etc, this is probably as good as it gets.

It's great. Very bright and crisp. The 1600x900 is better than you'll get on a comparably priced MBP and seeing them side by side, I'll take this one.

Clearly built to be like the MBP. I don't need to look at a keyboard when I type - this one feels good, with a caveat: I feel like the keyboard is offset to the right just slightly. Maybe this is just me, but when I place my wrists on the deck, I can easily hit "r" when I mean to hit "t". It's taken me a few days to get used to this. Now that I have, the keyboard performance itself is really nice.

This is my least favorite thing. Again, maybe it's just me, but I felt like the mouse/cursor movement was slow out of the box. In Control Panel, I adjusted to as fast as possible, and I still think it's just fast enough. Taps and clicks on the touchpad are not as responsive as I would expect. Not terrible, but not great to me. That being said, I don't care for the touchpad on the MBP either, and this is a lot like that one, so maybe it's just me.


On a full charge, my first battery run lasted just over six hours of moderate computing. That's pretty good, I think, but not fantastic. If it gets better, and I expect it will, I'll update.

I guess the SSD Dell built into this laptop helps. It's far quicker to respond than other Windows laptops. Don't expect it to be instantaneous though.

Almost, but not quite, perfect. If you're a Windows/Google user who admires the MBP, this is it.

First, the more I use this the more comfortable I become, particularly with the keyboard and touchpad.
Second, while another reviewer has claimed this does not have a media card slot, all I can say is, mine does. It's located on the right side of the laptop, and is not immediately obvious because the cover is well-engineered and flush to the body.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2012
My son is off to his freshman year in college in Sept. I have been waiting for this product from Dell, a MBP killer for the MS Windows World. Similar size as 13" MBP but with a 14" screen. The best laptop processor, Intel 3rd Gen i7, with 8GB of main memory. A combined large hard drive and SSD drive for performance and quick boot times is a great touch. Like the NVIDEA separate graphics with another GB of graphics memory. And long battery life, key for college kids on the go. Thin & light. Purchased and external IOMEGA Super slim USB optical drive inexpensively, for when he really needs it--he can leave this in his room.

I dont think you can beat this package, buy it for those that really need a MOBILE computer, yes, a real computer that runs local apps (Photoshop, MS Office) lightning fast! And with plenty of local storage--take all your files with you in one small package. No tablet (iPad, etc) can even be mentioned in the same breath as this machine. There is no comparison. Apple has been outdone, and I love my iPhone and my son is thrilled with his 2nd Gen iPad.

I wish I had one of these, there is more than enough technology to last my son all 4 years of college!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2012
Love it! I have had my XPS 14 for about a week now. I originally purchased the XPS 13, but ended up taking it back because I didn't want to spend $1500 on last year's technology. I debated on waiting for Dell to update the XPS 13, but then I decided to go ahead and make the purchase on the XPS 14. By purchasing the XPS 14 I was getting, over the XPS 13, the newest processor, higher resolution and better screen quality, 8 GB of memory, high end display adapter with 1gb of dedicated ram, SD card reader, full size HDMI port, and a built in Ethernet port. In addition to all that I saved $200 over the XPS 13. What you lose is a little size and the 256 GB SSD drive. The SSD is a big deal to me. What is the point of an ultrabook without a SSD? I noted that Amazon carried a Crucial 256 GB SSD designed for ultrabooks for $200. This puts the price equal to the XPS 13, with significantly better hardware on the XPS 14. When I got the XPS 14 I was amazed at how small it was for a 14 inch screen notebook. Replacing the hard drive with the SSD drive was easy. Since the XPS 14 comes with a 32gb SSD designed for caching, which I no longer needed since I was adding a SSD drive I got a bonus of an extra 32 GB of SSD drive space. With the added SSD the computer boots, shuts down, wakes, and sleeps almost instantly. If you are debating on this computer I highly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2012
I bought the Dell XPS14-10909sLV Ultra book Laptop computer for my daughter to use in college. She uses it to take note during classes, to do her class work, cruise the web, watch videos, and play some games that she likes. Perhaps the battery doesn't last 11 or 12 hour as some of the info in this site stated. The battery lasts a good five hours or so with continues use. She told me that she is pretty happy with it. It doesn't have any optical drive but she hardly use that in her old laptop. She used to have a HP DV-4 Notebook. The problem with that is the battery life doesn't last perhaps just for one class. And the composite video card didn't run some of the games she wanted. I hope she is happy with the Dell XPS14 not just because it's a step up from experience with the HP-DV4.
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on October 14, 2013
Initially, I loved my XPS14. The honeymoon did end soon after buying it last year. The machine performs well; however, I've had numerous problems during the past 11 months.

This summer, had to completely re-install windows. System went to pot and could not be recovered.

Speaker output is terrible. My Android phone pushes my speakers way better than the Dell.

Last week, the screen brightness control was lost. Using the Fn keys and slider bar makes no difference to screen brightness. It's at peak brightness and burning my retinas out of my head. Dell is sending somebody out to my house this week to repair it.

Also, today it was stuck in a crashing loop after performing a restart. Had to break out the recovery USB stick to fix it.

I have always been a Dell fanboy and buy nothing but Dell machines for years. I will be dumping this thing on eBay after it is repaired. Probably gonna look at the Surface Pro 2.

Also, be warned!!! The screen is horrible to look at. Colors and contrast are BAD. Also causes horrible eye fatigue and headaches. I usually use an external monitor because my eyes hurt after 10 minutes. Not sure what technology used in the screen, but it's subpar for what you spend. My Note 10.1 tablet and Note 2 phone never cause me eye strain. I heard these same complaints in a couple online reviews. I thought surely they were being dramatic and I blew them off. Nope, they were right.

10/22/13 UPDATE: I am happier now with my XPS 14. The brightness issue was NOT hardware (Dell missed that one). The problem was with an update released by Intel for the video card. It broke the brightness control and is a problem for many people after researching it. The audio is now fixed after I did a restore on the drive and updated to Windows 8.1. The machine is also running cooler as an added bonus. The fan isn't always running in turbo mode even when just typing in MS Word (yes...really). Only issue that continues to be a problem is the hardware. The LCD screen is crap. Color reproduction and depth is really bad and still kills my eyes. Will keep using my giant external monitor. I still regret buying the machine because of the bad display quality.
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on November 21, 2012
With the dawn of Windows 8 and my Vista running Sony showing signs of inadequate performance I started looking for a new one. Once again I looked into Apple and I tried hard to want to buy one but the sticker shock for a machine that would deliver my specifications was way too high. After about a week of internet research I landed at Dell and what I saw triggered my interest. Here was a machine with nearly equal specs to the latest MacBook Pro Retina (customized - not off the shelf at the Apple store, mind you) but with savings of more than a thousand. More research and the alternative started looking increasingly attractive. XPS 14 was not to be found in brick and mortar with the exception of one Fry's store that had a machine with lesser specs but the same frame. I went to take a look and was almost convinced. The display model looked a bit sad and battered but I got the general idea. I had already decided to order from Amazon since they had the machine with my specs and after my hands on experience I took the plunge. When my laptop arrived I was as impressed as some other reviewers.

From the premium packaging by Dell to the machine itself everything was simply immaculate. This is a true contender to MacBook Pro in every way and I would say the build is much better. It is not common for a Windows laptop to beat the mighty MacBook Pro but Dell has done it. Yes, the XPS 14 is a bit heavy but so is the new MacBook Pro 15. The real difference is in what I can only describe as design excitement. I'm sorry, all Apples look alike. It would be interesting to secretly place an XPS in an Apple store and see how many people would navigate to it. Everything about the XPS is about class. It feels like a solid block of metal and even the weight is right because it adds to sensation of solid reliability. But you need to see it to believe it.

I won't even touch performance since impressions are based on previous experiences. I came from a 2008 top of the line Sony laptop and I am impressed. The display is stunning with better resolution than most Macs and don't be fooled by the "retina" hype - that resolution is too high for some websites and actually ends up distorting your web experience. I upgraded to Windows 8 as soon as it became available and after some minor adjustments it is running smoothly. Hint: if you have McAfee and are upgrading to 8 from previous versions, dump McAfee before the installation (you'll need to download a utility to completely remove it). They may have made changes but at he time McAfee killed my live tiles within a week.

I hope I never have to replace this laptop but with the way technology evolves it is likely that at some point we will part our ways but until then I will say "wow" every time I touch it.
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on August 9, 2012
I received my XPS 14 a couple of days ago and absolutely love it. It's quiet when I do normal office work and normal web browsing, the screen's awesome (the viewing angles could be better but it isn't any worse than other notebooks with TN-panels) - it's tack sharp and there's close to no pixelation. The colors are pleasing and the screen's brightness is extremely good.

The keyboard's excellent - even better than the Macbook Pro's I previously had. The trackpad is the best one I've encountered on a windows notebook and is pretty much on par with what Apple produces (which really is pretty awesome).

Weight-wise, the notebook's ok, too. The 13" MBP is slightly lighter but has a massively inferior screen (at least in terms of resolution). 2.1kg are still highly portable and due to its compact build, the notebooks feels light when carried in a backpack.

The only thing I don't like about it is the power-brick, which is ugly and very heavy. Fortunately, the good battery life allows me to leave the power brick at home most of the time.

All in all I really recommend this computer.
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on January 8, 2013
Overall solid construction, sort of a soft-touch play on the Macbook Pro.

Dell dropped the ball on the screen, however. The quality of the display is very bad because of poor contrast, poor color rendition and grainy appearance. The space between pixels is large enough to be seen, and the overall effect is a white halo around black text on light backgrounds. This specific issue with text makes this unusable for me without an external monitor. Excel also looks funny because each box has a white inner and outer border as a result of the screen. Smaller icons look poor as the pixel dot pitch obscures their detail, and oranges and greens look unnatural due to the poor gamut.

It is the worst monitor I have seen on a laptop since 2002, and I have used many, many laptops.

Bottom line, if you can tell the difference between DVD and VHS (and some people say they can't), this display will drive you absolutely bonkers.
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
on January 2, 2013
I had a truly high expectation prior to its arrival. Ironically enough, the first time I boosted it out of box, it didn't manage to log in windows and went blue-screen. In the following days, I would experience the blue-screen issue pretty much once or twice a day, which has certainly frustrated me as I was in great need of a stable laptop to finish my schools works. To avoid any future inconvenience, I decided to return this item. Guess I was just out of luck for encountering a potentially defective product.But I am still very into this laptop so I ordered the same item directly from Amazon, despite the extra 100$ California sales tax. May the odds be in my favor this time. Nothing against the friendly retailer and its customer service that responded to my request in a fairly prompt manner.
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The manufacturer commented on this review (What's this?)

We apologize that your out of box experience with the XPS 14 was not perfect. We value your feedback and would like the opportunity to try and correct the issues. We really do appreciate the comments that you had about this system. It's a great service to us here at Dell when our customers give us the type of feedback that you have in this review. The XPS 14 is a brand new product for Dell and with many new products there is always a bit of growing pains and we help alleviate those pains with great input from our consumers.

Do keep us posted once you have received your new system, we would love to hear from you.

Thanks for taking the time to share your experience, have a great day!
on February 3, 2013
Really like this unit it's very fast, awesome looking, and has a great crystal clear screen. As other reviewers have said it's a little heavier than other ultrabooks, but it's high performance and it doesn't bother me. Quick to start up and a nice backlit keyboard. I had previously bought a Sony Vaio and although it performed well, the touch pad was so ridiculously sensitive I couldn't stand it so gave it to a colleague and tried this one. I wasn't sorry although it was very expensive relative to others on the market, I feel it was worth it (easy for me to say my employer paid for it). I don't use it for gaming and it's not meant for that, but as a business and home machine I'm very satisfied. My IT guy at the office absolutely loves it, so that's saying something...
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