One of the most disappointing things about the Ultrabooks released to date has been price. Apart from Acer’s S3, which keeps pricing low thanks to a mechanical hard drive, 13in Ultrabooks tend to sit closer in price to $2000 than the magical $999 that was thrown around when we first heard about Ultrabooks last year.
In Pictures: Hands on with Dell's XPS 13 Ultrabook
This has now changed thanks to Dell, who has finally announced Australian pricing for its very sexy XPS 13 Ultrabook. The base model, which features a Core i5-2467M CPU, 128GB SSD and 4GB of RAM, comes in at $1,199 when buying direct from Dell, while $1,499 will get you the same thing with a Core i7-2637M CPU from JB-HiFi. For the top end model with both Core i7-2637M and a 256GB SSD you’ll need to fork out $1,699 on the Dell website.
Not only is this pricing very reasonable when compared to the competition, it comes attached to one of our favourite Ultrabook designs. In the current issue of PC & Tech Authority we have a grouptest of seven Ultrabooks, including an early sample of the XPS 13. Without giving too much away, we actually had to demote the XPS 13 from its place as Labs Winner because we didn’t have pricing.
If we’d known it would be this reasonably priced it would have remained the clear Labs Winner. Not only do we love the two-tone stylings of Carbon fibre chassis and Gorilla Glass screen but the thin bezel that enables Dell to fit a 13in screen into a small footprint makes other Ultrabooks look bloated.
The model tested in the latest issue was the $1,699 top of the range model, but given our experience with other Ultrabooks based on the $1,199 specification we can heartily recommend it. The Core i5 is zippy enough for most people’s needs, and as long as you have some sort of overflow storage (be it cloud, NAS or external hard drive based) then the 128GB SSD is going to be enough for day to day use.
Hopefully Dell’s aggressive pricing on the XPS 13 will pressure other manufacturers to drive down their prices as well. But even if they don’t the XPS 13 marries excellent design and reasonable specs with the pricing that we have been hankering for since Ultrabooks first appeared.
Read our Ultrabook Group Test: We've put them through our torture tests to see which is best. We also have photos showing inside the guts of the hardware, analysis from John Gillooly, benchmark results, specs, prices….it's a big special.
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