Today Dell unveiled the XPS 12, its first Windows 8 convertible that will go on sale on October 26 starting at $1199.
The XPS 12 uses a flip hinge design to convert from a 12-inch laptop into a 12-inch tablet. Unlike the dual-hinge on the Yoga 13, the flip hinge on the XPS 12 places the 1080p touchscreen on top of the keyboard, maintaining the same basic laptop form silhouette in the process.
The flip hinge is reminiscent of the Dell Inspiron Duo from last year which wasn’t well received by reviewers. This model ships with Windows 8, however, which is more suited to touchscreens than Windows 7.
Like many new Windows 8 convertibles the XPS 12 fits into the Ultrabook class, which means it uses Intel’s latest Core i CPUs and SSD for storage. The CPU goes up the Intel Core i7 and storage options go up to 256GB. Users can also choose to have up to 8GB of RAM in the device.
The Ultrabook also includes two USB 3.0 ports, a mini-display port, a 1.3MP webcam, dual array microphones and physical volume buttons on the side for easy volume control while in tablet mode. Dell is not sharing XPS 12 battery life details yet.
At 3.35 pounds the Dell XPS 12 is about the same weight as the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and more than twice the weight of the iPad.
Pre-orders for the XPS 12 begin now, Dell will ship the device shortly after October 26 when Windows 8 launches. Expect to see a flood of new Windows 8 tablets, hybrids and convertibles announced in the next few weeks as manufacturers are finally able to share the hardware that will run Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system.