Dell’s newest convertible machine running Windows 8, the Dell XPS 11 could be just the machine users need to bridge the gap between the ultra-portability of Microsoft’s Surface RT with the screen resolution and raw performance of the Surface Pro.
The new machine, which the company showed off this week at Computex, is all about better positioning the company’s XPS line as a legitimate choice for a user who wants a high performance machine regardless of form factor.
Like the XPS 13 and XPS 12, both of which received our editor’s choice award for rigid build quality and solid materials, the Dell XPS 11 once again user’s carbon fiber and aluminum to create a device that should feel pretty good in the hand if Dell hasn’t altered too much of the line’s design language, and judging by pictures of the device, they haven’t. Though it has replaced the aluminum lid of its previous devices with the same carbon fiber mesh it previously only used on the base of machines in the line.
The XPS 11 is centered on an 11.6 inch screen with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels that can be flipped over the rear of the device for a tablet like experience. All things considered, it’s exactly like what Lenovo currently does with its Yoga convertibles. Also like Lenovo, Dell has designed the machine to know that it’s been folded on turn off keyboard input.
However, unlike Lenovo, Dell has seen fit to ensure that the base of the machine is as thin as it can possibly be. The company has reengineered the keyboard on the XPS 11 so that the entire machine measures only 15mm thick when closed, creating a tablet experience that isn’t way too far off the thickness of an iPad with Retina Display which has a thickness of 8.8mm.
There are tradeoffs to this. The Verge noted that the keyboard is so thin that it has almost no travel when keys are pressed. The result really is an experience that is better suited for a tablet conversion than most of the current Windows 8 based alternatives.
It also won’t hurt Dell that they’ve loaded this machine with all of the latest internals including an Intel Core i5 Haswell processor for heavy processing and longer battery life, USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt for quick file and information transfers to other devices and a stylus.
Dell isn’t detailing how much onboard storage and RAM the XPS 11 will ship with. It expects to make the device available to users in the fall or winter of this year.