Dell has officially joined the ultrabook fray this afternoon with a new XPS 13 model measuring just 0.71 inches at its thickest point and 0.24 inches at its thinnest. Starting at $999, the base configuration includes a Core i3 processor, 4GB of RAM, 128GB SSD, a backlit keyboard, and a 1366 x 768-resolution 13.3-inch display covered in Gorilla Glass. Like several other manufacturers are doing these days, Dell has used a thin-bezeled display, allowing it to cram the 13-inch display into more of a typical 12-inch laptop case.
The laptop's main body is a mix of magnesium alloy and aluminum along the lid and keyboard deck, with a carbon fiber base that's cool to the touch. This makes it quite rigid yet also lightweight at just under 3 pounds.
You'll be able to upgrade the base model to a 256GB SSD and either a Core i5 or i7 processor, but unfortunately there isn't a higher resolution display option. Ports and connectivity options include 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, one USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 port each, as well as a mini DisplayPort, but there's no HDMI, Ethernet, or a memory-card reader.
Dell is also touting the implementation of Intel Rapid Start, which enables fast boot times and instant-on resume from standby, as well as Intel SmartConnect, which periodically wakes the machine to check calendar, email, social networking accounts and other data so that everything's up to date as soon as you open the lid.
For the enterprise crowd, the Dell XPS 13 will support TPM as standard, while companies that order any XPS system (starting with the XPS 13) through the vendor's business channel, will get the same ProSupport services and custom disk imaging, BIOS, and asset tagging options offered with Dell's corporate Latitude line.
The Dell XPS 13 will go on sale at the end of February.