Slim Fit

Nandagopal Rajan | Print Edition: February 2012

Price: Rs 66,900
Specs: 14-inch HD WLED True-Life display; Intel Core i5-2450M processor; Windows 7 Professional; 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; NVIDIA @GeForce GT 520M 1GB graphics; 2 USB ports; 1 HDMI.

WHY WE FELL FOR IT: Great visuals, sound and processing power. Only,the price is fatter than its size.

It might not look all that slim, but the Dell XPS 14Z is not even an inch thick and looks stylish, certainly from some angles. The anodised aluminium body looks very trendy, but the shiny metallic hinge kills the punch with its very 1980s bling feel. What really sets this laptop apart is the wafer thin top cover which encases the 14-inch HD display with edge-to-edge glass. And it's not just about the size of the screen, the 720p WLED TrueLife screen really comes up with one of the crispest images around with colours that do justice to the real thing.

Despite the unit being very compact in its 33-cm body, the backlit chiclet keyboard is standard full size and spill-resistant. Users will, however, have to make sure that they don't spill anything on the ugly metallic speaker grills that flank it- in Indian conditions, the grill is wide enough to play magnet to tonnes of dust too. That doesn't mean that the sound is ugly. In fact, it is one of the best we have heard in laptops, thanks to the Waves MaxxAudio which is now standard in new Dell's Studio laptops.

The XPS 14Z comes with the choice of Intel's second generation i5-2450M processor 2.5 GHz or i7-2640M processors and Windows 7 Home Premium or Windows 7 Professional. A 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM is standard, while an 8GB option is also available. All this explains the solid power you feel while using the laptop. The NVIDIA GeForce GT 520M 1GB graphics is ideal for playing games, though this laptop is not made with hardcore gamers in mind.

The inbuilt Dell Studio application presents itself in the form of a dock, showcasing your music, photos, videos and games along with other applications like the Zinio magazine reader. Users can add more apps and shortcuts easily, keeping the desktop clutter-free.

The multi-touchpad, again with a metallic frame, comes with scrolling and gestures and mechanical left/right buttons below. There is a Slot load 8x DVD +/- RW drive along with a 7-in-card reader. Most of the ports-including the HDMI 1.4, Mini DisplayPort and USB 3.0- are all tucked away behind the chassis. But we are not sure it is such a good idea to have pen drives protruding behind the laptop.

The 8-cell Prismatic (58WHr, 2.0AHr) battery seems good enough to ensure around six hours of life on full usage. The laptop weighs around 1.98 kg, but the starting price of ` 66,900 might weigh more heavily on people looking to buy this one.

Courtesy:Gadgets and Gizmos

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