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Dell XPS 12 key features explained

The Dell XPS 12 is a touchscreen Ultrabook laptop with a twist - with its unique flip and fold hinge all it takes is a quick twist and the laptop becomes a fully featured Windows 8 tablet

The Dell XPS 12 is a touchscreen Ultrabook laptop with a twist. In its traditional form the XPS 12 looks just like any other thin and light laptop out there.

However, the XPS 12 is much more than a simple laptop - with its unique flip and fold hinge all it takes is a quick twist and the laptop becomes a fully featured Windows 8 tablet. The screen literally spins round in its case with a simple one-touch movement and folds back down to cover the keyboard and become a slate PC.

The XPS 12 comes with a great specification to match the innovative design. It runs on an Intel Core i5 processor with turbo boost giving speeds up to 2.7GHz for the most demanding of tasks. An Intel 4000 graphics cards is beefy enough for gaming and HD movies and as the XPS 12 is supplied with 4GB of RAM there’s more than enough memory to keep Windows and all the apps you use humming along nicely. The screen is 12.5in wide and is capable of displaying full HD images and is made of tough Corning Gorilla Glass.  

With a 256GB SSD hard drive the Dell is super fast and, importantly, quiet too. There’s a USB 3 and a USB 2 port as well as a mini display port for connecting to high-resolution external screens. So, if you’re a bit worried about the 12.5in screen there's no need as you can plug the XPS 12 into a larger monitor whenever you need it. As you’d expect the Dell has Wi-Fi and the very latest version of Bluetooth built-in and also benefits from Intel Wireless Display and Smart Connect Technology. Smart Connect allows the laptop to stay constantly updated and connected, collecting emails and looking out for social network notifications even when the XPS 12 is in sleep mode. The full-sized keyboard is backlit and spill resistant and the touchpad is a high-quality glass button. 

Though you might think the Dell would feel a bit flimsy given how the screen rotates, it really does feel incredibly sturdy. The body is constructed from machined aluminium with an anodised aluminium cover and the base and back are made from carbon fibre. It’s more than a match for the typical use both a tablet and a laptop have to put up with on a daily basis. The screen is especially robust and easy to flip from front to back and as it’s made from Corning Gorilla Glass it’s scratch resistant and especially strong and durable.

Despite the level of engineering that goes into the XPS-12 it still manages to be as thin as an ultrabook, just 20mm at the thickest point and down to 8mm at the thinnest. Even with all the technology packed into the intricate Dell design the XPS 12 still only tips the scales at 1.5kg, making it impressively lightweight considering the specification. The finish and build quality really set this Dell apart - it feels very solid and the materials used make it feel worth every penny. 

The screen is bright and crisp, which is doubly impressive when you consider that it has to work as both a traditional laptop screen and tablet. The images it’s able to produce are a stand-out feature on this Dell, it produces incredible clarity and accuracy, this makes it a great machine for doing the really intricate jobs like photo- or video-editing and also perfect when you want to flip into the tablet mode and watch a movie or TV show. 

Windows 8 is designed to make the best of both touch and traditional interfaces. You get the usability and familiarity of the Windows desktop you’ll already know and yet can still take advantage of the new Live tiles in the touch interface of the modern Windows UI. In mere seconds you can go from using the Windows Explorer with its mouse pointer and keyboard setup to the new Start Screen and the associated optimised software. The Windows App store is built-in too and allows you to get hold of a slew of fantastic touch-enabled apps.

Starting at £999 the XPS range offers fantastic value for money especially when you consider that you’re essentially getting two machines in one. As well as this, instead of getting an underpowered tablet you get one with an operating system that’s been optimised for touch combined with an incredibly powerful Intel processor. The top of the range XPS 12 is available with a blisteringly fast Core i7 Intel processor that gives speeds of up to 3.1GHz. 

The XPS 12 gives you the best of both worlds as the power of a proper Intel processor allows you to take on even the most demanding of tasks. You'll never be stuck with an application that can’t run on your hardware or is only designed for a tablet or phone. Even better, you can use the XPS 12 in more situations enabling you to get work done no matter where you are, there's no need to be tied to the desk. The fact that at the end of a hard day at work you can flip over your laptop and make it into a high-powered tablet PC just makes the XPS 12 even better value and even more useful. With the high quality screen movies and TV shows look immaculate and the clarity of the display even helps when you're reading eBooks and the like. Even spreadsheets look better on the Dell screen. The XPS 12 gives you the very best ultrabook and tablet, the innovative and award-winning design is something that can’t fail to impress. 

This article is part of the Dell Tech Zone series. Click here for more

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