Dell’s first Ultrabook is a 13.3in-screen model that pays more than a passing resemblance to Apple’s MacBook Air (hardly a criticism, mind). Aimed at business users, the laptop is 6mm thick, offers an eight-hour battery life and weighs 1.35kg. Dell says the 13in laptop is effectively the same overall size as an 11in laptop and offers as much processing power as a standard laptop despite its slim dimensions.

Smart Connect technology built into the motherboard will see useful features such as software and email updates take place while the laptop is in standby mode. Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 Sandy Bridge processors, 4GB of DDR3 RAM and SSD configurations of up to 256GB are cited by Dell, which hopes to bring the XPS 13 Ultrabook to market in the US and Europe by late February.

The $999 Ultrabook succeeds Dell's high end but pricey Adamo range of ultraportable laptops. 

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