The XPS line of laptops is Dell’s flagship premium brand. The “z” was added to products launched in May 2011, with the launch of the XPS15z, which was positioned as the “world’s slimmest 15-inch laptop” running Windows.
The XPS 14z has a 14’ screen fitted into the body of a 13” laptop. While the larger screen is a clear advantage, the machine looks chunky in comparison with other 13” laptops from Acer or Lenovo.
This is not strictly a like-for-like comparison; however, consumer perception matters, and for some, visual sleekness may be more important than screen size. A smaller chassis can also cause greater heating, as there is less space for the heat generated to dissipate.
Engineering and specs-wise, the Dell XPS 14z is quite a neat package. For $1299, you can get an upgraded 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7 2640 CPU, Nvidia 520M graphics card for switchable graphics, and a 750 GB, 7200 rpm hard disk drive. The lower-end model comes with a less powerful processor and is priced at $999.
Both versions have a classy body made of aluminium and reinforced with magnesium alloy. They have a backlit chiclet keyboard that adjusts brightness of illumination depending on ambient lighting.
The touchpad is quite large at 4.5 inches, and has separate left- and right-click buttons. At 4.36 lbs, the Dell XPS 14z weighs less than the MacBook. The XPS 14z comes with a slot loading optical drive (DVD +- RW) and lots of other goodies.