Today, Dell is expanding its flagship XPS laptop series with two updated models, the XPS 14 and XPS 15, which will fall alongside the XPS 13 introduced earlier this year. The new 14- and 15.6-inch XPS models give Dell's performance laptops a much needed aesthetic and performance overhaul, implementing Intel Ivy Bridge processors with optional discrete graphics configurations, edge-to-edge WLED displays, HDD and SSD storage combinations, and a sleek, aluminum unibody-style chassis. But despite sharing a similar design, the XPS 14 and XPS 15 each come in a wide range of configurations geared toward power-hungry or energy efficient consumers alike at price points from $1,099 to $1,999.

The XPS 14 bridges the gap between the XPS 15 and the XPS 13, offering mid-range performance while maintaing a degree of portability. It lacks an optical disk drive and in certain configurations, it passes the minimum required specifications to be considered an ultrabook. While thicker than the XPS 13, the XPS 14 maintains a slim 0.81-inch profile and a starting weight of 4.6 pounds. Each configuration comes standard with a 1600 x 900 display, Waves MaxxAudio 4 audio processing, a 3-in-1 card reader, and USB 3.0, mini DisplayPort, and HDMI ports. The baseline model comes with 4GB of RAM, 500GB 5400rpm hard drive, and a secondary 32GB mSATA solid state drive, while the top of the line model comes standard with 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. For those that prefer added graphics processing power, Dell is offering select models with Nvidia's GeForce GT 630M, a notable bump from the previous iteration's Nvidia GeForce GT 520M.

$1,099 i5-3317U Intel HD 4000 4GB DDR3 500GB + 32GB mSATA SSD No
$1,199 i5-3317U Nvidia GeForce GT 630M 4GB DDR3 500GB + 32GB mSATA SSD No
$1,299 i5-3317U Intel HD 4000 8GB DDR3 500GB Yes
$1,399 i7-3517U Intel HD 4000 8GB DDR3 500GB Yes
$1,499 i7-3517U Nvidia GeForce GT 630M 8GB DDR3 500GB + 32GB mSATA SSD No
$1,999 i7-3517U Nvidia GeForce GT 630M 8GB DDR3 512GB SSD No

The XPS 14 also sports a wide array of connectivity options, including WWAN provided by integrated Intel 6150 WLAN/WiMax/WiDi Combo, Dell Wireless 5630 EVDO/HSPA, or Dell Wireless 5560 HSPA+ antennas. But perhaps the most compelling aspect of the XPS 14 is its battery life. Dell claims to have clocked the $1,999 model at 11 hours and 21 minutes of use on a single charge, though obviously performance on HDD and WANN-enabled models will vary.

Whereas the XPS 14 was designed for portability and battery life, the XPS 15 is more focused on performance. The 15.6-inch model ships only in discrete graphics configurations with either Nvidia's GeForce GT 630M or 640M under the hood, up from last year's GT 525M. The cheapest variation comes stock with 6GB of RAM, whereas the mid-range and high-end versions come with either 8GB or 16GB. Storage ranges from the 500GB HDD/32GB SSD combo found in the XPS 14 to a full 1TB HDD with secondary 128GB SSD. Dell has also bumped up the screen quality, making 1920 x 1080 resolution standard across all models. Unlike its driveless sibling, the $1,299 and $1,399 XPS 14s ship with a DVD-RW drive, while the $1,699 and $1,999 configurations come standard with a read-only Blu-ray drive.

Price CPU GPU Memory HDD/SSD Optical
$1,299 i5-3210M Nvidia GeForce GT 630M 6GB DDR3 500GB + 32GB mSATA DVDRW
$1,399 i5-3210M Nvidia GeForce GT 630M 8GB DDR3 750GB + 32GB mSATA DVDRW
$1,699 i7-3612QM Nvidia GeForce GT 640M 8GB DDR3 750GB + 32GB mSATA Blu-ray
$1,999 i7-3612QM Nvidia GeForce GT 640M 16GB DDR3 1TB + 128GB mSATA Blu-ray

Naturally, with the added processing power and the inclusion of a disc drive, the XPS 15 gains a little heft over the XPS 14, carrying a thickness of 0.91-inches and a starting weight at 5.79 pounds. It also shaves three hours off of the maximum battery life of the most energy-efficient model, with Dell's advertised performance timed at 8 hours and 11 minutes. Compared to the MacBook Pro, the XPS 14 and XPS 15 are both thicker and heavier, but allegedly best Apple's battery performance by several hours.

The XPS 14 and XPS 15 are available for order now.

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