Dell Xps 14Z X14Z

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Beauty hurts. The first steps towards a stronger design were made with the XPS 15z, và now the more compact 14-inch version is the logical progression. Like its larger brother, the Dell XPS 14z hopes to win over the hearts of customers with its good looks. It also has solid hardware, but that’s by the by...

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So you liked the shimmering, metallic silverDell XPS 15z, but found it just a touch too big and too heavy? Help is at hand: Dell has just introduced the newXPS 14z, which, as the name suggests, offers a14-inch display& a correspondingly smaller case.

The 14z does justice khổng lồ the time-honoured ‘Dell XPS’ brand, which has always stood for particularly high performance, with its powerfulHãng Intel Chip Core i processorsfrom the lakiểm tra Sandy Bridge generation. The entry-cấp độ option is ai5-2430M, or alternatively you can go for the more powerful dual-corei7-2640M. While Intel’sHD Graphics 3000takes care of graphics rendering in the basic configuration, the higher value models are fitted with theGeforce GT 520Mgraphics card & Nvidia’s Optimus. In each case a 7,200 rpm hard drive is used. Regrettably - but more about that later.

In terms of price, the new Dell XPS 14z is positioned between 899 và 1,049 Euros, depending on the configuration options you choose. By means of comparison: the larger XPS 15z starts at 840 Euros in the online cửa hàng, và can be configured up khổng lồ as high as 1300 Euros.


If you’ve sầu seen theXPS 15z, you’ll already know what this smaller 14z looks lượt thích. In front of us we have what is practically a perfect copy of the larger mã sản phẩm, with slightly reduced dimensions. To give sầu the details, we are talking about 336 x 235 x 23 milimet compared khổng lồ 385 x 260 x 25 mm, so 5 cm less length, 3 centimet less width và a marginally slimmer height. The weight: 20đôi mươi g, about half a kilo lighter than the 15z. So it’s aclear winfor the 14z when it comes toportability.

In terms of the materials used, the 14z also has aluminium parts which are precisely harmonised into a symphony of colours, from the silver base unit tray, the steely grey-xanh keyboard enclosure - separated with a fine bar of chrome - khổng lồ the dark grey display enclosure with a rubberized feel lớn it, và finally lớn the display lid itself which is silver again. Thechiclet-style keyboardwithsilver, backlit keysfits perfectly into the overall visual scheme. Whoever is responsible for this look should be assured of the gratitude of all design-loving customers.

The XPS 14z is also pleasing in its workmanship. We could not find any varnishing errors or any other kind of weak spot, except that the joints of the parts on the back edge, around the part that covers the ports, are visible, but still cleanly finished. Two smaller points of criticism remain for the case: the imitation plastic of the continuous central hinge is quickly recognised khổng lồ be a cheap part, và the display itself also wobbles slightly after you adjust the angle. All in all though, you have khổng lồ call thecase a success.


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Inside the XPS 14z

We were also curious to lớn see what things looked lượt thích inside the XPS 14z. After a rather difficult removal of the access panel on the underside of the máy vi tính, which in addition lớn screws is also secured with plastic hooks, we gained access lớn the internal components. In this opened state the hard drive, as well as the sticks of RAM, can easily be removed và exchanged. It also enables you lớn remove sầu any build-up of dust in the cooling fins of the two heat sinks.


The majority of theDell XPS 15z’s ports were on the left-hvà side of the case towards the back, making them readily accessible but away from the potentially troublesome area next to the notebook. With the XPS 14z, however,almost all the portshave sầu migrated lớn thebachồng edge. It’s a good idea in principle; but when not even a single USB port is left in a directly visible area, for the simple connection of a memory stichồng or digicam, điện thoại thông minh or other small device, this apparent advantage drifts quickly into the disadvantage category.

The left side now only offers the SD card slot along with the 3.5 mm socket for headphones và microphone. On the bachồng we now have a Kensington loông xã, power socket,miniDisplayPort, HDXiaoMi MI, USB 2.0 và USB 3.0, as well as the RJ-45 LAN port.

We have sầu nothing against the unique of the ports, as our subsequent testing will demonstrate. The only thing that pains us is the absence of a single, easy-to-reach USB port on one of the sides.

TheUSB 3.0port reached transfer speeds ofup lớn 150 MB/sin our testing, slightly less than on the Alienware M18x (165 MB/s) which has the same Hãng sản xuất Intel 510 SSD (ASMedia SM10510 USB 3 case chipset). We measured a maximum transfer speed of28.4 MB/sfor theUSB 2.0port, which is within specifications.

We also tested theminiDisplayPorton our 27-inch thử nghiệm monitor. The maximum resolution of2560 x 1440pixels was no problem for the port.


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Left side: Audio ports, SD thẻ reader
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Back: Kensington lock, power, Mini-Displayport, HDXiaoMi MI, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, LAN

Communication

With WLAN, LAN and Bluetooth không dây, the Dell XPS 14z is at the expected level of connectivity in terms of communication. This is also true of the power of the individual standards upon closer inspection: over WLAN, we managed around 45 MBit in our testing (with a somewhat aged Trendnet TEW-633GR router). GigaBit LAN ran with a slightly disappointing 815 MBit (c.f. M18x: 851 MBit); for example a Sandy Bridge demo platsize managed 940 MBit here.

The webcam integrated into lớn the display delivered an acceptable picture to lớn our conversation partner. The sound unique transmitted by the integrated microphone was also fine.

Warranty

At the time of writing, there were still no details available about the warranty, but one would assume that the same options will be available as for the largerXPS 15z. This would mean: 1 year inclusive warranty, 1 year on-site service for around 25 Euros extra, and an extension of up lớn 3 years of next-day on-site service for around 250 Euros.


Keyboard

Our assessment of the keyboard in this Mã Sản Phẩm proved to lớn be somewhat more problematic. In principle it should be thesame keyboardas the one used in the largerDell XPS 15zmã sản phẩm, as the difference in form size between the two has been compensated for using narrower openings for the loudspeakers next lớn the keyboard. The look as well as the layout và key kích cỡ are the same as the larger Model.

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The typing feel of this Mã Sản Phẩm, like the 15z, can be described as having ashort depression distancewith a somewhatunclear point of tactile response. A second reviewer even called it spongy, particularly in a direct comparison to lớn the ones used in the latest MacBooks. In the kết thúc, it probably comes down to lớn the user’s individual preferences as khổng lồ whether they will approve sầu or disapprove. We did both agree that we liked the firm mounting of the keyboard in the case - unfortunately this is not always a given in notebooks.

Touchpad

Here too Dell was able lớn use the same unit as for the 15z. The touchpad is wholly convincing with its large surface area, good responsiveness and physical properties, và its two buttons which have sầu a generous depression distance và produce a particularly quiet clicking sound. In contrast khổng lồ our XPS 15z kiểm tra Mã Sản Phẩm (which it should be noted was a pre-sample), the multi-touch inputs on this 14z demo mã sản phẩm worked with sufficient fluency khổng lồ be of practical value during everyday use.


The 14-inch display used in this Model has been hidden behind a plastic plate by Dell. This gives the visual effect of anedge-to-edge design, with the display only bordered by a rubber lip that runs round it, replacing the usual rubber stoppers that keep a distance between the lid and the base unit. But as soon as you turn on the machine, the optical illusion of a panel that fills the entire lid becomes evident. While the panel is ‘only’ 5 milimet inward from the edges to the left & right, there are 12 & 8 milimet between it and the top & bottom edges respectively.

Now for the facts about the LGD0327 panel used here: the maximum resolution of1366 x 768 pixelsis standard fare, but is fine given the display diagonal. You could become annoyed with it only if you are trying lớn work intensively with several windows open at once; in this case you should turn lớn an external monitor.

For our testing of the Dell XPS 14z we had two machines available: a virtually final pre-sample và also a retail-ready Model. The measurements we took from the two displays did vary somewhat from each other, despite having identical model numbers. In the retail machine we measured amaximum brightness of 225 cd/m², with an average of 203.9 cd/m². The prototype machine was around trăng tròn cd/m² darker.


225cd/m²216cd/m²205cd/m²
201cd/m²217cd/m²184.6cd/m²
189.2cd/m²210cd/m²187.7cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Maximum: 225cd/m² Average: 203.9cd/m²Brightness Distribution:82 %Center on Battery: 181.3cd/m²Contrast: 144:1 (Black: 1.51cd/m²)39.1%AdobeRGB1998 (Argyll 2.2.0 3D)56.99%sRGB (Argyll 2.2.0 3D)37.84%DisplayP3 (Argyll 2.2.0 3D)
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Colour space XPS 14z

While the display brightness is fine in & of itself, we found theblaông xã level, which plays a decisive sầu role in determining picture contrast, khổng lồ be a blatant weak point:1.51 cd/m². This brings the maximum possiblecontrastdown to lớn ameagre 141:1at maximum screen brightness (144:1 at 100 cd/m²). This can also be observed with the naked eye, for example with dark screen content in a film or in games và pictures, where the blachồng portions actually appear more grey than blachồng.

You can also tell that the screen unique is not up to much because of thecolour space that can be represented. Compared lớn sRGB, the panel lags far behind. Professional users in the photography và graphics fields won’t be happy with this, but it shouldn’t have much effect on the average consumer. The poor contrast values are much more of a consideration for them.


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Outdoors

This being a slimline 14-inch machine weighing barely two kilograms, the issue of outdoor use và use while on the move is relevant. With its average brightness of 200 cd/m², the XPS 14z should in theory have a good chance, but the brightness does dyên to around 180 cd/m² when on battery power. We could not find a way of getting round this, even in BIOS.

With the limited brightness, the below-average contrast & the reflective sầu screen surface, it unfortunately doesn’t look good for practical use of the máy vi tính while outdoors. You will have sầu to lớn find a well-shaded spot if you want to lớn be able to lớn make out the contents of your screen.


While theviewing anglesalong the horizontal line of sight are okay, you vị veryquickly get irritating distortionsof the image when the tilt of the screen is adjusted. This means that the vertical angle needs khổng lồ be adjusted regularly if you are using the machine on your lap.


As already described in the opening, the Dell XPS 14z is available with two different processors and two different graphics units. The entry-màn chơi option is anHãng sản xuất Intel i5-2430M CPU, the successor khổng lồ the popular 2410M CPU, with somewhat improved clock speed (2.3-2.9 GHz with the 2410M vs. 2.4-3.0 GHz with the 2430M). Our benchmark tests which follow come from the Dell XPS 14z pre-sample with a 2410M CPU, meaning that the results could lie marginally, but negligibly overall, below those of the 2430M CPU in the series mã sản phẩm. We also add to lớn some individual tests with results from an XPS 14z retail Model fitted with the2640M CPU,currently the most powerful dual-core processoravailable in Intel’s Sandy Bridge range. This enables us lớn define the upper & lower markers of the Dell XPS 14z’s power range.

Both our machines rely on the NvidiaGeforce GT 520Mfor their graphics handling; it usesOptimusto lớn automatically switch khổng lồ theHD Graphics 3000unit integrated inkhổng lồ the processor, in an attempt lớn find the best possible configuration for each application situation. In the lowest priced Dell XPS 14z, the dedicated graphics thẻ has been left out, with the integrated Hãng Intel graphics covering everything.

And this is completely sufficient if the notebook is used predominantly for office tasks. In fact theGT 520Mcan only top the integrated Hãng Intel solution by a small margin in terms of power. But the advantage of having the Nvidia graphics is thebroad range of built-in featureswhich really are a plus when it comes lớn multitruyền thông uses (audio và video). As for computer games, the GT 520M only gives you a noticeable advantage in a few individual games; more on that later. The Nvidia driver tư vấn also still counts as an advantage of the GT 520M.


On the subject of drivers: our series model of the XPS 15z had the comparatively old 268.86 drivers pre-installed. Our attempt khổng lồ install the lademo Nvidia 280.26 was a definite failure. According lớn information from Dell, however, the 14z should be supported by the Nvidia Verde drivers in future.

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In the course of our testing we also noticed that the latencies, which we observed using the DPC Latency Checker, kept shooting briefly outside of the green zone when WLAN was activated. Without WLAN, they always remain in the green zone. This could be of interest khổng lồ users who work with audio and đoạn Clip streaming.