XPS 12 Convertible Touch - Laptop Meets Tablet

2/5/2013 9:05:10 AM

SINCE USERS CAN control Windows 8 by touch as well as by mouse and keyboard, we’re bound to see innovative portable designs. For instance, you can rotate the 12.5-inch touchscreen of Dell’s XPS 12 Convertible Touch Ultrabook to face outward, turning it into a tablet.

Description: The XPS 12’s aluminum frame supports the swiveling display

The XPS 12’s aluminum frame supports the swiveling display

The display is covered with Gorilla Glass, the frame is aluminum, the base and top are carbon fiber, and the keyboard deck is magnesium. Despite its use of space-age materials, the XPS 12 would be overly thick and heavy for a pure tablet. Meanwhile, its 4-pound travel weight makes the unit considerably heavier than a normal 12.5-inch or even 13.3-inch laptop.

Description: XPS 12 Convertible Touch

You also pay for the XPS 12’s duality. Our low-end test unit, with a 128GB solid-state drive, a Core i5-3317U CPU, 4GB of memory, and integrated HD 4000 graphics, costs a rather steep $1199. You can up the RAM to 8GB, the CPU to a Core i7-3517U, and the SSD to 256GB, and pay $1699.

The keyboard has more travel than you’d expect; typing feels good. The touchpad is responsive, though I found it prone to registering inadvertent taps. The touchpad is also a one-piece rocking unit that you can press to click.

One bet Dell may have missed was in not further articulating the frame. As it stands, you can rotate the display to 45 degrees, but the upper part of the frame gets in the way. To be fair, an articulated frame may have been too fragile for everyday use.

Decent speed

Although we can’t compare scores from our new WorldBench 8 suite with results from WorldBench 7, we can say that the XPS 12’s mark of 64 is competitive. (In contrast, the Sony Tap 20, an all-in-one with laptop-class components, had a score of 40.) Subjectively, the XPS 12 feels fast, but we had to drop the resolution to 1366 by 768 or lower to get decent gameplay. In PCMark 7, the Dell had a productivity score of 2187, about half the score of our baseline desktop system but better than the HP Envy TouchSmart Ultrabook 4’s mark of 2058.

Description: XPS 12 Convertible Touch

In our revised battery test, which alternates video playback with some light office scripts, the XPS 12 lasted for 4 hours, 39 minutes, comparing favorably with the Envy TouchSmart, which survived for 4 hours, 7 minutes.

The display’s native resolution is 1920 by 1080, and 1080p movies look spectacular. Unfortunately, the audio from the speakers is tinny.

Description: XPS 12 Convertible Touch

You’ll find two USB 3.0 ports, plus a mini-DisplayPort that can drive VGA and HDMI displays with $33 and $20 adapters. The unit comes with a headphone jack, a dual-array Mic, and a 1.3-megapixel webcam. Connectivity consists of 802.11a/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0. Wired Ethernet requires a $20 USB to Ethernet adapter.

Bottom line

Dell’s XPS 12 Convertible Touch Ultrabook offers a clever and stylish design, and it obviates the need to carry a tablet with you. It’s on the heavy side, but that may be a common theme with touchscreen laptops for the foreseeable future.


·         Ratings: 7/10

·         Price: $1,199

·         From: Dell

·         Web:


Most View
Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Web Applications : Presentation Layer Overview - Ribbon (part 1)
The Cyber-athletic Revolution – E-sports’ Era (Part 1)
Windows Server 2003 : Implementing Software Restriction Policies (part 4) - Implementing Software Restriction Policies - Creating a Path Rule, Designating File Types
Sql Server 2012 : Hierarchical Data and the Relational Database - Populating the Hierarchy (part 1)
Two Is Better Than One - WD My Cloud Mirror
Programming ASP.NET 3.5 : Data Source-Based Data Binding (part 3) - List Controls
Windows 8 : Configuring networking (part 5) - Managing network settings - Understanding the dual TCP/IP stack in Windows 8, Configuring name resolution
Nikon Coolpix A – An Appealing Camera For Sharp Images (Part 2)
Canon PowerShot SX240 HS - A Powerful Perfection
LG Intuition Review - Skirts The Line Between Smartphone And Tablet (Part 2)
Popular Tags
Microsoft Access Microsoft Excel Microsoft OneNote Microsoft PowerPoint Microsoft Project Microsoft Visio Microsoft Word Active Directory Biztalk Exchange Server Microsoft LynC Server Microsoft Dynamic Sharepoint Sql Server Windows Server 2008 Windows Server 2012 Windows 7 Windows 8 Adobe Indesign Adobe Flash Professional Dreamweaver Adobe Illustrator Adobe After Effects Adobe Photoshop Adobe Fireworks Adobe Flash Catalyst Corel Painter X CorelDRAW X5 CorelDraw 10 QuarkXPress 8 windows Phone 7 windows Phone 8 BlackBerry Android Ipad Iphone iOS
Top 10
Review : Acer Aspire R13
Review : Microsoft Lumia 535
Review : Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II
TomTom Runner + MultiSport Cardio
Timex Ironman Run Trainer 2.0
Suunto Ambit3 Peak Sapphire HR
Polar M400
Garmin Forerunner 920XT
Sharepoint 2013 : Content Model and Managed Metadata - Publishing, Un-publishing, and Republishing
Sharepoint 2013 : Content Model and Managed Metadata - Content Type Hubs