Dell XPS a good fit for small business owners

If you’re a small business owner who is on a budget but still need a quality laptop, you might want to consider Dell’s XPS product.

I recently had the opportunity to “test-drive” the XPS and came away quite impressed.

First of all, at a price point starting at $930.00 CDN it is affordable. Now on to some interesting features and specs:

I personally have been using a MacBook Air for some time so I judge all other laptops  against Apple’s product.  And the XPS actually  comes away looking good.  The keyboard is large enough that my hands never knocked each other like they did on smaller netbooks. The combination of the large, bright screen with the excellent touchpad and keyboard reminded me of my Air.  That’s impressive.

I’m quite impressed with the speed and performance as well.  And as a business owner I need a machine that is quick and responsive.

There is, however, one aspect of the XPS that I don’t really like. It’s the fact that my 6-year-old son knows how to turn it on, open the web browser and start playing games on Nickelodeon.  Yes, it’s very intuitive.

The Dell XPS launched late last year. Here’s the original press release:

Dell Unveils the XPS 14z, Thinnest Fully Featured 14-inch Laptop with Internal Optical Drive – Features Performance that Impresses and Design that Inspires

– Built Without Compromise and Less Than an Inch Thin
– Revolutionary Design Borders on Borderless: A 14-inch Screen in a 13-inch Form
– Designed to Help Professionals Power Through Their Day – and Look Good Doing

ROUND ROCK, Texas, Oct. 24, 2011 – Dell today unveiled its XPS 14z laptop, the thinnest fully featured 14-inch laptop featuring an internal optical drive and discrete graphics option. The latest in a series of thin-and-powerful solutions from Dell that include thin laptops, desktops and accessories, the XPS 14z delivers performance that impresses and design that inspires. Professionals now can power through their day at work and kick back at night to take advantage of the system‟s HD screen to watch movies or video.

A performance laptop that includes all the powerful features professionals want – and helps them look good in the process – the XPS 14z is available with second-generation Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors, an HD WLED display for great entertainment experiences, a slot-load optical drive and NVIDIA graphics option. The XPS 14z is an ultraportable laptop with a stunning, compact design that measures in at less than an inch thin. The unique design also maximizes screen size, delivering a 14-inch screen in a 13-inch form factor.

The XPS 14z is the latest member of Dell‟s portfolio of thin-and-powerful solutions, and the second such solution in the XPS family, joining the successful XPS 15z laptop. Dell’s thin-and- powerful solutions now include the Inspiron 14z laptop, and the Inspiron One all-in-one computer that are ideal solutions for parents and students, as well as the Vostro V131 laptop for small businesses. All solutions are designed to deliver impressive performance in beautiful packages.

The XPS 14z is available in the United States and Canada starting Nov. 1 and worldwide on Nov. 15.

Get More: A 14-inch Display in a 13-inch Body
Well-designed and well-built, the XPS 14z is the classic example of style and substance. Customers will get more with this laptop: more screen size, and surprising portability for such a fully-loaded laptop.

The 14-inch HD display easily fits into a 13-inch laptop form factor – while offering 10 percent more viewing area than a 13.3″ display. And starting at just 4.36 poundsi, less than an inch thin, and up to six hours, 42 minutes of battery lifeii, it also has the easy portability of a 13-inch laptop. The XPS 14z’s uncompromising performance helps busy professionals achieve their personal and professional pursuits – and look good while doing it. The XPS 14z is visually striking, with a slim, yet powerful form synonymous with innovation. Its anodized-aluminum finish is stylish and sophisticated, and the latch-less design is simple, yet elegant.

“The XPS 14z delivers what professionals want – raw power paired with a stunning, sophisticated design that signals, I’ve arrived,” said Steve Felice, president of Dell‟s Consumer and Small/Medium Business group. “The XPS 14z is specifically engineered to help our customers do more in their personal and professional lives – and it advances our industry-leading vision for thin- and-powerful solutions that deliver performance without compromise.”

“When Dell looks at innovation and product development, we start with the customer. For us, it‟s about delivering the right feature-set and design to provide the best user experience for our customers,” said Sam Burd, vice president of Dell‟s Consumer and Small/Medium Business product group. “With the XPS 14z, our challenge was to build a laptop that provided customers the performance and portability that they need, with the design and finish they desire.”

Dell XPS laptops also come with the Dell Stage user interface, which offers one-click access to favorite content, including music, photos and video. SyncUP powered by Nero can keep content and personal information synched with other Stage-enabled Dell PCs and mobile devices within a home Wi-Fi network.

Experience the XPS 14z
Shoppers can also enjoy hands-on time with the XPS 14z at 38 locations across the U.S. Popping up just in time for the holidays at top retail malls, locations will allow customers to experience a wide range of Dell products in one place, have play time, and witness how they work together seamlessly for the digital home. locations are now open at the Barton Creek Mall in Austin, Texas and the Orland Mall in Chicago, Ill. Another 36 locations will open across the U.S. in early November.

Dell will host CreateWorkInspire, a creative installation designed to showcase Dell’s new thin-and- powerful suite of products within the context of a creative professional’s real, functional workspace, Nov. 2-4 in New York‟s Soho‟s Open House Gallery from 10am to 6pm. Sleek, light, well-designed and elegant, CreateWorkInspire invites visitors to see first-hand how Dell’s thin- and-powerful products enable customers to create, work, and ultimately inspire.

Detailed Information:
– Thin laptop PC (0.9″/23mm) with Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium; anodized aluminum and magnesium alloy palmrest in dark gray
– 2nd-generation Intel Core i5 and Core i7 Dual Core processor choices
– Standard HD (720p) WLED with TrueLife and edge-to-edge glass (1366×768)
– Fast NVIDIA graphics option including NVIDIA Optimus technology: NVIDIA GeForce GT 520M with 1GB graphics memory
– 6GB dual channel DDR3 up to 8GB DDR3 1333Mhz memory options
– Fast 7200RPM hard disk storage, from 500GB up to 750GB; 256GB SSD drive option
– Built-in Slot load DVD +/- RW (reads & writes to CD/DVD)
– Backlit, spill-resistant Chiclet keyboard
– Built-in Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6230 802.11 A/G/N and Bluetooth 3.0 wireless
– Intel Wireless Display-ready
– Up to 6 hours, 42 minutes of battery life with 8-cell battery
– USB 3.0 (1), USB 2.0 (1), HDMI 1.4 (1), RJ-45 (1), Mini Display-Port and
microphone/audio connectors
– Built-in 1.3MP HD Webcam with dual array digital microphones and stereo speakers
– Next generation Dell Stage software for fast, easy access to content like music, videos
and photos
– Dimensions: Height: 0.9″ (23mm) / Width: 13.19″ (335mm) / Depth 9.21″ (234mm);
Weight: starting at 4.36lbs (1.98 kg)

Availability and Pricing:
The XPS 14z laptop will be available Nov. 1 in the United States and Canada, priced from $999 through, and in select retail stores nationwide. The thin laptop will be available in select geographies worldwide starting Nov. 15.