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    July 12, 2012
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AnotherDerek's Reviews
 
 XPS 14 (L421x)
XPS 14 (L421x)
XPS 14 (L421x)
 
Overall RatingĀ 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Customer avatarReviewed by:AnotherDerek
(Milwaukee, WI)
Duration of Product Use:1-2 months
Level of Expertise:Expert
Title: My first foray into the Ultrabook market
PostedJuly 12, 2012
Yes, I would recommend this product
The XPS14 surprised me with its solid build quality. Compared to my Thinkpad T400, it's much more solid with its unibody design. I don't fancy the keyboard quite as much as the renowned Thinkpad, but that's not to say it has bad action or feels flimsy. It's just a different style.
The Ivybridge 1.7Ghz process is snappy and was perfectly fine for the software development I do on my laptop. The screen was very bright, and colors were vibrant given the glossy screen cover. That said, glossy screens are difficult to use in outdoor situations, even at the highest brightness setting. The speakers, despite being on the bottom front of the unit, are much more powerful than my wife's puny HP DM4 and maybe louder than my Thinkpad's. It isn't a problem to watch Netflix while working in the kitchen ;)
I really liked the concept of using a 32GB solid-state drive for cache and a 500GB drive for storage. The system was quite fast, in my opinion, and installing software was quick so I could get up and running as fast as possible. What made installing software more challenging was the fact that this system has no optical drive. Given, this is part of the 'ultrabook' moniker, but it's something to definitely consider when purchasing a system.
This laptop is meant as an intersection of portability, power and battery life. Given that, Ultrabooks don't have optical drives. However, I think the improvement in build quality is worth that minor inconvenience and, after getting everything installed off a USB, I've hardly missed it (except for the occasional Netflix DVD I want to watch).
Overall, the unit feels incredibly solid and I would heartily recommend it for just about anyone I know (as long as I know they don't need a dvd-rw!).
Pros:software development, netflix, web surfing, email
+25points
33of 41voted this as helpful.