Dell XPS 15z–a Sandy Bridge laptop that snaps at the heels of the MacBook Pro

Articles

Dell XPS 15z available in Australia and Asia, fits Sandy Bridge in under an inch of thickness – Engadget

Dell XPS 15z review – Engadget

Le XPS 15z de Dell officialisé (MAJ) – Le Journal du Geek (France – French language)

My Comments

Previously, I had written an article about Windows-platform laptops approaching Apple’s “Super Cool” position on the laptop-computer equivalent of Top Gear’s “Cool Wall”.

Now Dell have come up with a 15” “thin-and-light” laptop which has a very similar look and styling to Apple’s ultra-cool MacBook Pro series of laptops. The XPS 15z, which is driven by an Intel Core i5 processor and Sandy-Bridge chipset is finished in an aluminium housing with a satin-chrome-finished magnesium alloy keyboard keyboard bezel. The keyboard has the same “chiclet” style and finish as the MacBook Pro but is illuminated and flanked by the system’s speakers in that same way.

The side of the machine is very similar to the MacBook Pro, with a slot-load optical drive and audio input/output jacks on the right-hand side and the data and display sockets on the left-hand side. You might think that this computer may end up with an illuminated Dell logo on the lid but it doesn’t.

Of course, from the Engadget review, it competes in price and power to the Apple unit but it still needs to work better on the battery runtime.

Here, it is starting to show that the aluminium or “satin-silver” metal finishes and silver-finish plastics could become a part of laptop styling, especially with “thin-and-light” designs. This is more so as manufacturers try to imitate the looks of the Apple MacBook family and see their laptops appear in the “Super Cool” section of computing’s “Cool Wall”.

Of course, it will be interesting to see whether other industrial-design cues will be implemented in designing that “ultra-cool” laptop computer that is to be noticed in the Wi-Fi-equipped coffee lounge. On the other hand, I hope that this class of computer still is useable, performs powerfully and can work for longer periods on the battery while maintaining the looks and making use of industry-standard connections.

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