Dell is putting the focus back on hardware.
For the bulk of 2013, any headlines you've read about Dell have more than likely reported on the company's rocky transition from public to private via a $25 billion buyout from Silver Lake Partners. But with today's announcement of a long list of new Windows 8.1 laptops, tablets, convertible devices -- and even a pair of low-cost Android tablets -- Dell is scrambling to climb back into the shopper's mind.
With its updated lineup, the once-dominant Texas PC giant seems to be taking on all comers. With prices starting at $999 and the addition of a high-resolution touch-screen, the XPS 13 and 15 ultrathin laptops take aim at Apple's MacBook Air and Retina-screen Pro lines. XPS 11 and 12 convertibles are Dell's answer to innovative form factors like Lenovo's Yoga and Sony's Vaio Flip.
Meanwhile, a slew of new tablets -- the all-new Venue line -- stakes Dell's claim into the market that's eating into traditional PC sales. On the Windows side, the Venue 11 Pro is an 11-inch tablet with a detachable keyboard that will go head-to-head with the likes of Microsoft's upcoming Surface Pro 2. The Venue 8 Pro joins the ranks of the new, small form-factor Windows 8.1 tablets from the likes of the Toshiba Encore and Asus VivoTab Smart ME400, and wows with a starting price of just $299. And Dell is returning to the Android world with the $149 7-inch Venue 7 and $189 8-inch Venue 8, offering competitors to Google's $229 Nexus 7 and Apple's iPad Mini (which is due to be refreshed later this year).
We've listed some of the more interesting new devices that feature an array of impressive specs, affordable pricing, and innovative design.
Dell Venue 7
Dell is taking another stab at releasing a compact Android slate with the 7-inch Venue tablet and, even though it doesn't boast the most high-end specs, it's still a considerable upgrade from Dell's Streak 7. The Venue 7 bears an appealing $149 starting price -- for 16GB of internal storage -- and houses a 2GHz Clover Trail processor, with a modest 1,280x800-pixel-resolution IPS screen. It also comes in an 8-inch model.
Read more about the Dell Venue 7 here.
Dell XPS 11
According to Dell, the XPS 11 is the thinnest 2-in-1 hybrid, at a slim 0.6-inch thickness. In addition to its double configuration as a laptop and tablet, the XPS 11 can also move into a "downward facing dog" position for optimal movie-watching on its sharp 2,560x1,440-pixel resolution touch-screen.
Read more about the Dell XPS 11 here.
Dell XPS 15
For those seeking a more conventional device that doesn't execute yoga positions better than you can, the XPS 15 is a solid traditional laptop. It rocks a supersharp 3,200x1,800-pixel resolution with 5.7 million pixels on its 15-inch screen and still manages to keep things slim with a 0.7-inch thickness. The XPS 15 also includes a multitude of ports as well as a variety of CPU and GPU options.
Read more about the Dell XPS 15 here.
Dell XPS 12
In addition to the parade of all-new products, Dell reiterated the availability of the XPS 12, which has been shipping since August. The unique hybrid stands out from the 2-in-1 hybrid crowd with swiveling hinges on both sides of its display that allow the screen to flip back 180 degrees, as well as fold down into a tablet. It comes with a keyboard, 1,920x1,200-pixel-resolution screen, and packs dual USB ports, in addition to a Mini DisplayPort.
Read the full CNET review of the XPS 12
Dell Venue 8 Pro
As Dell's first 8-inch Windows 8.1 tablet, the Venue 8 Pro's modest size matches its modest specs, with a 1,280x800-pixel-resolution IPS screen, Bay Trail processor, and 2GB of RAM. It's one of the smallest Windows 8.1 tablets and starts at $299 for 32GB of storage.
Read more about the Dell Venue 8 Pro here.
Looking for specs and pricing? Compare these Dells head-to-head.