The long-awaited Dell ultrabook is here. Having skipped the first round of new superslim laptops, the new XPS 13 is largely worth the wait, and hits a lot of what you'd want in an ultrabook.
At $999 for a 128GB SSD and Intel Core i5-2467M CPU, the XPS 13 is reasonably priced, although HP, Toshiba, and others offer similar specs for $100 or so less. Working in Dell's favor are the system's excellent build quality--the body is a mix of aluminum, magnesium alloy, and carbon fiber--and its smaller footprint. It's not quite a 13-inch laptop in an 11-inch body, but it's in the ballpark.
The backlit keyboard, large touch pad, edge-to-edge Gorilla Glass over the display, and small footprint all add up to an impressive package. If the battery life and screen were better (and the fan were quieter) it could be the best of the current ultrabooks. As it is, it's still in the running, but it's not a blowout win.