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With the launch of Windows 8, 'convertible' takes on a new meaning

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Though the XPS 12's size and weight make it a bit unwieldy as a substitute tablet, it's still a compelling option if you're in the market for a high-end, touch-enabled Ultrabook. The XPS 12 is almost as light as other Ultrabooks, with a premium industrial design, comfortable keyboard, gorgeous 1080p screen and a super-fast boot-up time. The biggest drawbacks seem to be the flaky trackpad and the relatively short battery life, which doesn't improve much when you dim that 400-nit display. We'll be curious to see how other touchscreen Ultrabooks fare, particularly those with similarly versatile designs. In the meantime, though, the XPS 12 represents a solid start for this new wave of Windows 8 shape-shifters.

Buy It:

$729.99

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Critic reviews

7.5
17 reviews
  • Speed and features
    8.0
  • Design and form factor
    8.3
  • Battery life
    6.3
  • Display
    8.2
  • Durability
    7.9
  • Expandability
    6.7
  • Noise
    6.0
  • Portability (size / weight)
    6.1

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User reviews

8.7
6 reviews
8.0
CNET Oct 23, 2012

Dell has revamped its rotating Duo laptop concept into the much-improved XPS 12, but like most convertibles, it makes a better laptop than tablet.

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8.0
PC Mag Oct 23, 2012

The Dell XPS 12 hybrid ultrabook/tablet features a flip-and-fold display, providing ultrabook specs and performance with tablet functionality.

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8.0
Laptop Magazine Oct 23, 2012

Featuring a well-designed flipping display and smooth performance, the Dell XPS 12 is a sleek Windows 8 Ultrabook that doubles as a tablet.

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7.0
PC World Nov 8, 2012

Overall, the XPS 12 works well in its dual roles. It's a fully functional laptop with no obvious compromises, and as a tablet it works as well as anything else.

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7.0
Computerworld Nov 26, 2012

If you're on the fence about needing a convertible, you'll want to shop around a bit more. As a tablet, it's too heavy to be of much use. And as an ultrabook, it's heavy as well, outweighing competing ultrabooks.

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7.0
Ars Technica Dec 16, 2012

Mediocre battery life is our primary criticism, but if you can look past that the XPS 12 is the most convincing Windows 8 laptop we’ve gotten our hands on.

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7.0
AllThingsD Apr 2, 2013

Dell deserves credit for a clever flip screen design in the XPS 12. But it’s very hard to make a computer that’s both a great laptop and a great tablet, even if the operating system contains elements of both.

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6.0
Gizmodo Nov 5, 2012

Should You Buy It? You have to be a very specific kind of computer user to really love this one. The XPS's main virtue is that it's a great laptop that you can use like a real laptop—along with an awesome, touchable display.

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5.0
Wired Oct 23, 2012

As a laptop, I have no real complaint with the XPS 12. But, tragically, it’s largely unusable as a tablet.

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10
Pocket-Lint Jun 3, 2013

While the XPS 12 is expensive, it's also a wonderful laptop to use, and the screen rotation means that when you're out and about, on a train, on a plane or working in a cafe there's always a mode that will work in the space you have. It's a solidly-built laptop and typing on it is a pleasure.

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8.0
Computer Shopper Oct 25, 2012

Dell's first Windows 8 convertible is a doozy, combining ultrabook power and tablet functionality in a portable package with few compromises. It's big for a tablet, but the 1080p display is drool-worthy.

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8.0
TrustedReviews Apr 3, 2013

Throw in a Full HD IPS screen, excellent speakers, a great keyboard and flexible specs under the hood with good battery life, and this well-built machine is a recommended contender if you’re after a powerful Windows 8 convertible.

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7.0
TechRadar Nov 27, 2012

Having tablet functionality is an added extra that enables you to get the best out of Windows 8 when you need it, which makes the Dell XPS 12 a real heavyweight, in every sense of the word.

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9.0
Notebookcheck Oct 23, 2012

A tablet would be cheaper and lighter, but it would not be able to replace the PC or notebook at home. That is what makes this newest addition to the XPS series so attractive - if the buyer has enough money for it.

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8.0
IT Pro Portal Oct 26, 2012

While the design is a better laptop than a tablet, the XPS 12 is a solid performer, thanks to ultrabook-grade specs, an impressive battery life, and a design that prioritises comfort and usability.

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8.0
HotHardware Jan 14, 2013

If you're in the market for an ultrabook, you'll quickly discover the XPS 12 isn't the cheapest option out there. However, the XPS 12 is a solid, well-built system that has some additional features you won't find on these lower-priced ultrabooks.

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10
gardnerra gardnerra

Unpacking straight from the box was a novel experience for a Windows fanboi like myself. Not used to such a elegant experience. On powering up it was on-line within 5-10 minutes and is beautifully integrated with Windows Live and Sky Drive. I'm a hardcore g+ user so am missing the fully...

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9.0
bluequartz bluequartz

Build quality is good. Hinge and upper frame are strong enough to pick the laptop up by holding the frame only. Screen is fantastic to admire at and (256 GB) SSD is a blazing Samsung PM830 model, so says Device Manager. Key travel is adequate, its competitors certainly have done worse. The only...

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9.0
koppit koppit

There is a minor display issue where it retains images from a previous screen. Apparently iPads had the same problem at one point. No SD card slot. Battery is "OK" for what it does, and the powerhouse it is. Overall, this is an amazing device.

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