At first glance, the Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook is simply stunning.
The packaging itself makes you feel as if you're unwrapping something extra special.
Then again, it should since it costs RM3,499 (S$1,432).
While many are content with having a tablet PC for checking emails and surfing the web, the majority of us prefer a proper notebook with a full-sized keyboard and access to all the relevant peripherals.
I, for one, need a mouse. I'm not into touchpads.
Which is a good thing as the accompanying glass touchpad for the XPS 13 is a bit of a disappointment.
The multi-gesture support is great, but using the touchpad can be annoying as it doesn't seem to register your inputs easily.
But all's not lost.
I like the design.
It's curvaceous, nice to hold and super-thin.
The thickest point is only 18mm, and goes down to 7mm at its thinnest.
The carbon fibre and aluminium finishing makes it look expensive and cool to touch. It is also lightweight at 1.36kg.
The rubber padding surrounding the keyboard makes it feel like the inside of a premium automobile - seriously! The keyboard lights up Macbook-style and the screen is made of tough Gorilla Glass.
All in, very minimalist, which is great on a device like this.
Startup is also in a jiffy - less than 5 seconds!
There are two versions of the XPS, both with either an Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processor.
The higher version offers 256GB SDD; the other, 128GB SSD. 4GB RAM is the norm.
As an ultra portable, the XPS comes with only a few ports: two USB ports (one is a USB 3.0), a mini DisplayPort and a headphone jack.
It's nice to lug the XPS around - the lightweight chassis is hardly noticeable. Battery life of six to seven hours is commendable - enough for me to prepare spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations and reply emails without having to look for an electrical outlet in a hurry.
Also, the built-in speakers are decent enough to watch movies or listen to music without plugging into an external system.
Everywhere I went, most seem to be attracted to my XPS. The only drawback for them is the price.
The features are comparable to other ultrabooks and it looks sleek.
It also comes with Dell's regular suite of utilities, which is more business-oriented than that of its Inspiron line of notebooks.
I think it won't be long before the XPS finds its way into boardrooms and offices.