Dell XPS 14z: Thoroughly Reviewedby Jarred Walton on October 24, 2011 9:00 AM EST
Given the lack of discrete graphics in our test sample, we’re going to skip any gaming benchmarks for now. We hope to have the 14z with GeForce GT 520M in for testing in the near future, and we’ll revisit the topic of graphics performance then, but for now we’ll simply refer to the ASUS K53E review as a look at how HD 3000 handles gaming. The i5-2430M GPU is clocked slightly lower than the i5-2520M, but either way you’re going to want to stick with low detail settings for most titles. Application performance is also pretty much known; the i5-2430M should outperform the i5-2410M by a small margin, but without an SSD general performance won’t be as snappy as something like the ASUS UX21.
There’s not much to point out here that we haven’t covered numerous times already. The XPS 14z performs right where you’d expect, given the components. An SSD in place of the HDD would certainly boost the PCMark scores, but otherwise general performance is fine. 3DMark gives us a quick look at what we can expect from the HD 3000 graphics, and the scores are slightly lower than the higher clocked IGP in the K53E.
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cloudgazer - Monday, October 24, 2011 - linkApple upgraded the CPUs on their MBP line literally this morning, so the final comparison is a bit off.
JarredWalton - Monday, October 24, 2011 - linkWritten earlier than this morning, but I appreciate the update. Apple still likes skimping on the RAM and fleecing you for RAM upgrades, but we can't expect much else.
cloudgazer - Monday, October 24, 2011 - linkNo arguments there. First law of Apple is to buy your own RAM - though you always have to hang on to the original Apple supplied SODIMM in case you have to use AppleCare.
S.D.Leary - Monday, October 24, 2011 - linkThats odd. Every time I have used Applecare, I've had aftermarket RAM in my system, and they have never even mentioned it.
lukarak - Monday, October 24, 2011 - linkThey even offer guides on how to replace it. Of course they are not going to mention it.
tipoo - Saturday, February 25, 2012 - linkChanging RAM doesn't void the warrenty on the rest of the Mac, they just don't cover the new RAM.
jecs - Monday, October 24, 2011 - linkMy current mobile computer is a Macbook Pro 2.0 from 2008 but I will wait more for my next laptop. However I am not looking for performance there. What I want is a very good screen, decent graphics and a nice and solid construction that could last for 3-4 years more. For performance I work with desktops.
XLNC - Monday, October 24, 2011 - linkI'm glad they brought attention to the horrid screen. We've been stuck with 1366x768 for far too long, because the vast majority don't understand what "resolution" means and get the cheapest laptop possible. This is one area where I applaud Apple, they provide high quality, high-res (16:10 in some cases!) screens. However, my search for a compact Windows laptop with a quality screen continues.
FlyBri - Monday, October 24, 2011 - linkI hear ya, which is why I caved and bought a MBA to run Windows 7. Quality is so far above anything else, it's completely worth it.
Johnmcl7 - Monday, October 24, 2011 - linkI wouldn't say so, Apple have always been slow with their screens particularly in resolution as rivals (particularly Dell and Sony) have been offering much higher resolution screens. Apple have been slow with higher resolution 13in panels, they're only offering the 1400x900 now whereas Sony have had 1600x900 13.1in panels for a couple of generations of their Z series and with the last generation were offering a 1920x1080 13.1in panel. I don't really understand how Apple have managed to get this reputation for screens given they're years behind their competition, the RGB LED backlit screens have been out a couple of years now but no sign of them on an Apple machine.
I also disagree about what people think of resolutions, I don't think it's a case that vast majority don't want higher resolution. I'm a resolution junkie and my machines use high resolution panels but most people that use any of my machines find the resolution too high and want to turn it down and at work there's a surprising number of people who find their 17in 1280x1024 screens too high and run them at 1024x768 (which looks terrible as it's the wrong aspect ratio).