Since we started introducing Ivy Bridge-based machines, I've been getting pinged by several people like @Devon12, ErikSchoof and Prof.Dre and elsewhere like the awesome group of folks on this long XPS thread on NotebookReview.com have asked when our top of the line XPS laptops would be available with Ivy Bridge. I can finally answer that question—customers in the United States can order our XPS 14 and XPS 15 laptops beginning later today. They are also available for order in several countries around the world. Here in the United States, the XPS 14 starts at $1,099 and the XPS 15 starts at $1,299.
For those of you who are familiar with our award-winning XPS 13 Ultrabook, you already have a good idea of what to expect from both of these new XPS machines. We focused on using high-end materials like machined aluminum and silicone to create systems that feel sleek yet solid. I’ve been here at Dell almost 17 years, and in my opinion, these systems are the best laptops we’ve ever made. I also believe with the mix of performance, features, portability and battery life, these XPS laptops can compete with any other laptops currently available.
For the XPS 14, we focused on extended all-day battery life and extra levels of connectivity—both key features for customers who spend a lot of time on the road. We designed the XPS 15 for content creators and for customers who want an uncompromising multimedia experience.
I got to kick the tires on both of these new XPS machines. In that short period, it was easy to see these laptops pack a lot of performance and functionality into a small package. Things that stood out to me were the brilliant edge-to-edge displays, the solid build quality throughout and desktop-like performance. In terms of build quality, both machines use materials like anodized machined aluminum in places where extra support is needed, silicone at the laptop base to keep it cool and light, and Corning Gorilla Glass to reinforce the edge-to-edge displays. For the palm rests, we use magnesium alloy with soft touch paint for a smooth yet solid rubberized feel.
Both machines have bright, sharp edge-to-edge displays, support third-generation i5 and i7 Ivy Bridge processors from Intel, USB 3.0 ports, mini DisplayPort and HDMI Out ports to connect to external displays, 3-in-1 media card readers, great sound quality enhanced with Waves MAXX Audio 4, backlit chiclet keyboards, responsive multi-gesture trackpads, and integrated HD webcams perfect for Skype video chats or Google+ Hangouts. Both the XPS 14 and the XPS 15 support SSD drives and traditional 2.5" hard drives. That means you can have all the speed benefits of SSD drives with the extra storage capability that comes with traditional hard drives. The configs that include SSD drives also include Intel Responsiveness technologies that Bill blogged about (see previous link).
One other nice touch on both systems is the custom Ethernet port. Both are too thin to include a full Ethernet jack, so our design teams made a hinged metal bottom that expands to let you insert a standard Ethernet cable without requiring a separate adapter cable. This is handy when you are in a hotel that offers broadband via Ethernet instead of Wi-Fi.
See close-up shot of the Ethernet jack on the left. The Ethernet jack is between the AC power connector and the HDMI port (click on the image to see a larger version of it). Speaking of images, you can see large versions of all these and more on the XPS 14 and XPS 15 Laptop album on Dell's Google+ page.
XPS 14: Power, portability and up to 11-hour battery life
Dell XPS 14 laptop – click on the image above to see a larger version
The XPS 14 is less than an inch thin (0.81 inches or 20.7mm) and starts at just 4.6 pounds (or 2.1kg). When we asked customers what they wanted in a 14-inch laptop, it was pretty clear that great performance high on the list. Even more important though, many customers made it clear that battery life is critical. That’s why our product team decided early on in the development cycle, to remove the optical drive so we could maximize battery life. The end result? The XPS 14 delivers up to 11 hours of battery life with an i7 processor, a 512GB SSD drive and the 1GB NVIDIA GeForce GT 630m discrete graphics card. On a side note, if you order a configuration with an SSD drive, the XPS 14 is an Ultrabook.
Like the XPS 13 before it, the XPS 14 features an edge-to-edge display protected with Corning Gorilla Glass reinforced with a machined aluminum back. The edge-to-edge display allows us to fit a 14-inch display in a more compact system. This brilliant 1600x900 HD display is rated at 400 nits (a measure of screen brightness capability) and looks great in any environment.
With third-generation Core i5 and i7 processor support and up to 8GB of RAM, performance on the XPS 14 is rock solid. The base model comes standard with Intel’s integrated HD 4000 graphics, but those of you who want more graphics horsepower can opt for the NVIDIA GeForce GT 630m with 1GB GDDR5 memory. The NVIDIA discrete option also supports their Optimus technology to give you extra power when you need it, less when you don’t. The standard XPS 14 models come equipped with Intel’s 6235 wireless adapter to enable 802.11 a/g/n Wi-Fi compatibility + Bluetooth 4.0.
XPS 14 with integrated Mobile Broadband - Click on the image to see a larger version
Customers who need more than just robust Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capability can choose the XPS 14 featuring integrated mobile broadband technology (see above image). Those systems come equipped with Intel’s 6150 WiMax/ WiDi combo card and they also feature an attractive black leather back to help ensure there is no signal interference with the built-in antennas (see image below). Beyond that, there are options for integrated EVDO/ HSPA and HSPA+ connectivity. There’s also a pay-as-you go option called Dell NetReady mobile broadband service that we also offer on other laptops. Bottom line, customers who purchase the XPS 14 with integrated mobile broadband can connect in many places where a Wi-Fi network is not available.
Here’s a quick video overview of the new Dell XPS 14 laptop:
XPS 15: Uncompromised performance in a slick, thin design
Dell XPS 15 laptop – Click to see a larger version
The XPS 15 includes many of the XPS 14 features in a package less than an inch thick (0.91 inches or 23.2mm) and starts at 5.79 pounds (2.6kg). Its larger 15.6-inch display supports full HD resolution (1920x1080) and a brightness of 350 nits. The XPS 15 also supports up to 16GB dual-channel DDR3 1600 MHz memory. It also includes a slot load Blu-ray disc drive and supports larger standard 3.5-inch Update from Lionel: should have said 2.5-inch) hard drive options up to 1TB. In addition to support for the NVIDIA 630m that we offer in the XPS 14, customers who need even more graphics horsepower can opt for the GeForce GT 640m with 2GB GDDR5 memory. Both discrete card options support NVIDIA Optimus technology. With all its hardware prowess, the XPS 15 still gets up to eight hours of battery life. 
Update: Since many customers in have asked for a large SSD option with the XPS 15 laptop, we recently introduced a $2,299 configuration for customers in the United States that comes with a 512GB SSD, a quad core i7 processor and 16GB RAM.
I installed Adobe Lightroom version 3.6 to edit and publish several 4000 x 3000 resolution photographs I took with my trusty GF-1 camera. It made short work of the photo processing. Even with the entry-level i5 config I was using, I could tell the XPS 15 was faster than my nearly two-year old Studio XPS 7100 desktop machine I use at home. The XPS 15 also made easy work on other intensive tasks like streaming HD content via Netflix and Hulu+ . Blu-ray movies looked and sounded amazing on the full HD display. Bottom line, the XPS 15 is fast. If you work with high-resolution still images or edit HD video all day, the XPS 15 is a great option. Same for those of you who use a laptop to watch HD content.
Here’s a quick video overview of the new Dell XPS 15 laptop:
Service and Support
Both the XPS 14 and 15 laptops come with America’s Best Standard Protection Plan just like all other XPS machines do. That means in addition to the Limited Hardware Warranty, you’ll receive in-home service after remote diagnosis, Premium Phone Support with extended phone support availability, one year of Accidental Damage service and one year of theft protection.
We first introduced business-class options with the XPS 13 notebook to make it easy for IT organizations to support and manage them in an enterprise environment. Optional business-friendly features include Trusted Platform Module (TPM) for BitLocker Data Encryption, ProSupport, and Configuration Services such as static imaging and asset tagging. These enterprise features are a big reason why almost half of Dell’s XPS 13 Ultrabooks are sold to business customers.
As you can tell, I’m pretty excited about these new XPS laptops. For more information, you can check out the XPS press release or for a full list of specs, take a look at the XPS laptop spec addendum. Otherwise, please post your comments or questions here, ping me at @LionelatDell on Twitter or ask away on Dell’s Google+ page. Speaking of Google+, Wednesday at 4pm, I'll be joining a Hangout hosted by Rev Davis (@AskRevatDell). Rev’s guest will be Donnie Oliphant, director of XPS notebook product planning. I'll be there to join in the discussion with Rev and Donnie to talk about all things XPS notebook. It will be a great chance to ask questions to one of the key folks who helped make these products happen.
 battery life: Tested system equipped with NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M graphics, Intel Core i7-3517U and 512GB SSD. Based on testing using the Mobile Mark 2007 battery life benchmark test. For more information about this benchmark test, visit www.bapco.com. Test results should be used only to compare one product with another and are not a guarantee you will experience the same battery life. Battery life may be significantly less than the test results and varies depending on your product’s configuration, software, usage, operating conditions, power management settings and other factors. Maximum battery life will decrease with time and use.
 battery life: Tested system equipped with 6GB memory, NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M graphics, Intel Core i5-3210M, 500GB hard drive and 32GB mSATA SSD. Based on testing using the Mobile Mark 2007 battery life benchmark test. For more information about this benchmark test, visit www.bapco.com. Test results should be used only to compare one product with another and are not a guarantee you will experience the same battery life. Battery life may be significantly less than the test results and varies depending on your product’s configuration, software, usage, operating conditions, power management settings and other factors. Maximum battery life will decrease with time and use.
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Looks like Dell delivered again. I am impressed with the laptop's look and specs.
I would like to know few things.
1. What type of display panel is used in this laptop?. Last year I was disappointed buying xps 14z.
I love 1080P RGB display of my old XPS 15.
2. Why no SSD in basic configuration?.
No i5 configurable with GT640M, no backlight keyboard, no JBL anymore...
MacBook Pro Retina Display I'm coming!
Hey @Sath: Thanks for the interest in the XPS 15, and sorry to keep you waiting. Regarding the display, XPS screens are high-quality TN panels. We went that route because these panels were some of the few that meet the stringent XPS design specifications while still achieving the bonded edge-to-edge aesthetic that’s been important in recent XPS machines.
As far as specs on the XPS 15 panel: It’s a Full HD (1080p) panel resolution with 350 nit Brightness. The color gamut is 60%, made very realistic by Dell’s proprietary Color Engine Technology.
As far as the larger SSD drive option like a 512GB SSD, we do offer a high-end config in some countries, but our teams in the United States felt it wasn't necessary . I believe all the SSD / spindle hard drive configs that we offer use the SSD drive as cache. I'll update this comment if that turns out not to be the case.
Dell offers it's XPS line at a more premium price than the previous generations. Previous gens started around 800 although now base model is at 1300. I know that you will try to justify this by the higher materials and thank you for this, as you have designed an exceptional as it seems laptop. Although i see some faults in policy.
Current dell clients enjoy much the system customization(which is not offered yet) but it will be in the future as it is supported by some dell representatives. Although besides the upgrade part there should be a downgrade. What if someone does not need a 32GB msata? What if I need a smaller HDD?
Furthermore, I see a huge downgrade in screen. The previous model was exceptional and you can confirm it from the sales that the 1080p model had.
Most users today, in many regions(europe+US) found the price extremely high. Is dell considering to do anything about it since it has competitors with better specs at the same price or at smaller price(around 200$).
Question: This model can support an SSD and an HDD?
@Cyb3rfr3ak: Sorry you're disappointed.
One point to clarify though. Both XPS models do come with backlit keyboards. If you're looking at the XPS 15, The NVIDIA GT 640m option comes with 2GB RAM. That's more than the 1GB GT 650m you can get on the MacBook Pro Retina.
Whatever you decide, good luck to you.
@aimtsou: Appreciate your comment. Are you in Europe? The configurations/ options will vary a bit from region to region.
I'm assuming you're referring to the XPS 15. If so, take a look at the details I shared with @Sath in my earlier comment. The Full HD display on the XPS 15 looks pretty sharp in my view. If you're looking for different config alternatives, but still want a high-end machine, I'd recommend taking a look at the Inspiron Special Edition models we recently introduced. They have many of the high-end options that the XPS machines do (and some options they don't).
Let me know if that helps, and thanks again for taking the time to leave a comment.
@Lionel: I usually like to talk by numbers. The screen is a just an upgraded version of panel that is used in XPS 15z. According to some info this seems to be the panel
Also by numbers it has 60% gamut while L502x has 92%.
Is there any page that i could write some concers and/or suggestions?
What is Dell’s proprietary Color Engine Technology. Is it software. If you do a clean install of windows 7 is it still there?
I've read that your comment about XPS 15 coming with backlit keyboard, but many Dell's Representatives in several european countries confirmed several times that the backlit keyboard is not available (Italy and Norway for sure, but I remembere there were some more). Are they wrong? How can we be sure, at the moment of purchasing, that we will get the backlit keyboard?
Lionel do you have information about when XPS 15 2012 will be available in Russia?
Or I can make an order in some Dell official partner in order to receive this product faster?
@aimtsou: Thanks for your offer to weigh in with feedback/ concerns on the XPS 15 display. I've sent you an e-mail to follow up on that. Thanks again.
@alfling: From what I understand, backlit keyboards should be available in all regions. I'd check with someone else from your local sales group. For that go to Support.Dell.Com from your country page, then choose Contact Dell Sales. My links refer to the United States version of Dell.com.
Update: I just confirmed that we do offer the backlit keyboard in Europe. I encourage you to revisit the website or to contact a local sales representative as I mention above.
@Ramsheva: I confirmed with our teams that we will offer both the XPS 14 and 15 in Russia. Don't have an exact date, but it should be soon.
Unfortunately the JBL speakers has been taken off from these good systems. I am feeling sorry with them as a XPS 15 L502X user.
I read somewhere else that both models have Dual Sata Drive Bays?? Is this true? If so, can 2 Sata drives be setup in a Raid 0 configuration?
I've already ordered my XPS 15, but if I could get 2 SSD's setup with Raid 0, then that would be awesome.