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CES 2015: Dell Goes After the MacBook Pro

Dell on Tuesday unveiled a bevy of portables at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), headlined by a light, thin XPS 13 intended to challenge the Apple MacBook Pro.

Dell was one of the last of the big PC makers to reveal its lineup for CES, the annual gathering in Las Vegas that serves as one of the biggest stages in the world for launching new computers. (See a gallery of major offerings unveiled in the run-up to CES here.)

The company teased the XPS launch in a pair of very short videos. One called "XPS -- A New Way to See the World" showed a beach scene quickly revealed to be the display of a device screen, which then turns to show off an extremely slim profile, and the message, "The new XPS from Dell." A link went to another video in which Dell Vice President of Design Ed Boyd hinted at a minimalist design.

Dell stopped playing coy Tuesday morning by unveiling the XPS 13, available immediately in the United States for prices starting at $800.

Dell XPS 13

By the numbers, the XPS 13 has a 13-inch screen, can weigh as little as 2.6 pounds, boasts fifth-generation Intel Core processors and has solid state drives. Dell markets the laptop as having a "borderless infinity display," which makes the screen appear larger while giving the device the feel of an 11-inch laptop. Dell also claims an impressive 15-hour life for the battery.

Dell isn't as blatant yet in going after Apple as Microsoft, which targets the lower end MacBook Air with its Surface Pro 3 TV ads and Web promotions.

Instead, Dell declared its intentions with the deployment of a customer testimonial in its news release, quoting Scott Stedman, founder of Northside Media Group in Brooklyn, as saying, "I recently switched from a MacBook Pro to Dell XPS 13 and couldn't be happier."

Other Windows 8.1 machines in the Dell CES lineup and their starting prices include:

  • A big brother to the XPS 13, the XPS 15, with a 4K Ultra HD display, slated for U.S. availability "soon" for $2,350;
  • Two Alienware gaming systems, both available immediately -- an Alienware 15 for $1,200 and an Alienware 17 for $1,500;
[Click on image for larger view.] Left to right: Alienware 15, Dell XPS 15, Alienware 17
  • A pair of Intel Real Sense 3-D camera-equipped models -- the Inspiron 15 5000 Series for $750 and the Inspiron 23 All-in-One desktop for $1,600, both available immediately;
  • An Inspiron 15 7000 Series available immediately for $1,100; and
  • An Inspiron 13 two-in-one model expected to be available in March.
[Click on image for larger view.] Left to right: Inspiron 15 5000, Inspiron 23 All-in-One, Inspiron 15 7000 Series

Posted by Scott Bekker on January 06, 2015 at 2:35 PM