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Dell XPS 10 review

Ardjuna Seghers

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Reviewed:

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Dell XPS 10
  • Dell XPS 10
  • Dell XPS 10
  • Dell XPS 10
  • Dell XPS 10
  • Dell XPS 10
  • Dell XPS 10
  • Dell XPS 10
  • Dell XPS 10
  • Dell XPS 10
  • Dell XPS 10
  • Dell XPS 10
  • Dell XPS 10
  • Dell XPS 10
  • Dell XPS 10
  • Dell XPS 10
  • Dell XPS 10
  • Dell XPS 10
  • Dell XPS 10
  • Dell XPS 10
  • Dell XPS 10
  • Dell XPS 10
  • Dell XPS 10
  • Dell XPS 10
  • Dell XPS 10

Summary

Our Score:

7

Pros

  • Soft-touch materials throughout
  • Stylish looks
  • Great keyboard dock
  • Excellent battery life

Cons

  • Poor build quality at tablet’s rear
  • Can get ‘proper’ Windows 8 for this price
  • No optional digitizer stylus

Key Features

  • 10-inch 1366 x 768 IPS screen with 5-point touch
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core 1.5GHz
  • 2GB of RAM, 32GB or 64GB eMMC
  • Optional keyboard dock with extra connectivity
  • Manufacturer: Dell
  • Review Price: £399.00

Introduction

Windows RT is seeing a quite limited hardware selection, and some of the big PC names are not supporting it at all (HP, Acer and Toshiba) or at least not in the US (Samsung). So from the major brands we have the Microsoft Surface, the 11-inch ARM version of the Lenovo Yoga 13, the Asus Vivo Tab RT and – on this side of the pond – the Samsung ATIV Tab. And there’s Dell, with its XPS 10 which we’re looking at today.

All of the available RT tablets are convertibles – yes, even the Surface with a Type Keyboard Cover can be classed as a laptop replacement – meaning they give you a ‘pure’ tablet with keyboard attachment. The Dell XPS 10 follows the same route as the Asus and Samsung Tabs, offering a clamshell detachable form factor with a second battery and extra connectivity in its keyboard dock. Frankly, we think every convertible should offer this, so the XPS 10 is off to a good start.

Looking for other options? Check out our Best Windows 8 Laptops Tablets Convertibles and PCs roundup

Like its rivals, it sports a 10-inch IPS screen with a 1,366 x 768 resolution. Windows RT hums along on a dual-core Snapdragon 1.5GHz CPU rather than the usual Tegra 3 quad-core offering, backed by 2GB of RAM and with either 32GB or 64GB of storage.

Of course, Windows RT also means you’re getting the ARM version of Microsoft Office 13, albeit without Outlook – on a tablet starting at under £400. Best of all, Dell claims a whopping 18hrs and 18mins of battery life for the XPS 10 with dock, though this combo will set you back around £550.

Dell XPS 10 - Design and Build

Two things are likely to hit you the moment you see the XPS 10: it’s good-looking, but it’s chunky. First let’s talk visual appeal. This hybrid Windows RT tablet utilises Dell’s premium XPS genes to good effect, sporting the same incredibly attractive mix of matt, soft-touch black and metallic silver as the XPS 13 Ultrabook.

Obviously though, on a sub £400 device Dell couldn’t go with metal and carbon fibre. The only metal part on its XPS 10 is the hinge and lock mechanism. However, the faux-metallic silver strips that surround both the tablet and dock’s keyboard area certainly look the part. In fact, in a no-touch poll around the office, everyone thought they were the real deal.

We can’t emphasise just how nice soft-touch black plastic is. It lends a premium, executive vibe to any nicely built product it’s used on – something Lenovo is well aware of with the likes of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. And aside from those silver strips and its Gorilla Glass screen, the Dell XPS 10 is smothered in the stuff. This makes it lovely to touch and provides a great grip, yet is quite rugged and doesn’t pick up fingerprints.

While not as sleek as some rivals (it’s 9.2mm, thinner than the 9.3mm Microsoft Surface but thicker at the edges than all its other competitors), we’re also fans of the XPS 10’s more rounded, non-tapering design. It has no sharp edges to dig into your fingers after long periods of holding, and is one of the comfier Windows tablets we’ve tested. At 635g, it’s also lighter than the Surface but again heavier than the Asus.

Unfortunately, while the finish of the XPS 10 tablet is attractive and durable, we aren’t as impressed by its build quality. Mind you, everything was very seamlessly put together and most of it felt reasonably solid, but there was a slightly disconcerting, audible crackle and creak on the back, and far more flex than we would like towards the centre with a slightly hollow feeling behind it.

Thankfully, the same doesn’t apply to the dock, which is superbly built all-round. The metal hinge in which it holds the tablet is nicely crafted, and the tab locks securely into place with an audible click. Detaching the Dell XPS 10 tablet is simple with a front-mounted sliding switch. Once docked, the tablet only suffers from minimal wobble, and overall, Dell’s implementation is great.

Andrea

February 22, 2013, 9:33 pm

hi and thanks for review. I bit confuse about two things; 1 you say that tablet has a cheap constructions. I read someone else that said the opposit. 2. you said that you can get a properly W8 for the price (you meant the W510, at the same time the Atom processos is oneof the pour thing of the Acer). Qualcomm is much better. How is the Dell compare with the Surface?
Thanks

TechVegan

February 25, 2013, 12:54 pm

You're welcome, thanks for your comment.

1) Yes, the rear of our review sample tablet suffered from very noticeable creak and flex (may I ask who said the 'opposite'?). The dock's build quality was flawless.

2) Indeed,as mentioned in the Value segment of the review, I am referring to the W510. You're right in that Qualcomm's is the superior chip here, but the point is that both architectures run Windows Store apps, offering a similar daily experience in both performance and battery life, but the Atom allows backwards compatibility which is a major plus.

Hope that clears up any confusion :)

As to how the Dell XPS 10 compares with the Microsoft Surface, please check the opening of the review's Value segment.

Wayne Giffith Spicer

March 20, 2013, 9:34 pm

any 1 know how to get flash for this dell xps 10 every time i go to play a game ie facebook it says "you need to update your flash player but how !!!!
also it wont let me use my usb mobile internet just says there is no app for this device

Frank

June 12, 2013, 9:11 pm

Hi, great review. I bought one and really like it. RT is much better than people give it credit for. Question: How did you turn off the touchpad? Thx!

Suzanne DeMark

September 2, 2013, 3:30 pm

I LOVE my XPS 10 tablet! Purchased for $299 from Dell a month ago. Well, they are discontinuing it already! Do not sell the keyboard dock any longer, seperately. Poor business decisions! Hanging the consumers out to dry. Never again! I will be laughing when they file chapter 11.

Dhaval Shah

December 2, 2013, 4:49 pm

Does this product have sim card?

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