Dell XPS 10 Review

Taken in a vacuum, the Windows RT-powered Dell XPS 10 is a fairly solid tablet offering. It’s marketed especially for business users who need enhanced portability, and it’s certainly capable of filling that role.

But unfortunately for Dell, consumers who compare tablets will likely find the XPS 10 decidedly less appealing than Microsoft’s Surface RT or similar offerings from other companies.

Hands-On Impressions

Visually, its conservative design is all but indistinguishable from most other tablets of similar size. The Dell XPS 10 measures in at 10.8-by-6.98 inches and 0.36 inches thick, and it weighs a pretty average 1.4 pounds (0.64 kg).

It isn’t terribly bulky, but it can be difficult to use with one hand. The rubberized back is a nice touch, but the overall construction quality leaves something to be desired. The body has a distinctly plastic feel, and there’s enough flex that it isn’t difficult to distort the display with some light pressure.

Tablet Tour

A comparison of tablets suggests that the Dell XPS 10 is a bit lacking in the connectivity department. The tablet features a power button on the top edge, along with an oddly oversized cover concealing a microSD slot.

On the bottom are dual speakers, a micro-USB port, and a port for connecting to the optional keyboard dock. The left edge holds a headphone jack and volume rocker. Up front is a 2-megapixel camera on top and a Windows button near the bottom.

The back features a 5-megapixel camera. The optional dock does provide better connectivity in the form of two USB ports, a mini-HDMI slot and another charging port; though it’s disappointing some of these weren’t included with the tablet itself.

Resolving the Details

Don’t expect to be blown away by the XPS 10’s display. As with the Surface RT and most other RT-powered tablets, the display is a rather basic 10.1-inch, 1,366-by-768 pixel resolution.

Brightness and contrast are both more than adequate though neither compare favorably to the Surface RT or especially the ultra-bright ASUS Vivo Tab RT. Using the XPS outdoors or under bright lighting can be problematic, however.

The display presents no problem with viewing angles, which are better than average.

Under the Hood

A common problem with Windows RT tablet comparisons is that many of them use similar, woefully underpowered hardware. The XPS 10 has certainly broken the mold in that regard, implementing a 1.5-gigahertz Snapdragon S4 processor with two gigabytes of RAM.

The performance may not be on par with an Ultrabook, but it’s excellent by Windows RT tablet standards. Dell offers a choice of 32 or 64 gigabytes of flash storage, which is adequate for most uses. Battery life is excellent, and the additional battery in the keyboard dock is a welcome inclusion as well.

Those who purchase an XPS 10 for business or school work will also enjoy the included Microsoft Office.

Tablet Comparison

While the Dell XPS 10 offers enough to appeal to some consumers, side by side comparison is generally not favorable. Microsoft’s Surface RT, the original Windows RT tablet, offers many of the same features in a more affordable, more well-built package.

The display is more impressive as well, offering superior color and contrast despite the similar specs. The ASUS Vivo Tab RT is another appealing alternative, offering similar features in a sleek, attractive design. Its display is extremely bright and functional even outside under full light, but colors are a bit muted compared to the others.

The relatively impressive performance specifications of the XPS 10 do offer some value, however, the price tag may discourage some.