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Dell XPS 12 Meets Intel Haswell, Promises 2-Hour Battery Boost

Dell has made one of the more compelling Windows 8 laptop-tablet hybrids even better. The Dell XPS 12 now offers the latest Intel Haswell processors, which Dell claims should yield nearly 9 hours of battery life. That's an increase of more than 2 hours over the previous version. The company has also launched the new Dell Latitude E6450 with Haswell for the business crowd.

Dell XPS 12 Update

As before, the XPS 12 will have a 12.5-inch full HD IPS touch screen made of Corning Gorilla Glass, a machined aluminum frame and a carbon fiber lid and case. The XPS 12 still lacks an SD Card slot, but the integrated NFC chip lets users transfer data wirelessly with just a tap.

For a starting price of $1,199 on the XPS 12, consumers get a 2.6-GHz Intel Core i5-4200 processor, a 128GB SSD, and 4GB of RAM. Dell claims these components will provice a 63 percent increase in overall performance, while Intel HD 4400 graphics should be 68 percent more powerful than the previous generation. As we saw on our initial Haswell benchmark results, there is indeed a measurable improvement.

Other options will include a 3-GHz Intel Core i7-4500U and a 3.3-GHz Intel Core i7-4650U LE processor, up to 8GB of RAM, and a 256 or 512GB SSD. 

Dell Latitude E6450 

On the corporate side of things, Dell has launched the Latitude E6540. This 15-inch system looks similar on the outside to last year's Latitude 6430u, but the orange detailing on the keyboard deck is gone. We also like that the keyboard and numberpad extend all the way across the deck. While it lacks DisplayPort, the notebook has HDMI, VGA, Ethernet, four USB ports, and an optical drive.

Security features include Dell Data Protection/Encryption, FIPS 140-2 protection, and Intel vPro management. This series will also have a common dock, swappable batteries, and a single-access door on the bottom, which will make it easier to upgrade components.

The Latitude E6540 will be able to survive more than a few business trips, as the notebook passed 14 MIL-STD-810G rugged tests. Materials used in its construction include an aluminum or carbon fiber back to the display, magnesium alloy chassis, and steel hinges. The keyboard is also spill resistant, and the hard drive is protected against falls with rubber shock mounts 

The E6540U has two screen resolution options (1366 x 768 or 1920 x 1080), Intel Core i7 CPUs, Intel Integrated HD Graphics 4600, up to 16GB of DDR3L RAM, and hard drives ranging from a 320GB HDD to a 256GB SSD. Wireless options include 802.11g/n, WiMax, HSPA+, Bluetooth 4.0, and GPS. The notebook measures 14.9 x 9.9 x 1.3 inches and weighs 5.3 pounds.