Few would argue that Windows 8 is a radical departure from a software perspective, however this generation it won’t just be Microsoft looking to set new trends. Redmond’s hardware partners are gearing up fast for the October 26th release date, and Dell has started taking pre-orders for its new XPS 12 convertible Windows 8 tablet/Ultrabook.
The XPS 12 is notable from a design standpoint due in part to its one of a kind 12.5-inch 1080p swivel touch display. This allows the machine to seamlessly convert from an Ultrabook to a multi-touch tablet when the mood strikes you. At 3.5 pounds it’s a somewhat chunky Ultrabook, but as a tablet it's almost unworkable. The XPS 12 weighs about the same as 9 current generation Amazon Kindle e-readers stacked one on top of the other, making it awkward to use in the most common tablet scenarios that spring to mind.
If after these words of warning you're still intrigued, then you might also care to know that the $1,199.99 starting price nets you a fairly capable Ivy Bridge machine to justify the heft. The base configuration sports a Core i5-3317U part clocked at 1.7GHz (2.6 GHz turbo), 4GB of Ram, and a 128GB SSD. In typical Dell fashion you can upgrade components to your heart’s content if you’d rather go with a Core i7, and money is no object.
On a side note Dell has also added touch to its XPS One 27 & 23 all in one desktops. These range from $779.99 - $1,599.99 depending on your needs, however both are ultimately much less interesting than the XPS 12.