Laptops are going thinner, and hell yes, they look amazing. As 2012 promises to be the year of the Ultrabook, it’s set to change the notebook game and swing things back in its favour.

Over the past couple of years, there was talk in the tech circles about the possible extinction of the notebooks, what with the launch of sleek and portable tablets that could do pretty much everything a notebook did, but in a much tighter, smaller, lighter package.

The netbooks that were launched as a compromise didn’t do much to bring in more sales for laptops as it got just too tiny and inconvenient for people to use. But all of this changes with Intel’s new technologies ushering in the Ultrabook era of ultra light, ultra thin, ultra powerful notebooks that are ultra drool-worthy!

The Dell XPS range is their flagship offering of Ultrabooks that recently received an update with the XPS 14 and XPS 15 models joining the first of the lot, the XPS 13. The 14- and 15.6- inch models are less than an inch thick, they are powered by the latest 3rd generation Intel Core i5 processors and they come in a stylish silver-colored machine aluminum body. You also have the option to upgrade to a 3.0 GHz Intel Core i7 processor on the XPS 14 or XPS 15.

The XPS 14 and 15 feature backlit keyboards so you can use your Ultrabook conveniently even in the dark. They also include edge-to-edge WLED displays with scratch-resistant and sturdy Corning Gorilla glass for crisp, bright visuals that do not consume too much power. You also have the option of combining hard disk drives with solid state drives. These Ultrabooks have Waves MAXX Audio 4 for clear and loud sound, USB 3.0 for superfast data transfer, mini DisplayPort and HDMI ports you can use to plug your Ultrabook to your HDTV directly or a 3-in-1 card reader.

At 0.81 inches thick, the XPS 14 models start at a weight of a mere 4.6 pounds and can last a cool 11 hours on a single charge of the battery. So carry it wherever you want to go and use it on the move without worrying downtime.  The XPS 14 models have a 1600X900 pixel display. The high-end model of the XPS 14 range comes with an integrated WWAN mobile broadband which lets you stay online using Dell’s NetReady ‘pay as you go’ internet service when no WiFi networks are available.

$1099i5-3317UIntel HD 40004GB DDR3500GB + 32GB mSATA SSD
$1199i5-3317UNvidia GeForce GT 630M4GB DDR3500GB + 32GB mSATA SSD
$1299i5-3317UIntel HD 40008GB DDR3500GBAvailable
$1399i7-3517UIntel HD 40008GB DDR3500GBAvailable
$1499i7-3517UNvidia GeForce GT 630M8GB DDR3500GB + 32GB mSATA SSD
$1999i7-3517UNvidia GeForce GT 630M8GB DDR3512GB SSD

The base models have a 4GB RAM and an integrated Intel HD 4000 GPU chipset. However, for advanced gaming and designing requirements, you can opt for models with an Nvidia GeForce GT 630M graphics card or even get up to 8GB of RAM. To suit your storage needs, the XPS 14 comes with just a 500GB HDD, models with an additional 32GB SSD drive or even those with a completely SSD 512GB disk. The Dell XPS 14 promises to be a stunning, feature-packed, compact Ultrabook which you can carry around and flaunt with absolute pride.

While the compact XPS 14 with its long battery life is designed primarily for portability, the XPS 15 is intended to give you more computing power. It’s also comparatively bigger and heavier than the XPS 14. The more powerful XPS 15 is about 0.91 inches thick and starts at a weight of 5.79 pounds. Dell claims that you can operate the XPS 15 on a single charge of battery for over 8 hours, which may sound lower in comparison to the XPS 14, but still beats the Apple MacBook Pro by a wide margin.

$1299i5-3210MNvidia GeForce GT 630M6GB DDR3500GB + 32GB mSATA SSDDVD-RW
$1399i5-3210MNvidia GeForce GT 630M8GB DDR3750GB + 32GB mSATA SSDDVD-RW
$1699i7-3612QMNvidia GeForce GT 640M8GB DDR3750GB + 32GB mSATA SSDRead-only Blu-ray
$1999i7-3612QMNvidia GeForce GT 640M16GB DDR31TB + 128GB mSATA SSDRead-only Blu-ray

It features a 15.6-inch screen with a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. You have the option of extending the  hard disk  up to 1 TB and a secondary SSD offering up to 128GB of storage, RAM options from 6GB up to 16GB as well as a 2GB NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M graphics card for a more enhanced graphic processing capability. While the base models of the XPS 15 feature a read-write DVD drive, the higher end models are equipped with a read-only Blu-ray drive.

Get thin and get going this year.