Dell XPS 14z front

Since Apple launched its second-generation MacBook Air in October 2010 (the generation that really made the ultraportable notebook a decent purchase), PC manufacturers have been desperately trying to create a Windows-based competitor.

One of the best attempts may be Dell’s XPS 14z, which the company announced earlier today. The 14-inch notebook is built with an anodized aluminum chassis that houses one of the XPS 14z’s two processor options: the dual-core Intel Core i5 2.4GHz 2430M, and the dual-core Intel Core i7 2.8GHz 2460M. The CPU is backed up by 6GB of RAM (up to 8GB), a 2GB GeForce GT 525M graphics processor, and either 500GB or 750GB of storage.

What’s most impressive about the XPS 14z is that is uses LG’s Shuriken panel technology to squeeze 14-inch 1366 x 768 edge-to-edge display into a 13-inch shell. Magic, eh? All of that tech weighs just 4.36 pounds and measures in at just 0.9 inches thick.

Dell XPS 14z side

Dell has moved most of the notebook’s connectivity options around to the back to make it as thin as possible, including the Ethernet and HDMI ports. Battery life is impressive at 6 hours and 42 minutes, which is just 18 minutes less that Apple’s MacBook Air.

In order to compete with the MacBook Air, the XPS 14z will need to be just as powerful and just as portable. Based on those specifications, it looks like Dell has certainly put in a decent bid, but we’ll see how the notebook copes in real-world situations come next month. The XPS 14z will land in North America on November 1 and will be priced at just $999, shipping with Windows 7.

If I was still using Windows, the XPS 14z would certainly be a reason for me to get my wallet out. What do you think of it?

[via Electronista]