Dell XPS 13 Review
The Dell XPS 13 became our top overall laptop by offering a 13-inch screen in a more compact package than its competitors, along with a winning combo of design, comfort, performance and battery life.
Since its introduction, everyone has been trying to catch this ultra portable, but no one has been able to knock off the champ. Now, Dell has raised the bar even higher with an update to its XPS 13 (starting at $799; $1,099 as tested) that adds the latest 7th-generation Intel Core CPUs (Kaby Lake), even more battery life and stronger Wi-Fi performance.
Dell XPS 13 Brief Description
The Dell XPS 13 is probably the smallest 13-inch ultra book out there. And despite its slim-trim dimensions, Dell packs the XPS 13 with a lot of hardware firepower and features an excellent look, feel and design to propel it amongst the best ultra books available in the market.
Features of Dell XPS 13 Review
The XPS 13’s most striking feature is its Infinity display, which has almost no bezel around the screen. This is what allows Dell to cram a 13-inch screen into a chassis you’d typically find on an 11-inch notebook.
The soft-touch carbon-fiber deck makes typing a real pleasure
Between the silver XPS 13 and the rose-gold XPS 13, I’ll take the sexier sheen of the rose gold. The silver model is handsome, but the gold version pops, and it’s more gold and less pink than the 12-inch Mac Book. However, the rose-gold XPS 13 costs $50 more, and it’s not available on the Core i3-powered base configuration.
You have two display options on the Dell XPS 13, and both of them are pretty great. There’s a full-HD, non-touch-screen model with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and a matte finish. Or, if you want to spend $1,599, there’s a quad-HD touch-screen model with a higher resolution of 3200 x 1800 pixels. This glossy panel also offers richer colors, though it’s more reflective. While watching the 4K movie “Tears of Steel” on both XPS 13s, it was clear that the high-res screen was the winner, with far more details in the character’s skin and smoother lines in a sniper’s scope.
The stereo speakers on the XPS 13 get plenty loud, but the sound gets a little harsh at maximum volume. But that’s at the default settings. When I turned up the bass in the Waves Maxx Audio Pro app, Sublime’s “What I Got” sounded more balanced. The guitar plucks mixed well with the punchy drum line.
Keyboard and Touch pad
The typing experience on the XPS 13 continues to be fairly comfortable. The 1.2 mm of travel is a little less than the HP Spectre’s 1.3 mm, but it offered springy feedback. I reached 71 words per minute on the 10 fast fingers.com typing test, which is a bit below the 78 wpm I reached on the flatter Mac Book keyboard. Dell’s roomy Precision touch pad lived up to its name, offering smooth and precise scrolling. I had no problems executing various gestures, such as swiping with three fingers to switch apps and tapping with three fingers to launch Cortana.
We reviewed two models of the Dell XPs 13. One came equipped with a 7th-generation Core i5-7200U (Kaby Lake) processor, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB hard drive and 1080p display. The other included a Core i7-7500U CPU, 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD and a 3200 x 1800 touchscreen. Both sets of components provided swift performance in everyday use and our lab tests, even if the difference between this generation and the last model isn’t that substantial.