Dell XPS 13 Laptop REVIEW: This Beauty is a beast
Dell breaks XPS tradition by going premium with its extremely high-end XPS 13 laptop. And it doesn’t poach PAT PILCHER’s balls.
$1998.99 – $3298.98
Dell’s XPS laptop range has long featured great design, excellent displays and decent specs at a reasonable price. This combination has long made them the laptops of choice for many. Now their latest, the XPS 13 is out and it’s packing Intel’s 10th generation CPUs which can run on the smell of an oily rag. Understandably, expectations are high.
So, does their latest deliver? We take a closer look in our review of Dell’s XPS 13.
With laptops getting more powerful and sexier, competition is at an all-time high. Dell’s XPS 13 stays in the hunt thanks to some nifty design choices and a solid spec.
The XPS range has until now been attractive, powerful, and affordable. The XP 13 bucks this trend. While it looks great and has a no-compromise spec, it comes with a hefty sticker price. Base prices start at $1998.99 and go up to $3,298.98, depending on which configuration you choose.
Price aside it’s gorgeous. And, if you’re looking for a head-turner, the XPS 13 fits the bill.
So, what are the ingredients figuring in this desirability? For a start, it’s light and weighs in at a mere 1.27kg. It’s also razor-thin, coming in at a mere 14.8mm at its thickest point, which makes it very portable.
Thin laptops are a dime a dozen, but few have such thoughtful design. Its keyboard and roomy touchpad use every bit of free space. They’re a joy to use too. The keyboard offers up a generous amount of key travel, and its touchpad is both smooth and accurate.
The XPS 13’s display is bright, colourful and is one of the sharpest I’ve seen on a laptop in some time. Out of its box, it was set to 100 percent brightness, but this was so bright I set it to 50 percent. Dell has pushed the boat out with its bezels. These are small enough to be almost unnoticeable.
In short, the XPS 13 is stunning in both looks and in use.
Given its petite and ultra-slim design, I wasn’t holding my breath for decent audio. A lack of free space saw Dell placing speakers on its underside. While these are fine for casual use, they sounded a lot like my grandma’s transistor radio. For movie watching where LFE plays a massive role, the lack of bass means headphones are a must.
Under the hood, there’s plenty happening. The XPS 13 packs a 10th gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 which is a 4-core, 8-threaded purpose-built mobile CPU. It has enough power for most computing chores and comes with Intel’s 11th generation Iris GPU. Intel says Iris is twice as fast as their previous generation of integrated graphics. So, while the XPS 13 mightn’t be much chop for decoding the human genome, it’s more than adequate for anything else.
I often had dozens of Chrome browser tabs open, and where my workhorse PC would start to slow down and get cranky, the XPS 13 didn’t even break a sweat.
What also impressed were its ball-scorch benchmarks. When stress testing a laptop, the family benefit usually ends up getting a tad cooked. This wasn’t noticeable with the XPS 13. The only warm spot under load was the bottom of its trackpad. I don’t know how Dell managed to pack such efficient cooling into such a tiny space, but it works a treat.
10th generation Intel silicon makes for decent battery life. The XPS 13 delivered a shade under 10 hours with typical use. This dropped to a still-respectable six or so hours with gaming and more demanding chores.
All told, the XPS 13 is attractive, thin, light, and super portable. Combining these with an impressive battery life makes it ideal for road warriors. It isn’t cheap, but you do get a lot for your money.
CPU: 1.3GHz Intel Core i7-1065G7
Graphics: Intel Iris Plus
RAM: 16GB LPDDR4x
Screen: 13.3-inch FHD touch panel
Storage: 512GB SSD (PCIe, NVMe, M.2)
Ports: 2x USB-C 3.1 with Thunderbolt 3, microSD card reader, combi audio jack
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6 AX1650, 2 x 2, Bluetooth 5.0
Camera: 1080p IR Webcam
Weight: 1.27 kg
Size: 296 (W) x 199 (D) x 14.8 (H) mm