Dell XPS 13
The XPS 13 from Dell has been one of the most popular ultraportable Windows notebooks in the market, but it is starting to look a little aged in the face of newer designs from competing brands. In 2015, Dell gave the XPS 13 an extensive redesign and the 2017 model that we have here is still based on that.
The XPS 13 might have been slim and light two years ago, but it is now one of the heavier 13-inch ultraportable notebooks out there. Its profile measures 15mm at its chunkiest point and weighs 1.29kg, which hardly makes it a behemoth but the inescapable remains: it is noticeably bulkier than its current rivals. That said, thanks to the thin bezels of its Infinityedge display, the XPS 13’s overall footprint still remains relatively small.
The XPS 13 makes up for its bulk in other ways. To begin, it has one of the nicest displays. Its 13.3-inch IPS display supports a resolution of 3,200 x 1,800 pixels, one of the highest in its size. It is touch-enabled too. But more importantly, it looks fantastically crisp and vivid. The display’s ultrathin bezels accentuate the brilliance of the display further.
In terms of the internal hardware, the XPS 13 is powered by Intel’s latest eighth generation Core processor, specifically the quad-core Core i7-8550u. This is complemented by 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. Perhaps it is because of its beefier chassis, the XPS 13 was able to put Intel’s latest hardware to better use. There’s no performance throttling here and the XPS 13 was the overall top performer in our series of benchmarking tests.
The XPS 13 offered good battery life too, recording a pretty impressive 247 minutes or just over 4 hours in our rather demanding battery life test. Part of this has to do with its relatively low power consumption; but also because at 60Wh, its battery is actually one of the largest in its class. The other upside to being larger than its competitors is that the XPS 13 is able to accommodate more ports. In addition to two full-size USB 3.0 ports, the XPS 13 also has a single USB-C Thunderbolt 3 port and an SD card reader. SD card readers are fast becoming a rarity amongst modern ultraportables so it is nice to see that the XPS 13 still offers one.