Dell XPS 13 lap­top

Dell nails it again

PCPOWERPLAY - - Contents -

If you’ve ever con­sid­ered a busi­ness or ul­tra-por­ta­ble lap­top, the chances are you’ve looked at the Dell XPS se­ries. They have long been con­sid­ered some of the very best lap­tops on the mar­ket. The com­pe­ti­tion never stands still though, so an update was wel­comed. It’s not easy to im­prove on an al­ready ex­cel­lent de­sign. Can Dell keep its po­si­tion at the top of the pops?

Take one look at it. It just oo zes high end ap­peal thanks to its alu­minium shell, amaz­ing screen and solid build qual­ity. Our test sam­ple came equipped with an op­tional rose gold shell com­bined with a white glass fi­bre like in­te­rior. We un­der­stand this de­sign is sim­ply a mat­ter of taste, but it does ap­pear a bit gar­ish to our per­sonal taste.

Our unit came equipped with In­tel’s 8th gen­er­a­tion i5-8250U CPU. This model is a quad core, a very wel­come up­grade over pre­vi­ous dual core de­signs. There’s also 8GB of LPDDR3 mem­ory and a 256GB NVMe SSD.

Dell has moved right into 2018 by equip­ping the XPS 13 ex­clu­sively with USB Type-C ports. Though there is a Type-C to Type-A adapter in­cluded in the box for those who need it. Two Type-C ports also sup­port In­tel’s Thun­der­bolt 3 stan­dard, so you could hook up an ex­ter­nal GPU if you wish to. There’s also a Mi­cro-SD card reader, 3.5mm head­phone/mic port and a se­cu­rity lock port. In­ter­est­ingly, Dell chose a Qual­comm Killer AC Wi-Fi adapter, some­thing you would nor­mally see on gam­ing ori­ented lap­tops.

One of the strengths of XPS ma­chines have al­ways been the screens on of­fer, and the lat­est XPS 13 with its 1920x1080 13.3in screen is no ex­cep­tion. Colours are vi­brant, the bright­ness uni­form and text is sharp and well con­trasted with­out ap­pear­ing over sat­u­rated. The bezel is tiny too. It’s sim­ply gor­geous.

Per­for­mance wise, the i5-8250U CPU ab­so­lutely crushes the equiv­a­lent pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion 7200U dual core. In Geek­bench 4, we get a sin­gle core re­sult of 4063, which is al­ready over 10% faster than the 7200U, while the multi core score jumps to an in­cred­i­ble 11643. The lat­ter num­ber is new ter­ri­tory for Ul­tra­book class mod­els, leav­ing 7th gen­er­a­tion mod­els in the dust.

Bat­tery life is a stand­out strength of the XPS 13. De­spite the move from a dual core to a quad core, bat­tery life does not seem to have suf­fered at all. In fact in PC Mark 8’s bat­tery test, we got a re­sult of 6hr 25m, which ac­tu­ally puts it ahead of an i5-7200U equipped

Per­for­mance wise, the i58250U CPU ab­so­lutely crushes the equiv­a­lent pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion dual core.

Len­ovo X1 Car­bon, which was al­ready con­sid­ered to have ex­cel­lent bat­tery life. In real world use, ob­vi­ously the XPS 13 will eas­ily see you through a full work or study day, with bat­tery life to spare.

Over­all, the Dell XPS 13 con­tin­ues to be one of the best ul­tra-books on the mar­ket. The up­grade to an 8th gen­er­a­tion quad core pro­ces­sor is a big step for­ward, yet bat­tery life is still ex­cel­lent. Dell knows the XPS 13 is a top lap­top de­sign. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. CHRIS SZEWCZYK

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