The computer hardware giant, Dell released an upgrade to their ever famous ultrabook series book the “Dell XPS 13“. The first original XPS 13 Ultrabook was released back in 2012 at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) with a motto of fitting a 13 inch screen in what would normally be a 11 inch laptop form factor, it was the first 13 ultrabook designed to rival the whole Macbook experience.
The XPS 13 was a great success for the company and was very well received by the people, so the company kept upgrading them and refreshing them over the years and at this point, this is a really solid device and is the first ultrabook to feature a Quadcore Intel processor.
We were lucky to get our hands on the latest and greatest Dell XPS 13 and here is everything you need to know:
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Let’s start up our review with the design as it is one of the most important part of any laptop and I think the company nailed it in this department. The all aluminum chassis of the laptop looks and feels very premium. It is very sleek and lightweight with a 13 inch Dell’s “infinity edge display” packed in such a compact body which looks really amazing and provides a very immersive experience as there are almost no bezels at all.
The sides, hinge and the back is made up of carbon fiber which provides a very soft texture and feels really good. The laptop is a little bit chunky, I don’t mean to say that it is very fat but there are other very slim ultrabooks out there.
Personally, I’m a very big fan of the overall design of the XPS 13. However, one thing that must be noticed here that the hinge is very stiff and opening this laptop is a two-hand operation but this is a huge benefit when it comes to a touchscreen, as when you’re touching the screen it prevents any kind of wobble.
Now let’s talk about the amazing infinity edge display on this device, the company really prides their displays on the XPS 13. There are two display units available to choose from including a 1080p display which is not touch-sensitive and a Quad HD touch display.
The color production and contrast level are on point and everything looks really great on it, video and texts look super sharp and clear. The display also gets very bright up to 400 nits which made it fairly usable outside in sunlight.
The Dell XPS 13 is rocking the Intel’s latest 8th generation Kaby Lake-R i7-8550U processor with 16 Gigs of Ram and 512 Gigs of internal SSD storage. It is the first ever ultrabook to feature a Quadcore processor.
This beastly Core i7 performs phenomenal, you get a massive jump going from the 7th gen CPU to the 8th gen CPU with up to 60 percent increase in performance. It flies through any task you throw at it except for gaming and ultra high-definition video editing which makes it a bad choice for hardcore gamers and video editors.
The laptop features two full-sized USB A ports, a 3.5mm headphone jack, an SD card slot and one Thunderbolt port. You might be thinking that you will be able to connect an external GPU to this device via Razer Core but the Thunderbolt port uses only 2 PCIe lanes so you will not be getting the full bandwidth which on a laptop like this running a Kaby Lake-R processor would have been really great to have 4 PCIe lanes for external GPU.
• Keyboard And The Weirdly Placed Webcam:
The keyboard on this device is decent, it is a backlit keyboard with a simple and easy to adapt layout. It is not the best keyboard that you can get on an ultrabook considering HP’s Ultrabook keyboards which are really great. Below the keyboard you will find a nice and smooth trackpad which uses Windows precession drivers offering various gesture controls, the trackpad is really good but it is not something like a glass trackpad on a MacBook.
The worst part of this laptop is the weirdly placed webcam, it is placed at the bottom left corner as there was no space on the top because of the infinity display. It isn’t a big deal for me as I don’t use the webcam often but if you are a person who does a lot of video conferencing then you might want to get an external webcam.
The Battery Life on this ultrabook is really great it easily provides up to 10 hours of battery even under heavy usage like editing or streaming Netflix. The new beefier 60 watt hour battery lasted for 13 hours and 49 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery Test which continuously surfs the web at a screen brightness of 100 nits.
• Bottom Line:
Overall this is a really great ultrabook and I would personally recommend it to anyone who wants to get a really sleek looking laptop which performs really well at an affordable price. It is available in 3 colors including silver, white and Rose gold. The Rose gold version costs $50 more.