Dell XPS 13

The Dell XPS 13 is making the rounds in the market as the best laptop of the year. And rightly so. With a 13-inch display and a compact design but high on features, it is giving competitors a run for their money. It is not just the design that is catchy, this laptop tops in comfort, performance and battery life as well. Competitors have been trying to catch up to its level of performance but none so far have reached the bar set by Dell with this model.

Although the Dell XPS 13 may not be as slim as some of its competitors, its amazing design overshadows that little shortcoming. It comes with an aluminum body. The inside is not made of aluminum though. The material on the inside is a carbon-fiber material which feels soft when touched and provides comfort during typing.

It comes in a silver and rose-gold color, the latter being a little more expensive than the former. There are two models based on its display. There is a full-HD, non-touch-screen model with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and a matte finish. It is not very bright. The other one is 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.

The XPS 13 is a little heavier than its competitors the 12-inch MacBook and the HP Spectre. But it comes with more ports as compared to comparable models of its competitors. There are 2 USB 3.0 ports, an SD card reader as well as a headphone jack and USB Type-C port with Thunderbolt 3 support.

But the best feature perhaps is this laptop’s infinity screen. The screen has no bezel around it which allows the compact body of the XPS 13 to host such a big screen (13 inches). The screen seems to float above the base of the system, allowing you to focus more on your content. Content can be clearly seen from nearly every angle with the IGZO IPS panel, providing a wide viewing angle of up to 170°. The Corning Gorilla Glass touch display option is up to 10 times more scratch resistant than soda lime glass.

The speakers are great. They are quite loud, though a little too harsh at maximum volume but great sound all the same. The sound can be tweaked according to your liking. Such as adjusting the bass, reduce noise and revive for streaming, and adjusting the details in tracks with a virtual knob.

Keyboard and touchpad are very comfortable. The precision touchpad has a lot of space for your fingers to perform a variety of functions such as swiping through apps.

Both models of the XPS 13 display swift performance in everyday use. Even with more than a dozen tabs open, the XPS 13 does not slow down or falter at any point of its performance. Performance is always optimum.

It comes with an Intel HD Graphics 620 card. It has an inbuilt 1535 Wireless-AC card. It is a standard for all configurations. Where other laptops struggle to maintain a connection, the Dell XPS 13 sails through smoothly for all your internet needs be it streaming, gaming or simply surfing through different sites. It maintains a good signal strength even when not close to the Wi-Fi source.

Perhaps the only weak link among all these great features is the webcam. It is awkwardly placed below the screen, towards the left side, since there is no space above its screen. This can be a little tricky while using for video chats and calls. The placement is not a very big issue. But it is a little uncomfortable to use.

It has a 60-watt-hour battery. The battery life on all Dell laptops is good but the XPS 13 wins the game on that front. Although the non-touch-screen model lasts a little longer than the touch screen model. It gets heated up just below the comfort threshold and is great to use even for a long period of time.

Dell happily keeps the bloat to a minimum on the XPS 13. You’ll find McAfee LiveSafe, Dropbox and Microsoft Office, though you have to activate the latter. You’ll also find four programmable software titles such as Flipboard, Groove Music and Twitter, which are managed by Windows 10 and are a part of the standard software load.

Overall, when it comes to laptops nowadays, the race is to get slimmer and lighter all at the cost of fewer ports and shorter battery time. Sometimes there are no CD drives. This is extremely annoying. The XPS 13, despite being a competitor of some of the best laptops in the market, does not join that rat race. Perhaps convenience of the customer is higher up on its agenda than looks of its product.

The Dell XPS 13 gives you nearly 14 hours of endurance and all the connection options you need in a design that’s plenty light and compact for travel. It is not as slim but it comes with a load of features others miss because of space issues due to the sizes of the laptops. Plus, the new XPS 13 offers a very strong Wi-Fi card, which works great in a variety of ranges as compared to others.

The XPS 13 is a fast machine. It is ultraportable but very comfortable to use at the same time, thanks to its soft-touch deck and accurate touchpad. Keeping the webcam issue aside, it is a wonderful machine and by far the best in the market.

On top of all of that, the Dell customer support system is par excellence. They provide support round the clock with everything from setting up your new system to using the everyday software. Features like SupportAssist help the Dell experts contact the user if an issue is detected. In case the problem cannot be solved through SupportAssist, Dell technicians will arrive at your doorstep to solve the issue.

Specifications:

  • CPU – 3.1-GHz Intel Core i5-7200U
  • Operating System – Windows 10 Home
  • Height – 0.33″ – 0.6″ (9-15mm)
  • Width – 11.98″ (304mm)
  • Depth – 7.88″ (200mm)
  • Ports – 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 3.0 w/PowerShare, 1 x USB-C (Thunderbolt 3), SD card reader, headset jack
  • Screen – 13.3-inch QHD+ (3,200 x 1,800) InfinityEdge
  • Connectivity – Killer 1535 802.11ac (2.4 & 5GHz); Bluetooth 4.1
  • Camera – 720p widescreen HD webcam with dual array digital microphones

Non-touch-screen

  • 7th-generation Core i5-7200U (Kaby Lake) processor
  • 8GB of RAM
  • 256GB hard drive
  • 1080p display
  • Weight – 2.7lbs (1.2 kg)

Touch Screen

  • Core i7-7500U CPU
  • 8GB of RAM
  • 256GB SSD
  • 3200 x 1800 touchscreen
  • Weight – 2.9lbs (1.29kg)

Pros – Infinity screen, great battery life, color options available, touch-screen option available, ultra-portable, greater number of ports, fast machine, doesn’t stutter, great sound, amazing connection maintenance, ultra-sharp display

Cons – Not very slim, not very light, webcam placement is uncomfortable during use, Windows Hello missing

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