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- The Dell XPS 13’s premium design, sharp display, comfy keyboard, and powerful efficiency make it a best choice for Home windows followers.
- Like its predecessors, the XPS 13 barely has any borders round its show, leading to a design that is extra compact and chic than most rivals.
- The newest model has Intel’s Eleventh-generation processors inside and improved Intel built-in graphics.
- However that does not imply its excellent. Its webcam is not spectacular, and it faces new competitors from Apple’s quick and long-lasting M1 MacBook Air and Professional.
- Check out our guide to learn more about the best laptops you can buy.
Dell’s XPS 13 line has been getting rave opinions for years, and 2020 isn’t any completely different.
Dell’s thin-and-light laptop computer nonetheless shines for its premium and light-weight design, vibrant-edge-to-edge display, and cozy keyboard. We have stated it earlier than, and we’ll say it once more: The XPS 13 is the best mixture of efficiency, options, and portability for most individuals.
The XPS 13 is available in quite a lot of completely different configuration choices, with the most recent model powered by Intel’s Eleventh-generation processors begins at $979.99.
It is virtually unattainable to search out one thing unhealthy to say concerning the Dell XPS 13, however that does not imply it is excellent. The webcam is low-quality, a typical gripe with fashionable laptops however an vital one nonetheless. Apple’s new M1-powered MacBook Air can be a formidable new challenger to the Dell XPS 13 for individuals who aren’t a fan of Home windows.
There is not a lot choice in terms of ports both. That will not matter for everybody, but it surely could possibly be extra vital now that many individuals are working from house and may want to attach extra peripherals for his or her house workplace setup.
All advised, the XPS 13 is a great selection for Home windows followers that want a laptop computer for working from house, getting schoolwork performed, watching Netflix, and simply usually looking the net.
Dell XPS 13 (2020) specs (as reviewed)
- Show measurement and determination: 13.4 inch 1,920 x 1,200 touchscreen
- Processor: Eleventh technology Intel Core i7
- Reminiscence: 16GB RAM
- Storage: 512GB SSD
- Ports: 2 USB Sort-C, microSD card reader, 3.5mm headphone jack
- Authentication: Fingerprint reader
- Weight: 2.8 kilos (for contact)
- Webcam: 720p
- Battery life: Estimated as much as 14 hours and 11 minutes (about 6 hours in actual world utilization)
Design and show
The Dell XPS 13’s design is one in all its most compelling traits.The mannequin I have been reviewing weighs 2.8 kilos, however that might differ barely relying on the configuration. Meaning it is about the identical weight because the HP Envy 13 and Apple MacBook Air.
However it’s actually the Dell XPS 13’s gorgeous display that makes it stand out by way of design. Dell’s XPS 13 comes with a super-slim border framing its display that feels prefer it’s barely there, a design aspect that is outlined the lineup for years.
That is a part of what makes the Dell XPS 13 really feel so compact, much more so than different similarly-sized laptops, and it offers the XPS 13 a sleeker look in comparison with a lot of its rivals. Even Apple’s MacBook Air and MacBook Professional, which had been not too long ago upgraded with Apple’s quick new M1 chips, nonetheless have noticeably thick borders surrounding their shows.
Dell affords the XPS 13 in a few show choices. The most cost effective configuration comes with a 1,920 x 1,200 decision display, however you’ll be able to improve to a contact display and go for a higher-resolution 3,840 x 2,400 show.
The configuration I have been testing comes with a powerful 1,920 x 1,200 decision touchscreen, which I think about will probably be greater than sufficient for many customers. Colours seemed vivid and wealthy with crisp element, and pores and skin tones seemed vibrant and true-to-life. It is precisely what you’ll anticipate from a premium laptop computer.
In my expertise, picture high quality on the Dell XPS 13 was just like that of the Apple MacBook Air (M1), which has a 2,560 x 1,600 Retina show with the corporate’s True Tone tech. The colourful truffles and baked items on “The Nice British Baking Present” seemed simply as vibrant (and appetizing) on each laptops, with very minor and barely noticeable variations between the 2.
The Dell XPS 13 comes with two USB-C ports, a headphone jack, and a microSD card slot. That is in all probability sufficient for most individuals, however the lack of choice could possibly be a disadvantage for anybody wanting to make use of older equipment with no hub or adapter.
The Dell XPS 13 is greater than able to breezing by means of on a regular basis duties with ease, as I realized after utilizing it as my main work machine. My overview configuration contains an Eleventh-generation Intel Core i7 processor with 16GB of reminiscence (RAM) and 512GB of solid-state drive (SSD) storage, a system that at the moment price $1,469.99.
My workload normally consists of operating an internet browser with dozens of tabs open and sometimes utilizing picture modifying software program, duties which might be no downside for a pocket book just like the XPS 13. It was in a position to export a 15,000 x 12,000 picture file in slightly greater than 10 seconds in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, making it a hair sooner than the M1-powered MacBook Air with 8GB of RAM and significantly speedier than the older XPS 13 powered by Intel’s Tenth-generation chip.
The followers did turn out to be audible when utilizing the Google Chrome browser with greater than 20 tabs open, downloading a big online game from Steam, and operating Adobe Lightroom . However they by no means received near feeling overwhelmingly loud, and there was no slowdown within the system’s efficiency.
The Dell XPS 13 carried out about common on benchmarking checks, with outcomes that had been practically the identical as these from the HP Envy 13 and better than the previous-generation Dell XPS 13’s. However its efficiency was nonetheless noticeably behind the M1 MacBook Air on this regard.
When operating a program referred to as Geekbench 5, which measures processor efficiency by simulating each duties, the XPS 13 scored 4,307 on a take a look at designed to guage multi-core efficiency and 1,279 on the single-core trial.
The HP Envy 13 scored 4,099 and 1,352 on the identical respective checks, based on TechRadar, and Apple’s M1 MacBook Air hit 7,558 and 1,726 in my very own expertise. The earlier technology Dell XPS 13 with Intel’s Tenth-generation processor scored 3,704 and 953 throughout the identical take a look at, indicating the brand new mannequin certainly comes with a bump in velocity.
However the greater enchancment in comparison with the Tenth-generation variant is in its graphics efficiency. The Core i7 variant of the brand new Dell XPS 13 comes with Intel’s extra highly effective Iris Xe graphics whereas the final mannequin contains Intel UHD graphics.
I used to be in a position to comfortably play The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on the medium graphics settings at a decision of 1,280 x 960 on the brand new XPS 13. Efficiency wasn’t supreme, but it surely was dependable sufficient to play the sport.
Nonetheless, the sport felt barely playable on these settings on the outdated XPS 13 with Tenth-generation Intel. The Dell XPS 13 is not meant for gaming, however the distinction nonetheless illustrates the massive step ahead in graphics efficiency you’ll be able to anticipate from the brand new model.
It is also value noting that the model of this configuration that Dell at the moment sells is definitely a bit sooner than the one I have been testing as a result of it has a Core i7 chip with the next increase velocity. General efficiency ought to usually be similar to what I’ve skilled, however the version Dell sells is perhaps sooner in some circumstances below heavy workloads.
Keyboard and touchpad
The keyboard is among the most vital elements of a laptop computer, and fortunately Dell’s delivers. The Dell XPS 13’s keyboard consists of comfy keys with sufficient suggestions to supply a wealthy typing expertise with out going overboard. It is spacious for a 13-inch laptop computer and never too loud, which will be useful when you’re attempting to be aware of others in your family whereas working from house.
The touchpad can be fluid and responsive, though it is a bit smaller than the one I am used to on Apple’s MacBook Professional and Air laptops. I additionally appreciated the XPS 13’s tender microfiber palm relaxation, which feels nice and likewise does not smudge simply. General, the high-quality keyboard and responsive trackpad make this machine a pleasure to make use of all through the workday.
Battery life and webcam
The Dell XPS 13’s battery life is lengthy sufficient to get you thru most of a workday, however you may in all probability need to plug in because the day attracts to a detailed. I received roughly six hours of battery life out of my overview unit, throughout which period I used it to browse the net, watch Netflix, and flippantly edit some photographs in Adobe Lightroom. That is not so long as Dell’s 14-hour claims, but it surely’s in all probability enough sufficient for anybody who needs to get some severe work performed with out having to plug in.
That places it roughly on par with Apple’s Intel-based MacBook Air from early 2020, which lasted for about seven hours. The M1 MacBook Air, nonetheless, blew me away with its greater than 12 hours of battery life. Nonetheless, it is vital to do not forget that battery life can at all times differ relying on how you employ your laptop computer, so your outcomes could not match mine precisely.
There’s just one grievance I’ve with the Dell XPS 13: its webcam high quality. The 720p digital camera produced photographs that seemed blurry and dim, maybe making this laptop computer much less supreme for video calls. In comparison with a 2019 Intel-powered MacBook Professional, which additionally has a 720p webcam, the scene seemed extra bland and a bit fuzzier on the XPS 13.
It is laborious to discover a laptop computer with a pointy webcam, and 720p is a fairly customary decision for the digital camera that comes constructed into your pc. However since most individuals are working from house and certain will probably be for a while, webcam high quality has turn out to be extra vital than ever. After utilizing Apple’s M1 MacBook Professional, which includes Apple’s picture sign processor, it is laborious to return to a different laptop computer with out this benefit.
Check out the photographs beneath to get a way of how the Dell XPS 13 compares towards the M1 MacBook Air by way of digital camera high quality. The one taken on Apple’s pc is not excellent both, however it’s brighter and crisper than the picture taken on the XPS 13.
Dell XPS 13
Apple MacBook Air (M1)
Must you purchase it?
Sure, the Dell XPS 13 is an all-around best choice in terms of light-weight, ultraportable laptops. When you want a laptop computer for duties like writing papers, looking the net, managing spreadsheets, and watching Netflix, the Dell XPS 13 ought to have all the things you want. The webcam is not something to put in writing house about, however neither are those on most laptops. In any other case, the Dell XPS 13 has the best mixture of efficiency and class to fulfill most individuals.
What are your options?
When you’re a Home windows fan searching for a compact 13-inch laptop computer for on a regular basis work, it is also value contemplating the well-reviewed HP Envy 13. It is equally priced, with a configuration that comes with an Eleventh-generation Intel Core i7 and 16GB of RAM however much less storage (256GB) at the moment promoting for $899.99. It additionally comes with a number of extras not discovered on Dell’s system like a two legacy USB Sort-A ports and a digital camera shutter for privateness. The additional ports could also be notably helpful for anybody with legacy equipment that they plan to make use of as a part of their house workplace setup.
Apple’s newest M1-powered MacBook Air can be a wonderful selection for individuals who aren’t loyal to Home windows and simply need a quick and light-weight laptop computer. It is leagues sooner than Apple’s Intel-powered predecessor and has spectacular battery life that could be the longest I’ve ever personally skilled in a laptop computer. However because it runs on Apple’s chip which is predicated on a special structure than Intel’s, you may need to assume twice when you use area of interest, legacy software program that may not be optimized. There’s additionally no touchscreen possibility on Apple’s laptops.
The underside line
Dell’s XPS 13 is a stable selection all-around in terms of compact laptops, providing the best stability of portability and energy for most individuals. The super-slim bezels surrounding its display make it particularly glorious if compactness is one in all your high priorities, leading to a design that also tops a lot of its rivals. Nonetheless, its webcam is subpar and you will not get many choices in terms of ports.
Execs: Modern design, glorious display with super-slim borders, comfy keyboard, stable efficiency
Cons: Poor webcam, restricted choices in terms of ports