While Dell first presented its redesigned XPS 13 computer just about 3 years in the past, it kicked off a renaissance in pc layout. Dell proved that you simply can have a whole-measurement, THIRTEEN-inch display in a pc that ’s as compact and transportable as an 11-inch style. Just About another laptop maker has followed down this path, and now there are so much of pc options with trim bezels and small footprints.
in the years considering this layout debuted, Dell has up to date the XPS 13 numerous occasions, bestowing it with processor upgrades, adding new port types, and eliminating others. It even extended the design to a larger type, the beefy XPS 15, which packs an overly powerful computer right into a strangely moveable package, and a 2-in-1 convertible take.
However what Dell hasn ’t done is address many of the issues of the unique XPS THIRTEEN. I ’ve been the usage of the latest style, which starts at $799 and comes equipped with Intel ’s eighth-generation processors. By Way Of most money owed, it ’s a perfect pc. but it also appears like a swan tune for this design, that’s perhaps able to be positioned out to pasture.
Permit ’s start with the good: even though Dell ’s tips of slimming down the show bezels had been copied numerous occasions over, the XPS THIRTEEN continues to be one in all essentially the most compact computer systems you’ll purchase. It makes my everyday driver, the surface Laptop, really feel like a surfboard now and then. It takes up such little area in my bag that I almost really feel like my bag is bigger than it in reality is.
The style I ’ve been the usage of has a shiny, top-solution (3200 x 1800) touchscreen display, a fantastic keyboard that ’s a pleasure to kind on, and a Windows Precision trackpad that ’s clean and straightforward to make use of. To the left of the trackpad is a fingerprint scanner that makes logging in fast and painless (if not rather as easy because the face-scanning systems different laptops offer).
Despite the small measurement, the XPS 13 still suits in full-dimension USB ports, plus a USB Type-C Thunderbolt THREE port. There ’s even an entire-dimension SD card slot, which is any such rarity on computers of this size in 2017 that I almost wonder if it ’s a mistake. (It ’s not, and it ’s glorious.) In All Probability my favourite part is the battery meter on the left aspect that allows you to test the status when the pc ’s lid is closed.
Within, Intel ’s 8th-generation Center i7 processor (paired with 16GB of RAM in my check unit) is both robust and power environment friendly. similar to we noticed with the in a similar way provided Yoga 920 from Lenovo, this XPS 13 can take care of mainly any task i’ve quite simply, and does so quietly and coolly. It ’s also in a position to ultimate thru an entire eight- to ten-hour workday without difficulty, which, at the same time as a miles cry from the “up to 22 hours of continuous use” that Dell claims, remains to be ok for me.
However even if the Dell has more than good enough performance and battery life, a beautiful show, and nice keyboard and trackpad, the whole package feels a little stale at this aspect. It starts with the total dense feeling of the computer: despite the fact that it’s extremely compact, the XPS 13 isn’t the lightest pc you’ll be able to get, and it ’s now not the thinnest both. It feels solid and heavy in ways in which other computer systems don ’t, despite the fact that it ’s just a few oz. heavier at the scale.
and then there ’s the placement of the webcam, which is one thing I disliked when I first used this laptop 3 years in the past and will ’t stand these days. To recap, the XPS 13 ’s entrance-dealing with camera is positioned to the lower left of the display. that enables the border above the display to be very trim, nevertheless it leads to an unflattering, up-the-nose perspective from the digicam on video conferences. To make issues worse, if I ’m typing on the keyboard, the digicam sees my fingers in its frame, which is distracting to each me and the individual I ’m conferencing with. Other manufacturers, equivalent to HP and Microsoft, were capable of put the front digicam above the show and still take care of a slim bezel (or even come with Windows Hello compatible face-scanning features), so it ’s irritating that Dell has caught with this clearly inferior design.
If I ’m being perfectly fair, there ’s such a lot to love about the XPS THIRTEEN that if Dell had merely moved the webcam to the place it belongs and done literally not anything else, I ’d ignore the stale-feeling design and dense weight and proclaim that that is the most productive Home Windows laptop to buy. But except you actually need that full-size SD slot or never use the webcam for conferencing, there are too many other options that do what the XPS 13 does simply in addition.
The XPS 13 deserves a place in computer historical past for what it complete: making laptops smaller and more moveable than ever sooner than. However in all probability now it ’s time for Dell to seem to long run and reinvent itself once more.
7.5 Verge Rating
Dell XPS 13 (2017)
Fast performance Dependable battery lifestyles Compact size Nice keyboard and trackpad A Full-dimension SD card slot!
Thicker and heavier than identical laptops the world ’s worst webcam placement It ’s time for a layout refresh Purchase for $887.99 from Amazon Buy for $799.99 from Dell