Often times the search for laptops turns out to be a tedious one as most of the offerings in the market tend to compete very strongly when it comes to laptops priced in a given range. That is when we look at some of the trusted brands in the market which include names like Dell, HP, Asus and others. Carrying the legacy of solving this dilemma easily with its reliable offerings even further, Dell has come up with a premium device in its laptop range that, almost in all the aspects, is a notch above than the competition. Yes, we are talking about the Dell XPS 13 here.
Dell XPS 13 comes as a prime offering from the house of Dell and in essence, justifies its stature to the core. We spent some time with the laptop and here is what we think makes it a class apart and what can be further improved on it.
The first thing you’d notice about the Dell XPS 13 is the concise form factor that will certainly remind you of the MacBook when shut. This is also a considerable downsize from the previous generation Dell XPS laptops, both in size and in weight. Once you open it, the laptop greets you with an almost zero bezel display that goes on from one edge to another, one of the most noticeable differentiating factor of the XPS 13 from most of the laptops in the market.
Fire it up and you will notice why Dell has opted to offer a bezel-less experience on this one. The UltraHD 3840 x 2160 resolution ‘InfinityEdge’ display (as Dell calls it) is one of the most immersive displays on a laptop we have ever experienced. It is rich with colours and offers ample brightness for you to work on it even in broad daylight. WHat's more, the 10-touch point system works wonders for any touch-based use on the laptop.
Another change than the previous gen model on the XPS 13 is the glass fiber weave surrounding the keypad that feels good to work upon and even comfortable lest you will have to use the laptop for long. The keypad has been packed neatly with large keys sticking out just enough for you to feel and press as you can easily glide your hand over them for fast typing. The keypad also comes with a fingerprint sensor for biometric security.
As for its performance, the Dell XPS 13 does every bit of justice to its price, thanks to the 8th Generation Intel Core i7 Processor on the one we were using. Coupled to the 16GB LPDDR3 RAM and Windows 10 Home Plus operating system, the overall experience is more than satisfactory for any type of workload. Multiple apps are handled very easily and lags are just as unseen as Batman in the night.
The XPS 13 also offers quite a number of features for all the gamers, including a dedicated ‘Game Bar’ that allows you to record game clips, screenshots and even broadcast the gameplay online, simply by clicking the Windows icon + G. In addition, there is a Game Mode that enables a boosted performance on the laptop for gamers. There is also TruePlay that enables a cheat-free gaming as well as Xbox Networking as an option on the XPS 13.
Dell has finally opted for USB type-C for charging the XPS 13 and in addition to it, the laptop comes with 2x Thunderbolt 3 ports, 1 microSD card reader, 1 headset jack and 1 noble lock slot.
A big plus on the Dell laptop is the battery life that is easily able to cross 10 hours of operations at moderate brightness and decent workload.
What’s Not so Cool?
In order to enable a bezel-less experience on the XPS 13, Dell has shifted the camera on the device to the bottom of the screen, which turns out to be a really odd placement for an effective video call experience. While it works well for face recognition and is able to unlock the laptop quickly, the frame captured through the camera is quite odd and will be totally blocked in case you’re typing for taking notes while on a video call.
One particularly noticeable lagging point on the laptop is during its boot. At one time, it took more than a couple of minutes just to fire up from the start. Though it works lag-free once started, this is a big turnoff in case you are accustomed to working on a MacBook.
Despite Dell’s efforts to allow a good gaming experience on the XPS 13, the laptop is not really meant for it. The games are not able to run on an optimum frame rate and even the performance starts cracking up a little once a graphic intensive game is fired up. For that matter, even the keys placement does not entitle a very good gaming experience. Then again, Dell never marketed the product as one for the gamers so that cannot really be counted as a drawback here.
Dell has really improved upon its existing XPS series with the XPS 13, making it lighter and hence more portable. In addition, they have made sure that the performance on this is top notch, with all its embedded firepower. The highlight for us, however, will still be the display on this one.
So if you are looking to buy a beast of a laptop in terms of performance which can easily be carried every day to work and if binge-watching is something you do ever-so-often, opting for the Dell XPS 13 will make complete sense.