Dell XPS 13 review: Laptop with unmatched design and performancehttps://indianexpress.com/article/technology/tech-reviews/dell-xps-13-review-price-specifications-5152536/

Dell XPS 13 review: Laptop with unmatched design and performance

Dell XPS 13 remains one of the best laptops in the market, when it comes to performance and design. Here's our review of the laptop.

  • 4.5
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Dell XPS 13 review: This laptop has a 4K touch-enabled display and here’s how it performs.

Dell XPS 13 (9370) remains one of the best laptops in the market, when it comes to performance and design. For 2018, the Dell XPS 13 comes with the latest Intel 8th generation processors, a 4K touch-enabled display which sports a borderless design. The premium laptop has a starting price of Rs 97,990 going up all the way to Rs 1,64,990 for the most expensive variant, which has the 4K touch-enabled display. We got the Dell XPS 13 with 4K display for review, and here’s what we thought.

Dell XPS 13 Specifications:  13.3-inch 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) Infinity Edge touch display | 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8550U Processor | 16GB RAM + 512GB PCle SSD | Windows 10 Home Plus | 52WHr Battery | 2 Thunderbolt 3 with PowerShare and DC-In | 1 USB-C 3.1 with PowerShare, DC-In and DisplayPort | 1 microSD card reader | 1 headset jack |

Dell XPS 13 Price in India: Rs 1,64,990 

Dell XPS 13: Design, Display

When it comes to laptops, the lighter they are, the more expensive they become. Dell XPS 13 is no exception, but it is a stunning laptop. It makes my MacBook Air feel outdated and heavy, which it is. But then Dell XPS 13 also costs more than double that of the old Apple laptop. There’s no doubt that the design of the Dell laptop makes a lot of people want it, irrespective of whether they have an actual need for it or not. In my home, two people wanted to know the price of the Dell; needless to say they were disappointed at hearing the figure.

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Dell XPS in its rose gold finish looks stunning, and is ultra-light and easy to carry.

Expensive or not, the rose gold variant of the Dell XPS 13 is simply gorgeous. The laptop has a CNC machined aluminum body, and comes with a white colour woven glass fiber palm rest, which the company says is UV-resistant and has a stain resistant coating as well. I did not notice any serious stains on this laptop, and the white inside remained pristine during my usage.

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What appeals to me about the design of the Dell XPS 13 is the edge-to-edge 13-inch display. It also comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 on top. If you are spending more than Rs 1 lakh on a laptop, you expect something extraordinary when it comes to the display. Dell XPS 13 has just that; this is a 4K-touch enabled display and looks very impressive.

The touchscreen works accurately as well. I could watch Netflix shows on this in 4K resolution and once you do that, there is no going back. Every other screen appears comparatively poorer. One does not need the brightness to be at full on this display, though I kept it at maximum for testing purposes. The edge-to-edge display means a lot more viewing space when watching videos.

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Dell XPS 13 has the webcam at the bottom of the display.

The only thing I felt odd about the design was the placement of the webcam, which is at the bottom. Sure if the laptop is at a distance, your face will appear in the web camera, but anything too close and only your chin is captured. There’s no top bezel, and that explains the positioning of the camera. Nonetheless, when it comes to design and looks, the Dell XPS 13 has very few competitors in its class.

Dell XPS 13: Performance, Battery Life

This is the high-end variant it comes with Intel 8th generation core i7 processor coupled with 16GB RAM on board. That’s more than enough for enterprise and regular users. Performance is not a problem on this laptop, which can handle whatever tasks you throw at it. Keeping open multiple tabs on Chrome, running apps like 3D Paint, etc is all painless.

In fact, the Touchscreen-enabled display will mean that those who plan to use this to create 3D Art via paint will find the laptop useful. I would not exactly use something as delicately designed as this for gaming, though there’s enough firepower on this laptop for the same.

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Dell XPS has two Thunderbolt 3 ports, one of which supports PowerShare and DC-in.

The other thing that really impressed me about the Dell XPS 13 is the battery life, which will easily last 10 hours for the daily user. With constant video usage, I managed to get around six hours, which includes a two-hour plus film on Netflix at 4K resolution. I had the brightness cranked up the maximum and the laptop lasted 6 hours for just constant video usage, which is impressive. With regular moderate to heavy usage, the laptop will easily last the day.

Dell XPS 13 review: Keyboard, Trackpad

I enjoyed typing on the Dell XPS 13’s keyboard, though it is comparatively more compact than my regular MacBook Air. Yes, the smaller keyboard size meant it took some time for me to get my typing skills sorted, but once I did, it was not a problem. I typed most of this review on the Dell XPS 13, even though the keys have a slightly smaller travel of 1.2 mm on this laptop. The trackpad likewise was fast and responsive and I had no issues using it. However, for those who plan to use the Dell XPS 13 for more creative purposes, an extra mouse will be a better option.

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Dell XPS 13 comes with good on-board speakers and typing on the keyboard is also easy.

Dell XPS 13: Audio quality, Connectivity options

Audio quality on thinner laptops can often be a disappointment. That’s not the case with Dell XPS 13. It comes with 1W x 2 stereo speakers, which the company says have been professionally tuned with Waves MaxxAudio Pro. The audio quality is impressive for its size and one does not need to crank the volume to full when watching movies or Netflix or YouTube on this laptop. I kept the volume at just above 50 per cent and found that it was good enough for my regular usage.

For connectivity, the Dell XPS has two Thunderbolt 3 ports, one of which supports PowerShare and DC-in and there’s a 3.5 mm headset jack (which is always good to see), and a SD card reader. The laptop also has a USB-C 3.1 with PowerShare, DC-In and DisplayPort. However for VGA, HDMI, Ethernet and USB-A, users will need the Dell Adapter, which is sold separately. The laptop box that I got had a USB-A converter in the box. So yes, your regular USB cables will not be compatible with Dell XPS 13 and you might need to rely on adapters.

Dell XPS 13: Verdict

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There’s nothing wrong in longing for an expensive laptop that looks stunning. Dell XPS 13 is one of those, which sports an impressive array of features and has a performance that will keep most users happy. But the truth is most of us do not need a 4K display or 16GB RAM. Buy the Dell XPS 13 if what you need a laptop for some intensive work, like running apps that require heavy duty graphics, or where a lot of creative work like video-editing is involved. Else there are cheaper options in the market available from Dell and other players.