(Pocket-lint) - Every year, the Dell XPS 13 gets thinner and better. 2019's XPS 13 appears to continue this trend with an awesome ultra-portable that's much more than just eye-catching.
We were at Computex 2019 taking a look at the latest line-up of Dell notebooks including the newest XPS 13 2-in-1. We've had hands-on time with this new device to be able to bring you our thoughts.
A head-turning design
- CNC-machined aluminium frame
- Platinum silver with carbon fibre composite palm rest in black/Arctic white woven glass fibre palm rest
- 2 x Thunderbolt 3 (DisplayPort capable) ports (support for up to two 4K displays)
- microSD card reader
- 3.5mm headphone/microphone combo jack
- Fingerprint reader built into the power button with Windows Hello support
Dell's XPS line-up has always been an impressive bunch of devices. These laptops are well built and feature a range of snazzy design features and specs which regularly see them not only scoring high in reviews, but also appearing in our guide to the best laptops to buy.
The latest version of the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 looks set to continue that trend.
We were immediately struck by the finish of this laptop. The minimal bezel screen might be the first thing to leap out at you, but the overall design of this ultraportable also strikes the eye.
That's thanks in part of the effort Dell has put into the design and build of this new machine. It's certainly a high-quality laptop. 2019's XPS 13 features a high-precision, machine-milled aluminium chassis with highly polished, diamond cut sidewalls. Carbon fibre and woven glass accents speak to an underlying style and class that hints at what is to come elsewhere.
It's immediately apparent that this laptop has been lovingly crafted with a focus on elegance and uncompromising performance.
Dell is making some bold claims with this new device. The company says it's two and a half times more powerful than the last model, eight per cent thinner, sports a seven per cent larger display and can manage as much as 16 hours battery life. But beyond specs we cannot properly test until we have our hands on it in the real world, we're simply impressed by the aesthetics of this new 2-in-1.
The 2019 XPS 13 is clearly an upgrade from the previous model - even a quick glance of the two side-by-side and you'll note the larger screen and enhanced visuals. This is an ultraportable that's set to impress.
The compact frame of the XPS 13 houses some impressive specs, but it's also built for convenience and an uncompromising experience. Like with previous generations, it's the little touches that make all the difference with this laptop. Case in point, there's a fingerprint reader built into the power button and Windows Hello support baked right in too. So even something as simple as unlocking this laptop is a breeze.
Impressive visuals in a compact frame
- Refined 13.4-inch InfinityEdge 16:10 display with Gorilla Glass 5
- Up to HDR400 certified 4K UHD+ (3840 x 2400) resolution
- 500-nit brightness, 100 per cent sRGB and DCI-P3 90% colour gamut, 1500:1 contrast ratio
- Dolby Vision certified
- 170-degree viewing angle
- Anti-reflective, anti-smudge, Eyesafe blue light filtering
- Edge-to-edge MagLev keyboard, 19 per cent larger touchpad
Dell has taken the XPS 13 and updated and enhanced the screen. The new XPS 13 now includes a 13.4-inch InfinityEdge display with a 16:10 aspect ratio. It's seven per cent larger than the screen on the last model and includes an 84.9 per cent screen-to-body ratio. The display options also include 4K UHD+ resolutions with impressive contrast ratios and 500-nits of brightness too.
The XPS 13 sports a touch-screen, anti-smudge, anti-reflective display built with Gorilla Glass 5 protection. It also boasts a 170-degree viewing angle and has even been designed to be easy-on-the-eye with Eyesafe blue light filtering.
We have to admit, even across a large room we were impressed with the visuals on this laptop. It's crisp, clear and brightly lit too. Colours are vibrant and rich. Not surprising really considering the colour validation, HDR compatibility and Dolby Vision support.
Taking into account the relatively compact frame of the XPS 13, there's certainly an impressive amount of screen for your money.
Beefy specs for powerful processing
- 10th generation Intel (Ice Lake) processor options from Core i3 to i7-1065 G7
- Up to 32GB of 3733MHz DDR4 RAM
- Intel UHD Graphics processor
- Up to 1TB PCIe 3 x4 SSD storage options
- Killer AX1650 wireless with Intel WiFi 6 integration
- Bluetooth 5.0
- 51WHr battery supporting up to 16 hours battery life
Packed into the compact frame of this new laptop is the latest generation of Intel processors with a selection of CPUs to choose from. You can select some fairly beefy memory and storage options too, meaning you should be able to customise the XPS 13 to your liking. The talking points here though are the increases in processing power and battery life.
Dell says the latest 10th generation Intel CPUs make this laptop two and half times more powerful than before, as well as having twice the graphics performance. The XPS 13 has been designed to be thinner and faster with "uncompromising performance". As such, a new thermal design has been crafted into the frame of this machine that includes new and improved fans and wafer-thin heat pipes. This design ensures the XPS 13 can keep cool under pressure.
This new XPS 13 is said to support up to 16 hours of battery life. We note, however, that the battery is actually marginally smaller. Last year's model was 52 WHr, this year it's 51 WHr. We found that meant around 10 hours of standard use in the previous model, so we'd realistically expect similar results here too.
From what we saw with the demonstration of the new XPS 13 though, it's certainly responsive and capable. The ability to quickly and easily transform into tablet mode or fold into a laptop has always made the XPS 13 appealing, but it's much more than that. This is, on paper, a more than capable ultra-portable device that packs plenty of punch.
It's lightweight at just 1.32 kg and small enough to easily throw in a bag and take with you on the go. Both Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 compatibility should allow for plenty of connectivity options too.
Our single gripe may be with the lack of ports. There are just two Thunderbolt 3 ports, but they are DisplayPort capable and apparently able to power up to two external 4K screens. Of course, this lack of ports is the sacrifice you make for portability, just be prepared to buy adapters.
There is the added bonus of a microSD card reader built right into the device though.
There's no denying, the 2019 version of the Dell XPS 13 is a real eye-catcher. There's plenty of aesthetic design changes and enhancements that make this an ultra-portable to consider. Under the hood, the power improvements should also make this a highly appealing and efficient device to use wherever and whatever you're doing.
We're looking forward to getting more time with the XPS 13 to be able to bring you more updated thoughts in the near future.
The new Dell XPS 13 with be available from July with prices starting from $999.99.