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Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 Review (2019): A Machine Close to Perfection 2

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 Review (2019): A Machine Close to Perfection

For many years, the Dell XPS 13, either in the conventional clamshell or in the 2-in-1 folding range ($ 1,665.99 tested, $ 999.99 for entry-level) that we see here, just can not be touched by the build quality, battery life, and overall design. The XPS 13 dominated the Windows Premium notebook market, and no one else achieved that excellence.

(If you want a clamshell, check out the Dell XPS 13, which uses Intel’s Comet Lake processor.)


And Dell has tried to keep its XPS line competitive. Over the past year, the fit of the webcam has been reduced over the screen that ships with it. This iteration adds a 16:10 higher screen, a new keyboard, and more powerful quad-core Ice-Lake U-Series processors. 2-in-1 has been stuck in the low-power dual-core Y series for years. However, as we see in detail, the changes are not all positive, and Dell’s Premium Convertible is competing harder than ever.


  • Extremely Bright Screen
  • Roomy and accurate touchpad
  • Great battery life and performance


  • The keyboard feels like a step backward
  • Limitation on port selection
  • The build quality should be more polished
  • The Entry Level ships with only 4GB of RAM


A half-inch thick, 11.7 inches and 8.2 inches wide from front to back, the XPS 13 2-in-1 is quite compact. The rival HP Specter x360 13 is 0.6 inches thicker and about half an inch larger than the other two dimensions. The Dell device is also quite light with 2.9 kg, which is equivalent to the weight of Specter x360 13 (also 2.9 kg). But if you hold the device in your hand, you still feel denser and heavier than you would like. Although not yet available, the 13-inch Dragonfly focused on HP’s business weighs significantly less, at just 2.2 pounds. In summary, the XPS 13 2-in-1 feels like a very solid build but adds some weight. Maybe it’s time for Dell to focus on lighter metals.


Dell offers the XPS 13 in white or black interior. The company sent us the white one, which is visible, but it increased the cost by $ 49. I am concerned that it looks clean. The keyboard cover has a distinctive textured weave. I prefer something that has a softer feeling.

And while the overall design looks first class and sophisticated, there are some places where there is room for improvement. The inside edges of the hinges on the back do not match the base of the laptop, which leads to rough edges that sometimes end up in my hand when I hold the laptop. And the seam at the bottom of the screen, where the edge of the glass on the touch screen meets the edge of the white plastic, is more striking than I had imagined and is slightly wider on one side of my concealer than in the other one. These are minor but frustrating things for our $ 1,655 check. And while it’s hard to say how widespread the hinge problem is, a quick visit to the Dell community site shows that there are units in nature that have the same problem.

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 Review (2019): A Machine Close to Perfection 3

A Dell representative told us that variable torque hinges can be reset by turning the screen fully forward and backward. And in our experience, this has slightly improved the problem, but not completely. We were also told that anyone who purchases the XPS 13 2-in-1 that has this problem should contact Dell technical support to resolve the problem.


Both Thunderbolt ports can be used for charging, and most users should be able to find out with adapters. But as much as I love the USB-C, it’s hard to enjoy the lack of USB-A when comparable thin convertible bonds (hello, HP) give way to a larger (and more popular) port.


While I’m not thrilled with all aspects of the XPS 13 2-in-1 design, the FHD + screen is pretty good, especially if they are partially bright. It also uses an old-fashioned 16:10 aspect ratio, slightly higher than the current 16: 9 picture. This gives you more vertical space, which has a positive effect on productivity (Excel displays more cells on the screen). However, if you prefer higher screens, the Surface Laptop remains the king with a 4: 3 screen.

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 Review (2019): A Machine Close to Perfection 4

The XPS 13 2-in-1 panel achieved 113% of the sRGB color gamut, better than some competitors, but below the average for high-end laptops. But its 516 brightness is better than anything we’ve seen outside the OLED screen. And even the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo OLED measured only 322 nits.


You can also get the XPS 13 2-in-1 with a 4K screen (3840×2400) for $294 more. Given the good display of our display unit on the FHD + screen and the quadrupling in the number of pixels that are likely to have a significant impact on battery life, most users are likely to be glued to a lower-resolution screen.

Keyboard and Touchpad 

The 4.4 x 2.6-inch glass touchscreen is slightly larger than its predecessor’s larger 16:10 display with extra height. It feels quite spacious and has worked perfectly in our experiments, including thanks to Microsoft Precision controllers.


Also new here is a keyboard that incorporates the same MagLev magnetic function technology that Dell has used on the larger XPS 15 since last year. I like the XPS 15 keyboard, but Dell has adjusted the technology here to make the XPS 13 2-in-1 buttons less clickable (and quieter). The result is that the 0.7mm path feels thinner than the older sibling, and the keys feel a bit soaked. It has the echoes of the MacBook’s butterfly keyboard, which I think it’s a wrong decision.

Dell has also placed the power button/fingerprint sensor in the upper right corner above the back button. This position is not ideal, but at least Dell did more to make the on/off switch stiffer than the other keys, so you probably won’t crush it as you type.


The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1, which Dell presented for review, includes an Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor with built-in Iris Plus graphics, 16GB of RAM and 512GB NVMe PCIe SSD. The processor is a big step ahead of the dual-core options previously available on the Dell 2-in-1, and we look forward to seeing integrated graphics work with traditional games.

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 Review (2019): A Machine Close to Perfection 5

In Geeketch 4.3, Dell’s convertible Ice Lake processor pushed it to the top of the pack with 19,225 points, though it did not reach exactly 16,353 points average and the ThinkPad X1 with Core i7-8665U was within 14% of Dell’s value. 16.545.

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 Review (2019): A Machine Close to Perfection 6

When we used the handbrake to encode a 12-minute 4K video at 1080p, the Dell computer was ready in 17 minutes and 19 seconds. It’s better than 5 minutes faster than the class average (22:05) and the best is shown here. But even here was the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 only 21 seconds ago the XPS on the heels.

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 Review (2019): A Machine Close to Perfection 7

Dell’s 512GB SSD copies files from 4.97 GB to 462.6 Mbps. This is not a bad thing, but below the average of 515.5 Mbps and the 508.9 Mbps screen of Carbon X1.

 Performance Over Time 


Despite its slim body and new Intel Ice Lake processor, the XPS 13 2-in-1 was extremely consistent in the 10 Cinebench R15 series. The first lap was a bit higher than the rest, but at below 700 markers, its performance remained fairly constant.


To see how well the more robust Iris Plus Ice Lake graphics are suited for some powerful games, we first debuted the Dirt 3. XPS 13 2-in-1 resolution with a resolution of 1080p and a refresh rate of 47 frames per second (fps).

When entering a much newer title, Borderlands 3, which is not particularly demanding on the latest AAA titles, Intel’s integrated graphics option did not look that good. Even if I reduced the setting to a very low preset and the resolution to 1200×800, the frame rates often dropped on in heavy battles, remained at 35 frames per second while I go through the less populated parts of Pandora. XPS 13 2-in-1 will be good for some eSport titles and old classics. However, if you want to play modern AAA titles, you will need to select a special graphics chip, for example, a gaming laptop.



The XPS 13 2-in-1 is easy to handle. You’ll need a set of Torx screwdrivers to remove eight screws from the bottom and something thin and plastic, such as a curious tool or credit card, to surround the three edges until the bottom of the laptop comes out.

Once in, it quickly becomes clear that upgrading is not an option. Almost the entire plate is covered with a battery or black cover around the cooling components. Aside from removing the gray glue from above and exposing the welded components under the heating pad, I did not dare to continue the disassembly process. The fact that Dell’s excellent Service Manual does not mention memory or memory replacement (as opposed to older model manuals) is so strong and indicates that both memory and RAM are soldered to disk.

Battery Life

In our battery test, which is surfing the Internet via Wi-Fi, streaming videos, and performing OpenGL tests with all brightness levels at 150 nits, the XPS 13 2-in-1 has seen only three minutes less than 11 hours. It’s very good, well above that average time of 8:15 and better than most competitors here.


However, the excellent HP Specter x360 continued to infiltrate for an hour, changing more than Dell, taking the crown of the ultra-portable, convertible longevity model.


In individual cases, the XPS 13 2-in-1 never became too hot. When we ran the Cinebench R15 CPU ten times, we measured the keyboard up to 40.1 degrees Celsius, while the touchpad stayed cooler at 27.5 degrees Celsius. The temperature at the bottom of the device was 41.1 degrees Fahrenheit or 106 degrees Fahrenheit. In short, temperatures are moderate, but you probably don’t want to play videos in your lap, which is probably not a good idea for reasons other than heat.


The best thing about Dell’s convertible webcam is that it’s still where it belongs, over the bright screen. The 720p resolution is not astronomical, but the pictures and videos taken with it were not as grainy as the HP Specter x360 13 1080p camera.


The camera does not contain Windows. Face recognition supports login, but the convertible has a fingerprint sensor built into the on / off switch in the corner of the keyboard. When the fingerprint sensor worked in the first experiment, it reacted faster than face detection. But he rejected my fingerprints often enough, so I just wanted to open my laptop and recognize my camera in a second or two.

Software and Warranty

The software download for XPS 13 2-in-1 is quite simple. This includes the Killer Control Center application for prioritizing traffic and analyzing your wireless network.

The laptop includes a standard Windows 10 infusion like Candy Crush Friends and Farm Heroes Saga, along with some annoying tests from McAfee Security and LiveSafe. We could do without both.

Dell provides a standard one-year warranty on your notebook. At the time of purchase, you can extend coverage for $ 99 for two years and $ 430 for up to four years.

Configurations & Price

The XPS 13 2-in 1 starts at $ 999, though it only has 4GB of memory and a Core i3-1005G1. Nobody is allowed to buy this model.

If you set up a model for $ 1,249, you’ll get a Core i5, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB NVMe SSD. Your $ 1,665.99 model features a Core i7 with enhanced Iris Plus graphics, 16GB of RAM, and a larger 512GB SSD. If you have cash (or credit), you can buy up to $ 2,699 for a model with 32GB of RAM, a 4K display, and a 1TB SSD.

Final Verdict

The new tenth-generation Ice Lake processor delivers extra power to the slim and ultra-portable 2-in-1 laptop, and the display that Dell has on the latest XPS 13 2-in-1 is extremely bright and gives you a bit of productivity. Battery life is also excellent, though the HP Specter x360 13 lasts more than an hour.

If you like the look of the XPS software, you might want to consider the latest Dell Premium Convertible Device. You may want to try the MagLev keyboard first because it is flat and the keys on the bigger XPS 15 key don’t look so good. If you don’t like flat keyboards, consider using the HP Specter x360 or Lenovo ThinkPad L390.

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