Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (7390) assessment: Palms-on
Dell’s XPS 13 fashions have been an everyday fixture of our greatest laptops chart, and on the time of writing the 2019 iteration is sitting within the high spot. We have not at all times been such followers of the XPS line’s convertible variations although, however that could be about to alter: the redesigned XPS 13 2-in-1 unveiled at Computex 2019 appears each bit a rival to the core XPS 13, each in and out.
Packing brand-new Intel internals, a 16:10 side ratio, and a design that includes the perfect of the XPS 13 and the XPS 15 2-in-1, that is the primary convertible XPS that actually feels prefer it does not supply any compromise over its clamshell cousin.
Worth and availability
Dell hasn’t made any announcement about when the brand new convertible XPS 13 is hitting the market, however we would count on will probably be a while this summer season. We additionally do not know something about pricing, however with the common mannequin ranging from £939/$899, we would count on the 2-in-1 to hit a reasonably comparable worth level.
This appears acquainted…
At first look, the 13 2-in-1 does not look too completely different from the earlier mannequin (launched in 2017, then given a specs refresh in 2018), however dig a bit of deeper and loads of small modifications start to make themselves apparent.
Maybe the obvious factor is the webcam: following within the sneakers of its clamshell cousin, it is lastly been moved from the underside hinge and up into the bezel above the display screen. That not solely saves you from the lower than flattering up-the-nose digicam angle, but in addition frees sufficient area to shrink the underside bezel significantly, bringing the display screen nearer to the keyboard and the reversible hinge.
That helps to profit from the gorgeous show (extra on that later) however does come at one small value: there’s much less bezel to grip onto whenever you flip the machine spherical into pill mode, although there’s nonetheless nearly sufficient area to get your fingers spherical it with out unintentionally urgent the touchscreen.
Accessible in black or white, the aluminium physique options extra metallic than earlier than, which retains issues feeling each sturdy and pretty premium, whereas the entire chassis has been slimmed down sufficient to maintain issues gentle – the bottom mannequin is simply 1.3kg/2.9lbs, although spec choices could change that barely.
Even whereas the physique is smaller, each the trackpad and keyboard have gotten bigger. The latter now expands edge-to-edge throughout the laptop computer’s physique, and makes use of a revised model of the MagLev tech present in final 12 months’s XPS 15 2-in-1. It is positively not a match for the common XPS keyboard – typing nonetheless feels a bit mushy for my style – however it’s improved, and does get pleasure from being nearly fully silent.
It is hip to be square-ish
A variety of the little tweaks to the 13 2-in-1’s design lend themselves to at least one factor: rising the concentrate on its touchscreen panel. With slimmer bezels and a minuscule webcam, there’s now nothing to distract from the show, which could be why Dell has given it a strong revamp.
You get the selection between HD or 4K for the 13.4in panel, the latter of which additionally helps HDR 400. There’s additionally assist for EyeSafe, Dell’s new tech which is designed to cut back blue gentle emissions – serving to not solely with eyestrain but in addition together with your sleep cycle, and blue gentle is the sort that retains you awake.
The larger change is arguably the side ratio although. Dell has determined to make use of the additional vertical actual property to change from 16:9 to 16:10 for the side ratio. It isn’t fairly the three:2 you may discover in some Floor or Huawei gadgets, nevertheless it’s a boxier format that is well-suited to productiveness or shopping the net, saving you some scrolling. That does imply you may get extra letterboxing whenever you watch widescreen video content material although, which could put you off a bit of when you’re actually searching for a strategy to watch Netflix from mattress.
Both means, the 4K model we received to have a look at throughout Computex appeared severely slick. Dell claims it might probably pump out 500 nits of brightness, and whereas we clearly could not take a look at that, it is easy to consider given how nicely it held up underneath the glare of the sales space lights. Colors and distinction each appeared nice, and the 16:10 side ratio left the display screen feeling rather more spacious than its 13.4in measurement would counsel.
Starter for 10
For all of the modifications outdoors, there’s truly much more that is completely different underneath the hood. That is as a result of this is without doubt one of the first laptops on the earth to make use of Intel’s 10th-gen Ice Lake processors, which use a brand new 10nm structure. Dell claims there’s been a 250 % energy bounce from the earlier mannequin, which is massive speak – although clearly we could not actually put it by way of its paces on the present ground.
In idea although it means this could supply loads of oomph for every part from day-to-day work as much as gentle photograph and video modifying, with a selection of i3, i5, or i7 chips relying in your wants. Efficiency for gaming and heavy obligation inventive work will understandably be capped by the shortage of a discrete GPU choice, however for the rest this ought to be greater than succesful.
If it makes you are feeling higher you’ll be able to not less than spec it up from 4GB all the way in which as much as 32GB RAM – greater than Dell’s even placing in its new Alienware gaming laptops – whereas the SSD storage choices cap out at a wholesome 1TB.
All that energy does require additional cooling oomph, which signifies that not like the earlier mannequin that is now not fanless – as a substitute there are twin followers to maintain issues cool along with a slim vapour chamber. That ought to be sufficient to maintain this working cool, which is very essential given the shape issue means it’s going to be handheld at instances, however does imply that there will be a bit of extra noise than earlier than due to the fan whir.
We’re additionally undecided what impact the brand new chips and cooling can have on battery life. For its half, Dell claims a formidable 16-hour battery life, however naturally we’ll wish to take a look at it for ourselves.
Connectivity can also be barely blended. From a stage it is principally the standard, with two USB-C Thunderbolt three ports for energy and knowledge, a three.5mm audio jack, and the welcome inclusion of a microSD card slot. Wi-fi is significantly better although: along with Bluetooth 5.zero there’s additionally assist for Wi-Fi 6, so it is best to be capable of get some severely snappy web so long as you are linked to a suitable router.
We can’t know simply how nicely the brand new Intel chips carry out till we get the XPS 13 2-in-1 into the workplace for a correct assessment, however on paper this appears like a really succesful machine. Sturdy specs mixed with the perfect of Dell’s already sturdy XPS design language imply that not solely does this appear to be a superb convertible, it would even dethrone its clamshell cousin from the highest of the laptop computer world.