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Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Refined perfection

Dell XPS 13 (2016) evaluate: Refined perfection

Information replace: New Dell XPS 13 launched

Cease what you are doing! The evaluate under is now not probably the most up-to-date XPS 13. Oh no, there is a 2018 mannequin now doing the rounds, and it affords the largest shakeup within the vary for fairly a while. 

Queue the XPS 13 2018, a drastic departure from the XPS components we have grown accustomed to lately. This up to date mannequin not solely has the latest Intel Core processor – that is actually no shock – however is the slimmest and lightest it is ever been, and has seen a little bit of a design change. 

Don’t fret, the wonderful InfinityEdge show remains to be there – though it is now slightly-less reflective – and nicely, the webcam remains to be as awkwardly positioned as ever.

You may learn my preliminary ideas concerning the 2018 XPS 13 right here, and keep tuned for my full evaluate within the close to future.

Dell XPS 13 (2016) evaluate 

There are many the explanation why I’ve been so protecting of my 2015 XPS 13 over the previous yr. As the one member of Skilled Evaluations to not be utilizing a MacBook Professional, the XPS 13 remains to be my definition of the nigh-on–excellent Home windows laptop computer. The considered swapping it for one thing else genuinely by no means crossed my thoughts. Properly, not till now.

These are the perfect laptops in 2018

I didn’t anticipate Dell to enhance on it with its newest refresh, however I used to be improper. Put the 2 fashions aspect by aspect, and there’s barely a jot of distinction between them. However for the truth that the brand new, improved XPS 13 is varnished in a heat rose gold, slightly than the gunmetal-grey end of my very own, I’d have been left taking part in an almost-impossible recreation of spot the distinction.

Regardless of trying outwardly equivalent to its predecessor, the XPS 13 remains to be a good looking laptop computer in 2017. The lid tapers in the direction of the entrance edge when it is closed, measuring simply 15mm at its thinnest edge, and because it weighs in at 1.29kg, it’s nonetheless a lot gentle sufficient to hold round on daily basis.

Dell genuinely hasn’t modified a factor. That solitary Thunderbolt-powered USB Kind-C port can nonetheless be noticed on the left edge and is accompanied by two common USB three ports, an SD card slot and three.5mm headset jack.

Dell XPS 13 (2016): Efficiency and battery life

By far the largest enchancment is hidden inside. The brand new XPS 13 now comes geared up with a seventh-generation Intel Core i7-7500U processor clocked at 2.7GHz. This quad-core Kaby Lake chip is kind of the performer, too, scoring a complete of 50 in our demanding 4K benchmarking exams – a outcome that makes it 9% quicker than final yr’s mannequin.

That’s solely a modest efficiency enchancment – certainly, it might have fared a little bit higher if Dell has given us the utmost 16GB of RAM – however it’s no slouch. My last-gen XPS has began buckling beneath the stress as soon as I open too many Chrome tabs directly, however I’ve had no such points with Dell’s newest.

Don’t anticipate to do a lot gaming, although. Whereas there’s sufficient energy to maintain Minecraft ticking alongside, Intel’s built-in HD Graphics 620 chip solely has a restricted quantity of horsepower at its disposal. It is vitally marginally faster than the earlier technology, however you’ll must drop the decision and element settings proper down if you wish to get newer video games in your Steam library to run at a good body price.

Battery life, then again, is way from an enchancment. That is the third Kaby Lake-powered laptop computer I’ve examined to this point, and already I’m starting to identify a worrying development. Lasting simply 7hrs 46minutes away from the wall socket is verging on unacceptable, particularly when 2015’s XPS 13 reached 11hrs 30minutes. There’s a transparent power-efficiency concern right here and I think that power-hogging QHD+ display may very well be the offender.

Dell XPS 13 (2016) evaluate: Show

It may not do wonders for battery life, however the QHD+ show is a sight to behold. The super-skinny “Infinity Edge” bezel seems nice, and picture high quality is attractive. The 13.3in, three,200 x 1,800 show covers 92% of the sRGB color gamut, which makes for gloriously intense colors, and the distinction ratio of 1,109:1 supplies oodles of element from the darkest to the brightest corners of the display. The one draw back is that the show’s peak brightness of 290cd/m2 isn’t fairly vivid sufficient to be used outdoors on brighter days.

An elective touchscreen can be a part of the package deal, however whereas it might turn out to be useful in some situations – resembling juggling between a number of Chrome tabs – it’s extra of a luxurious than a necessity. It additionally provides 90g to the non-touch XPS 13’s 1.2kg beginning weight.

Dell XPS 13 (2016) evaluate: Keyboard and touchpad

Fortunately, there haven’t been any important adjustments to the keyboard. The keys are properly spaced, and there’s simply the correct amount of motion and suggestions available with every keystroke. Backlighting nonetheless comes as customary, too.

The touchpad is well-sized, not less than so far as the XPS 13’s slender chassis permits. Home windows 10 multi-touch gestures had been carried out with none slip-ups, and it’s simple to leap between a number of functions with relative ease. I wasn’t even tempted to plug in a USB mouse whereas working in Photoshop – it’s that good. It does appear to select up greasy fingerprints a little bit too simply, although.

One factor that Dell actually ought to have fastened is the XPS 13’s awkwardly positioned webcam. It’s nonetheless situated on the backside left of the show, which implies that getting an acceptable angle for video chats remains to be tough – flattering it isn’t.

Dell XPS 13 (2016) evaluate: Verdict

Dell’s newest XPS 13 cements its place as the perfect Home windows ultraportable there’s. Battery life stays a sticking level, however with this near-perfect combination of value, efficiency and portability, there’s nothing else to match it. Or on the very least, nothing that hasn’t acquired an Apple brand on it.

If you happen to’ve already acquired final yr’s mannequin, then there aren’t sufficient enhancements right here to justify an improve. However for those who’re trying to find probably the most refined Home windows laptop computer available on the market, then Dell’s new XPS 13 is the one to purchase.

Core specs
Processor Quad-core 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-7500U
Reminiscence slots (free) 2 (1)
Max reminiscence 16GB
Dimensions 15 x 304 x 200mm
Weight 1.29Kg
Sound Realtek HD Audio (three.5mm headset port)
Pointing gadget Touchpad
Display screen dimension 13.3in
Display screen decision three,200 x 1,800
Touchscreen Sure
Graphics adaptor Intel HD Graphics 620
Graphics outputs 1 x USB-C
Graphics reminiscence 1GB
Complete storage 256GB SSD
Optical drive kind N/A
Ports and enlargement
USB ports 2x USB3, 1x USB-C
Bluetooth four.1
Networking 802.11ac wi-fi
Reminiscence card reader SD
Different ports N./A
Working system Home windows 10 Residence
Working system restore choice Restore partition
Shopping for data
Elements and labour guarantee
Value inc VAT £1,329

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