The famed Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is a new take on the huge success of the Dell XPS 13. We reviewed a previous iteration of the Dell XPS 13 (model 9350), and one of the missing things was the ability to turn it into a tablet. Dell has addressed that point, hence the 2-in-1 addition to the name.
For those who aren’t familiar with the Dell XPS 13, the overall concept is this: make a 13.3” display laptop fit into a space that is comparable to a regular 11” display laptop. Dell has aggressively introduced the concept some time ago and continues to improve this line of product to keep an edge in that segment of the market. At this time, Dell claims that it is effectively the smallest 13.3” 2-in-1 laptop in the world, and it’s probably true.
The new Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 has new features worth looking at. For one, it is a fanless design, which is quite a feat since it comes with up to a Core i7 Intel Processor. There’s also a Core i5 option, which is better for an optimum Performance/Price ratio, and both can accommodate up to 16GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD PCIe storage. With an Intel HD Graphics 615, this laptop can play some games, but we don’t consider it to be really “gaming-capable” from an enthusiast perspective, this is common for such small computers.
Thanks to its 360 swivel design, the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 can be used in different modes (Laptop, Tablet, Stand, Tent), including a tablet mode and a couple of “cinema” mode where the keyboard isn’t visible. This is highly desirable in tight environments such as public transportations or planes. Although Lenovo invented this capability, both Dell and HP can now compete with potent designs using the same principle.
The form factor is enabled mainly by the 5.2mm thin bezel (Dell calls it InfinityEdge) at the left/right/top of the display. The webcam is housed underneath the screen to save space at the top. The display has a Gorilla Glass, which is scratch resistant and similar to those found on smartphones. At only 2.7 Lbs, the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is bound to become an extremely interesting options for users who are seeking ultralight, but powerful, 13.3” laptops.
The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 has a microSD card slot and a USB C 3.1 port on the right side. The left side has a Thunderbolt 3 port which also serves as a charging port, along with a 3.5mm audio connector. Speakers are located on either side of the laptop. Thunderbolt is a very interesting feature to have because its extremely high bandwidth allows connecting displays, single connector docks, and even external GPUs sometimes.
As always, within a given hardware platform (Intel Processor + GPU), the next two important factors for battery life will be the display type (HIDPI screens consume a lot more energy, up to 30% according to most OEMs) and the battery capacity (in WHr). Your usage is impossible to model, and battery benchmarks are mainly intended to provide a very loose baseline.
Learn more: High PPI displays: do you really need them?
Last, but not least, the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 can be used with the optional Dell Active Pen, which would add a digital pen with 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity. The software supports palm rejection, and on paper, it looks like a great tool in general. We can’t wait to ask our designers to look at it.