The new 2020 version of the Dell XPS 13 is a premium ultraportable laptop computer with a starting price tag of £1,399 (inc. VAT £1,one hundred sixty five.eighty three ex. VAT), soaring to £1,799 (inc. VAT £1,499.17 ex. VAT) as the characteristics are piled on. In the US, the price tag array is $1,199.ninety nine-$2,149.ninety nine. Again in 2018 I found the Dell XPS 13 in the vicinity of-best, so it can be a extremely really hard act to stick to: how does the latest product evaluate up?

Presented that mid-array laptops can tackle every day computing needs with relative ease, premium ultraportables are an progressively really hard promote. A top rated-conclusion method needs to get style, battery everyday living, display screen and keyboard quality, and inside characteristics place-on although shoehorning everything into the smallest probable chassis for the display screen sizing on provide.

In conditions of style, Dell is bang on listed here. The XPS 13 (2020) is small and particularly mild. The starting pounds of 1.2kg for units without the need of a touch-display screen and 1.27kg for touch-display screen styles like my critique unit just isn’t really as shut to the 1kg mark as some may possibly like, but Dell is forgiven for this because the aluminium chassis is extremely good. I couldn’t bow the lid in my arms at all, and the palm relaxation was rigid under tension far too.

My critique unit had a silver lid and black inside, with the signature woven carbon fibre composite patterning to the palm relaxation that lends it each a exclusive visual appeal and a non-slip sense. There is also a silver (lid) and white (palm relaxation) version of the XPS 13 (2020).

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The 13.4-inch XPS 13 (2020) runs on 10th-generation Intel Main i5 or i7 CPUs with built-in UHD Graphics or Iris As well as Graphics. Screens are accessible with FHD+ (1920×1200) or UHD+ (3840 x 2400) resolution.


Graphic: Dell

Dell is executing its bit to avoid environmentally unfriendly materials in the build, and says ninety% of this laptop computer is recyclable. The ethic is prolonged to the packaging, which is a hundred% recyclable. 1 day all laptops will at minimum fulfill this regular, and many far more need to be publicising credentials like this currently.

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Still left aspect (top rated): USB-C/Thunderbolt three and MicroSD card. Proper aspect (above): USB-C/Thunderbolt three and three.5mm audio in/out.


Images: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

The XPS 13 (2020) will just about cover under a pad of A4 paper, as it measures just 296mm broad by 199mm deep. It can be slim far too, currently being just fourteen.8mm at its thickest issue, tapering towards the entrance. This thinness implies there is minimal house for ports and connectors, and all you get is a pair of USB-C/Thunderbolt three ports, just one on each and every aspect, with a MicroSD card slot on the still left and a three.5mm headset jack on the correct. Either of the USB-C ports can be made use of to demand the battery, and Dell provides a USB-C to USB three converter in the box. Will not appear for a SIM card slot on this ultraportable though: there is no mobile broadband solution for the XPS 13.

Major ZDNET Critiques

The 13.4-inch display screen sits in a surround that is as shut to bezel-no cost as I have viewed. Dell does not give bezel measurements for its Infinity Edge display screen, but does quotation a 91.5% display screen-to-human body ratio. Even the base bezel, which can typically be rather massive in minimal-bezel laptops, is impressively small listed here, and I calculated the aspect bezels at close to 3mm.

The display screen in my critique unit was a touch panel with three,840-by-2,400-pixel resolution (UHD+, 338ppi). There are also non-touch and 1,920 x 1,200 (FHD+, 169ppi) solutions. All of the XPS 13 (2020) screens have 500-nits brightness and some are anti-reflective, some anti-glare. I found the display screen on my superior-conclusion critique unit to be extremely responsive to touch and pin-sharp in viewing, if to some degree reflective. 

The audio subsystem delivers a good deal of volume, but the stereo speakers are lacking in bass tones. It can be fine for work-based online video contacting (a necessity at the present-day time), but if you want to use your laptop computer for either work presentations or catch-up online video viewing, you may will need an external speaker, or to appear in other places.

On the topic of online video contacting, we are delighted to see that Dell has relocated the webcam to the small bezel above the display screen — a welcome shift from its position beneath the display screen in the prior version, which sent a much less-than-flattering ‘up the nose’ digital camera angle except if the laptop computer was elevated up on a stand or a pile of guides. A sliding privateness deal with would be a pleasant touch, but unfortunately Dell doesn’t contain just one. There is also an infrared digital camera for Windows Hello login, or you can use the fingerprint scanner that is neatly disguised in the on/off button that sits in the top rated correct corner of the keyboard.

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The keyboard is backlit, responsive and cozy to style on at speed. It can be also rather peaceful.


Graphic: Dell

The backlit keyboard has an particularly mild touch, and the keys have the pleasant bounceback I uncover conducive to rapidly touch-typing. The motion is about as shut to silent as it receives, with just a slight ‘thunk’ sounding as each and every important is made use of. If you work in peaceful environments, you will appreciate this. The cozy wrist relaxation homes a massive and responsive touchpad that labored faultlessly in the course of the critique time period.

There are no much less than eleven preconfigured iterations of the XPS 13 (2020) accessible off the web page. All run on 10th generation Intel Main processors and contain Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5, but they vary substantially in other specifications — some even operating Ubuntu Linux. As regular with Dell, you can blend and match specifications to customise the configuration.

Right here are the entry-amount and top rated-conclusion off-the-web page styles:

  • Intel Main i5-1035G1, Windows ten Property, 13.4-inch 1,920 x 1,200 non touch display screen, Intel UHD Graphics, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD
    £1,399 (inc. VAT £1,one hundred sixty five.eighty three ex. VAT)
  • Intel Main i7-1065G7, Windows ten Property, 13.4-inch three,840 x 2,400 touch display screen, Intel Iris As well as Graphics, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD
    £1,799 (inc. VAT £1,499.17 ex. VAT)

My critique unit was the top rated-of-the-array Main i7/16GB RAM/1TB SSD product with the superior-resolution touch display screen. Not surprisingly, this carried out extremely effectively when operating my regular mainstream productiveness workloads.

The 52Whr battery carried out pretty effectively, far too. In just one five-hour stint involving crafting into a internet app, streaming songs and watching the occasional online video, the battery went from 95% to 57%, depleting 38% of its ability. This indicates a total figure of close to 12.5 hours. I still left the display screen at the default brightness environment for this exam, which was just a shade beneath 50%, but in every day utilization I would want this at nearer to sixty% for comfort in my residence office. This would decrease battery everyday living, as would heavier-obligation workloads. If this is most likely to be a challenge, look at opting for the reduced-resolution FHD+ display screen, which will need much much less from the battery.

Conclusions

Lack of ports and connectors on the XPS 13 (2020) will be an problem for some individuals, and the rather very poor audio quality may also rankle. Battery everyday living may also be an problem with the superior-resolution display screen if you change up the brightness and/or run demanding workloads.

In all other respects this is a superb top rated-flight ultrabook: it can be compact and transportable, but tough, and it can be rapidly, with a terrific display screen and an superb keyboard. You are going to have to spend a truthful quantity about the base price tag to get a superior-resolution touch display screen and far more than 512GB of SSD storage though.

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