Dell XPS 13 (2017) review

    This can be a evaluate of the 2017 Dell XPS 13 mannequin. Click on the next hyperlink to learn our hands-on evaluate of the very newest, 2017 Dell XPS 13.

    For the third yr in a row, the Dell XPS 13 remains to be our absolute favourite laptop computer. Seeing because it nonetheless seems the identical because it did in years prior, you might be questioning what’s completely different concerning the 2017 model of the Dell XPS 13, the corporate’s flagship Ultrabook that we’ve nonetheless but to fall out of affection with all these years later.

    Above all else, this replace focuses on boosting specs. So whilst you’ll discover marginal modifications made to the skin of the system, the within now consists of Intel’s Eighth-generation ‘Kaby Lake Refresh’ collection processors, in the event you can afford them, for double the cores of the earlier era Dell XPS 13. 

    In fact, in directing its consideration nearly solely to efficiency enhancements this time round, the 2017 Dell XPS 13 nonetheless encounters a number of the identical points we’ve been experiencing for fairly a while now – notably these associated to webcam placement.

    Spec Sheet

    Right here is the Dell XPS 13 configuration despatched to TechSwitch for evaluate:

    CPU: 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U (quad-core, 8MB cache, as much as four.0GHz)
    Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620
    RAM: 8GB LPDDR3 (1,866MHz)
    Display screen: 13.Three-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,zero80) InfinityEdge (400 nits; 1,200:1 distinction ratio)
    Storage: 256GB PCIe SSD
    Ports: 1 x USB, 1 x USB w/PowerShare, 1 x USB-C Three.1 (Thunderbolt Three), SD card reader, Three.5mm audio jack
    Connectivity: Killer 1535 802.11ac (2.four & 5GHz); Bluetooth four.1
    Digital camera: 720p widescreen HD webcam with twin array digital microphones
    Weight: 2.7 kilos (1.2kg)
    Measurement: 11.98 x 7.88 x zero.33 – zero.6 inches (W x D x H) (304 x 200 x 9 – 15mm)

    Value and availability

    As we anticipated, the price of the Dell XPS 13 hasn’t modified. The beginning configuration retails at $799 within the US, and it doesn’t seem like any completely different than final yr. You’re nonetheless getting a Seventh-generation Intel Core i3-7100U, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB solid-state drive (SSD) and a full HD InfinityEdge Display screen. 

    The one fashions whose specs have modified are these which are larger tier. As a result of Intel’s Eighth-generation processors for laptops solely exist in a luxuriously high-speed vacuum, you possibly can max out your Dell XPS 13 with an Intel Core i7-8550U, 16GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage for $1,749. The configuration we’ve examined right here prices $1,299, £1,268.99 or AU$2,299.

    (Pricier configurations embody Home windows Whats up by way of a fingerprint sensor.)

    Within the UK, nevertheless, costs start at £1,118.99 with a whopping 11 completely different configurations, beginning with a Seventh-generation Core i7 processor behind an FHD show in addition to 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. The highest finish sees the XPS 13 with a QHD+ touchscreen backed by an Eighth-generation Intel Core i7 processor in addition to 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD for a cool £1,818.98. (Within the UK, it’s also possible to get a number of configurations pre-loaded with Ubuntu Linux as an alternative of Home windows 10.)

    Lastly, the Australian mannequin begins at AU$799 for a Seventh-generation Intel Core i5 processor behind an FHD panel and with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. On the highest finish of its large 10 configurations within the area, the XPS 13 prices AU$2,399 for a QHD+ show powered by an Eighth-generation Intel Core i7 processor with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. The Rose Gold-colored mannequin prices an additional AU$100 for a similar innards.

    For comparability’s sake, the 13-inch MacBook Pro begins the value dialogue at $1,299, £1,249 or AU$1,899 for a Seventh-generation Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD behind its 2,560 x 1,600 Retina show. In the meantime, the Surface Laptop from Microsoft prices $999, £979 or AU$1,499 for a 2,256 x 1,504 PixelSense touchscreen backed by a Seventh-generation Intel Core i5 processor with 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD.

    For all intents and functions, the XPS 13 appears to proceed to current not solely extra choices, however higher worth throughout the board than its highest-profile opponents.


    Should you favored the feel and appear of final yr’s Dell XPS 13, then you definitely’re in luck. If not, then this yr’s rendition will do nothing to sway you. It’s because completely nothing concerning the laptop computer’s dimensions, weight or body design has modified. 

    The Dell XPS 13 isn’t any thinner or lighter than earlier than, at 2.9 kilos (1.29kg) for the shiny, QHD+ touchscreen mannequin or 2.7 kilos (1.2kg) for the matte, FHD-screened model and at zero.6 inches (15mm) thick in both configuration.

    In fact, the identical attractive, machined aluminum lid and base that beset a comfortable, carbon fiber keyboard deck coated in soft-touch paint are right here – and within the anticipated Silver and Rose Gold colours, no much less.

    The keyboard and touchpad are simply as elegant to make use of as they’ve been in years previous. With deep-enough journey and punchy suggestions, the keyboard stays among the many finest we’ve used on a laptop computer, whereas the glass-coated touchpad tracks gestures handily and provides robust palm rejection (which protects in opposition to unintended presses by your wrist when typing).

    All advised, we’re nonetheless taken by the XPS 13’s design, even when principally nothing was finished for higher or worse. The entire identical ports characteristic on this mannequin once more, which is a serious plus contemplating how complete the set is. Nonetheless, the 720p webcam – regardless of it working simply high-quality – remains to be set to the bottom-left bezel of the show. Merely put, this isn’t nice design and must be modified.

    Show and sound

    This time round, we’ve had the chance to check the FHD, or 1,920 x 1,zero80-resolution, model of the Dell XPS 13 InfinityEdge show. Whereas QHD+ is a pleasure to work with, we discover the FHD choice to be simply high-quality for what most people will use the laptop computer for.

    Colour replica remains to be spot-on, and the matte coating versus the mandatory glass for the QHD+ touchscreen truly works in its favor when underneath direct mild, managing glare way more simply. Plus, the 400 nits price of brightness works nicely to that finish, too. Video nonetheless seems wonderful on the laptop computer, however as for the sound, we’d respect an improve at this level.

    You see, with simply two, awfully-thin stereo audio system on both sides of the laptop computer simply above the purpose the place the aluminum base and keyboard deck meet, solely a lot sound can get by way of. That results in somewhat tinny audio regardless of robust quantity, due to Waves MaxxAudio Professional tuning. Whereas there’s a headphone jack, if there have been top-firing audio system both beside or beneath the keyboard, that will go a protracted method to bettering sound high quality.

    Nonetheless, regardless of these audio points, we’d argue that the XPS 13 continues to make for a greater skilled and even ‘prosumer’ laptop computer than the 13-inch MacBook Professional. From the quantity of configuration choices to the ports on supply and the element high quality versus the value, your mileage will fluctuate far much less with the XPS 13 than with Apple’s newest laptop computer.

    First reviewed December 2017

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