Product Dell XPS 13
Specifications 13.3in IPS, 3200x1800 resolution 276ppi display (1920x1080 also available), optional touchscreen, Intel Core i7-6500U (Intel Core i5-6200U also available), Windows 10 Home, 8GB RAM (4GB and 16GB also available), 256GB SSD (128GB and 512GB SSDs also available), 2x USB 3.0 ports, 1x USB-C port with Thunderbolt 3, 1x D/SDHC/SDXC reader, Bluetooth 4.1, compatible with 802.11ac Camera: 720p webcam, 302x200x15mm, 1.29kg
Price From £849; £1,149 as reviewed
EVER SINCE Dell first revealed the redesigned Dell XPS 13 at CES 2015, it's been one of the US firm's more exciting clamshell devices - an attractive, powerful ultrabook with a gloriously high-resolution 13.3in screen, squeezed into an even smaller form factor via the use of razor-thin bezels.
Now, Dell has updated it yet again, adding a choice of new CPUs from Intel's 6th-generation Skylake range. We've already gone hands-on with one of the refreshed XPS 13s, but now we've had the chance to give the full test treatment to an even higher-spec model.
What hasn't changed is the Dell XPS 13's outstanding construction. It's still a stylish mix of aluminium and carbon fibre composite, with a lovely patterned matte finish around the keyboard, and still feels incredibly durable and rigid. The hinge is one of the firmest we've ever seen on a conventional laptop, and the exterior has survived numerous commutes without a scratch.
You can't fail to notice the tiny bezel around the screen either - Dell's "InfinityEdge" display - something that affords this 13.3in machine the kind of dimensions more akin to an 11in device: 304x200x15mm. The still-compact HP EliteBook Folio 1020 G1, by comparison, is a full centimetre wider and taller. As it weighs a shoulder-friendly 1.29kg, the XPS 13 can also claim to be slimmer and lighter than the 13.3in MacBook Air, even if it's not quite the thinnest laptop on the market outright.
The backlight-equipped keyboard is good as well. Key travel is slightly shallow but they have a satisfying, clicky action, and they're spaced far enough apart to minimise accidental presses. The trackpad is decently-sized, smooth and responsive, too.
As for connectivity, there are still two USB 3.0 ports paired with a combined SD/SDHC/SDXC reader, but the mini DisplayPort on the Broadwell model has been replaced with a Thunderbolt 3-compatible USB-C port. While Thunderbolt 3 supports the DisplayPort protocol, the use of a USB-C platform means that you'll need an adapter to hook the new XPS 13 up to a larger display.
This is one of just two real flaws with its otherwise outstanding design, the other being how the bottom cover - which is made from the same aluminium as the lid - can get rather warm even on moderate load. To be frank, though, we didn't have trouble forgiving them when considering how sleek, tough and portable the XPS 13 is.
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