Value is the only major issue, though, and in this growing crowd of ultra-slim, low-connectivity laptops, the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is probably the model we'd choose if we could pick any of today's selection. It's incredibly portable but is still a joy to work on, thanks to its high-quality keyboard and trackpad.
The hybrid form is well-executed too, although it's worth thinking carefully about whether you'll appreciate a folding touchscreen when it comes at a premium.
£ From £1,349
As with other recently ultra-slim, ultra-light laptops, you pay for the portability in its connectivity. There are just two USB ports, and both are the USB-C 3.1 kind rather than the more familiar full-size USB.
Our Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 came with a converter cable, but it's one reason to consider the Dell XPS 13 instead if you use a bunch of peripherals all the time. Dell does at least seem a grudging semi-convert to the connectivity-free future, though, as this laptop also has a microSD card slot. Most direct rivals have no slot at all.
Photographers would most likely much prefer the full-size kind, but the chances of seeing one in a laptop this slim are, well, slim. And it gives you a way to easily transfer files between devices. While at least some of the V3 team isn't ready to give up on laptop USBs yet, the popularity of models like this suggests plenty of people are.
Keyboard and trackpad
One area in which we're very glad to see Dell refuse to follow the Apple trend is the keyboard. The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1's appears to be only a bit shallower than the other XPS models, with solid soft-finish click to each key. Laptops like the Asus ZenBook 3 and MacBook 12 have intensely shallow keyboards that just aren't as comfortable for long-form typing.
Here you get full-size keys, with no annoying dramatic layout changes that might take you weeks to get used to. We'd much rather type on this than a 12in MacBook. The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 keyboard also has a backlight, a rather subtle one that only shines around the key rather than through the character icon on each button. You can set it to one of two intensity levels.
The trackpad too is a lot like that of the other XPS laptops. It's velvet-smooth textured glass with an excellent click feel. It's not hard to press, isn't 'floaty' and isn't subject to any driver sensitivity issues in our experience.
Thanks to the small size of the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1, the pad isn't hugely tall, but does have good width and doesn't feel cramped.
Next to the pad there's also a fingerprint scanner, a little recessed black square. In the past we've complained that most Windows finger scanners seem a bit flaky, less reliable than the now well-established phone finger scanners.
However, this one is actually rather good. Whether it's down to recent improvements in drivers or simply better hardware used, the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 has recognised our finger on first attempt almost every time: not something we've seen in a Windows Hello laptop scanner to date.