Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2019) hands-on review

BERLIN: DELL’S XPS 13 2-in-1 laptop computer took the superb XPS 13 slimmed it down a tad and gave it a hinge that allowed it to do some screen-yoga and pull double duties as a Windows 10 pill.

But it wasn’t fairly good, with the MagLev keyboard doubtlessly polarising opinions in a trend not dissimilar to Apple Butterfly mechanism.

With the second-gen XPS 13 2-in-1, Dell has made a number of refinements, including in an improved MagLev keyboard and, extra considerably, tapping into Intel’s new 10-nanometre Ice Lake Core processes.

At IFA 2019 in Berlin, Dell allow us to get our mitts on its svelte new hybrid machine.


Much like its predecessor, the XPS 13 2-in-1 appears very very like a daily XPS 13 2019 at first look. But it is a good bit slimmer, and thus can solely slot in two USB-C ports, 3.5mm jack, and a microSD card slot; hardly a flush number of ports, however that is what we have come to count on with 2-in-1 and ultraportables.

It’s a fine-looking machine, particularly clad in vivid white with swish sliver edges and neat hinges which are inflexible sufficient to maintain the display screen regular whereas tapping away on the keyboard, however compliant sufficient to make flipping the machine into pill mode a doddle.

The XPS 13 2-in-1 is not the lightest laptops-come-tablet, however that is seemingly all the way down to the stable construct high quality one expects from Dell XPS machines being current and current and proper.

As is the glass fibre materials surrounding the keyboard and trackpad, designed to offer someplace tender to relaxation one’s palms but promising to be filth and scratch-resistant; we might did not actually get to place that to a correct take a look at.

Speaking of the keyboard and trackpad, the previous works very properly, just about functionally similar to the moderately glorious trackpad within the XPS 13 we opinions a number of months in the past; all hail glass trackpads and Windows Precision drivers.

As talked about, the MagLev keyboard, which makes use of magnets beneath its key caps to register presses and provides a sense of suggestions whereas decreasing the depth of the keys, is now in its second iteration. Dell claims it is a quieter mechanism, although with out an older mannequin to check to side-by-side, we will corroborate that, although it is definitely not as noisy as some MacBooks with the Butterfly keyboards.

While the important thing journey is fairly shallow, Dell’s managed to get the MagLev mechanism to ship a shocking quantity of feed again, and we have been pleasantly impressed by how tactile the keyboard felt, although we did not spend ages tapping away on it.

While the XPS 13 2-in-1 is not precisely shaking up the design language of the XPS vary, it is nonetheless a really beautiful feeling and looking machine and lends credence to the phrase ‘if it ain’t broke, do not repair it’.


Dell has been equipping the XPS laptops with the spectacular InfinityEdge screens for years now, and the identical is true with the XPS 13 2-in-1.

The 13.4in 4K 3,840 x 2,400 decision show within the mannequin we tried – there’s a FDH possibility – is fairly just like that discovered within the XPS 13 2019 we have reviewed, in that its bezels are correctly slim however the webcam is sitting within the prime bezel moderately than on the underside to stare up one’s snoz.

The solely actual distinction is that the side ratio has modified from 16:9 to three:4, which is similar side ratio the superb Surface Pro 6 and Surface Laptop 2 use.

As such, it provides extra vertical viewing area, which makes much more sense for a 2-in-1 system, and we really feel makes net searching and productiveness a extra pleasing expertise; 16:9 is healthier for movies however that is a bit by-the-by.

And as soon as once more, it is one heck of a display screen. There’s a bucket load of brightness, dollops of distinction, and a vivid colors, although we did not get an opportunity to see huge quantities of various stuff on the display screen, so we’re going very a lot by our first emotions.

Dell does not actually drop the ball in the case of show high quality on the XPS line, so we’re assured the XPS 13 2-in-1 will ship the products below extra rigorous testing.

Performance, storage and battery life

To our tech-addled minds, essentially the most fascinating aspect of the brand new XPS 13 2-in-1 is its use of Intel’s Ice Lake Core i7-1065G7, within the mannequin we seemed at the least. That chip is the second in Intel’s 10-nanometre line up, offeirng a quad-core, eight-thread configuration with a clock pace that may run as much as 3.5GHz throughout all 4 cores, 8MB of cache, and a configurable thermal design energy that goes from 15W to 25W.

But the icing on the Ice Lake it the chip’s built-in Iris Plus graphics accelerator, which guarantees a correct hike in graphical grunt over the Intel UHD built-in GPU of Comet Lake tenth-gen CPUs and the GPUs within the eighth-gen U and Y-Series Core processors.

We could not actually put the processor by means of a correct take a look at. But it is poised to trump the efficiency of the eighth-gen CPUs one will discover in most 2018 to 2019 laptops. And we discovered the XPS 13 put in some respectable efficiency with its Core i5-8265U.

So the potential further efficiency and graphical clout of the Ice Lake CPU might ship a machine that may not solely chew by means of every-day productiveness duties but in addition deal with a little bit of gaming, albeit with some settings turned down in demanding titles.

There are different processor possibility on provide within the type of the tenth-gen Core i3 and Core i5 chips.

RAM got here in at a hefty 32GB, however it is available in 4GB, 8GB and 16GB choices as properly; we really feel 4GB is not nice for Widows 10 however 8GB is okay for many day-to-day computing duties.

Storage is available in 256GB, 512GB and 1TB of PCIe SSD possibility, which is fairly customary within the ultrabook and premium 2-in-1 area.

We could not actually take a look at battery life, however Dell has outfitted the XPS 13 2-in-1 with a 50WHr battery pack. As the XPS 13 managed working day value {of electrical} endurance, we might count on the XPS 13 2-in-1 to do the identical.

But if the Ice Lake chips ship the vitality effectivity they promise, then that battery life might be even longer; time will actually inform when now we have a review unit to place by means of its paces.

First impressions

There’s little doubt the XPS 13 2-in-1 is a really beautiful machine. The small enhancements Dell has executed on the design are noticeable and appreciated, although a MagLev keyboard may nonetheless not enchantment to all.

And interesting to all is a possible stumbling block right here, as there’s a query as to who this machine is for. Windows 10 gadgets do not precisely make for tablets that may rival Apple’s iPad, so some folks may desire to go for an up to date XPS 13 and purchase a separate pill.

On the opposite hand, some may benefit from the capability to abruptly flip their laptop computer right into a pill mode, and propping the display screen up in order that it appears slightly like a digital picture display screen is an efficient strategy to view video s whereas on the go.

The potential for the Ice Lake processors to ship some correct horsepower in a slim 2-in-1is additionally intriguing, and will see the XPS 13 2-in-1 provide extra efficiency than one would usually count on from such a machine.

In brief, issues are trying promising for the XPS 13 2-in-1 and from our first impression, we’re impressed. We’ll simply need to see if it lives as much as these constructive vibes as soon as a review unit finds its approach into The INQUIRER’s lair. ยต

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