When it comes to the world of Windows laptops, Dell’s XPS 13 has consistently delivered.
With its lightweight, compact design and sharp InfinityEdge screen, the XPS 13 is easily one of the best Windows laptops around, and with each updated version, it keeps getting better and better.
Last year, Dell released another updated version of its flagship laptop. It was a nice polished refresh of the one we saw in 2017, and we loved it.
With every refined version, Dell continues to bring something new to the XPS table, so what’s new about this one?
Let’s take a look see.
Design and build: Compact cutie
Right off the bat, the updated laptop looks slimmer and more compact in size than its predecessor.
It’s the lightest one yet, making it an even better option where portability's concerned. While it doesn't appear to be quite be as slim as the Macbook Air, it's not so far off.
It doesn't feel flimsy when you pick it up, with a sturdy, light build that’ll easily slip into your bag as you commute to work.
Available in 3 colours including Black and Silver, a new Frost White colour and White with a Rose Gold finish, it looks even sleeker than the 2018 version, with a bit of a polish and some inches shaved off.
The thin bezel returns and really makes the InfinityEdge Dolby Vision screen pop.
Just like the 2018 version, the new XPS 13 has a power button to the right of the keyboard which also acts as a fingerprint scanner to give you touch access for some easy login action and an added element of security.
It also once again has a feature on the side of the laptop that indicates how full or low the battery is using a row of lights that come on with the press of a button.
It’s good to see this stay, as it’s a handy way of checking without having to open the laptop when you're out and about.
Screen: To infinity, and beyond!
Its InfinityEdge screen makes a comeback. With a 13.3inch screen, that really stands out in its small, compact frame, you’d be hard pressed to find a more portable laptop with a screen of this size.
The bezel might not appear to be a quite as slim as the 2018 version, but it's all the more impressive when you consider that Dell have managed to jam a little webcam in-between it.
In the previous version, the webcam was placed at the bottom of the screen, but for 2019, we’ve got a teeny tiny camera at the top instead.
It’s significantly reduced in size at just 2.25mm, making it Dell's smallest HD webcam to date.
You’ll barely notice it’s there. But it’s a welcome change, and it means you’re more likely to have video calls at a more flattering angle, if that’s a concern. Plus, it’s also just more comfortable and natural to look at the top of the screen.
Since this model uses Dolby Vision, the picture display is sharp and all the vivid colours pop nicely.
Its touch screen functionality is once again very sleek and responsive.
Features: Smartphone pairing
The new version we tried is packing an 8th Gen iCore 7 processor, which makes everything run very smoothly.
Dell has also integrated smartphone pairing for both Android and iOS, which enables you to check your phone’s messages and notifications from the laptop so you don’t have to keep switching devices.
Another new feature is the manual cooling system, that Dell added after listening to feedback from users of the previous model, which lets you change up the fan settings depending on how you’re using it.
Battery life has also had some revamping. Dell claims its battery will now last for 21 hours rather than 19. Of course, we didn’t get a chance to test this yet, but if it holds up, it’s certainly going to get you through the day.
Keyboard and touchpad: Comfy computing
As with the previous version, the keyboard is comfy and responsive, with light keys that are comfortable to tap away on.
The size and feel of the touch pad make for easy gliding and responsive movement when you want a break from the touchscreen functions, too.
The laptop comes equipped with MicroSD slots, thunderbold ports and USB-C ports on the side, just like the previous version, along with a headphone jack.
Dell XPS 13 early verdict
We still need to have a deep dive into this machine to truly appreciate everything it can do, but from first impressions alone, this looks set to carry on Dell’s stellar XPS 13 line into the new year.
The lightweight feel, big, colourful screen and compact size already tick all the right boxes, and the addition of the tiny webcam and extended battery life make us think we’re onto a winner already with this one.
If you've already got your hands on the 2018 version, the new features might not be enough to make you rush to upgrade, but it's certainly worth the investment if you're new to the XPS 13 world, or you're packing an older version.