Dell XPS 13 (Kaby Lake) Review

Dell XPS 13 Kaby Lake Review: The Dell XPS 13 grew to become our top overall laptop by providing a 13-inch screen in a more compact package than its opponents, together with a winning combo of design, consolation, performance and battery life. Since its introduction, everyone has been making an attempt to catch this ultraportable. However, nobody has been in a position to knock off the champ. Now, Dell has raised the bar even higher with an update to its Dell XPS 13 (beginning at $799; $1,099 as examined) that provides the latest 7th-generation Intel Core CPUs (Kaby Lake), even more, battery life, and stronger Wi-Fi performance.

Dell XPS 13 Kaby Lake Review – Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i5-7200U clocked at 3.1-GHz
Storage 256 GB SSD
Display13.3-inch Full-HD (1920 x 1080)/ 13-3-inch Quad-HD (3200 x 1880)
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 620
Dimensions12.80 x 8.94 x 0.67 inches/ 2.7 pounds (non-touch variant) and 2.9 pounds (touch-variant)
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Dell XPS 13 Kaby Lake Review – Design

Dell XPS 13 Kaby Lake

The XPS 13’s most striking feature is its Infinity display, which has nearly no bezel around the screen. That is what allows Dell to cram a 13-inch screen into a chassis you’d sometimes discover on an 11-inch notebook. It also makes it seem like the screen is floating above the bottom of the system, allowing you to focus more on your content material.

Dell XPS 13 Kaby Lake

The remainder of the laptop is just as enticing as before, even when it’s not as thin as some opponents. The top and bottom are fabricated from machined aluminum, which supplies the body a sturdy and rigid feel. The deck on the inside is even better. It makes use of a comfy, soft-touch, carbon-fiber materials with a subtle-but-cool checkered pattern, which makes typing an actual pleasure.

Dell XPS 13 Kaby Lake

Not like skinnier ultraportables, the XPS 13 packs all of the ports you want. You will discover two USB 3.0 ports and an SD card reader, in addition to a headphone jack and USB Type-C port with Thunderbolt 3 support. Which means you’ll be able to connect the XPS 13 to two 4K displays at once. You may also charge the XPS 13 over USB Type-C, although it comes with a proprietary AC adapter.

Weighing 2.7 pounds for the nontouch model and 2.9 pounds for the touch-screen version, the Dell XPS 13 is lighter than the 3-pound MacBook Air but not as featherweight as the HP Spectre (2.45 pounds) or the 12-inch MacBook (2 pounds). At 0.33 to 0.6 inches, the XPS 13 is also a bit thicker than the Spectre (0.41 inches) and the MacBook (0.5 inches). But you also get more ports on the XPS 13.

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Dell XPS 13 Kaby Lake Review – Keyboard and Touchpad

Dell XPS 13 Kaby Lake

The typing expertise on the XPS 13 continues to be pretty comfy. The 1.2 mm of travel is a little less than the HP Spectre’s 1.3 mm. However, it provided springy feedback. I reached 71 phrases per minute on the typing take a look at, which is a bit under the 78 wpm I reached on the flatter MacBook keyboard.

Dell’s roomy Precision touchpad lived as much as its identity, providing easy and exact scrolling. I had no issues executing varied gestures, like swiping with three fingers to modify apps and tapping with three fingers to launch Cortana.

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Dell XPS 13 Kaby Lake Review – Display

You’ve got two display options on the Dell XPS 13, and each of them is fairly nice. There’s a full-HD, non-touch-screen mannequin with a decision of 1920 x 1080 and a matte end. Or, if you wish to spend $1,599, there’s a quad-HD touch-screen mannequin with a higher decision of 3200 x 1800 pixels. This shiny panel also affords richer colors, although it’s more reflective.

Dell XPS 13 Kaby Lake

The only concern with the high-res monitor is that it has a little bit of glare, so its viewing angles wash out at narrower factors than the non-touch model. The XPS 13’s not touch panel isn’t the brightest because it reached 302 nits on our testing (the 3200 x 1800 contact display reached 305 nits).

The non-touch screen produces a robust 93.6 % of the sRGB color gamut, and the QHD touch model covers 105.7 % (100 % or above is nice). The non-touch screen is very accurate with its Delta-E score of 0.8 (0 is best). However, the QHD model is less precise more vibrant, with a rating of 4.

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Dell XPS 13 Kaby Lake Review – Graphics and Audio

Dell XPS 13 Kaby Lake

I was pleasantly stunned to see the XPS 13’s Intel HD Graphics 620 card deal with the Dirt 3 driving game. With an Xbox controller connected to the laptop, I loved fairly respectable framerates of just over 28 fps on 1920 x 1080 at medium settings. The XPS 13 also turned in an improved rating on 3DMark Fire Strike, notching 916 (927 on Core i7). The Yoga 910 had a comparable rating of 915. However, the HP Spectre (801) fared worse, with an older Intel 520 graphics card.

The stereo audio system on the XPS 13 gets a lot loud. However, the sound will get a little harsh at maximum volume. But that’s on the default settings. When I turned up the bass in the Waves MaxxAudio Pro app, Sublime’s “What I Bought” sounded more balanced. The guitar plucks mixed properly with the punchy drum line.

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Dell XPS 13 Kaby Lake Review – Hardware and Performance

Dell XPS 13 Kaby Lake

We reviewed two models of the Dell XPS 13. One got here geared up with a 7th-generation Core i5-7200U (Kaby Lake) processor, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB hard drive and 1080p display. The other included a Core i7-7500U CPU, 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD and a 3200 x 1800 touchscreen. Each unit of parts offered swift efficiency in daily usage, even when the difference between this generation and the last mannequin isn’t that substantial. Even with more than a dozen tabs open, I was in a position to quickly swap from streaming the trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, to popping into the Spotify Web Player, to starting a Skype call. The XPS 13 didn’t stutter.

On Geekbench 3, which measures overall efficiency, the Core i5 mannequin scored 7,159 and the Core i7 laptop notched 7,915. These are strong scores, beating the HP Spectre with a 6th-generation Core i5 (7,026) and blowing past the Core m5-powered MacBook (5,906). The 7th-generation Core i7-powered Lenovo Yoga 910 (7,988) beat each version of the XPS 13.

Dell XPS 13 Kaby Lake

The XPS 13’s PCI-e NVMe solid-state drive is fairly speedy, hitting 339.3 megabytes per second. That simply beats the HP Spectre (195.9 MBps), and the Yoga 910 (244.2 MBps) however doesn’t fairly outpace the MacBook’s 355.9 MBps.

The XPS 13 stayed comparatively cool to the contact. However, the bottom acquired toasty under pressure. After we had streamed a movie for 15 minutes, the touchpad reached just 80 degrees Fahrenheit, the keyboard hit 85 degrees, and the bottom was 90 degrees.

The biggest weak spot of the XPS 13 is its webcam, and it’s not due to the picture quality. Since there’s no room above the display, Dell positioned the webcam under the screen, on the left side. This odd placement results in a very unflattering angle of your chin, as I experienced throughout a Skype video chat with a colleague. Additionally, because the webcam isn’t centered, I needed to reposition the laptop, so I wasn’t far off to the right in the frame.

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Dell XPS 13 Kaby Lake Review – Battery Life

Dell XPS 13 Kaby Lake

The Dell XPS 13 was already one of many longest-lasting ultraportables in the marketplace, and the new model includes a beefier 60-watt-hour battery — up from 56-watt hours on the previous mannequin. As a result, the new not touch model of the XPS 13 provides epic endurance, lasting 13 hours and 49 minutes on the battery test.

In case you care about battery life, you would possibly wish to think twice in regards to the touch screen model. The XPS 13 we examined with a Core i7 CPU and a beefy 3200 x 1800 touchscreen display lasted 4 and a half hours less, a time of 9:11.

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Dell XPS 13 Kaby Lake Review – Configuration Options

dell xps 13 kaby lake review

The Dell XPS 13 begins at $799. However, we don’t assume that configuration offers you probably the most bang for your buck. That model comes with just a 7th-generation Core i3 CPU, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. We suggest stepping as much as a Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB SSD for $999. In case you choose gold to silver, you can step as much as that huge for $1,149 and get the identical Core i5 chip plus a roomier 256GB SSD. For $1,299, you will get the XPS 13 with a Core i7 processor.

Touch-screen models of the XPS 13 begin at $1,399 for the silver color and comes with a Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. The gold touch-screen model, which has a quicker Core i7 chip, goes for $1,649. The highest-of-the-line XPS 13 comes in silver with a Core i7, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD.

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dell xps 13 kaby lake review

The XPS 13 doesn’t cave to that peer stress, and as an alternative provides you just about 14 hours of endurance and all of the connection options you want in a design that’s a lot mild and compact for the journey. The 7th-generation Core i5 processor and SSD in the XPS 13 provide loads of pace, and I like that there’s sufficient oomph to play casual 3D video games. This ultraportable is also comfy to make use of, because of its soft-touch deck and accurate touchpad. Yes, the webcam continues to be in a bizarre place, but overall, the XPS 13 remains the laptop to beat.

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Review Score

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