Update: Summer 2018
The redesigned 2018 Dell XPS 13 was unveiled in January 2018 and released that same month. Pricing is unchanged since its launch, starting at $1,000. Although midrange configurations have seen temporary price cuts around $100, the top-end configuration keeps its price of $2,100 (or $2,150 if you opt for the white-and-gold version).
Touted as “the world’s smallest 13-inch laptop,” the XPS 13 is our top choice for a premium Windows ultraportable laptop at its size, due in part to its speedy performance and 12-hour battery life. That’s not to say it’s without competition, though.
HP’s premium Spectre 13 is similarly priced and, like the XPS 13, runs on the Intel’s eighth-gen processors and is available in a gold-and-white body. HP also updated its Envy line of premium laptops including a 13.3-inch model that starts at $1,000. Asus offers a nice alternative to those models with its 13.3-inch Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN. It’s not as small, but beats them both by having discrete graphics instead of less-powerful integrated graphics.
As for Apple, there haven’t been any significant changes to its lineup in some time, so if you’re dead set on having a MacOS laptop, you’ll want to hold off.
The full review of the Dell XPS 13, originally posted March 7, 2018 and last updated June 22, 2018, follows.
Long a favorite in the CNET Labs, the Dell XPS 13 was one of the first laptops to challenge the tyranny of the screen bezel. At least in a PC. Big-screen TVs have been shaving away at the thick borders around screens for years now, but for laptops, it was something of a revelation.
It also helped that the XPS 13 was a great all-around computer, with a slim, sharp-looking body, good performance and battery life, and a wide set of configuration options.
In the couple of years since then, the XPS 13, always a bit on the heavy side, had started to feel a little dated. New MacBooks ($1,289 at Amazon.com), new Spectre systems from HP and other premium competitors were moving the ball further on design, even as this remained a solid, if less-exciting choice.
For 2018, Dell has issued a substantial reworking of the XPS 13, with a new design that cuts down on overall size, adds new CPU options, and improves cooling and efficiency with more heat pipes and thermal insulation.
We tested two different configurations of the XPS 13. One has an 8th-gen Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and a 1,920×1,080 non-touch display, for $1,249. The second has a Core i7 CPU/16GB/512GB setup, with a 4K touch display, for $2,099. The least-expensive configuration is $999, less than half the fare of the high-end version. International configurations are slightly different, but start at £1,249 and AU$2,099.
Overall, it’s a solid evolutionary step for a storied laptop. Most of the changes are for the good, a few feel like step back, and a couple of the system’s most irritating quirks remain, annoyingly, unchanged.
The nose knows
Those quirks include the single biggest issue everyone has with the XPS 13: its unique up-the-nose webcam. By making the screen bezel so thin, there’s no room for the traditional webcam above the screen. That’s OK with me, but our age of YouTube stars and Skype calls insists that every laptop have video capabilities, so that webcam has to go somewhere.
Despite an all-around makeover of the physical design of the system, the camera remains stubbornly anchored to the blank expanse below the screen. That means any attempt to use it results in a less-than-flattering view, emphasising one’s neck, chin and nostrils.
- Shopping for a Dell XPS 13? The popular laptop is $150 off | Digital Trends
- Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 laptop is $150 off for the holidays | Digital Trends
- Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 vs. Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5i: which wins? | Digital Trends
- Dell's popular XPS 13 laptop just got a $150 price cut | Digital Trends
- Forget the MacBook Pro 16: Dell XPS 15 just got a price cut | Digital Trends
- This Dell XPS PC is $800 off, complete with an RTX 3090 | Digital Trends
- Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 vs. Dell XPS 15 | Digital Trends
- Grab Dell’s Sleek and Powerful XPS 13 Plus Laptop for $350 Off
- Lenovo Yoga 730 (13-Inch) Review
- Realme 10 Pro+ review: all that glitters is not gold | Digital Trends
- Best Dell laptop deals for December 2022 | Digital Trends
- There’s a huge Dell laptop and gaming PC sale happening now | Digital Trends
- Dell Latitude 9330 review: the executive suite | Digital Trends
- Best Alienware and Dell Deals: Gaming PCs and Laptops
- Best Laptop Deals: Save on Apple, Dell, HP and Lenovo | Digital Trends
- HP Dragonfly Folio G3 review: still innovative | Digital Trends
- Dell concept laptop has pop-out components, disassembles screwdriver-free
- Dell's Concept Luna Is a Snap-Together Laptop With No Screws, Few Wires
- Review: Foldable E-Bike Lectric XP Lite Is Sturdy, Fun and a Good Value
- Get this Dell gaming laptop for under $1000 today | Digital Trends
Dell XPS 13 (2018) review: A redesign that's almost on the nose have 793 words, post on www.cnet.com at June 22, 2018. This is cached page on Law Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.