Dell XPS 13 review

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– It's been three years since Dell shook up the laptop world with the XPS 13 and showed that you can havea full size laptop display in a really compact footprint.

So it's time for a properupdate to the design and this is the new Dell XPS 13.

Now the new model doesn'tlook hugely different from the prior version at first glance.

But Dell has made a numberof tweaks and refinements, some of them are good,some of them are bad, that freshen up the appearance and functionality of the laptop.

Let's start with the good things.

The most impressive thingabout the old XPS 13 was how small the borderaround the display was.

And the new model's even tinier, making it the smallest13-inch laptop you can buy.

It's also slightly lighter,which is a good thing because the last modelwas considerably heavier than many of its more modern competitors.

And it's also slightly thinner.

It comes in two colors, standardblack and silver version, or this very pretty rose,gold and white model that I have here.

Now despite the smaller profile, the new model is not a cripple machine like last years two-in-one version was.

It has full power, eightgeneration intel core processor, up to 16 gigabytes of RAM, and plenty of power formost any productivity task you can do.

Now you can't game on it, but it does support Thunderbolt 3, so you can plug in an external GPU and game that way if you want.

The new display is really a stunner.

It comes in either a1080P non-touch version, or a 4K touchscreen option.

And thanks to those evensmaller bezels, it really pops.

It's bright, colorful andjust plain great to look at.

Now I'd much prefer if it wasa three by two aspect ratio instead of the 16 by nine.

And it's disappointing thatthe only touchscreen option is on the 4K panel, which pushes the price of the XPS 13 up to over $1,600.

But otherwise, it's a really nice display.

Dell also kept some other nicety's, like this battery gauge on this left side, it let's you check thestatus of the battery without having to open the laptop.

The keyboard's also slightly less mushy, with great travel.

And the track-pad is fast and smooth too.

(keys clicking) (light music) So what's not so great about this.

Well, for starters, theweb cam is still awful.

Now Dell moved it from thelower left corner of the display to the center and addedWindows Hello IR login features but it still has an awful, unflattering, up-the-nose viewing angleand it still gets blocked by my fingers if I'm typingwhile on a conference call.

It's really kind offrustrating that Dell hasn't figured out a betterway to do this by now.

The other big issue is theport selection on the XPS 13.

It now comes with three USB-C ports.

Two of them are Thunderbolt three, and then it's also got a headphone jack and a micro-SD card slot.

Now I love that I can charge the laptop via any of the USB-C ports.

But it's still frustratingthat there isn't a single USB-A port for all of those accessories that still require it.

That means that yes, you'llbe living the donga life and at least Dell iskind enough to throw in an adaptor in the box for you.

But I promptly and unfortunately lost it.

It's also kind of a bummerthat the full size SD card slot has been traded for that farless useful micro-SD slot.

It's either give me a fullsize slot or don't even bother.

The micro-SD port is kindof a crummy compromise.

Now the other disappointment I've been having with thenew model is that it has a smaller battery than the prior version and I've been averagingjust six hours of use between charges with the4K touchscreen version.

That's a bit less than a full work day and it's lower than I'd really like from this level of computer.

So that's the new XPS 13,it's a couple of steps forward and a couple of steps back.

Which is overall, kindof a bit of a bummer.

I'd have loved to seeDell rethink the placement of that webcam and maintainsome of the port options of the prior model while still shrinking the overall footprint.

It also would have beennice if the battery hadn't gotten smallerin the process either.

But if you don't careabout any of those things, the new XPS 13 is one of thesmallest, nicest looking, most portable full-powerlaptops you can buy.

For more on the XPS 13 andWindows laptops in general, check out theverge.

Comand youtube.

Com/theverge.