Dell XPS 13 2 in 1 is the most laptop-like hybrid the company has made to date. It has tried models with pull-off screens and ones with displays that flip around in their frames. but this one uses a much more familiar 360-degree hinge.
If you want something to work as an ultra-slim laptop Dell’s XPS 13 2-in-1, this is one of the best around. It’s small, light and doesn’t chuck out as many features as the tiniest MacBook. However, make sure you consider the Dell XPS 13 too. It may be a better fit.
The Dell XPS 13 2 in 1 laptop carries over many of the same features of the standard model. Including the signature Infinity Edge display that pushes the screen to the limits of the laptop’s frame. But it slims down to a slightly thinner profile. And its screen rotates a full 360 degrees. It starts at $999, which is a couple hundred dollars more than the fixed-screen version. And can be equipped much higher. I’ve been testing a $1,299 model that includes a fanless Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of SSD storage, and a 1080p touchscreen display.
The regular XPS 13 has been our favorite consumer laptop for more than two years. Because of its luxuriously light weight chassis, gorgeous Infinity Edge display and long battery life. Now, Dell has taken all the slim carbon fiber-goodness from its flagship ultrabook.
Design – Luxuriously svelte
From across the room, you could be forgiven for mistaking the XPS 13 2-in-1 for the regular model. And that’s a good thing. You still get a sturdy machined-aluminum cover and bottom with a soft, carbon-fiber deck on the inside. Which not only stays cool to the touch but makes typing comfy. But Dell added two steel hinges wrapped in aluminum while slimming down the design. I do wish the lid were easier to open, though; there’s no lip on the front.
New Dell XPS 2 in 1 measures just 0.32 to 0.54 inches thick, compared to 0.33 to 0.6 inches for the more traditional XPS 13. The XPS 13 2-in-1 is quite light, weighing 2.7 pounds. That’s less than the touch version of the regular XPS 13 (2.9 pounds). And lighter than the HP Spectre x360 (2.8 pounds) and the Lenovo Yoga 910 (3.04 pounds). The biggest difference between this convertible XPS 13. And the HP and Lenovo models is how much smaller its footprint is from front to back.
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is also including a USB-C to USB-A adapter, which will make it easier to connect phones and other devices. Apple doesn’t do that with its MacBook or MacBook Pro. For now, the XPS 13 2-in-1 is available in silver, but I’m hoping for a rose-gold option and other colors soon.
Dell XPS 13 2 in 1 Feature and Specification
Dell XPS 13 2 in 1
|CPU||1.2-GHz Core i5-7Y54|
|Operating System||Windows 10|
|RAM Upgradable to||16 GB|
|RAM Upgradable to||256 GB SSD|
Display: Gorgeous picture, multiple modes
If you like captivating images, the Dell XPS 13 2 in 1 will not disappoint you. This display has barely-there bezels that measure just 0.2 inches making it seem as though the panel were floating above the keyboard. It also allows Dell to cram a 13-inch. full-HD screen into a design that’s as compact as an 11-inch laptop.
The standard 1920 x 1080 touch screen was plenty sharp and colorful for my taste. A quad-HD (3200 x 1800) screen is also available.
The Dell XPS 13 2 in 1’s panel reproduced an impressive 107.2 percent of the sRGB color gamut. The Acer Spin 7 and the HP Spectre x360 scored a bit lower, at 102 percent and 101.7 percent, respectively. While the Lenovo Yoga 910’s screen mustered 98 percent. The XPS 13 2-in-1’s panel notched a Delta-E score of 6.08.
The screen on Dell’s convertible is pretty bright: It registered 314 nits, which is in between the Lenovo and the HP.
Keyboard and Touchpad: Comfy and responsive
On this hybrid, Dell maintained the 1.3 millimeters of key travel from the regular XPS 13. The result is a cushy typing experience, especially compared to the feel of my MacBook’s flat layout. I typed quickly and accurately as I wrote this review. I easily reached 71 words per minute on the 10fastfingers.com typing test, which is slightly above my 65- to 70-wpm average.
The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 also incorporates some layout changes based on user feedback. The Home and End keys now have dedicated keys in the top-right corner, and there are also dedicated PgUp and PgDown keys. All four of these keys were formerly integrated into the arrow buttons as function keys.
The Dell XPS 13 2 in 1 packs a sonic punch for such a compact system. The two 1-watt speakers (under the keyboard), his defiant vocals sounded clear even at max volume, and every high-hat hit was crisp. I liked that I could tweak the bass, detail and width via the Waves Max Audio Pro app.
Software: Refreshingly light
Dell keeps the bloatware to a minimum on the XPS 13 2-in-1. In addition to Dell’s Help and Support apps. You find McAfee LiveSafe for security, Dropbox and Office 2016 (you have to activate it) and Baamboo Player, a digital notebook that’s good to use with the optional Active Pen. You also find a handful of software titles that are managed by Windows 10.
Configuration Options: Don’t settle for the starting option
The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 starts at $999 for a full-HD touch screen, Core i5-7Y54 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD.
However, we would step up to the $1,199 configuration we tested, which gives you 8 GB of RAM and a roomier 256 GB SSD. The $1,299 model has a faster Core i7-7Y75 CPU.
Battery Life: Above average
Dell packed a 46-watt-hour battery inside the XPS 13 2-in-1. Which is significantly smaller than the 60-watt-hour battery in the regular (and thicker) XPS 13. On the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which involves continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi. This convertible lasted a solid but not spectacular 8 hours and 27 minutes. That smokes the Acer Spin 7’s mark of 6:53 and beats the ultra portable average of 8:04, but it’s about an hour behind the 12-inch MacBook’s 9:38.
Heat: Going fanless
The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 felt fairly cool in our testing, at least on top. After the 2-in-1 streamed video on Hulu for 15 minutes. The touch pad registered 84 degrees, and the area between the G and H keys hit 88 degrees. The bottom of the system rose to a somewhat toasty 99 degrees. We consider anything above 95 degrees to be uncomfortable, but the system didn’t feel too hot on my lap.
Fingerprint Reader and Webcam: Facial recognition later
Dell added a fingerprint reader to the Dell XPS 13 2 in 1. After the initial setup, which took just a little over a minute. I could log in via Windows Hello just by placing my finger on the sensor — no swiping required.
It took a bit longer to log in from a cold boot than I’d like (a few seconds). But logging in when resuming from sleep was almost instant. I also could use the fingerprint reader to purchase and download items in the Windows Store.