Processor: Intel Core i7-5500U (2.4GHz)
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5500
Screen size: 13.3 inches, 3,200 x 1,800 pixels
Connectivity: 2 x USB 3.0, mini-DisplayPort, SD card reader, audio jack
Battery: 52 watt-hour
Value for money: 3/5
Battery life: 4/5
The new Dell XPS 13 is close to
perfect. It is an immaculately crafted piece of technology and the best
ultrabook I have tried this year.
While Windows ultra-thin laptops were originally made to compete
with Apple's MacBook Air, the latest XPS 13 makes the Air look stodgy.
Slimmer and lighter than the 13-inch MacBook Air, the XPS 13 also
has a smaller footprint. It is about the size of a laptop with a
12-inch screen, but has a 13-inch display.
It is the screen - bright, vivid and almost borderless - that is the
XPS 13's standout feature. Dell said the bezel is 5.2mm thick, but it
looks to me as if someone simply outlined the display with a black
The downside of the thin bezel is that the Web camera is now at the
bottom left corner of the display. During a video chat, the other party
will probably be looking up your nostrils unless you tilt your head
The touchscreen, dubbed the infinity display, is made by Sharp.
Reportedly exclusive to Dell until August, it is not likely to appear
on another laptop for some time.
Everything looks crisp and clear on the high-resolution, 3,200 x
1,800-pixel screen. But not all Windows apps work well at such a high
resolution, so you may get fuzzy icons or formatting issues.
As expected of a premium ultrabook, the lid and the base of the XPS
13 are made of aluminium. Sandwiched in between (and providing a great
visual contrast) is the black carbon-fibre palmrest, which is finished
in soft touch paint. It is more comfortable to rest on than a cold
The backlit keyboard has very good key travel for an ultrabook. It
is paired with an excellent touchpad. Smooth and responsive, this is
one of the best touchpads on a PC.
This ultrabook's compact size leaves little room for ports. But you
still get two USB 3.0 ports, an SD card reader and a mini-DisplayPort.
As in earlier models, there is a useful battery indicator. Press a
button and the lights at the side will show the existing battery level,
even when the laptop is switched off.
Inside the XPS 13 is a new fifth-generation Intel Core i7 chip.
Though more capable than the low-powered Intel Core M chip, it does
require a fan which can be audible when the laptop is running intensive
In Digital Life's battery-life test, the XPS 13 ran for almost 61/2
hours at maximum brightness and volume. Considering its bright,
high-resolution screen, this is fairly good.
In Singapore, only two versions are available - the $2,199 version
reviewed here, and a $1,699 model with a Core i5 chip, 4GB RAM, 128GB
storage and a non-touch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel screen.