The Dell XPS 13 laptop has been at the forefront of high-end windows laptops for several years. It has a design that is elegant, modern and practical. This is combined with state-of-the-art specs. What’s new for 2019 is mainly the typical upgraded processors along with a webcam that has been placed above the display. In past models, the webcam was placed below the display and created awkward images from this low angle. Battery life is said to be improved with a longer lasting battery. The color options are slowly evolving with the 2019 XPS available in both black and a frost white color option.
The new Dell XPS 13 has been fully available since early in the year and there has been plenty of time to give it a thorough test. Dell has addressed some key complaints from earlier models by increasing the battery life and most notably, placing the webcam above the display. Expect normal webcam images from the new model compared to the awkward placement of previous versions.
Other than these key changes, further specs and design come in very similar to the older models. Since the XPS has consistently ranked as one of the best laptops ever, Dell has been reluctant to make any drastic design changes. The result is an ultrabook that is very similar in appearance to the previous renditions of the XPS lineage. This isn’t a bad thing because Dell had something special with the design of this laptop that has been head of class for years. Only now are the competitors from ASUS and Huawei starting to catch up with their own high-end versions.
The ports on the 13-inch version of the XPS are a bit scarce. We have 2 thunderbolt 3 ports which are USB-C compatible; 1 USB-C 3.1 port; a micro SD card reader port and a standard headset jack. The USB 2.0 standard is not featured on this laptop and as a result an adaptor is needed to connect these devices to the laptop. Other notable omissions are the HDMI port for connecting a second monitor and a standard size SD card port. These will all require an adaptor, which can be easily found that will handle all these ports in one gadget. Be sure to get the adaptor with a USB-C connector.
Since laptops must be portable, weight is a key factor in deciding on which laptop to choose. Here, the XPS 13 has a feather like weight of 2.7 lbs. If portability and weight is your main concern than the XPS 13 excels in this category. Furthermore, the size of the laptop is much smaller than a typical 13” laptop because of the razor thin bezels which allow for a remarkably compact footprint. Overall dimensions are 11.9” x 7.8” x 0.46” at the thickest point. The thickness tapers down to a minimum of 0.30”.
The base configuration available is the XPS 13 with the latest 8th generation intel Core i3 processor, 4GB of DD3 memory and a 128GB SSD. The lower resolution screen option at 1,920×1080 Full HD infinity display comes with this configuration. All available models come in three color options. Select from silver and black, rose gold and white or frost white. Although the base model configuration comes in at a reasonably affordable price, this isn’t the case for higher end models. Going all the way up to a fully spec’d model complete with an i9 chip, 32GB memory, 1TB storage and a 4K ultra high definition screen will see the price point more than triple in some cases.
Overall, the new Dell XPS 13 didn’t change a whole lot but not much needed to be changed. It improves in small steps and builds on a solid foundation of design, function, and display.