Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2019) Arms-On Evaluate: The First Ice Lake Laptop computer

The unique Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 by no means made the mark it ought to have. Regardless of following on the heels of the celebrated XPS 13, the 2-in-1 mannequin all the time felt extra like an ungainly sibling than its personal product.

All that has modified.

The XPS 13 2-in-1 has a brand new id, marked by a redesign that takes steps in some very attention-grabbing instructions. Not solely has it acquired a placing redesign, it’s additionally the primary system to make use of the long-awaited 10th-gen Ice Lake processors from Intel. With a beginning worth of $999, the XPS 13 2-in-1 appears to be like and looks like a brand new chapter for Dell.

Ranging from scratch

The brand new XPS 13 2-in-1 shares a design language with the XPS 13. Tremendous-thin bezels. The identical aluminum silver lid, together with both a black or white inside. That blueprint has influenced all of the competitors, and it’s nonetheless current right here. Nonetheless, Dell has made a handful of tweaks to make sure the XPS 13 2-in-1 is not only a minor revision.

The primary noticeable change is the display. It’s nonetheless a 1080p show, however the facet ratio is now 16:10. That may not seem to be an enormous evolution over 16:9, however the barely taller display affords some further display actual property. It feels totally different, a bit extra like a MacBook Professional. It’s not fairly three:2 just like the Floor Laptop computer 2 or Huawei MateBook X Professional, nevertheless it’s a contented medium that most individuals will like.

Including further vertical display gives a bit extra space within the keyboard deck. Dell properly supplied a bit extra peak for the touchpad and stretched the keyboard proper as much as the sting. It’s harking back to the 12-inch MacBook, feeling like each inch of the keyboard deck is used. The taller touchpad, although, is the place the design turns into sensible. The touchpad on the XPS 13 was all the time on the verge of being too small, however this bigger floor gives further room for multi-finger gestures.

The precise typing expertise on the keyboard is certain to be essentially the most controversial facet of the laptop computer. It makes use of the maglev keyboard first discovered within the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1. Magnets are used to imitate the sensation of a bodily mechanism with minimal key journey. It’s a clickity-clackity typing expertise, although Dell has managed to tone down the sound a bit. The low-travel keys nonetheless really feel extra like a MacBook keyboard than anything, and that’s not a fantastic look given how a lot criticism the MacBook’s keyboard has acquired.

A 16:10 show makes the XPS 13 2-in-1 really feel extra fashionable and extra useful.

The structure of the keyboard isn’t something out of the bizarre, although Dell has squeezed a brand new fingerprint scanner into the highest proper of the operate row. To stop unintended presses and differentiate it from different keys, Dell gave it a stiffer click on mechanism. The laptop computer doesn’t embrace an infrared digital camera for facial authentication, largely because of the measurement of that high bezel.

Dell’s revamp of the brand new XPS 13 2-in-1 is a superb new course. I even like the choice to take away the Dell brand from the underside bezel for a fair cleaner look. It’s simply as elegant because the prior mannequin, nevertheless it’s now extra fulfilling to make use of.

The primary Ice Lake laptop computer

Efficiency was a weak spot for the older XPS 13 2-in-1 as a result of it used the power-sipping Intel Y-series. That meant you needed to make do with a dual-core processor, even while you bumped as much as the Core i7 mannequin.

The redesigned XPS 13 2-in-1 options the primary Ice Lake 10th-generation Intel Core processors. These 10-nanometer chips are years within the making, and provide of those chips will likely be comparatively restricted this 12 months, so this laptop computer could also be a singular preview of the way forward for Intel processors. The bottom degree Core i3 mannequin remains to be a dual-core processor, however you progress as much as quad-core with the Core i5 and Core i7.

Dell 2019 XPS 13 2 in 1 (2019) review Wealthy Shibley/Digital Developments

Switching to U-series processors means the XPS 13 2-in-1 is not fanless. Somewhat than simply use the XPS 13’s thermal answer as a substitute, Dell selected to check out one thing new: A vapor chamber cooling system. Basically functioning as one massive heatsink, Dell says the vapor chamber is a manner of effectively cooling the parts within the thinner chassis. It’s an answer we’ve seen earlier than in laptops just like the Razer Blade.

4 vents line the again of the laptop computer, which can be the place the audio system are situated. We don’t count on nice issues from audio system with this location, however we didn’t get an opportunity to check them out fairly but.

All configurations include quick M.2 strong state drives, as nicely DDR4 reminiscence. As for ports, it’s easy however efficient. There’s two Thunderbolt three USB-C ports — one on both sides — in addition to a microSD card slot.

Have next-gen graphics arrived?

There’s been a variety of speak concerning the built-in Gen11 graphics in these new Ice Lake processors. Because it seems, that’s each good and dangerous information. The excellent news will be present in dearer configurations, as you’ll get an possibility for first rate discrete graphics. It makes use of Gen11 Iris Plus graphics to offer some further efficiency. It’s not at all equal to a discrete graphics card, nevertheless it ought to elevate each informal gaming and artistic instruments.

The change in processors means the XPS 13 2-in-1 is not fanless.

The dangerous information? It’s solely obtainable within the high configuration, and everybody else is caught the Intel UHD graphics we all know too nicely. These configurations begin at $999, which features a Core i3 processor and 4GB of RAM. From there, choices vary on the XPS 13 2-in-1 all the way in which as much as a Core i7, a 4K show, Iris graphics, and as much as 32GB of RAM.

We don’t but have a agency launch date, however Dell says the system will likely be delivery by the top of the summer time. That sooner than I believed we’d see the primary Ice Lake laptops. If the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is any indication, Intel’s new chip will allow main upgrades in well-known flagship laptops.

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