The Dell XPS 13 (2015) is the second model in Dell’s XPS 13 line, and the ultrabook is one of their biggest releases in 2015. With a revamped and smart new borderless design, Dell has clearly set out to produce one of the sleekest and classiest laptops on the market. Aesthetically they have delivered, but does the laptop itself live up to its big billing and lofty price tag, or is this model all design and no substance? This Dell XPS 13 (2015) review will clear up any doubts you may have.
In terms of performance, there is plenty to like about the XPS 13. With an Intel Broadwell 2.2GHz Core i5-5200U processor and 8GB of RAM, the ultrabook is speedy and easily able to run multiple operations at once. The Broadwell is part of the new range of Intel processors, and testing has shown that it outperforms its predecessors, if only marginally, making the upgrade worth it. The laptop also comes with 230GB of storage.
The integrated Intel graphics card on the XPS 13 is a slight let down, but seasoned gamers would likely look elsewhere for a laptop – in fact, they probably wouldn’t go in search of an ultrabook at all – as Intel have always fallen short of their rivals in this area. For the typical user, the graphics card is more than capable for day-to-day use, and should be able to handle older games comfortably enough. The battery life is also impressive, and the XPS 13 outperforms many ultrabooks of its ilk in this department. Neatly, the percentage of battery life remaining can be displayed with five LED lights on the side of the device.
One of the biggest selling points of the XPS 13 its screen. Dell have gone for a borderless look which pays off. The screen really accentuates colors which makes it great for playing videos and games. Two types of screen are available for purchase: the 1920x1080p resolution is the standard screen but this can be upgraded to a 3200x1800p screen which also comes with touchscreen capability. For a laptop of its size, the upgraded screen on the XPS 13 really impresses and trumps many of its competitors.
Frustratingly, the XPS 13 does not come with a HDMI port, and therefore cannot directly be plugged into a monitor. Therefore, you will need to purchase a converter if you wish to do this. There isn’t an Ethernet port either, although considering the availability of Wi-Fi nowadays this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Again, like with the HDMI situation, you can buy a converter if you need access to Ethernet. The XPS 13 does, however, have two USB 3.0 ports and a slot for SD cards.
As with all laptops nowadays, the XPS 13 comes with a webcam, although the fact it is off-center (the webcam is located near the bottom left of the bezel) is not beneficial, and if you plan on using it regularly, this may quickly become a nuisance. Ultimately, it depends on whether you are bothered about the angle – you will be seen by others on an upward angle, as opposed to a more traditional downwards angle.
The touchpad has also come in for criticism with some suggesting that the cursor has a tendency to go awry due to its extreme sensitivity. However, thanks to the touchpad settings on the computer, the effects of this can be reduced easily. Meanwhile, the audio on the XPS 13 is average – the speakers are not amazing but at the same time they aren’t a deal breaker.
The appeal of ultrabooks is that they are easy to take out and about and the XPS 13 is no different. With a height of just 0.6 inches, and a width and length of 11.98 and 7.88 inches respectively, this laptop can fit into pretty much any bag comfortably. In addition, the XPS 13 is incredibly light and weighs just 2.6 pounds.
The XPS 13 (2015) stands out amongst the crowd, and this ultrabook is one of Dell’s best products of the year. The screen excels and the performance is great. The downsides (lack of HDMI and Ethernet ports, off-center webcam, average graphics card) are not huge issues. The XPS 13 may not grab the headlines like a MacBook might, but you are unlikely to be disappointed if you choose to purchase it.