Gossip Online says that Dell will launch a new XPS 13 in early 2018 with a white box and three USB-C ports that will replace the existing ports. We are looking forward to, but the XPS 13 (from $ 799, $ 1299 as tested) is more than enough to fill us with its upgrade as the eighth generation “Kaby Lake R” Intel processor, blowing away from the seventh-generation silicon-based laptops and claims the ultraportable editors’ choice that the previous model lost for the Razer Blade Stealth. We can only make a final call if we have seen a stealth with the new processor, but you will not go wrong either.
The basic model of the XPS 13 $ 799.99 at Dell comes with a seventh-generation Core i3 and only 4 GB of RAM and a 128 GB SSD. The version reviewed here contains 8GB of memory and 256 GB SSD PCIe, but the main attraction is the Core i7-8550U, the first quad-core processor (instead of dual-core) of the Intel family of 15 watts. The processor has a lower base speed (1.8 GHz), but a higher turbine speed (4 GHz) and many internal improvements of the previous generation.
The engine exchange seems to be something from the Hot Rod magazine (“We have a Hemi V-8 in a Mazda Miata!”), But gives the XPS 13 a new lease of life. It is still not designed to play demanding games, but it is much slower in productivity tasks.
As before, you can get the Dell with a non-touch screen 1920 by 1080 as our test unit or touch screen resolution of 3200 by 800. 1 Core i7-8550U configuration with 16GB memory and super fine screen is $ 1749. Both models see regular discounts and discount coupons on Dell.com.
Slim and trim
Even if you’ve never seen it, you are probably aware of the XPS 13’s reputation in design: the InfinityEdge screen that opened the way for ultra-thin screens, allowing Dell to drag a laptop 13, 3 inches into a frame (0.6 by 7.9 by 12 inches) smaller than 12.5 inch models like Lenovo ThinkPad X270 $ 881.10 Lenovo (0.8 by 12 inches by 8.2) and only slightly larger than the newest 11.6 -inch MacBook Air (0.7 by 11.8 by 7.6 inches).
The claim of Dell to shame is that the top ring has no place for a webcam, making it awkwardly placed below the bottom left corner of the screen for an approaching, non-flattering image of your nose. your chin. Although the 2.7-pound system is not a burden in a suitcase, we can not say the same for the few books you want to wear below for Skype conferences.
The laptop is made of processed aluminum with a carbon fiber composite keyboard and a palm rest. On the right is a USB 3.0 port that can charge handheld devices, an SD card slot and a Noble slot (not Kensington).
There is another USB 3.0 port on the left, with a Thunderbolt 3 port with USB-C and DisplayPort functionality, an audio connection, a battery button and a row of LEDs and the plug of the power adapter. Technical purists will note that the Thunderbolt 3 port has two, not four, PCI Express lanes; The only devices that we know can not work with are boxes with graphics cards for desktop gaming.
The speakers of the XPS 13 are located behind small grids on the sides instead of the usual slots on the bottom. They produce an above-average sound, run on a droning bass but strong enough to fill a room with clear, distortion-free tones.
The wrist support of the device is more comfortable than its keyboard – the latter is on the shallow side (Dell says it has a stroke of 1.3 mm) and a bit steeper than we want (the space bar in particular requires a firmer touch than an inch that you usually give). But the full-size backlit keyboard has a sharp typing feel that rewards at high speed. The cursor keys are in the correct reverse T-arrangement. They work together with the Fn test for Home, End, Page Up and Page Down. The large, touch-free touchpad offers ultra-smooth sliding and tapping.
The 13.3 “Full HD screen from Dell is exceptionally clear and bright, with a matte finish that improves viewing from wide angles. The colors are well saturated and the contrast is high, with brilliant white and deep blacks. The details are so obvious that we have set the standard Windows zoom function from 150 to 125% without problems. Indeed, we would vote to stay with the excellent 1080p screen because the 3200-by-1800 panel would squint too much to this size, except maybe for hardcore image editors.
To show how much the Intel CPU of the eighth generation makes the difference, we’ve added the old XPS 13 and the old XPS 13 to our benchmark tables, with the only other “Kaby Lake R” machine we’ve ever seen. here is the Lenovo Yoga 920 convertible, and the seventh generation Core i7 laptops powered by the Razer Blade Stealth. The new Dell started with the highest score in our PCMark 8 Work Office productivity test, which led the Stealth (3,580 to 2,799 points, respectively).
And the two extra cores of the new chip literally crushed the competition in our Cinebench video editing and video editing workload. The “Kaby Lake R” XPS 13 ended the last in 1 minute and 12 seconds, almost a full minute ahead of the Razer and older Dell. Likewise, Yoga and the new XPS 13 are removed from the two-core participants in our Adobe Photoshop image editing scenario, reducing the time needed for practicing.
On the other hand, while we are at the top of our charts in our 3DMark graphical benchmark, the XPS 13 still relies on integrated graphical images instead of discrete, so that neither these nor any of these ultraportables will outperform anything other than games. and – they were far from the 30 frames per second needed for a smooth game with native resolution and high image quality in our Heaven and Valley game simulations.
Finally, the new Dell ended a good second place in reducing battery life, which lasted nearly 16 hours of unplugged video playback (almost twice the time of the seventh generation Stealth). The Yoga 920 was even more impressive and had a speed of 22.5 hours.
The new ultraportable to beat
With its huge increase in battery life, Intel’s new mobile processor establishes a direct dividing line between the haves and have-nots of the notebook market. There are still many laptops with Core 7000 processors instead of 8000. Surprised when a machine that is otherwise similar to the first one is competing with the latter. That’s why we take over the ultraportable editors’ choice that won the 13.3-inch Razer Blade Stealth in the final round with the XPS 13, until a Razer “Kaby Lake R” reaches the PC Labs. The new processor revitalizes Dell’s long-running competitor, making it a larger, larger notebook.