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Dell XPS 13 (Intel eleventh Gen) Overview: World’s greatest laptop computer

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Verdict

The Dell XPS 13 (eleventh Gen) is extra highly effective and battery-efficient than its predecessor due to the transfer to Intel’s Tiger Lake processors, cementing its place as the best possible Home windows Ultrabook you’ll be able to presently purchase.

Professionals

  • Finest efficiency seen in a Home windows Ultrabook
  • Improved battery life
  • Drop-dead beautiful design
  • Shiny and vibrant display

Cons

  • Costlier than rivals
  • Nonetheless stingy on ports
  • Not as highly effective as MacBook Air

Key Specs

  • Overview Value: £1849
  • 13.4in FHD/4K touchscreen
  • eleventh Gen Intel Core CPU
  • As much as 16GB RAM
  • Intel Iris Xe graphics
  • As much as 1TB M.2 SSD
  • Dimensions: 296 x 199 x 14.8 mm
  • Weight: From 1.2kg

The Dell XPS 13 (Intel eleventh Gen) is the most recent and biggest entry in a laptop computer collection that has reigned supreme for the previous few years. 

Dell has up to date its flagship moveable at each alternative potential to make sure it stays the best possible laptop computer for day-to-day duties. This time spherical, it’s the processor that’s seen an improve, with the most recent XPS 13 (launched in This autumn 2020) being among the many first laptops to make the most of Intel’s eleventh Gen processors.

Not solely does this chip enhance speeds for searching the online and working apps, however it additionally options upgraded graphics energy to run the likes of Fortnite and Adobe Premiere Professional whereas seeing improved battery effectivity. 

Add the jaw-dropping model, compact design and vibrant display to the combo and you’ve got your self a laptop computer that’s the closest I’ve ever seen to attaining perfection. 

Value and availability

The Dell XPS 13 (Intel eleventh Gen) is presently obtainable on the official Dell web site, with the mannequin I’ve for overview priced at £1849/$1549 and that includes an Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and a 4K show. This can be a high-end configuration, so you’ll be able to sacrifice efficiency energy to scale back the worth if wanted. 

Within the UK, the most affordable mannequin obtainable prices £1399, that includes an Intel Core i5-1135G7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, Full HD show and a 512GB SSD. Over within the US, you’ll be able to drive down the worth even additional due to a higher alternative of configurations. For $999, you’ll be able to bag your self a mannequin with an Intel Core i3-1115G4 processor, 8GB of RAM, Full HD show and 256GB SSD. 

It’s a disgrace the UK doesn’t have the identical configuration flexibility, however the older Dell XPS 13 (2020) laptop computer that includes Intel Core i5-10210U remains to be obtainable with a extra reasonably priced £1099 beginning value.

Design and keyboard – The most effective-looking laptop computer you should purchase

  • The sting-to-edge display appears phenomenal 
  • It’s extraordinarily skinny, however stingy by way of ports
  • The keyboard is a delight to sort on

The luxurious high quality of the Dell XPS 13 is apparent on opening the field, with the shiny silver aluminium lid catching the attention instantly. The bundled USB-C adapter and energy charger are neatly introduced in bamboo packaging trays, too.

When lifting the laptop computer out of the field, I’m reminded of how stunningly skinny this moveable is, with it measuring in at a super-slender 14.8mm. And that’s the max top of the laptop computer, with the rim’s width lowering additional because it approaches the deck’s backside lip. It truly is a factor of magnificence. 

Open up the laptop computer, and also you’ll be much more impressed by the edge-to-edge 16:10 display, which has near-enough eradicated the bezel that sometimes surrounds a laptop computer display. I’ve seen this precise design earlier than with the previous Dell XPS 13 (2020) mannequin, however the visible enchantment of this laptop computer hasn’t worn off one bit – that is simply the best-looking laptop computer obtainable. 

Regardless of having a silver lid, the laptop computer’s inside sees a patterned black palm-rest. Choosing two complementing colors, quite than the everyday unibody paint job, helps the XPS 13 to face out amongst its rivals whereas rocking some fashionable attraction. Dell can also be providing an all-white mannequin, however I choose the Platinum Silver model on overview.

With a beginning weight of 1.2kg (the touchscreen mannequin weighs 1.27kg), you’ll discover lighter laptops such because the Acer Swift 5 (2020) – however I’m nonetheless in a position to decide up the XPS 13 in a single hand with out situation. It’s sufficiently small to effortlessly slot inside a bag, too, making it an excellent choice for on-the-go employees. 

The largest downside of getting such a slender body is the dearth of ports. The Dell XPS 13 options two Thunderbolt 4, microSD and a headphone jack, which is without doubt one of the most stingiest choices I’ve seen on a laptop computer. Dell at the very least bundles a USB-C to USB-A adapter within the field, however I nonetheless discovered it an enormous inconvenience, particularly if you happen to like to make use of a USB mouse commonly. 

Dell nails the keyboard, with a crunchy really feel that doesn’t make loads of noise. If I’m being overly choosy, I’m not keen on the arrow keys being shriveled, however I’ve seen this replicated by nearly all of laptop computer producers in current instances, so I may give Dell a go.  

A fingerprint reader is built-in into the ability button on the top-right nook of the keyboard, requiring a delicate faucet for it to recognise your print and log you into the laptop computer. It labored flawlessly for me each time, and it’s a much more handy various to coming into a password. 

The trackpad is clean and responsive, and Dell has elevated its measurement by 17% for extra snug swiping. I can efficiently press down on the trackpad anyplace I please, with an audible click on affirming the enter. 

Regardless of the bezel being so slender, Dell has managed to slot in a webcam above the display. The 720p high quality of the digital camera is totally advantageous, however it’s no higher or worse than a typical laptop computer webcam. 

Display screen – Among the finest Home windows shows within the enterprise

  • Each Full HD and 4K resolutions obtainable 
  • Extremely brilliant panel and excellent distinction
  • Touchscreen is non-obligatory 

The Dell XPS 13 has an excellent show whether or not you go for its Full HD or 4K configurations. Dell despatched within the 4K touchscreen mannequin for overview and it appears beautiful, with Netflix movies packing an additional punch and even the homescreen showcasing spectacular element. 

I watched an episode of Bridgerton on the Dell XPS 13, and it regarded great with all of the pastel furnishings standing out from the background. There have been no ugly pixilation results both, which might happen with cheaper laptops. 

It isn’t simply the additional pixels that make the XPS 13 display shine. I used a colorimeter to check the display’s peak brightness, distinction and color accuracy, and Dell knocked it out of the park in each benchmark. 

I recorded a 550-nit brightness on the Dell XPS 13, which is much past the common 300-nit determine. This not solely means I can use the XPS in brilliant daylight with out situation, however it additionally makes colors seem extra vibrant due to the excessive 1707:1 distinction. 

With 100% sRGB and 83% DCI-P3 color house protection, the Dell show can also be incredible at precisely presenting colors as they might look in actual life, whether or not you’re tweaking images on PhotoShop or trying out Instagram snaps. This makes the XPS 13 an excellent laptop computer for professional-grade photograph/video work, though the graphics efficiency is restricted in comparison with the likes of the 16-inch MacBook Professional. 

Efficiency – Intel Tiger Lake processor offers a lift 

  • Some of the highly effective Ultrabooks obtainable 
  • Able to gentle gaming and content material creation 
  • Nonetheless isn’t fairly as highly effective as MacBook Air M1

By far the most important improve for the Dell XPS 13 is the brand new Intel Core eleventh Era (aka Tiger Lake) processor. 

I’ve been despatched the Intel Core i7-1165G7 configuration for overview and have so in contrast it to the older XPS 13 mannequin with an Intel Core i7-1065G7 chip. I ran a number of CPU benchmark exams (PCMark and Geekbench 5) to get an thought of how highly effective every laptop computer is, and the outcomes present an enormous leap in efficiency. 

However how does that translate to real-world efficiency? For day-to-day duties equivalent to searching the online, streaming video and writing up paperwork, I didn’t discover a distinction. Each laptop computer fashions are comfortably highly effective sufficient to breeze by productiveness duties with out situation. 

The added CPU efficiency is just useful if you happen to’re partaking in additional intensive duties equivalent to enhancing video or working a number of apps within the background. And if you happen to’re craving that calibre of efficiency, it’s price contemplating the MacBook Air M1 as an alternative, which leapfrogged the Dell’s Geekbench outcomes. Sadly, we had been unable to run all of our benchmark exams on the MacBook Air because of the limitations of macOS. 

Dell XPS 13 (Late 2020)
(Intel Core i7-1165G7)
Dell XPS 13 (2020)
(Intel Core i7-1065G7)
MacBook Air M1
PCMark 10 4802 4117 NA
Geekbench 5
(single core
1548 1216 1731
Geekbench 5
(multi core)
5687 4548 7308
3DMark Time Spy 1657 946 NA

So, if you’d like a brand new Dell XPS 13 for simply day-to-day duties, is there any purpose to go for the brand new Tiger Lake mannequin? Completely, because it not solely options excessive CPU speeds however it additionally boasts the highly effective Iris Xe built-in graphics. 

This implies you’ll be able to play video video games with out the necessity for a discrete graphics card. Don’t count on to be taking part in the likes of CyberPunk 2077, however I used to be in a position to run Filth Rally and Apex Legends at 1080p decision and with a mean efficiency of 34fps and 40fps respectively. Lowering the decision will guarantee an excellent smoother efficiency. 

There are some caveats right here, although. Intel’s graphics drivers are but to succeed in the identical commonplace as these from AMD and Nvidia, so I encountered points with choose video games. Cities: Skylines crashed only a few minutes into a brand new recreation, for instance. The XPS 13 is greatest suited to working eSports video games equivalent to Fortnite, Apex Legends and Valorant, in addition to much less demanding indie titles.  

It’s essential to recollect the Dell XPS 13 isn’t a gaming laptop computer, so I actually wouldn’t advocate it if gaming is your precedence. However if you’d like a slick productiveness moveable that’s able to gentle gaming on the aspect, then the most recent XPS 13 is an outstanding choice. 

I’m additionally impressed with the Dell’s supremely quick learn and write speeds, hitting 3290MB/s and 2926MB/s respectively, that are just about the most effective you’ll be able to count on from an Ultrabook. This implies the XPS 13 may be very fast at loading and saving information on the bodily drive. I discovered this advantageous when transferring images to the laptop computer; they flashed up within the folder in a matter of seconds. 

Battery – Spectacular stamina
for a 4K show 

  • 4K fashions lasts 10 hours in battery check
  • Dell claims FHD mannequin lasts as much as 19 hours
  • Can recharge to 100% in 2hrs 30mins

Considered one of my greatest gripes of modern-day laptops is battery life, with many high-end Ultrabooks failing to hit the 10-hour mark. With plugs typically sparse in an workplace or college lecture corridor, having such a brief battery life could make your laptop computer as helpful as a paperweight.

Thankfully, the brand new Intel Tiger Lake chip brings a lift to battery effectivity in addition to efficiency. Utilizing a PCMark battery benchmark check to simulate a day within the workplace, the Dell XPS 13 (Intel eleventh Gen) lasted 9hrs 52mins earlier than requiring a recharge. I noticed related outcomes when utilizing the XPS as my work laptop computer all through the day. 

That’s a considerable enchancment on the previous XPS 13 laptop computer era, which managed solely six hours in an identical check.

It’s price remembering these check outcomes are for the 4K configurations of the XPS 13. You may count on an excellent longer battery life if you happen to go for the Full HD mannequin, though I’m not satisfied it should attain Dell’s quoted 19 hours.

I additionally recorded the brand new XPS 13’s recharge time: it took a reasonably prolonged 2hrs 30mins to completely replenish the 4-cell, 52 WHr unit. On the plus aspect it expenses by way of USB-C, so you should utilize the bundled energy adapter to cost your Android smartphone and Nintendo Swap, for instance. 

You should purchase the
Dell XPS 13 (Intel eleventh Gen) if…

  • You need the best possible Home windows Ultrabook
    The Dell XPS 13 provides the most effective all-round laptop computer package deal, with a stellar design, efficiency and display. Solely the MacBook Air M1 comes near difficult.

  • You’re in search of speedy on-the-go productiveness efficiency
    The brand new Dell XPS 13 is probably the most highly effective 13-inch Home windows laptop computer we’ve examined, making it an excellent system for blasting by day-to-day productiveness duties. 

  • You fancy dabbling with video games on the aspect
    Whereas the Dell XPS 13 isn’t a gaming laptop computer, it’s able to first rate efficiency for taking part in titles equivalent to Apex Legends, Fortnite and Minecraft. 

You shouldn’t purchase the
Dell XPS 13 (Intel eleventh Gen) if…

  • You’re in search of a cut price
    The largest situation with the Dell XPS 13 is its value, significantly within the UK the place the bottom value is £1399. The Floor Laptop computer 3, MacBook Air and Acer Swift laptops are all obtainable for a pair hundred quid cheaper.  

  • You employ a wired mouse
    The Dell XPS 13 is stingy on ports, with solely USB-C on board. An adapter is bundled within the field, however that’s nonetheless an enormous faff if you happen to’re an everyday person of wired peripherals or USB flash drives.

  • Gaming is your precedence
    Whereas the gaming efficiency is surprisingly first rate right here, the Dell XPS 13 is not any match for gaming laptops with a devoted GPU. Try our Finest Gaming Laptops record if gaming is a precedence. 

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Computing Editor

Previously the Workers Author at Stuff Journal, Ryan’s been writing about tech since he graduated from Cardiff College. At Trusted Critiques he’s focussed on every thing computer-related, giving him a v…

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