Dell XPS 13 Ultra-portable laptop review

The Build

Contents

As I mentioned previously, this does not contain an optical, as we progress they are less and less useful but of course there will always be that time you need them.  The drive is not included because this system is so thin; there is no way it would fit.

Aside from that, the top and the bottom of this Ultrabook are made out of CNC machined Aluminum, not plastic.

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You will notice those long black strips, those are the feet.  They bulge out a little to keep distance between the desk or surface you put them on so that the machine can breathe.  Towards the back of the system, by where the Windows Pro sticker is, between that and the foot are the vents the machine pulls cool air from.

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On the left side of the unit, from left to right you have the power plug, Thunderbolt port, USB 3.0 port, 3.5mm headphone jack, battery gauge and indicator.  For the battery gauge, it’s actually a great little idea here.  You don’t have to turn on the notebook to see how much power it has, you just press the button (press and hold for a second or 2) and it lights up to show you how much power it has.  It is showing 5 lit up keys, telling me it is fully powered.

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A tiny bit down from the indicator, we have one of the 2 speakers

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On the right, you have an SD card slot, USB 3.0 port and a Noble lock slot.  A Noble lock slot is supposedly the strongest mobile lock slot available to protect from the notebook being stolen if left somewhere.

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A little further down on the right, we have the second speaker

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For the SD card slot, it states you can only insert an SD, SDHC and SDXC but actually you can also plug in a micro SD, of course you need the adapter.

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One thing to mention is that this slot does not take the entire card; it does stick out a tiny bit.

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Opening the notebook up, we find some more nice stuff.

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First off, we see the Carbon Fiber, it feels real nice.  This is real carbon fiber to aid in the Dell XPS 13’s integrity, not just painted on.

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Then a little to the side, we find the touchpad, or mouse.

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The touchpad is a precision touchpad with seamless glass integrated buttons which to you and I means, there are no addition left or right buttons, you can click left or right from here.

A little higher we find the keys, they are chiclet style keys.

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Oh yeah, and they are backlit.

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Moving up from there, we find the 13 inches screen.

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Wait, a 13.3 inch notebook, with and a 13.3inch screen, it’s almost borderless.  The screen is an edge-to-edge 13.3 inches made out of Corning Gorilla Glass NBT on a Quad HD+ resolution, that’s 3200 x 1800 and the display is IPS so you can see the image from almost any angle.  One very important thing, this display is a touch screen display.  You can see examples throughout the videos on this review.

On the same panel as usual we find the Widescreen 720P camera, though it’s not in the same spot you would normally find a camera on a laptop.  Check it out.

It works pretty well and as you saw, the color was great.

In this picture, you can see the camera circled in red.

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It also includes an Intel DW1820A 2×2 802.11ac 2.4/5GHz WIFI card that supports device that also provides support for Bluetooth 4.1, Miracast and WIDI.  Check it out here

If you were wondering how the speakers sound, well here’s a little example.  In this video I compare the audio from the Dell XPS 13 9350 speakers to the audio on my cell phone, the Motorola Droid Turbo then to the speakers on my Tablet Express DragonTouch X10.

OK, the notebook is nice, but does it have any accessories?  No worries, it has plenty.

ContinueAccessories

Iggy Castillo
I have spent many years in the PC boutique name space as Product Development Engineer for Alienware and later Dell through Alienware's acquisition and finally Velocity Micro. During these years I spent my time developing new configurations, products and technologies with companies such as AMD, Asus, Intel, Microsoft, NVIDIA and more. The Arts, Gaming, New & Old technologies drive my interests and passion. Now as my day job, I am an IT Manager but doing reviews on my time and my dime.
Iggy Castillo
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