The regular XPS 13 has been loved by everyone for more than two years, because of its lightweight chassis, InfinityEdge display, and long battery life. Now, Dell has taken all the slim carbon fiber-goodness from its flagship ultrabook and applied it to a brand new hybrid.
The XPS 13 2-in-1 isn’t just a refresh. It’s a machine with a distinct design and features that make it a rewarding convertible. The chassis on the XPS 13 2-in-1 is thinner than the one on the XPS 13, which makes it easier to use as a tablet. And this is a totally fanless affair.
Dynamic Power Mode.
Dell is introducing its new Dynamic Power Mode technology on a laptop for the first time ever. This escalates the clock speed when you need more performance. And that’s important, given that this system uses an Intel Y Series Kaby Lake processor, instead of the typically more robust U Series. You do get fewer ports than on the regular XPS 13, and the battery life could be longer.
You get a sturdy machined-aluminum cover and bottom with a soft, carbon-fiber deck on the inside, which not only stays cool to the touch but makes typing comfy. Dell added two steel hinges wrapped in aluminum while slimming down the design. This 2-in-1 measures just 0.32 to 0.54 inches thick, compared to 0.33 to 0.6 inches for the more traditional XPS 13.
No USB Port.
You won’t find a full-size USB port or an SD card slot on XPS 13 2-in1. But you will find a Thunderbolt 3 port, a USB Type-C port, and a microSD card slot. Dell is also including a USB-C to USB-A adapter, which will make it easier to connect phones and other devices.
With this hybrid, Dell maintained the 1.3 millimeters of key travel from the regular XPS 13. The outcome is a comfy typing experience. The XPS 13 2-in-1 also incorporates some layout changes based on user feedback. The Home and End keys on XPS 13 2-in-1 have dedicated keys in the top-right corner. There are also dedicated PgUp and PgDown keys. All four of these keys were earlier integrated into the arrow buttons as function keys.
Optical Active Pen.
To gain the advantage of the inking features in Windows 10 and the ability to sketch and draw, buy Dell’s $49 Active Pen PN556W and use it with the XPS 13 2-in-1. It provides 2,048 levels of sensitivity. The stylus, which has been on the market for a year and works with other laptops, also has a rear button that can launch the Windows Start menu, Windows Ink or any other apps you choose. Drawing with the PN556W feels natural, with feedback that was similar to pressing a ballpoint pen onto paper.
Dell added a fingerprint reader to the XPS 13 2-in-1. The 720p webcam is still underneath the display, but you can flip around the design so that the camera is on top during calls. XPS 13 2-in-1 comes with a 46-watt-hour battery inside the XPS 13 2-in-1. It is smaller than the 60-watt-hour battery in the regular XPS 13. The battery on this convertible would last a solid 8 hours. The XPS 13 2-in-1 packs a sonic punch for such a compact system.
This version of the XPS 13 adds a hybrid hinge and thinner body. The nearly bezel-free display makes maximum use of space. The starting price is also extremely reasonable. This slimmer hybrid version of the XPS 13 is an excellent full-time laptop and part-time tablet. The XPS 13 2-in-1 is now available at a starting price of $999. Overall, the XPS 13 2-in-1 is a remarkable hybrid.
Rajiv is one of the founders of Nimblechapps, a web and android game development company based out of India. At Nimblechapps he overlooks delivery, product development and often lends a hand to the in house development team. His personal interest include Travel, Food and Motorcycling.