Unleashing the Power of Dell XPS 13 2-in-1: A Perfect Blend of Style and Performance

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With many competitors dropping out of the 2-in-1 market, Microsoft’s Surface Pro range has faced little competition, but Dell may soon change that with its new XPS 13 2-in-1 detachable tablet and cover keyboard. The upcoming release of a 5G variant following the initial Wi-Fi 6E version may even sway users from the Surface Pro 9, though unfortunately the 5G variant won’t be available in certain regions, as confirmed by local Dell representatives.

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 Specs
Category Specification
Operating system(s) Windows 11
  • 12th Generation Intel Core i5-1230U (10-core, 12-thread, up to 4.4 GHz, 12MB cache)
  • 12th Generation Intel Core i7-1250U (10-core, 12-thread, up to 4.7 GHz, 12MB cache)
Graphics Intel Iris Xe graphics (up to 96 EUs)
RAM (soldered)
  • 8GB dual-channel LPDDR4x 4266MHz
  • 16GB dual-channel LPDDR4x 4266MHz
  • 256GB PCIe 4 SSD
  • 512GB PCIe 4 SSD
  • 1TB PCIe 4 SSD
  • 13-inch 3:2 3K (2880 x 1920), 500 nits, DisplayHDR 400, anti-reflective, anti-smudge, Corning Gorilla Glass 7, Dolby Vision, touch and pen support
  • Dual stereo speakers with Waves MaxxAudio Pro and Waves Nx 3D audio
  • Dual-array microphones
  • 5MP/1080p front-facing webcam
  • 11MP /4K world-facing camera
Biometric authentication
  • Fingerprint reader in XPS Folio keyboard
  • IR camera
  • 49.5Whr battery
  • 45W charger
  • 2 Thunderbolt 4 (USB Type-C) ports
  • USB Type-C to Type-A adapter included
  • USB Type-C to 3.5mm adapter included
  • Intel Wi-Fi 6E 1675 AX211 (2×2), Bluetooth 5.2
  • Optional (only in Slate model): 5G (Intel 5000)
  • Sky
  • Slate
Size (WxDxH)
  • Sky (Wi-Fi only): 292.5 × 201.2 × 7.4mm (11.5 × 7.9 ×0.29 inches)
  • Slate (5G): 292.5 x 201.2 x 7.8mm (11.5 x 7.9 x 0.31 inches)
  • Sky (Wi-Fi only): Starts at 736 grams (1.6 lb)
  • Slate (5G): Starts at 811 grams (1.8 lb)
Starting price $999 (excluding XPS Folio and Stylus)
Dell XPS 13
Dell XPS 13

Dell provided us with a WiFi XPS 13 2-in-1 for review, featuring an Intel Core i7-1250U CPU, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB PCIe SSD, which retails for $2,698.30, almost identical to the Surface Pro 9. However, those looking for an entry-level i5 model may find comparable specs on Microsoft’s offering for $580 less. This is unsurprising given the Surface Pro’s longevity, making it difficult to justify this newer, riskier offering.

Despite this, Dell’s extensive experience allows it to deliver a device that held up well in general work benchmarks, keeping up with anything an Intel Core i7-1265U CPU on a Surface Pro 9 can muster. This performance is more than adequate for intense web browsing, heavy document processing, and light photo or video editing. With the Folio Backlit Keyboard and XPS stylus included, the device is $430 more competitive than the Surface Pro, which has always sold the keyboard separately. Nowadays, there isn’t much of a performance gap between a tablet and an Ultrabook.

Dell XPS 13
Dell XPS 13

The XPS 13 2-in-1 boasts competitive features that set it apart from its rivals, however, there are a few drawbacks that somewhat offset the advantages. The first drawback is the subpar GPU performance, with an Intel Iris Xe Graphics GPU that is clocked lower, resulting in graphical performance that is 20 to 45 percent lower than the i7 Surface Pro 9. Although the keyboard and trackpad are decent, they lack advanced functions such as an elevated keyboard angle, and the stylus is not ergonomically designed. These minor issues are compounded by a sub-optimal magnetic interval stand that functions adequately but falls short of being the best tablet stand available in 2022.

In terms of battery life, the XPS 13 2-in-1 offers around nine hours and 15 minutes of use during light work tasks, which is sufficient for most of a workday, but it is 10 percent less than the Surface Pro 9. The tablet itself is lighter than the Surface Pro 9, but when combined with the keyboard and stylus, it is 141g heavier. However, the XPS outperforms the Surface Pro 9 in storage speed, with faster read and write speeds of 5,000/4,000MB/s.

Overall, the XPS 13 2-in-1 is an impressive device, but it is not without limitations, such as restricted tabletop screen positions and limited gaming capabilities. Nevertheless, it is a formidable contender if these limitations are not major concerns for you.

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