The new Dell XPS 13 follows a long line of similarly named laptops. The design of this latest version is slick and looks very professional, but as with most compact laptops, ports and physical connectivity options are minimal. There’s a USB 3.0 port on each side, a power socket, Mini DisplayPort and headset jack on the left. An SDXC card slot, and a security lock slot are located on the right.
The screen has a beautiful, slim bezel and with the screen switched on, only a very small edge remains black. Dell calls this new display “infinityEdge” and it is easy to see why; with so little frame, you wonder why all laptops aren’t made this way. Interestingly the XPS 13 has a touchscreen which makes it a little bit different from the equivalent Apple Macbook Air.
Unusually, the bottom of the screen is where the webcam is located, as the designers couldn’t find a way to slip a camera into the usual top-central bezel position. Rather unsurprisingly, this low-slung camera will mean that Skype chats will usually involve people looking up at your chin.
Dell UK offers four models with either Intel Core i5 or i7 processors. Each of these chips has integrated Intel HD Graphics 5500 which should be enough for most business users. Memory is fixed at 4 or 8 GB, with no option to add more as it is soldered to the motherboard. 8GB should be more than enough for typical users of an ultraportable laptop, unless you run more memory-intensive programs. The keyboard and trackpad are nicely constructed and easy to use. The trackpad is better than those found on many Windows laptops, if still short of the precise steering and control you’ll find on an Apple MacBook.
The Dell XPS 13 is available directly from Dell from £769 (excluding VAT and shipping) with an Intel Core-i5 processor running at 2.7 Ghz. This model ships with 4GB of memory and 128GB of storage. However, it is probably worth going for the next model up, as it comes with 8GB of memory and 256GB of storage for £859 (excluding VAT and shipping).