a laptop transformed by its latest generation Intel processor
The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is the latest laptop of the American to know evolutions. Left aside for a while (the latest was released in 2017), this hybrid was offered with an Intel platform that was starting to date and its configuration options a little outdated. Left aside, yes, but not forgotten.
Dell takes advantage of the arrival of Intel Core processors of 10e generation to dust off its small high-end hybrid and make some cosmetic and ergonomic changes rather welcome. Clarification that these changes only concern the 13 inch version! Her big sister 15-inch screen has not moved – it – since our Review in June 2018.
We received a configuration posted at a price of about 2180 euros on the Dell site. This price is that of the machine, without any promotions that are currently taking place on the online sales area of Texan. Note also that the most affordable machine is sold at about 1350 euros but for this price, you will have a fairly (too) summary configuration. Better to focus on one of the other nine available.
The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is the hybrid of the king of ultraportables, the Dell XPS 13. What differentiates them? Easy: the 2-in-1 is a convertible and can therefore switch from laptop to large 13.4-inch touchscreen tablet in seconds. For this, simply rotate the keyboard around the screen with double hinge hinges. The Dell XPS 13 Classic, it can not. It is a classic ultraportable.
Comparing the finishes of the two cases – that of 2017 and that of 2019, the record is clear: Dell has made no concessions. The harmony between materials and colors is perfect. The metal hinges still breathe the same quality, the same goes for all the case made of the same aluminum alloy, brushed and … the most beautiful effect.
There is also the thin layer of carbon fiber that covers the inner tray of the machine. The peach skin feel is very pleasant under the palms but it is also quite permeable to slightly greasy fingerprints applied to the surface.
The edges of the 13.4-inch screen are extremely thin. Dell was a pioneer in this area, skilfully cutting curbs to provide greater comfort and reduce machine size. Because the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 may be equipped with a 13.4-inch panel, it offers more or less the measurements of a sheet of paper A4 (29.6 x 20.7 cm). Compact the guy! And little thick plus: 1.55 cm at the top, closed screen, rubber pad included.
What about weight? 1.29 kilo. A few grams, it is that of a classic bottle of water. To this last must be added the 246 grams of the diet. This one is unfortunately not in socket format, Dell retaining the conventional adapter. It is small and connects to the machine in USB Type-C on one side and the current through a thick cable extension, on the other.
The connectivity reduced to its simplest expression
As on the 2017 edition, the very small thickness of the machine was right of the panel of available connectors. Thus, there is a headphone jack, a microSD card reader and two type-C USB Thunderbolt-compatible 3. They are the ones that host the charger but also possible adapters for connecting a screen (HDMI / DisplayPort), sometimes a full-size USB key. Be aware that Dell delivers a USB-C / USB accessory with the machine.
For the price, we would have liked to have another, type USB-C / Ethernet for example. Because, for connections to the Web, it must necessarily rely on the Wi-Fi 6 embedded module, Bluetooth 5.0 compatible also.
Lastly, let's specify that the start button of the machine, located at the top right of the keyboard (just above the key Back Arr.) also serves as a fingerprint sensor. It will be used to unlock your session, for example, or to use data encryption software.
And the presence of this button in this place is probably the only ergonomic complaint we could make this Dell XPS 13 2-in-1. For the rest, it's solid.
A keyboard with a particular but pleasant touch
In terms of ease of use, it's very good there too. The backlit keyboard is not the same as that of the Dell XPS 13. It is a little closer to that of the 15-inch hybrid model but not the same. Anyway, the capture is very nice, the noise is sometimes reminiscent of a mechanical rattling but it is forgotten quickly. To make the grab or kilometer, we did not experience the slightest discomfort. However, we remain enthusiastic fans of the touch of pianos of XPS 13 classics. Habits have a hard life.
The touchpad offers a good gliding surface, protected by a slightly frosted glass pane. It is well proportioned and does not encroach too much on the palms. No particular fantasies, the touchpad reacts to manipulations with many fingers and will delight those who, like us, still have trouble to put their fingers on the screen to drive a laptop, any hybrid it is. Besides …
Excellent brightness and contrast, less color fidelity
Hybrid requires, the 13.4-inch slab is obviously touch and therefore protected by a glass whose coating is shiny. It hangs however little light reflections. The manufacturer claims to have applied a particularly effective anti-reflective filter … and this is the case. To say that you will have little or no thought, that would be lying. But the mirror effect is clearly not at the rendezvous and it is very appreciable.
The diagonal slab is quite unusual, Dell opts for a 16:10 aspect ratio. The proposed definition is therefore 3840 by 2400 pixels. Windows 10 digests it pretty well if you zoom in a bit the interface in the Control Panel (between 125 and 150%). The ratio also offers the advantage of being able to work on two windows at the same time, put side by side, without the readability or the navigation becoming too difficult.
On a purely technical level, we were surprised to find that our measurements were close to those of Dell. The manufacturer announces a brightness of 500 cd / m2. We measured an average maximum brightness of 456 cd / m2. A very good value, especially that the intensity adjustment is really progressive which allows you to work both in the dark and in the day without worry.
On the side of the contrast ratio, we measured an average of 1690: 1 while Dell, he announced 1500: 1. Again, it's excellent. Better still, it's the best contrast ratio our hybrid probe has seen in the last six months. Finally, the homogeneity of the screen is 0.02. Conclusion: almost full carton for the slab of Dell.
"Almost" because if there's any doubt that 90% of the DCI-P3 color range is covered by the slab like the Dell ad, its overall accuracy leaves something to be desired. Yes, this hybrid gets its feet in the carpet in our assessment of colorimetry.
The measured deltaE is 3.02 which is the highest we've had in a while on a laptop. Usually, the average is around 2.15 and remember that the lower the value – even close to 0 – the better the color fidelity. The reds are the most concerned here, with significant deformations in the darkest shades.
We finally got our hands on Intel Core 10e generation
The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 turns out to be the first of the 2019 vintage laptops to be equipped with a 10th-generation Intel Core processor and to rub our tests. Engraved in 10 nm, these new chips embody new hearts (Ice Lake) and a more rapid graphic part than that which fitted the old version of the Dell XPS convertible.
So it is an Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor that is at work here, a chip with four cores hyperthreaded whose cruising power is 1.3 GHz, but capable of up to 3.9 GHz mode Turbo. It is also him, through its graphics controller type Iris Graphic Plus (300 MHz base, 1.1 GHz at best), which provides the display on the slab (almost) 4K of the device. Note that this controller model is the fastest on the new Intel chips (G3, G5 and G7).
This Core i7 is assisted by 16GB of LPDDR4x soldered to the motherboard. Grafted also on the circuit, the storage modules are present at 512 GB. For the scalability of the machine, it will iron, it is impossible.
Read also : Intel launches new 10th generation processors … engraved in 14nm as the 9th generation
Let's talk little, let's talk perf. We compared the benefits offered by this hybrid XPS to those of its direct competitors – especially at HP – because we had configurations with a Core i7 (Specter x360) and a Ryzen 7 (Envy x360).
We also took two ultraportable PCs in our selection. On the one hand, the classic XPS 13 remains a safe bet and deserves to be compared to its transformable declination. On the other hand, the Acer Swift 7 is the only machine, recently received, which ships a chip Intel Core i7-8500Y, a chip ultra low consumption of previous generation.
Finally, we will specify that, in 2017, during our Review of Dell's first XPS 13 2-in-1, PC Mark 10 had not yet been released, which is why we do not have an estimate for it in the chart below. However, we estimate that it would have been about the same level as the Acer 8500Y, or even below.
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1: the most powerful hybrid on the market?
See the Flourish graph in full screen and with animations
The 2019 Dell XPS 13 hybrid (dark blue) stands up well against the competition. In digital content creation, it manages to be twice as powerful as the Acer Swift 7 and even better than the classic Dell XPS 13!
Regardless of the tests, he also holds his opponent high, the Ryzen 7 3700U AMD embedded in the HP Envy x360 13 and exceeds by one head the old low-consumption blue farm blue, the 8565U, trapped in the Specter x360 13.
See the Flourish graph in full screen and with animations
Although the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is not a machine to play at all, we still wanted to get a glimpse of what it had in the graphics controller. Here we were able to reintroduce the first model because we had a score in our database. It is yellow on the chart while the vintage 2019 retains its blue color. The result is without appeal, it displays a score twice as high. Compared to the two configurations in Core i7 eighth generation, it exceeds 10% on average. However, it does not compare with the Radeon RX Vega part of the Envy.
In games, the Iris Graphic Plus controller is able to display between 30 and 60 frames per second, provided you stay in Full HD and go smoothly on the levels of detail in 3D games (Low indeed Medium no more).
The transition to the 10th generation Core is good for this Dell XPS 13 hybrid. The gain in power – on all levels – is visible and appreciable. He manages to be comfortable everywhere, to excel on the tasks of everyday life without leaving the creative applications aside.
Another good point, during our tests, we did not observe a phenomenon of throttling on the 1065G7. Despite an intense stress Review of more than 10 minutes, the processor remained upright in its frequencies. Even allowing it to run at 1.49 GHz instead of 1.3 GHz! The dissipation system of Dell is certainly no stranger.
The wind tunnel impresses with its efficiency
By leveraging a latest-generation processor, even engraved in 10nm and with power consumption not exceeding 15 watts on paper, Dell had to rethink the cooling of the machine. There are two fans, located on both sides of the case, which are responsible for evacuating the calories collected by the two devices "steam rooms" hidden under the black insulation.
The fact of having a duo of turbines allows the machine to be well cooled, to limit the rotation of the blades and thus to cause quite acceptable noise nuisances. We found a maximum of 35 dB at the height of the storm, which remains largely bearable.
Mercury climbs up to 31 ° C on the palm rest and up to 47.1 ° C under the Dell XPS 13. So do not run a coding with the machine on your lap unless you need to warm up a little.
A new endurance record was expected
The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 draws its energy from a battery that occupies almost half the internal space of the case. It splits in two parts to give a little space to the system of weight / magnets responsible for ballast the device and prevent it from being carried backwards when the screen is deployed at a very high angle. open.
As shown in the picture below, this is a 51 Wh model and we found a maximum power consumption of 47.9 watts. We also measured the battery recharge time using the supplied Type-C USB charger. It takes almost an hour to recharge at 50% and 2 hours 30 minutes to be full. It may sound short but, in fact, the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is here one of the worst students in recent months.
Unable to conclude this Review without evoking the autonomy of Dell XPS 13 2-in-1. It is a nomadic hybrid machine by essence, so it must be able to hold good for several hours, more or less sustained use. As part of our ongoing video streaming standalone Review, this XPS flirts with the 6-hour, screen set at 200 cd / m2, Wi-Fi enabled. In more varied use, with the same settings, it is better: the Dell climbs to 8 hours battery, enough to hold a day of work not too busy. But little more.