Dell XPS 13
Price: from $1,799
|Screen||13.3in (Full HD or 3,200 x 1,800 pixels) touchscreen|
|Processor||Intel Core i5-6200U or i7-6560U|
Dell was tantalisingly close to ultraportable perfection with the previous XPS 13, but it has well and truly cracked it now with this new, improved model. The sixth-generation Intel Core (Skylake) processors improve performance and extend battery life, and an array of minor tweaks has pushed the XPS 13 towards ultraportable perfection.
The new lighting-fast NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) SSDs have had a huge impact, and while the new Skylake processors are more about greater efficiency than dramatic performance improvements, the combination of the two makes for a laptop that feels staggeringly fast and responsive.
Connectivity is relatively minimal, as you'd expect for such a slim, light laptop, but the twin Thunderbolt 3 ports add a lot of flexibility. It's tempting to gripe about needing to buy a whole new set of USB Type-C graphics adapters, but the benefits of having access to a wide variety of high-end external devices, such as super-fast storage arrays, external graphics enclosures and professional-class video and audio devices, is ample reward.
Battery life is something of a weak point – it's certainly nowhere near as long-lasting as the 13in MacBook Pro, for instance – but it's not bad by any means. If it's a stunning Windows ultraportable you're after, there's no better option than the Dell XPS 13.
Next review: Apple MacBook Pro 13in with Retina Display.