The Dell XPS 13 9365 2-in-1 is a 13” laptop featuring a crisp touchscreen. The defining feature of this laptop is the “tablet” mode capability; you’re able to fold the screen all the way round and hold it like a tablet. Whilst I’ve never personally felt the need for this, I can see the attraction.
The first thing I noticed when taking the laptop out was the size; this laptop is incredibly thin. It’s unbelievable that they can fit so much tech into such a tiny area! Having such a thin laptop is ideal if you’re on the move a lot but at the same time it wouldn’t look out of place on an office desk hooked up to another monitor. Whilst the laptop is super thin, it doesn’t detract from the visual aesthetics of the machine. The sharp and sleek edges truly make this a beautiful piece of hardware and, when sat next to my work laptop, a Dell Latitude E7240, it looks absolutely amazing.
After I’d stopped gawping at the visual design of the laptop I switched it on and started playing around. The last laptop I reviewed was the Dell Latitude 7370 and I thought the screen on that was simply stunning, yet the XPS seems to have outshone that! The colours are crisp, the blacks are dark and everything is just so damn clear! Watching HD videos on this a dream, it’s bloody gorgeous! As a quick test I setup my MacBook Air next to the XPS and loaded the same video on YouTube. Both displaying in 4K (even though neither machines can actually show that) it was clear that the screen of the XPS was far superior to that of the Air. I even tested it against an iPad retina display and whilst the crispness was not quite as good as the retina display, the colours were still in a league of their own. Throughout my time with this laptop I’ve constantly been amazed at the quality of the screen, even whilst typing this I’m still impressed. As a note, the webcam is situated just below the screen. Good quality, but doesn’t give the best perspective of the user. You thought you had a double chin? Wait till you use the webcam on this baby.
The screen, being magnificent and beautiful and all, also features touch capabilities. As I said earlier, not something I would look for in a laptop (tablets exist for a reason) but it certainly made a few mundane tasks a little easier. I’m not the most proficient at using a mousepad, I’ve always found them a bit clumsy, but being able to change all my settings, open up the internet browser and play music just by touching the screen is pretty awesome. I’ve found over the course of the week that having a touchscreen on a laptop is definitely a major benefit. Navigating around the OS is much smoother and less hassle when simply touching where you want to go. Even browsing Facebook is easier, I can scroll through webpages like I would on a tablet or phone. Not only that but the touchscreen is exceptionally good! Ever since moving over to Apple and purchasing my first iPhone, I’ve found that other touchscreens never seem to be quite as accurate as the ones Apple use, until now! It’s pinpoint accurate and super responsive which is exactly what I want to see in a touchscreen.
On the topic of Apple, their mousepads are by far the best I’ve used with other brands trailing behind. The XPS 13 has definitely made improvements on this front, it’s much more user friendly than the Latitude 7370, but not quite perfect for my standards. Of course, it features the usual two-finger scrolling and pinch-to-zoom, amongst other uses. Next to the trackpad is the fingerprint scanner. Again, this featured on the Latitude but wasn’t all there. Half the time it didn’t recognise my fingerprint and other times it just didn’t recognise that I was using the scanner at all. Dell appear to have changed it up a bit as this version is much better. It picks up that there’s a finger on the scanner and recognises my print in a split second, a lot quicker than typing in the password.
The laptop is thin, and that’s great, but that comes with its drawbacks. Connectivity is at an all-time low, which seems to be the norm with ultrabooks nowadays. There are two USB type-C ports, one of which is for charging, an SD card slot and a 3.5mm audio port. It actually took me a good few minutes to find the power button as it’s located on the side of the laptop and has no indication what it does. I find it unusual to not have the power button situated on or near the keyboard but that’s just me being traditional. I should also note, a tiny little gripe, I have trouble opening the damn thing. Because each half of the laptop is so thin I struggle to prise the two apart. Perhaps it’s just me being dumb? Probably.
The innards of the machine vary dependent on which version you get. The version I tested had 8GB of RAM, a 225GB SSD and a 7th gen i7 processor. Other versions had 4GB of RAM, a 128GB or 512GB SSD and 7th gen i5 processors. As with all ultrabooks, the lowest spec is more than enough, these machines aren’t built for heavy loads, but it’s nice to have the option I guess. The battery is OK, nothing more than that. I’ve been using the laptop a fair amount and haven’t had to charge that many times but, at most, the battery only lasts around 6 hours. Depending on what you’re doing, it may not even last as long as that.
On the bright side, the touchscreen is a huge benefit and I’ve certainly been swayed into wanting a laptop featuring the same specs. This model is priced at £1500 so not something you purchase on a whim, but if you’re in need of a sexy little ultrabook then look no further.