The XPS 13 comes with a built-in 55WHr battery that is not user replaceable. Although we prefer user-swappable batteries, we recognize this isn’t the trend among ultrabooks and it does detract from the elegance of the form factor. Regardless, to get a feel for how the battery in the XPS 13 compares, we tested the machine using what could be considered “worst case” and “best case” scenarios in the following two metrics.
Not only did the XPS 13 last for a full 3.5 hours during this “worst case” test, but it also outlasted the next best system by more than an hour. Dell claims the XPS 13’s new battery delivers greater longevity than previous generations and this claim is proving true. To get another feel for how the XPS 13 stacks up, we also ran our standard web browsing test.
Our web browsing test measures the machine's ability to maintain power under light duty use with its Wi-Fi radio on and the display set to 50 percent brightness. This test refreshes a dedicated web page every couple of minutes and the page has a mixture of text, images, and Flash media. We consider this to be a "best case scenario" and a decent relative gauge for battery life versus competitive products in a given device class.
If you’ll recall, Dell claims the XPS 13’s battery can deliver up to 11 hours of wireless web browsing on a single charge. Our test proves this to be true, given that the system lasted for 11 hours and 40 minutes before finally giving up. Keep in mind this is a light-duty test, but the results are still very impressive.