Performance Summary and Conclusion
Simply put, the benchmark scores for the XPS 13 are impressive. In every test, the XPS 13 earns a score that’s within the top 4 results for any reference machine we've tested in the same class of devices; and in many cases, the XPS 13 comes in at the No. 1 spot. Perhaps even better is the fact that you don’t have to sacrifice battery life in order to achieve this level of performance.
Although the look and feel of the XPS 13 may not be anything new or revolutionary (after all, we’ve seen a similar style and finish on previous generation XPS models) the saying, “if it ain't broke, don’t fix it” is true in this case. Dell has achieved a look and feel that is rich and attractive while still very functional.
The XPS 13 doesn’t have a SD card expansion slot or an HDMI port. This isn’t too surprising, given the trend among manufacturers to skip “extras” but features such as these are still on our wish list. Still, with two USB 3.0 ports and an external card reader you can gain access to additional storage with relative ease.
Perhaps the biggest drawback for the XPS 13 is its price. Dell offers XPS 13 systems that start at $1,049 but the specs you’ll find on this lower priced machine aren’t going to compare to the high-end model we tested in this review which has a price tag of $1,649. For the additional money, you'll receive upgrades in the following areas: a touch screen, Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD as well as three years of enhanced support. Most likely Dell’s middle configuration, priced at $1,299, will hit the sweet spot for most users, in terms of that all-important price/performance ratio.
All in all, Dell’s high-end XPS 13 looks great, performs exceptionally well, and has the ability to last for a very long time without being tethered to the wall. Although it can be little pricey in the top configuration, you definitely get a premium experience in exchange for what you pay for.