To touch on gaming performance, we chose two games that draw moderately on system resources, Half-Life 2 Episode 2 and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. We then ran a pre-recorded demo of each at the Studio XPS 13s default resolution of 1280x800 pixels and also at a lower resolution of 800x600 pixels. The resulting performance achieved is indicated in frames per second in the graph below, and we tossed in benchmarks from Lenovo's Y530 -- which includes a 256MB GeForce 9300M GS -- for reference. To clarify, all gaming benchmarks were done while in Performance Mode, which enables the Hybrid SLI system.
Before running the benchmarks we played the games at both resolutions. To play at the native resolution of 1280x800 we had to switch the layout to 16:10 so the 1280x800 resolution would show as an option in both games. At native resolution, the Studio XPS 13 couldn't quite keep up with the titles. We'd consider them "playable," but not enjoyably so.
However, there was a noticeable improvement playing at 800x600. Drop the resolution and image quality settings a bit further, and game performance obviously would improve even more. Of course, looking at an 800x600 image on a native WXGA screen isn't the most appealing thing, but it's better than not being able to play at all.