Dell XPS 12 (2016) Review: Core m-Powered 2-in-1 Laptop Convertible

User Experience and Software

Windows 10 Home ships onboard the new XPS 12, with all of the usual touches. Dell also includes Skype and Dropbox, along with a host of Dell-specific apps that we wouldn't categorize as bloatware, because they add some useful tools, but come pre-installed from the factory nonetheless. Those include Dell Command, McAfee virus protection, BitLocker, Dell Data Protection, and a handful of others.

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Importantly, the OS hums along just fine even with the base-level Intel m5-6Y54 processor. We did notice a hint of lag here and there when multi-tasking with numerous apps (think 5+) open at a time, but nothing that we'd consider a deal-breaker. Windows 10 is perfectly suited to this machine.

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Those hoping to interact with its software by fingertip or stylus will be happy to know that it functions well using either of those input methods. Anyone who has used earlier slates and styluses realize that the act of tapping a small icon with a pen tip oftentimes requires expert precision. Thankfully, the XPS 12's touch capabilities are responsive and accurate. We were very pleased with touch on the XPS 12, and rarely had to tap anywhere twice for the appropriate action to occur.

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Thanks to the current-gen, Skylake-based Core M, there's enough oomph in the XPS 12 to power through high-def video and light-duty games. Though it managed to survive our Far Cry 2 testing (as you'll see in the benchmarks ahead), it's clearly not meant for that type of workload, i.e. gaming. This is an entertainment consumption and productivity device first and foremost, and in those two areas, the software and hardware are matched up well.

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