Dell XPS 13 2-In-1 Review - Portable And Flexible Living On The Infinity Edge

Dell's XPS 13 2-In-1 Brings New Flexibility And Venerable Design Signature To An Ultralight Hybrid Laptop

Dell's XPS 13 and 15 line of notebooks have done well for the company, sparked by a reinvention of the product line back in 2015. Since then, its design signature has reached iconic status for Round Rock, with the ultra-thin bezel of its Infinity Edge display and hatched carbon fiber composite palm rest and keyboard area earning the series many awards, including our Editor's Choice on multiple occasions. And as you might expect, Dell has continued to evolve its well-received XPS product offerings, not only as new notebook platform architectures roll out, but the company is also now looking to capitalize on its the XPS design signature with new machine types, cut from the same cloth. Dell upsized the design with the larger XPS 15 and expanded the line for its commercial workstation customers with the Latitude 15 series. However, at CES 2017, Dell unveiled an XPS-infused offering for the hot hybrid, convertible market segment, joining the 2-in-1 fray.

XPS 13 2 in 1 Windows Login Screen
Dell's XPS 13 2-In-1 - Look Ma, no fans...

The Dell XPS 13 2-In-1 is clearly a variant of the company's XPS 13 13-inch ultrabook product. However, Dell has made some interesting design decisions here that you might not have expected and the results may surprise you. 

First, take a quick hands-on video tour of the machine here and then we'll dig into the specs and of course the all-important performance metrics...

Dell XPS 13 2-In-1 (9365)
Specifications & Features
Processor Options 7th Gen Intel Core i7-7Y75 (4MB Cache, up to 3.6GHz)
13.3" FHD (1920x1080) IPS InfinityEdge touch display, 400 nits, 1000:1 contrast ratio, 72% color gamut, anti-reflective, QHD+ (3200 x 1800) display optional, 170°wide viewing angle -85°/ 85°/85°/ 85°, capacitive touchscreen–10-finger touch support
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 615
8GB LPDDR3 1866MHz (On board)
256GB PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive
Optical N/A
Ethernet N/A
Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC + Bluetooth 4.2, Miracast™ capable, Intel® Smart Connect Technology
Interface (Left)
Thunderbolt 3/AC Power/Display Port, Battery Gauge Button and indicator, Headset Jack, speaker
Interface (Right)
Noble Lock Slot; Power Button, USB-C 3.1, microSD Card Reader, Speaker
Interface (Top) Fingerprint Reader
Widescreen HD (720p) webcam with dual array digital microphones, IR camera for future Windows Hello capability
Operating System
Windows 10 Home 64-Bit
Battery 4-cell Lithium Ion (46 WHr)
Dimensions Height: 0.32-0.54” (8-13.7mm) / Width: 11.98” (304mm) / Depth: 7.8” (199mm)
2.7 pounds (1.29kg) with Touch Display
1 Year limited hardware warranty with onsite service after remote diagnosis
Pricing $1,649.99 as configured with Rose Gold ($1599 standard silver)

XPS 13 2 in 1 Kit
For starters, the processor powering the XPS 13 2-In-1, as we teased recently, is Intel's 7th generation Kaby Lake-Y series. This is the 4.5 Watt version of Kaby Lake, designed for thin and light, fanless designs for 2-in-1 hybrid convertibles and detachables. And yes, it's what historically was referred to as Core m. Now before your eyes gloss over, with Kaby Lake, Core m is a different sort of animal. In fact, Intel dropped the Core m nomenclature for all but the Core m3 lowest power versions. There are now Core i5 and Core i7 4.5 Watt SKUs, with specifically the Core i7 7Y75 powering our machine, a nimble dual-core chip with Turbo Boost speeds to 3.6GHz. What's interesting here is that Kaby Lake-Y has a 7 Watt TDP-Up (Thermal Design Power-Up) capability that allows the chip to be configured for longer sustained bursts when needed, and Dell takes that spec even further to 9 Watts in the XPS 13 2-in-1. More on this in our performance benchmarks ahead. 

On the mechanical design side of the equation, the XPS 13 2-in-1 of course is outfitted with fully articulating 360-degree swing hinges that allow it to convert into various modes, including full tablet mode. The machine is also now an entirely USB Type-C affair, with no full-sized legacy USB 3 ports, though thankfully Dell was smart enough to include some other IO connectivity. Part of the reason for this is that the XPS 13 2-in-1 is a few millimeters thinner in spots and a touch lighter at 2.7 pounds, even with a touch display, so side edge thickness and real estate is at a premium.

As you can see as well, Dell does include both its tiny AC power adapter with the machine, as well a USB Type-C to USB 3 dongle with every machine. Why don't we drop in for a closer look at this compact package, next... 

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