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

XPS 13 2-In-1 Battery Life And The Wrap-Up

In order to explore what a laptop is capable of in terms of practical battery life, we employ two very different types of battery rundown tests. The first, Battery Eater Pro is a worst-case scenario, as it hammers the CPU, GPU, memory and storage subsystems over and over until the battery is depleted.

In our second test, we loop a 1080p MP4 HD video file repeatedly with WiFi enabled, until the battery is exhausted. In all tests, Windows 10 Quiet Hours have been enabled and displays are calibrated with lux meters on pure white screens to as close to 115 lux as possible. For the average notebook this is somewhere between a 30 - 60% brightness setting (you'd be surprised how much panels vary).

Since notebook displays significantly affect power consumption and battery life, it's important to ensure a level playing field with respect to brightness of the panel for battery testing. However, since many notebook displays vary in brightness at each respective brightness setting in the OS, this calibration with the meter is also critical to ensure all displays are set to as near identical brightness output as possible before testing.

Batter Life Testing
BEP and Web Browsing

XPS 13 2 In ! Battery Eater Pro Test

XPS 13 2 In 1 Video Loop Battery Life
We have to be honest (that's what you pay us the big bucks for right?), we didn't expect to see the results the Dell XPS 13 2-In-1 put up, in terms of battery life. It has a smaller 46 Whr battery versus the standard XPS 13's 60 Whr power plant, although it is driven by a lower power processor and we are testing on the 1080p display here.  Regardless, the machine lasted almost 7.5 hours looping HD video and nearly 3.5 hours under the heavy-duty workload of the Battery Eater test. In both cases, these were the top marks we've seen from any ultrabook or convertible to date. If battery life is a priority for you, the Dell XPS 13 2-In-1 will not disappoint.

Dell XPS 13 2-In-1 Performance Analysis And Final Thoughts

As you've seen in our gauntlet of benchmarks, Dell's XPS 13 2-In-1 offers competent and capable performance for this class of convertible hybrid notebook device. Though different lower-end configurations of the machine may offer less satisfying results, the Core i7-7Y75 configuration option will handle the every day computing tasks of mainstream users with ease. In fact, in light of the machine's battery life results, we think Dell cherry-picked the right config to send us for testing. Couple the fastest Intel Kaby Lake-Y chip with Dell's FHD 1080p touch display and you have the best of both worlds, for both performance and maximum up-time. We might suggest going with the 16GB of RAM option, if you've got a little extra dinero kicking around, but you can't go wrong either way with this setup. The XPS 13 2-In-1 is certainly a worthy addition to the Dell XPS lineage.  

dellxps13 2n1 with pen2
Dell XPS 13 2-In-1 With Optional $49 Active Pen

All told, Dell’s XPS 13 2-In-1 is a flexible, capable, gorgeous little hybrid with a head-turning design that is as much a pleasure to work with as it is to kick back with for a bit of leisure time. It’s definitely pricey for the product category, starting at $999 ($1299 as tested here) but when you build one of the best-in-class machines on the market, we guess you can command a premium. You'll have to be the judge if its price tag is justified, but Dell once again hit a product design home run with this flexible 13-inch XPS variant. 

And let's just come out and tell it like it is - if you were considering a 12-inch MacBook, the Dell XPS 13 2-In-1 is a better option in just about every measurable way. Or, if you're considering the current 13-inch MacBook Air, Dell's standard XPS 13, now with Kaby Lake, eats it for lunch. That may be just our not completely humble opinion, but that's what we do here, offer opinions. It's refreshing to see Windows 10 device OEMs like Dell leading the charge and the XPS 13 2-In-1 is on point. 

hothardware recommended
  • Living on the Infinity Edge
  • Fast PCIe Storage
  • Thunderbolt 3 And USB 3.1 Type-C
  • microSD Card reader
  • Thin, light but rock solid build
  • Flexible 360-degree hinge design
  • Great battery life
  • Solid performance
  • Webcam still in awkward position
  • Non-expandable memory
  • Dongling required for legacy USB Access

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