Dell XPS 13 (2015) Ultrabook Review, It's Hot Hardware

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Battery Life

The Dell XPS 13 has a lot going for it, in terms of diminutive profile and charming good looks but generally speaking, those traits tend to fly right in the face of battery life for most ultralight notebooks. So let's take a look at battery life at best-case and worst-case test conditions.

Battery Eater Pro and Web Browsing Tests
Battery Life Testing
We run two tests to give you a sense of how long the system will last under light and heavy use. Our web browsing test is a light-use scenario in which we refresh a webpage every 3 - 5 minutes or so, over a WiFi connection, until the battery is exhausted. The Battery Eater Pro test then gives the laptop a much heavier workload to simulate the kind of stress you might put on the machine with multiple resources engaged, including CPU, GPU, memory and hard drive.

Battery Browsing


BEP Battery Test

The 2015 Dell XPS 13 has a fairly standard 52 WHr battery but a super high resolution display with a lot of pixels to light up, even at the 50% brightness setting that we run these tests at. At 3200X1800 resolution, it has significantly more pixel density than say the 2014 Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. As such, in our web browsing test, the XPS 13 offers up-time in the top quadrant of our database but just misses the ThinkPad's battery life number by about 15 minutes or so. The 2015 XPS 13 lasted 8 hours and 21 minutes, to be exact, simply browsing web pages with WiFi enabled and its display set to half brightness.

In our Battery Eater Pro test, the new XPS 13 performed well but fell short of the previous generation XPS 13's drop time of 210 minutes. The previous generation XPS 13 has only a 1920X1080 panel and a slightly larger 55WHr battery, so this was to be expected, even with the advantage of Intel's 14nm Broadwell-U architecture under its hood.

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