Dell XPS 13 QHD, Touch, Skylake – Review video and notes

Posted on 11 December 2015 by

At 1.29 KG this 13-inch touchscreen laptop creeps inside our radar for ultra mobile PCs, and it does it in style. I’m not talking about the amazing edge-to-edge display or the great casing materials, I’m talking about the stamina of the Dell XPS 13. I’ve just produced a video of the latest version with Core i7 Skylake inside and the QHD touchscreen. It’s not cheap at over 1500 euros but there’s a Full HD non-touch matte-screen version available that weighs 90 grams less and will save you a few hundred euros. The new XPS 13’s have USB-C with Thunderbolt and a re-worked trackpad but there’s not much else that’s different on the outside.

Image via Notebookcheck.

Full Dell XPS 13 QHD review available here.

The QHD screen isn’t the brightest. The keyboard isn’t full-size. There’s no native digital video output either so you’ll need a Thunderbolt adaptor. You might wonder why anyone would be so attracted to the Dell XPS 13 given these issues but after testing the Surface Pro4, UX305LA a Dell Latitude 7559 multimedia system in a video rendering test recently the Dell XPS 13 shows, under the same test, that it’s well-engineered. It doesn’t get hot. It doesn’t get noisy and it doesn’t throttle under 6 minutes of heavy load. The Core i7 Broadwell-based ASUS Zenbook UX305LA might be the better deal but the XPS 13 is the better laptop, at least if you’re mobile.

I’ll be testing the FHD non-touch version next week so I can give you some more detail about the differences then. I should also have the Zenbook UX303 in for a test. This slightly heavier Ultrabook offers a very similar specification to the XPS13 but at a lower price. Watch out for a side-by-side test next week.

Here’s my overview review video and underneath that you’ll find a side-by-side video editing load test with the Surface Pro 3 and the stylish HP Spectre x360 13-inch convertible.

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  • Frank Cosgrove

    Got mine last week, slight improvement on my old version in day to day stuff, but I needed the 16 GB option to run VMware as the old one only supported 8 gb. Looking forward to the new USB-C /Ligthing 3 dock coming in Jan as the laptop really needs a good docking and power solution.

  • johnWP

    Thanks Steve, great review as usual, look forward to the FHD non touch test.

  • I now have the FHD version with me. Early tests indicate a big difference in backlight power. 2 X more battery life at idle, low brightness. (2W idle vs 4W idle on the QHD version).

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