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.

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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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6 Comments For This Post

  1. Frank Cosgrove says:

    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.

  2. johnWP says:

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

  3. chippy says:

    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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