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Dell XPS 13 2-in-1: How It Stacks Up Against Its Laptop Counterpart

By Edge Ison , Mar 14, 2017 05:07 AM EDT
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The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is one of the latest convertibles in town. The company took the popular and highly impressive Dell XPS 13 laptop and placed a detachable 360-degree hinge between the screen and the body to come up with a hybrid laptop-tablet device. The question now is if the hybrid is better than the original.

Design

As with the laptop version, the XPS 13 hybrid comes with a pretty design though there are some variations that were a bit off, to say the least. The XPS 13 2-in-1 comes with a thinner body than the laptop variant. At 1.24kg, it is slightly heavier than the standard XPS 13 but lighter than the touchscreen version. As Trusted Reviews noted, the heavy hinge necessary for the device to become 2-in-1 accounts for some of its weight. The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 also sports slim bezels which make the Gorilla Glass-coated screen look bigger. The convertible also brings back the carbon fiber composite palm rest of the laptop.

USB-Type C ports have been a point of contention since it was introduced and Dell decided to join the debate by using a couple of USB-C ports on the XPS 13 2-in-1, one for charging while the other supports full-speed Thunderbolt 3. This basically means that owners will need to get dongles for other tasks.

The power button is one of the more problematic features of the XPS 13 convertible. For one, it's located on the right side of the device just beside the ports where it's quite hard to hit. Also, it's a bit mushy. One may find it annoyingly necessary to check the power light on the button to see if it has been switched off. Another issue with the hybrid Dell laptop is its difficulty in prying open which is a head-scratcher considering the XPS 13 did not have that problem.

Performance

The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 comes with the 7th-gen Intel Kaby Lake Core i5-7Y54 processor along with 4GB of RAM, 128GB of solid-state drive and an Intel HD GPU. These specs are good as they are but when compared to the XPS 13 which is powered by Intel Core 15-6200U and comes with 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD, the convertible could use a bit more improvement. Venture Beat also noted that the 2-in-1 has a less impressive battery which lasted an average of 5 hours despite the benchmark test claiming 15 hours of battery life. In comparison, the XPS 13 laptop supposedly lasts up to 22 hours.

Price

The game-changer here is arguably the price. The entry-level Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is worth $1,000 which is $200 more than that of the XPS 13's base model while the Core i7 variant with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD is worth $1,300.

The Dell convertible has some good points but its price coupled with its less impressive performance as compared to the XPS 13 clamshell, makes the latter a better buy. The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 was introduced at the CES 2017 and was, in fact, one of the more impressive devices back then. As it turns out, the XPS 13 is too good a laptop to be overshadowed by its slightly remarkable little hybrid brother.

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