Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 9310 (2020) review: An excellent, but not perfect, convertible ultraportable Review

Dell delivers two versions of its ultraportable XPS thirteen: a normal laptop and a two-in-one unit. The standard version of the Dell XPS thirteen that I reviewed in April 2020 was run by a 10th era Intel Main processor. Now, for the same £1,399 (inc. VAT) starting up price as that product, the XPS-thirteen two-in-1 is readily available with 11th-era (Tiger Lake) CPUs and Intel Evo branding. The new XPS thirteen also offers Thunderbolt 4 as normal and up to 1TB of SSD storage.

Dell’s XPS thirteen was well obtained from the outset, and for several is the leading ultraportable laptop. The two-in-one model retains all the traits of the normal product, including 360-degree display rotation to guidance pill, tent and presentation modes. 


The thirteen.4-inch Dell XPS thirteen two-in-one runs on 11th-era Intel Main i5 or i7 processors with built-in Iris Xe graphics, up to 32GB of RAM and up to 1TB of SSD storage. The display is readily available at FHD+ (1920 x 1200) or 4K UHD+ (3840 x 2400) resolution, and the unit weighs one.32kg.

Picture: Dell

The develop top quality is exemplary. The chassis is made from two blocks of aluminium, ensuing in a lid which is unattainable to bow devoid of applying really serious pressure and a foundation that feels stable and difficult. At one.32kg this is just not the lightest ultraportable, with competition edging close to 1kg, but it truly is nonetheless light more than enough to tote around, and its electricity brick is relatively little and light. The sliver exterior is unremarkable and might be susceptible to scratching, but the black inside incorporates the ‘woven glass fibre’ complete all around the keyboard and touchpad that Dell has utilized for a whilst, lending the unit a subtly distinct appearance. 

Dell can make a perform of its ‘variable torque hinge’ style and design, which it says can make the laptop a lot easier to open up as well as making a additional steady platform when the touchscreen is getting made use of. Perfectly, I nonetheless essential two palms to open up the chassis — a person to keep the foundation down and a person to raise the lid. But it is correct that you have to prod the touchscreen with a honest quantity of power ahead of the full thing begins to idea backwards. And the hinges are effective more than enough to keep the display at regardless of what angle you decide on.

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Nominal display bezels suggest the thirteen.4-inch display sits in a chassis measuring 29.7cm x 20.7cm. It is really a slim laptop too, at just one.435cm, though Dell has sacrificed connectivity to reach this stage of thinness, and that could be a deal-breaker for some. The appropriate facet has a solitary Thunderbolt 4 port and a three.5mm headset jack, whilst the still left has a 2nd Thunderbolt 4 port and a MicroSD card reader. And which is your whole lot. 


Nominal bezels maximise display house — below in pill mode.

Picture: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

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It is really fantastic to see Thunderbolt 4, but if you need to have to join various peripherals you may perhaps sense the need to have for an growth hub. With this laptop starting up at £1,399 (inc. VAT) you might expect something to be bundled, but all Dell delivers is a USB-C to USB-A converter. A Dell USB-C adapter with HDMI, VGA, USB three. and Ethernet connections expenses £59.23 (inc. VAT). 

My overview unit came with a 4K (three,840 x two,four hundred) touchscreen, which is genuinely breathtaking. The alternative FHD (one,920 x one,200) screen is the less high priced solution, and this configuration may perhaps well support to extend battery life. I discovered the 4K display to be brilliant and sharp, and properly responsive to touches and sweeps. Viewing angles are great too. 

Like several laptop makers, Dell has minimised the bottom display bezel to deliver additional viewable location. This display serious estate attain is useful for everyone composing, working with spreadsheets or scrolling by way of website webpages. If you are working in pill mode, with the display flipped to portrait orientation, you may also see some benefit from a wider viewing location. 

Respectable speakers are becoming additional and additional vital on laptops, for video clip calls or following-several hours video clip watching. You will find great and negative news on this entrance with the XPS thirteen two-in-one: the speaker grilles are on the underside of the chassis and even although they are extensive and sit on the short edges wherever they curve upwards, they’re not truly eliminated more than enough from a desk to enable uninterrupted sound output. And if you use the XPS-thirteen two-in-one on your lap, audio may perhaps well be muffled. 

However, beneath the best possible situations, sound top quality is great, though it would not go extremely loud – presumably to steer clear of distortion. The built-in speakers are Ok for personalized use, but might not cope with projecting audio across a conference room, for example. 


The backlit keyboard has great-sized keys, but small vital vacation usually means that it lacks tactile responsiveness.

Picture: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The keyboard has properly huge QWERTY keys, a double-height Enter vital and sizeable Fn and arrow keys. The electricity vital is unmarked and sits at the appropriate conclude of the Fn row. The two-action backlight is powerful, and Dell says the keyboard has a coating to avoid yellowing and staining. 

There is totally small vital vacation, and though typing generates alternatively loud ‘thunks’, the lack of tactile reaction may perhaps set some possible buyers off. I had to slow my touch-typing a small until finally I acclimatised. The touchpad, by distinction, is relatively huge, extremely responsive and a satisfaction to use.

The XPS thirteen two-in-one runs on Windows 10 Home on a decision of two 11th era Intel processors: my overview unit came with a higher-end Core i7-1165G7, whilst the entry-stage alternative is a Core i5-1135G7. This laptop’s capability to wake from rest in beneath a 2nd — an 11th-gen feature — is sport-altering: it truly is a pleasure to just open up the unit and right away get on with your do the job. 

As noted, I was sent a higher-conclude configuration to overview. Here’s how it compares to the entry-stage product: 

As reviewed 
Intel Main i7-1165G7, Windows 10 Home, thirteen.4-inch three,840 x two,four hundred touch display, Intel Iris Xe graphics, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD 
£1,949 (inc. VAT £1,624.seventeen ex. VAT) 

Entry stage
Intel Main i5-1135G7, Windows 10 Home, thirteen.4-inch one,920 x one,200 touch display, Intel Iris Xe graphics, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD 
£1,399 (inc. VAT £1,165.eighty three ex. VAT) 

Sad to say, the battery life of my Main i7/4K display overview unit was disappointing. I absolutely billed the 51Wh battery and then invested three several hours on a usual workload of website searching, audio streaming and composing into website apps. Just after this time the battery was down to 50%, so if you go for a higher-spec product, be mindful that there may perhaps be a price to shell out in conditions of battery life. 


Dell has added 11th-era Intel processors and Thunderbolt 4 to the XPS thirteen two-in-1’s stable chassis and exceptional 360-degree rotating display. Having said that, this is not a significantly light-weight thirteen-inch two-in-one and it truly is short on ports and connectors, whilst battery life is disappointing — at minimum with a Main i7 processor and electricity-hungry 4K display. Then there’s the keyboard motion, which might be the most problematic difficulty.

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