Dell XPS 13 (2020) review: A top-quality ultraportable gets even better Review

The new 2020 model of the Dell XPS thirteen is a high quality ultraportable notebook with a setting up value of £1,399 (inc. VAT £1,a hundred sixty five.eighty three ex. VAT), increasing to £1,799 (inc. VAT £1,499.seventeen ex. VAT) as the attributes are piled on. In the US, the value vary is $one,199.99-$two,149.99. Back in 2018 I discovered the Dell XPS thirteen in the vicinity of-best, so it really is a incredibly really hard act to observe: how does the latest product evaluate up?

Presented that mid-vary laptops can cope with each day computing requirements with relative simplicity, high quality ultraportables are an increasingly really hard sell. A major-finish method requirements to get style and design, battery lifestyle, display and keyboard top quality, and interior attributes place-on while shoehorning almost everything into the smallest possible chassis for the display sizing on give.

In phrases of style and design, Dell is bang on below. The XPS thirteen (2020) is modest and particularly mild. The setting up fat of one.2kg for units without a touch-display and one.27kg for touch-display styles like my review unit is just not really as close to the 1kg mark as some could like, but Dell is forgiven for this for the reason that the aluminium chassis is incredibly stable. I couldn’t bow the lid in my arms at all, and the palm rest was rigid beneath pressure way too.

My review unit experienced a silver lid and black interior, with the signature woven carbon fibre composite patterning to the palm rest that lends it both a distinctive visual appeal and a non-slip sense. There is also a silver (lid) and white (palm rest) model of the XPS thirteen (2020).


The thirteen.4-inch XPS thirteen (2020) runs on 10th-generation Intel Main i5 or i7 CPUs with integrated UHD Graphics or Iris Additionally Graphics. Screens are out there with FHD+ (1920×1200) or UHD+ (3840 x 2400) resolution.

Image: Dell

Dell is accomplishing its bit to avoid environmentally unfriendly supplies in the create, and says 90% of this notebook is recyclable. The ethic is prolonged to the packaging, which is 100% recyclable. A person working day all laptops will at minimum meet up with this regular, and a lot of additional should be publicising credentials like this these days.


Remaining aspect (major): USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 and MicroSD card. Correct aspect (previously mentioned): USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 and 3.5mm audio in/out.

Visuals: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

The XPS thirteen (2020) will just about cover beneath a pad of A4 paper, as it actions just 296mm huge by 199mm deep. It can be skinny way too, getting just fourteen.8mm at its thickest point, tapering in direction of the front. This thinness implies there’s minimal area for ports and connectors, and all you get is a pair of USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports, just one on each and every aspect, with a MicroSD card slot on the still left and a 3.5mm headset jack on the suitable. Possibly of the USB-C ports can be used to cost the battery, and Dell presents a USB-C to USB 3 converter in the box. Never look for a SIM card slot on this ultraportable even though: there’s no cell broadband option for the XPS thirteen.

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The thirteen.4-inch display sits in a surround which is as close to bezel-no cost as I have observed. Dell does not give bezel measurements for its Infinity Edge show, but does quote a 91.5% display-to-human body ratio. Even the base bezel, which can generally be relatively huge in minimal-bezel laptops, is impressively modest below, and I calculated the aspect bezels at all around 3mm.

The display in my review unit was a touch panel with 3,840-by-two,400-pixel resolution (UHD+, 338ppi). There are also non-touch and one,920 x one,200 (FHD+, 169ppi) solutions. All of the XPS thirteen (2020) screens have 500-nits brightness and some are anti-reflective, some anti-glare. I discovered the display on my significant-finish review unit to be incredibly responsive to touch and pin-sharp in viewing, if relatively reflective. 

The audio subsystem provides loads of quantity, but the stereo speakers are lacking in bass tones. It can be fine for function-centered video contacting (a necessity at the latest time), but if you want to use your notebook for either function shows or capture-up video viewing, you might will need an external speaker, or to look elsewhere.

On the subject matter of video contacting, we are delighted to see that Dell has relocated the webcam to the modest bezel previously mentioned the display — a welcome move from its place beneath the display in the former model, which delivered a much less-than-flattering ‘up the nose’ camera angle except the notebook was lifted up on a stand or a pile of publications. A sliding privateness go over would be a nice touch, but sadly Dell doesn’t involve just one. There is also an infrared camera for Home windows Hi login, or you can use the fingerprint scanner which is neatly disguised in the on/off button that sits in the major suitable corner of the keyboard.


The keyboard is backlit, responsive and comfy to style on at speed. It can be also relatively silent.

Image: Dell

The backlit keyboard has an particularly mild touch, and the keys have the nice bounceback I locate conducive to rapidly touch-typing. The action is about as close to silent as it gets, with just a slight ‘thunk’ sounding as each and every crucial is used. If you function in silent environments, you can respect this. The comfy wrist rest houses a huge and responsive touchpad that worked faultlessly all through the review interval.

There are no fewer than 11 preconfigured iterations of the XPS thirteen (2020) out there off the web site. All operate on 10th generation Intel Main processors and involve Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5, but they vary significantly in other technical specs — some even operating Ubuntu Linux. As common with Dell, you can blend and match technical specs to customise the configuration.

Right here are the entry-level and major-finish off-the-web site styles:

  • Intel Main i5-1035G1, Home windows 10 Household, thirteen.4-inch one,920 x one,200 non touch display, Intel UHD Graphics, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD
    £1,399 (inc. VAT £1,a hundred sixty five.eighty three ex. VAT)
  • Intel Main i7-1065G7, Home windows 10 Household, thirteen.4-inch 3,840 x two,400 touch display, Intel Iris Additionally Graphics, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD
    £1,799 (inc. VAT £1,499.seventeen ex. VAT)

My review unit was the major-of-the-vary Main i7/16GB RAM/1TB SSD product with the significant-resolution touch display. Not astonishingly, this done incredibly well when operating my common mainstream productivity workloads.

The 52Whr battery done fairly well, way too. In just one 5-hour stint involving producing into a net app, streaming new music and viewing the occasional video, the battery went from 95% to fifty seven%, depleting 38% of its capacity. This suggests a total figure of all around 12.5 hrs. I still left the display at the default brightness environment for this examination, which was just a shade under fifty%, but in each day utilization I’d want this at closer to sixty% for ease and comfort in my property office environment. This would reduce battery lifestyle, as would heavier-obligation workloads. If this is probably to be a dilemma, consider opting for the reduced-resolution FHD+ display, which will desire considerably much less from the battery.


Deficiency of ports and connectors on the XPS thirteen (2020) will be an problem for some people today, and the relatively very poor audio top quality might also rankle. Battery lifestyle might also be an problem with the significant-resolution show if you switch up the brightness and/or operate demanding workloads.

In all other respects this is a wonderful major-flight ultrabook: it really is compact and moveable, yet resilient, and it really is rapidly, with a terrific display and an outstanding keyboard. You can have to expend a good volume over the foundation value to get a significant-resolution touch display and additional than 512GB of SSD storage even though.

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