The Greatest Home windows Ultrabook for 2018: Critiques by Wirecutter

Photograph: Kyle Fitzgerald

Our decide

Dell XPS 13

The late-2017 Dell XPS 13 (9360) is the most effective Home windows ultrabook for most individuals as a result of it affords the most effective stability of what makes an ultrabook nice: it’s compact, its battery life is among the many longest we’ve seen, and it has a very good keyboard and trackpad plus a wholesome combine of recent and previous ports. Plus, it’s $300 cheaper than its closest competitors. Earlier variations of the XPS 13 have been our prime decide since early 2015; till its rivals catch as much as a virtually four-year-old design, it stays our favourite ultrabook for most individuals for the value—we even prefer it higher than the 2018 model of the identical laptop computer. However the competitors continues to tighten up.

The XPS 13 packs a 13.Three-inch 1080p display screen right into a 12-inch physique, and the configuration we suggest has an Intel Core i5-8250U processor, eight GB of RAM, and a 256 GB PCIe solid-state drive. We don’t suggest the 4K mannequin as a result of it prices round $400 extra and has about an hour and a half much less battery life, as a result of its 3200×1800 show.

The Dell XPS 13 measures 12 by 7.9 by zero.6 inches and weighs 2.7 kilos. Its design was superb in 2015 and stays spectacular at this time: Each laptop computer we examined is round a half-inch deeper in dimension. It’s now not the outlier it was, although. Different laptops, such because the 13.Three-inch LG Gram, at the moment are about the identical in width and thickness, and the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (our runner-up decide) and Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UA (our price range decide) are each zero.2 kilos lighter, however the distinction isn’t actually noticeable.

The non-touch XPS 13’s battery life remains to be among the many finest you’ll discover, though different fashions are catching up right here, too. The late-2017 XPS 13 lasted eight hours, Three minutes in our Net-browsing battery exams. Our convertible decide, the Lenovo Yoga 920, beat it by an hour, operating for 9 minutes, 6 minutes; practically 10 hours of battery life is spectacular by any measure, however something past a full workday is a bonus. Many of the fashions we examined this 12 months lagged behind the XPS 13 by at the very least an hour, together with our runner-up decide, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon, which lasted for about 7 hours. Our price range decide, the Asus ZenBook UX331UA, ran for 7 hours and 42 minutes, in the course of our pack of contenders.

A look at the XPS' keyboard and trackpad.
The Dell has a cushty, backlit keyboard and a dependable touchpad which are straightforward to make use of for a full day of labor. Photograph: Kyle Fitzgerald

The Dell has a responsive keyboard that’s nice to make use of for lengthy durations of time. The keys are just a little shallow (Laptop computer Magazine measured 1.2 millimeters of journey) however not uncomfortably so, and you’ll cycle via three ranges of backlighting (most, dim, and off) utilizing a operate key. Its keyboard isn’t as gratifying to make use of because the bouncy one on Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon, although, which is the most effective—and most comfy—laptop computer keyboard I’ve ever examined.

Our decide’s precision touchpad is actual and dependable, with correct tap-to-click and a satisfying (however not too loud) bodily click on. The trackpad by no means dropped swipes in our testing and labored properly for two-finger and three-finger gestures. It’s about nearly as good a Home windows trackpad as we’ve ever used, though the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon’s trackpad was just a little smoother in every day use.

A look at the screen and bezel of the Dell XPS
The Dell has a superb display screen, with a tiny bezel surrounding it. Photograph: Kyle Fitzgerald

The Dell’s 13.Three-inch IPS display screen is good, with good coloration copy and improbable viewing angles. It has a matte coating that forestalls glare with out being distracting. The 1080p display screen is especially immersive due to its teeny-tiny 5.2 mm bezel, one other pattern that different laptop computer makers have lastly embraced. (The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon’s bezel is 5 mm, however we couldn’t inform the distinction.) The display screen is nice for getting work performed and watching motion pictures, however the slender bezel pushes the webcam to an inconvenient location (extra on this under).

The aluminum physique is glossy and durable, and the lid has minimal flex. Its carbon-fiber-composite palm relaxation is coated in textured, soft-touch black paint, which makes for a cushty, non-sweaty floor. The center of the keyboard flexes just a little beneath heavy strain, however total, the XPS 13 appears and feels just like the premium laptop computer it’s.

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The Dell has a Thunderbolt Three port, which you should utilize to cost the laptop computer, in addition to a wholesome number of older ports. Photograph: Kyle Fitzgerald

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The Dell has a Thunderbolt Three port, in addition to a wholesome number of older ports. Photograph: Kyle Fitzgerald

The Dell XPS 13 has a Thunderbolt Three port, which you should utilize to cost cell gadgets (or the laptop computer itself, supplied you’ve got a appropriate charger), switch information, or join an exterior show through DisplayPort or HDMI with the right adapter. Our decide additionally has two USB Three.zero Sort-A ports, a headset jack, an SD card reader, and a Noble lock slot. We admire the number of new and legacy ports, since docks, shows, and peripherals have moved to the USB-C customary, however many individuals nonetheless have USB-A equipment. Like our different picks, the XPS 13 comes with a one-year restricted guarantee.

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