The XPS lacks the Surface’s kickstand design, which lets you position the screen at any angle you like. The XPS 13 is supported by a folio that slides off the back of the tablet and locks into place with magnets. That means it’s limited to those angles that have magnets. The most obvious is the first one, the angle at which you want to type on your desk. After that, you have to slide the folio down slowly until you feel it lock into place. There are three possible angles (I could find them anyway), but switching between them isn’t as simple as it is on the Surface.
As with any folio keyboard, typing on your lap is awkward, but possible. I’ve written most of this review and it’s balanced on my lap. That said, if you primarily want to type with it on your lap, I have the device for you. It’s called a laptop.
Typing on the Dell folio keyboard is no different than typing on the XPS 13 Plus. The keys are shallower than your average laptop’s, but still deep enough to feel like you’re pressing something, and the response is springy and satisfying. One thing to note is that this keyboard doesn’t slope like the Surface Pro.
Another thing to consider is that, given that most of us do want a keyboard, pairing a 1.6-pound tablet with a 1.26-pound keyboard results in a 2.8-pound device. The Dell XPS 13 laptop weighs 2.6 pounds and the screen can be adjusted to any angle. The main reason I can see choosing it over a laptop is for people who primarily want a Windows tablet.
Performance-wise, the 2-in-1 XPS 13 proves to be quite capable given its thermal constraints. In fact, it scored better on the Geekbench test suite than the XPS 13 laptop I briefly tested last year.In theory these are the same chips and considering the 2-in-1’s fanless design I would expect worse Performance. In benchmarks, however, it’s slightly ahead. In actual use, I didn’t struggle or experience any lag. And I spend most of my time on Windows using the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), which is notoriously CPU-heavy.
Suffice it to say, the performance of the i5 model with a 12th Gen Intel U-series processor is good enough for most use cases where you’d want such a hybrid device. If you thought you were going to use it for video editing, you’d be wrong. you do not. It’s also not a good setup for gaming. But for browsing the web, working with documents, and even editing very large spreadsheets, the XPS 13 is very flexible.
It comes with a very different – in my opinion, better display than its laptop sibling. Like the Surface Pro, it features a 3:2 ratio screen with a screen resolution of 2880 x 1920. It has a brightness of 500 nits, works well outdoors, and is very clear. Dell also says it supports DisplayHDR 400 and Dolby Vision, which won’t be found in the XPS 13 laptop. It’s also protected by Gorilla Glass and is a touchscreen (it also works with a stylus, sold separately).
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