Review: Dell’s XPS 13 Plus pulls high performance out of disappointing design

Dell XPS 13 Plus Unlocked, Front Side
in great shape , Dell’s XPS 13 Plus Clamshell Laptop.

Sharon Harding

Specs at a glance: Dell XPS 13 Plus (9320)
very bad Best as per review
screen 13.4-inch 1920×1200 IPS non-touch screen 13.4-inch 3840×2400 IPS touchscreen or 13.4-inch 3456×2160 OLED touchscreen 13.4-inch 3456×2160 OLED Touchscreen
OS Windows 11 Home windows 11 pro Windows 11 Home
cpu Intel Core i5-1240P Intel Core i7-1280P
to hit 8GB LPDDR5-5200 32GB LPDDR5-5200 16GB LPDDR5-5200
storage 512GB PCIe 4.0 x4 SSD 2TB PCIe 4.0 x4 SSD 512GB PCIe 4.0 x4 SSD
GPU Intel Iris Xe
networking Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2
ports 2x Thunderbolt 4
Shape 11.63 x 7.84 x 0.6 inches
295.30 x 199.04 x 15.28 mm
weight 2.71 lbs (1.23 kg) IPS: 2.71 lbs 1.23 kg)
OLED: 2.78 pounds (1.26 kg)
2.78 pounds (1.26 kg)
battery 55 who
Guarantee 1 year
Price (MSRP) $1,300 $2,360 $2,000
other USB-C to 3.5mm and USB-C to USB-A 3.0 adapters included, Ubuntu-Based Developer Edition available

Dell’s XPS 13 laptop has been a staple among Windows ultralights, generally offering good performance, extreme portability, and good looks for the price.

Apparently it wasn’t enough for Dell, so it released it dell xps 13 plus, Introduced this year (along with a more traditional one) 2022 XPS 13), it’s a new version of the XPS 13 that puts performance above everything else.

Wild design options allow the system to support 28 W CPU. With a 15W chip in the 2021 XPS 13 and up to 12W in the 2022 XPS 13, this is a remarkable achievement. But it is also a case of function over form. Simply put, the XPS 13 Plus felt awkward to use. From its short range of keys and capacitive touch function row to its minimal port selection, questionable build quality, and extremely high temperatures, this machine can be frustrating to use for daily tasks.

As an artist, the XPS 13 Plus has its advantages. But as a laptop, some design choices may push you towards other powerful thin and light laptops.

Touch bar-esque function row

Most interesting function row in ages.
in great shape , Most interesting function row in ages.

Sharon Harding

Dell hasn’t abandoned soft-touch input on top of its laptop keyboards. You can find a similar setup at 13-inch MacBook Pro, although every other MacBook has gone back to the actual key. However, Dell’s take on the capacitive Touch Row is more limited than that of Apple’s Touch Bar.

It’s not programmable, for one. It can display the Esc, media keys (including a handy mic mute button that lights up), brightness controls, the Windows Project button, and some navigational keys. Alternatively, pressing Fn displays the function row Esc and F1-F12, and you can lock that layout by pressing Fn+Esc.

Dell did not introduce Touch top row like bar just be different Since the keys use capacitive touch, they are 1.4mm thick instead of the 3.2mm vertical space that would be required with traditional buttons. The company said the decision saves space and allows Dell to move the hinges to wider points for better system cooling. But when pushing the laptop to maximum performance for sustained periods of time, the line of functions gets so hot that it’s uncomfortable to touch.

The function row isn’t an area that sees constant innovation, and I appreciate that Dell redesigned it in the name of performance rather than just a gimmick. But as someone who likes mechanical keyboardIt’s hard to like capacitive touch input. During my weeks with the laptop, I’d sometimes press the keys in the top row incorrectly when I didn’t have the standard buttons. Rarely, when I was trying to use the number row, I accidentally brushed the row lightly, entering an input or two.

Since the function row has set controls, there is no need to customize it. But still it seems there is room for more functions. For example, there are no rewind or fast-forward media controls, and unlike many ultralights I’ve tested recently, there’s no button or light on the keyboard to tell you the webcam is off. There is also no light indicator when the volume is muted.

I found the function row’s bright lights to be distracting at times, but it’s impossible to turn it off. An ambient sensor near the webcam automatically adjusts the brightness of the row based on the lighting in the room.

That said, there are far worse things to do than a ho-hum function row, especially if the rest of the keyboard is brilliant. Unfortunately, it is not so.

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