Review of Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2020)

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2020): Dell’s premium 2-in-1 XPS is one of the best Windows laptops. A beautifully designed laptop with processing power that delivers a stunning Windows environment for both general tasks and more intensive applications, making it the best 2-in-1 currently available.

Read More: Review of Dell Inspiron 15 7000 2-in-1 Black Edition (7506)

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2020) Two-minute review

The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2020), also known as the Dell XPS 13 7390, is a major performance and specification update to Dell’s high-end 2-in-1 range, and it may be the best example of Its most popular form factor of both worlds.

In general, 2-in-1 laptops work just as well as standard touchscreen Windows laptops. But they also offer a mechanism to flip the screen around and turn the laptop into a tablet, making it easier to take out and use.

The experience of using one is nothing like an iPad or Android tablet and is instead closer to Microsoft’s Surface Pro. It’s a Windows 10 laptop after all, and it runs standard PC software, with touch interaction and an on-screen keyboard that replaces the keyboard and mouse when interacting with standard PC software.

But despite opening this review by highlighting the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2020)’s tablet functionality, that’s only one of its features, and we actually spent most of our time using it on a traditional laptop. Spent using it as a top, although it performs. Delivers an impressive Windows experience for outstanding and general computing.

Our review unit’s combination of Intel’s 10th generation “Ice Lake” quad-core Core i7 processor, beautiful high-resolution display, fast PCIe NVMe storage, and 16GB of memory make it a very capable portable machine. But it’s the addition of the stunning precision aluminum design and solid build quality that allow it to truly stand out as an all-around dream machine for general Windows use and a nifty portable system for some design work.

The only obvious limitation when using the Dell XPS 13 7390 for video and photo editing is the lack of any discrete graphics for gaming or performance acceleration. It relies on Intel’s Iris Plus integrated GPU.

In all other respects, the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2020) has almost every feature you could want in a laptop. Absolutely fantastic battery life, Wi-Fi 6, ample storage, quiet (but not silent) operation, and excellent all-around performance make it a true champion of Windows laptops and a benchmark by which competing designs can be judged.

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2020) Price and availability

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2020) Price and availability

If you’re looking on Dell’s site for the 7390, be aware that as of late 2020, Dell has vaguely launched another 2-in-1 laptop called the 9310, which is nearly identical. The design sits alongside the 7390 in the lineup. Based on the top 11th generation Intel processors, we would recommend going for the 9310 model as you will definitely get better performance from the 11th generation Intel processors.

Notably, it has new integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics and has the option of more customization options, including up to 32GB of memory, and an Ultra HD+ HDR display with beautiful Dolby Vision support. But in most other respects both the models are similar.

The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2020) model we tested came with a 512GB PCIe 3.0 NVME SSD, 16GB DDR4 memory and an FHD+ display, 720p webcam.

If you want the cheapest Dell XPS 2-in-1 (2020) configuration, the absolute entry-level configuration only has 8GB of memory, a 256GB SSD, an 11th-generation Core i3 processor, and less. The resolution FHD+ display is $1,099 (approx. £). 900, AU$1,400).

That’s not a lot of memory or storage though, so we recommend opting for a 16GB and 512GB SSD. Like other devices, Dell offers a range of configurations and prices.

A fully loaded Dell XPS 2-in-1 (2020) configuration, with 32GB of DDR4 memory, a 1TB SSD, and a UHD+ HDR 400 display is priced at $2,249 / £2,199 (around AU$3,000), which appears That is a lot of money but semi. Reasonably priced compared to competing laptops with similar high-end features.

SPEC SHEET

  • CPU: 1.3GHz Intel Core i7-1065G7 (quad-core, 8MB Intel Smart Cache, up to 3.9GHz with Turbo Boost)
  • Graphics: Intel Iris Plus
  • RAM: 16GB LPDDR4x (3,733MHz)
  • Screen: 13.4-inch Full HD+ (1920x 1200) touch
  • Storage: 512GB SSD (PCIe, NVMe, M.2)
  • Ports: 2x USB-C 3.1 with Thunderbolt 3, 1 x SD card reader, combi audio jack
  • Connectivity: Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650, 2 x 2, Bluetooth 5.1
  • Camera: 720p webcam
  • Weight: 2.9 pounds (1.33 kg)
  • Size: 11.67 x 8.17 x 0.51 inches (296 x 207 x 13 mm; W x D x H)
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2020) Design

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2020) Design

Dell’s premium XPS design language dispels any notion that Windows laptops lack the same chic or modern feel as Apple devices. In (almost) all areas the XPS 13 2-in-1 (2020) looks like a high-quality product, and that goes a long way to justifying the price.

We had more than a few people participate in Slim Design. It’s not as thin as the MacBook Air, but it maintains a similar slim profile. It feels sturdy yet highly portable, making good use of every millimeter of space on the chassis.

Strangely though, at just 1.3kg it still doesn’t feel too light and gives the impression of some solid heft when carried. We suspect it’s purely psychological, though, due to the solid feel of the metal lid, but the sleek design doesn’t really hinder it or make it less portable, but instead somehow works in its favor. does, reinforcing the notion that you’re again holding a piece of quality well-made hardware.

The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2020) is 13mm tall at its thickest point with the lid closed and 7mm tall at its narrowest point with the lid open. Overall dimensions of 296 x 207 x 13mm (WxDxH) actually make it a few millimeters smaller than the MacBook Air in width and depth, which gives you an idea of ​​how slim and portable it really is.

Aside from the stunning physical appearance, the display is undoubtedly the next high-quality feature you’ll see on the Dell XPS 13 7390. With bright and sharp colors, even just the Windows desktop and application icons stand out, along with photos and movies. Full HD+ (1920×1200) resolution.

The eagle-eyed among you will recognize it as a slightly wider 16:10 aspect ratio than standard HD. Bezels are thin, colors are bright and blacks are deep. That’s great, although this version doesn’t have the HDR400 compliance option of its newer 9310 siblings (see above).

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2020) Design

In keeping with modern trends, ports are limited. You get two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports, 3.5mm audio output, and a MicroSD card slot. And that’s it. One of the USB-C ports is used for charging, leaving a lone port for everything else.

Although Dell includes a USB-C to USB-A adapter in the box, there are no USB-A ports on the laptop itself. For people with lots of peripherals, you’ll either need a dock or perhaps use a secondary display with a built-in USB hub.

You can use a modern display to deliver power and charge the Dell XPS 13 7390, so using a single cable to dock the laptop with the display is a great setup it Enables instant charging, a keyboard, a mouse, and possibly external storage as well. All through a single cable.

Some eGPU enclosures in particular offer something similar, including Razer’s Core X Chroma, which can charge the Dell XPS 7390 with Thunderbolt, display via USB-A ports, and add discrete graphics capability and peripherals. Is.

Dell’s own WD19TB Thunderbolt Dock gives you support for up to three external 4K displays over HDMI and DisplayPort with 130w quick charging and wired Ethernet.

But without this pricey addition, the included charging cable and battery pack are surprisingly small and won’t fit under a desk, with a white LED on the charging cable that lights up when connected.

With the lid open, the inside is coated in smooth, high-quality silicone with a large trackpad and backlit keys with a power button on the top right. Depending on the exterior color scheme you choose it’s either black or white, with the silver version we’re testing coming in black (which is actually a very dark grey).

This is where the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2020) falls down a bit. The recessed keys make typing a bit awkward, though it’s only a minor thing and probably something you won’t notice. The trackpad is pleasantly large though, occupying a third of the bottom of the laptop and leaving plenty of space, so full marks to Dell for that.

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2020) Design

Another specific criticism, however, concerns the technique of converting it to tablet mode.

There are two types of hinges that allow the 2-in-1 laptop to flip the screen around: either rotate the entire top 180 degrees so that the screen lies on top of the keyboard, keeping it securely inside the clamshell; be hidden, or all folded. In a single motion such as when the tablet is sitting on a table, the keys come directly onto the table surface.

Dell opted for the latter, which risks getting dirt and mud on the keyboard or possibly scratching the keys and surface.

While the folding mechanism is smooth and the metal hinges are as high-quality as on the outside table, even when you look at the pictures on the outside table for this review, we’re dirt on this expensive laptop. Was I a bit worried about it?

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2020) Performance

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2020) Performance

With an advanced 10nm Intel processor, the Dell XPS 13 7390 offers performance that is comparable to and sometimes beats most Windows quad-core laptops.

Intel’s Core i7-1065G7 processor has Hyper-Threading, so it appears as eight logical cores in Windows 10, which is slower at 1.5GHz, but in this laptop we kept it running at 2.9GHz during testing. Measured.

That’s great, especially since the 10nm processor drives great battery life when throttled down. A Cinebench score of 1,621 and a Geekbench score put it well in the upper range of Windows performance. Top Intel and AMD desktop chips manage better scores in Geekbench but make no mistake, with 16GB of DDR4 memory to boot, this laptop is more than capable of video editing, running complex audio software, and photo editing.

When running intensive applications that stress the processor, the fans accelerate with a hiss rather than a whine. This is true on most laptops and there were no notable issues here. When in less intensive tasks the 7390 is mostly silent.

As suggested above, gaming isn’t really an option with Intel’s Iris Plus graphics unless you’re playing vintage titles, browser games, or specific games with very little graphics demand.

But that all changes with the eGPU enclosure, which we tested with the Dell XPS 13 7390 with surprisingly good results. Connected to one of the Thunderbolt 3 ports, we used a Dell XPS 13 with an eGPU enclosure and an AMD Radeon 5700 graphics card, and suddenly gaming was viable. However, eGPU enclosures cost a lot of money, and you need to buy a graphics card on top of that, making it a relatively expensive way to run games on a non-gaming laptop. This is not something we recommend for everyone.

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2020) Battery life

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2020) Battery life

If the design and display are the first two real standout features of the Dell XPS 2-in-1 (2020), built on top of a solid foundation of performance, the battery life alone makes it Dell’s hat trick.

In our test, we enabled the low power battery saver option in Windows 10, set the screen brightness to 50%, and ran the 1080p movie test again. 14 hours later, it was still running with more than 10% battery. That’s impressive, enough for a typical long-haul flight on a single charge and still entertaining for the taxi ride to your hotel.

This is especially impressive considering the competition. We recently ran a similar test on Apple’s 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro with its new energy-sapping M1 processor, touting its battery life as one of the major benefits of the new architecture, and 13 hours and 21 minutes were recorded.

Intel has received a lot of criticism from some observers for its processors running hot and draining battery life in laptops, but that criticism may not hold true for modern Windows laptops that use the new 10nm. Based on a combination of processors and Windows 10’s energy efficiency. Feature in Dell XPS 13 7390

The obvious caveat is that not every use case will offer this long of battery life, and the power-saving feature seriously hampers application performance, so if you’re encoding video, e.g. You won’t want to miss it.

Pros and Cons of Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2020)

Pros

  • +Great display
  • +Superb build quality
  • +Fantastic battery life

Cons

  • Less useful as a tablet
  • Expensive
  • Webcam just 720p

Buy it if…

You want a laptop that is thin, light, and powerful.
It’s a stylish and well-built laptop that excels with a great display and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity.

You value solid build quality.
The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2020) is one of the best Windows laptop designs on the market.

You value battery life.
With over 14 hours of non-stop on our movie playback test, that’s some impressive longevity that, once again, beats out most rival Windows laptops.

Don’t buy it if…

You basically want a pill.
Although the Dell XPS 13 7390 works fine as a Windows tablet, we preferred to use it as a laptop. There are better alternatives to the pill.

You’re on a tight budget.
This high-quality laptop doesn’t come cheap when you add extra storage and memory.

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