Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 review: Powerful, light convertible laptop a little awkward in tablet form

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Convertible laptops are a bit of an acquired taste. While it’s nice in theory to have a notebook computer turn into a tablet, in practice, a given 2-in-1 device tends to work better in one form than the other.

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Detachable devices tend to be more tablet-centric and have inferior keyboards while the one-piece devices work better as laptops as they are often a little heavy and awkward to hold in its more mobile form.

The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (9365) falls into the latter category. The 2-in-1 is similar in design and close in size and weight to the popular XPS 13. It is 30.4 cm wide, 19.9 cm deep, 8-13.7 mm high and weighs 1.24 kg. So, as laptops go, it is quite light and compact.

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And frankly, it’s pretty great.

While the keyboard may take a little getting used to, it is larger than what you would find on most other similar sized laptop. The device’s thin bezel around the screen makes it feel bigger than the average 13.3-inch laptop, while at the same time allowing the dimensions to be smaller. And even when the laptop gets a little warm at the back from extended use, it’s not uncomfortable and the fans are relatively quiet.

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However, the XPS 13 2-in-1’s form factor makes it a little wonky as a tablet. It uses a 360-degree hinge to turn it into a laptop, flipping the chiclet keyboard around behind the screen.

As with other laptops using this design, the keyboard faces outwards so it feels a little awkward to hold. The narrow frame also throws off the centre of gravity – especially when you try to balance it in one hand. And, of course, while 1.24 kg is light for a laptop, it’s a little heavy for a tablet.

Granted, with a 360-degree hinge, you can also bend it into other configurations, such as flipping it around so that you can stand it up like a tent with the screen facing out. It’s a great option if you want to, say, watch a movie without having to lean in to see the action.

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Dell XPS 13 2-in-1. (Dell/Supplied)
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1. (Dell/Supplied)

The UltraSharp QHD+ resolution (3,200×1,800) display offers a bright image with good colour balance and it is quite responsive to touch. Using the Intel HD Graphics 615 card, video playback is smooth and the sound quality is impressive for a laptop this size.

And it’s a powerful machine too.

While many convertible laptops are pricey, especially when you look at the specs. Now, don’t get me wrong, the XPS 13 2-in-1 isn’t cheap but it’s Dell’s premium line and so you can purchase it as your primary computer and not a gimmicky secondary one.

It uses the 7th generation Intel processor. It’s slightly older than the 8th generation one available in the New XPS 13 (9370) but it’s still high-end.

And, like with most Dell products, you can customize your order on its website. It starts at $1,349.99 for a laptop with an Intel Core i5-7Y54 Processor with a clockspeed of up to 3.2 GHz, 4 GB of RAM, a 128 GB solid-state drive, a more standard full HD (1,920×1,080) display and Windows 10 Home 64-bit edition installed. To blow out the specs, you can i7-7Y75 Processor with a clockspeed of up to 3.6 GHz, a 1 TB PCIe SSD, the QHD+ display and Windows 10 Pro installed for $3,109.99.

So, yes, it’s not cheap but the pricing is comparable to the regular XPS 13 with similar specs. So, if you’re in the market for a high-performance, lightweight laptop that you might occasionally want to use as a tablet, the Dell XPS 2-in-1 may be the right choice for you.

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Originally posted 2024-03-01 19:31:03.