For years, the Dell XPS 13 was one in all my go-to suggestions for a general-use slim Home windows laptop computer. However it shared that checklist with equally good machines from HP, Acer and others. A handful of issues saved it from being as universally helpful because it ought to have been. Through the years, the scale and weight had fallen behind the competitors, and the slim display bezels led to some unflattering webcam compromises. 

The 2019 model, nevertheless, is one other story. 

I needed to look lengthy and arduous to seek out something I did not like in regards to the 2019 Dell XPS 13. Pressed to provide you with a listing, I would say the woven glass fiber palm relaxation would not look or really feel as high-end because it ought to. The white backlight shining via white keys (on the white and rose gold variations) generally makes it more durable to see the keys, not simpler. And to be able to get a touchscreen mannequin, it’s important to commerce as much as a 4K show, which is dearer and never as battery-friendly.

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Sarah Tew/Proinertech

Apart from that, with this newest model of the XPS 13, Dell has finished almost the unattainable — it is made a laptop computer I can discover virtually no fault with. Since Dell launched ultrathin display borders in its 2015 mannequin (the XPS 13 has been round since 2012), the corporate has steadily been chipping away at my laundry checklist of complaints, making the XPS 13 smaller, lighter, extra highly effective. The 2018 mannequin obtained the scale and weight down, and now for 2019, essentially the most crucial remaining concern has been taken care of. 

The nostril job

The system’s largest knock has lengthy been its webcam. Due to the very skinny display border (additionally known as a bezel), the webcam had been relegated to a spot under the display, slightly than above it. That led to an unflattering up-the-nose angle that made the XPS 13 much less helpful for Skype calls, YouTube movies or some other video-recording or streaming wants.

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Sarah Tew/Proinertech

After years of claiming it was an issue unattainable to resolve whereas sustaining the skinny bezel look, Dell has gone forward and solved it. The brand new webcam in some way matches into that very slim prime border, due to a brand new lens design that is solely 2.5mm excessive. That provides a hair to the width of the highest display border, nevertheless it’s a good trade-off.

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A view from the nosecam on the 2018 Dell XPS 13. 

Dan Ackerman/Proinertech

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A view from the webcam of the 2019 Dell XPS 13. 

Dan Ackerman/Proinertech

Even a number of preliminary check pictures present that the angle is rather more pure, and the picture is evident and noise-free. Each video and photograph prime out at 720p decision, and if pressed, I would want to see full 1,920×1,080 HD. However in contrast with a photograph snapped from the earlier era XPS 13, the distinction is evident.

A well-recognized path for plugs 

If you happen to’re a kind of folks bothered by the fast shift to USB-C in laptops on the expense of almost each different kind of port, nicely, the tide would not appear like it is turning again anytime quickly. Three USB-C ports right here deal with all of the heavy lifting, together with energy, however two of them are additionally Thunderbolt ports for hooking up high-speed peripherals. 

There’s nonetheless a microSD card slot, which is one thing of a rarity today. That is particularly helpful as a result of the cheaper configurations embody solely 128GB of SSD storage, so a minimum of you’ll be able to shoehorn in some extra arduous drive area. The MacBook Air used to have an SD card slot, typically used for a similar motive. That, sadly, is not any extra. 

The value is (largely) proper

If you happen to have been going to bid on this slim design with a high-end aluminum/carbon fiber physique, a number of Thunderbolt ports, and almost edge-to-edge display in a Showcase Showdown, you possibly can simply overbid. The brand new XPS 13 begins at $899, or $300 lower than the bottom mannequin MacBook Air ($1,119 at Amazon). UK costs begin at £939, and the next $2,069 in Australia. 

However be mindful the entry-level mannequin loses some essential options. The FHD (full HD, or 1,920×1,080) show is nontouch. The processor is a lower-end U-series Intel Core i3, and the 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD do not feel particularly future-proof, and even today-proof for some customers. 

It is an absolute no-brainer to kick in an additional $100 to get you as much as a current-gen Intel Core i5, which is the mainstream candy spot. Upgrading to 8GB of RAM and a 256GB arduous drive is at present $1,209, making it a better match to the most recent MacBook Air, and doubtless the most effective worth configuration. 

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