It’s challenging to improve on what has long been the best Windows notebook, but the most recent Dell XPS 13 manages to do so in a few subtle, clever ways. The newest laptop from Dell is even lighter and thinner than its predecessor, and it comes in two lovely new colors that look fantastic in your home office or when you’re on the move. This makes the XPS 13 a fantastic and incredibly portable Windows notebook for working from anywhere, especially when combined with its consistently excellent display, keyboard, and battery life.
A more compact layout with fantastic new colors
I’ve ever touched and was a delight to move from room to room while I cycled between daytime writing and evening web browsing. It measures just 0.55 inches thin and weighs an airy 2.59 pounds. I put the two laptops side by side and could instantly tell that it was slightly slimmer and lighter than the already svelte 2021 model.
But my review unit’s gorgeous Umber color, which gives the laptop a sleek maroon-like finish, is the real show-stealer. There’s also a lovely Sky alternative, if light blue is more your thing. In any case, I was happy to see Dell shake things up this year with some new hues that are both subtle enough for the workplace and distinctive enough to stand out from the sea of silver and gray notebooks that regularly clog my desk. The new Dell XPS 13 takes a design that already works and just improves on it in terms of appearance, in contrast to the recent Dell XPS 13 Plus which sacrifices basic comfort and usability by going too minimal.
Fortunately, the XPS 13 continues to produce one of the nicest laptop keyboards I’ve ever touched. Of course, appealing aesthetics don’t matter much if a laptop doesn’t feel good to use. The notebook’s snappy keys deliver immensely pleasing response, generous travel and a silky soft-touch finish, keeping my hands comfortable throughout long hours of hammering away at papers and emails. It compares favorably to Apple’s fantastic Magic Keyboard on its most recent MacBooks, but I prefer the XPS’s deeper and softer-feeling keys.
The top laptop display for Windows
This year, Dell did not alter the XPS 13’s display since it was unnecessary to do so. With scarcely any bezels and good overall picture quality, this machine’s 13.4-inch InfinityEdge display continues to be among the best you can find on any laptop, making it simple to become engaged in whatever you’re doing. While not being as sharp as the extra 4K upgrade, the 1920 x 1200 display I tested was a beautiful backdrop for both work and pleasure.
I appreciated the way colors exploded out of the XPS 13’s brilliant screen during my bingeing hours, whether I was appreciating a pro wrestler’s bold black-and-yellow ring gear or taking in the magnificent oranges and greens of an 8K nature video on YouTube. Yet the display’s excellent contrast and deep blacks made it easy for me to read through Slack discussions and write and edit in Google Documents all day. I like that Dell offers an optional touchscreen, much as with all XPS devices, which made it simple to scroll and zoom across webpages when I didn’t feel like using the touchpad.
The XPS 13’s display is one of the nicest I’ve ever used on a laptop, and it perfectly complements the new model’s extra-sleek form. It isn’t quite as bold and vivid as the OLED option that’s available on the Dell XPS 13 Plus (more on that later), though.
Long-lasting battery (and a good enough webcam)
You may leave the charger at home and use the Dell XPS 13 for a full workday while traveling. On our battery test, which involves continuous 4K movie playback at 50% brightness, Dell’s most recent laptop lasted an impressive eight hours and 31 minutes. That outperforms both the MacBook Air M2 (5:21) and the Dell XPS 13 Plus (5:33), but it falls short of the staggering 11 hours and 11 minutes we were able to wring from the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360. Whether you’re binge-watching Netflix or working nonstop, this laptop will get you through the most of the day. And it makes for a wonderful travel buddy on that lengthy flight.
The 720p webcam on the XPS 13 is ideal for my everyday video conversations because it captures my face and clothes in warm, true colors. Although though the photographs I took with the Dell’s camera appeared a little fuzzy in comparison to those I took with the MacBook Air M2, you won’t need to spend extra money on a dedicated webcam if you don’t want to stream to Twitch or create YouTube videos.
Although I’d advocate using headphones for serious music listening, the laptop’s speakers muddled my normal rock tracks at higher volumes. The speakers were also reliable for hearing coworkers during calls and watching movies.
In this new generation, the Dell XPS 13 continues to hold the title of the best laptop for Windows users thanks to its stunning and immersive display, best-in-class keyboard, and ample battery life for a long workday. The offer is made more sweeter by the fact that it is somehow slimmer this time around and is available in Dell’s most alluring color combinations yet.
In spite of this, the new XPS 13 is rather constrained by its limited port selection and lack of an OLED display option; for dependable performance, you’ll need to invest in a Core i7 model. If you care about having the finest possible performance for the money (as well as a superior webcam), the MacBook Air M2 is still king. You can get an older model of the XPS 13 or try the more divisive XPS 13 Plus if having an OLED screen is important to you. But for everyone else looking for a superb, portable Windows laptop, the most recent Dell XPS 13 is hard to beat.