Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2017) review

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PC MAKER Dell’s XPS 13 2-in-1 is the most laptop-like hybrid the company has made to date. It has tried models with pull-off screens and ones with displays that flip around in their frames, but this one uses a much more familiar 360-degree hinge.

If you want something to work as an ultra-slim laptop, this is one of the best around. It’s small, light and doesn’t chuck out as many features as the tiniest MacBook. However, make sure you consider the Dell XPS 13 too. It may be a better fit.

Design
Dell’s last 2-in-1 laptop looked quite odd, using a screen that flipped around in its frame. The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is much more conventional, closer to a slimmer, hybridised version of the normal XPS 13.

The basics of its build are just like those of the other XPS laptops, using aluminium for the lid and underside, but a carbon-fibre reinforced polymer for the keyboard surround. It has a checkerboard look and a soft finish, making a comfortable surface on which to rest your hands.

Many onlookers may not even guess it’s a hybrid until you push the hinge to 180-degrees and beyond. Like a Lenovo Yoga laptop, the screen simply folds all the way around to meet the back of the underside.

Some laptop makers give their hybrids funky-looking hinges to highlight this, but Dell doesn’t. Like the other XPS models, it’s the perfect image of restraint, ensuring it’s the sort of machin60-year-old CEO could take into a meeting without looking like they’re having a mid-life crisis.

Even if you’re not too bothered about the folding hinge, the size and weight of the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 are both very handy. It’s 14mm at its thickest and weighs 1.24kg. That’s larger and heavier than a 12in MacBook, but we think an extra 250g is worth it when you get an extra screen inch.

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We’ve been using the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 as our everyday work PC, and it’s a great size for the purpose. As the laptop has one of Dell’s InfinityEdge screens, with only a few millimetres of surround, it’s also very petite for its screen size. As we often end up working with a laptop perched on our knees when travelling, we frankly wouldn’t want it to be that much smaller anyway.

Like the other XPS models, the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 build quality is great. The screen doesn’t bend easily under pressure, there’s almost no flex to the keyboard and even when you pick the laptop up by one edge, it doesn’t feel like you’re mistreating the little thing.

If you’re going to spend as much time using a laptop in airports, on trains or out in the park as in the office or at home, the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is a perfect fit.

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