Dell XPS 13 OLED overview: extra pixels, more cash

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If you’ve been ready for a 13-inch laptop computer with one of the best show know-how on the market, Dell now has an choice for you. Dell has lastly launched an OLED model of its XPS 13, and I’m typing this overview on it proper now.

The check unit I used to be despatched has a Core i7-1185G7, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage. The OLED configuration prices precisely the identical as an identically specced non-OLED 4K mannequin ($1,699.99), and $300 greater than an identically specced FHD touchscreen mannequin. Nothing else about this XPS is new: it has the identical skinny and lightweight construct, the identical tiny bezels and webcam, the identical glass-fiber palm rests, and the identical 16: 10 side ratio because the previous couple Dell XPS 13s I’ve reviewed. So the concerns right here actually come all the way down to how a lot you want an OLED display and what you’re prepared to sacrifice for it.

The Dell XPS 13 seen from the right side.
It seems identical to the earlier XPS 13.

The show itself is nice. It’s a 3.5K (3456 x 2160) panel with a claimed 100,000:1 distinction ratio. It maxed out our colorimeter, overlaying 100% of the DCI-P3 colour gamut. It’s not as vibrant because the FHD mannequin however continues to be lots vibrant, maxing out at 369 nits. I had no drawback utilizing the machine outdoors and was often utilizing it beneath 30 % brightness whereas indoors. Numbers apart, it delivers a extremely beautiful image with vibrant and vibrant colours and sharp particulars.

The draw back, in fact, is that there’s some battery life impression. I haven’t reviewed the 4K Dell XPS 13, so I can’t communicate to that unit’s longevity. But in comparison with the FHD mannequin I reviewed, the OLED mannequin struggles on the battery life entrance.

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The Dell XPS 13 OLED closed seen from the left side on a wooden table.
Not too many ports.

Battery life, for context, has been an enormous promoting level of different XPS 13 fashions. I averaged 9 hours and quarter-hour utilizing the FHD mannequin as my main work driver round 200 nits of brightness. With the OLED mannequin, I used to be getting about 5 hours from the identical workload on the similar brightness.

That’s… properly, that’s a giant hole. And it must be a critical consideration if you happen to’re pondering of buying this machine. After all, the FHD show continues to be fairly darn good. The blacks on my overview unit weren’t as deep as they had been on this OLED panel, however the image it delivered was nonetheless implausible and never one thing my un-artistic eyes had any issues with. (On the opposite hand, the non-OLED 4K show additionally doesn’t appear to have nice battery life, per different opinions. So the OLED is extra aggressive with that mannequin, particularly because it’s the identical value.)

The Intel Evo sticker on the bottom right corner of the Dell XPS 13 OLED.
It’s Evo-certified, regardless of the battery life.

For that motive, I might nonetheless suggest that most individuals go for the FHD XPS 13 over the OLED mannequin. Five hours will not be nice battery life, nevertheless it’s particularly not nice for an ultraportable laptop computer this near the $2,000 mark. It’s definitely a dealbreaker for me, even when all the things else a few laptop computer is ideal. It means I’d need to have this factor plugged in a number of instances a day, despite the fact that certainly one of its main advantages is meant to be that it’s mild sufficient to hold round wherever. I need.

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Meanwhile, as good because the OLED display is, I can’t think about it’ll make an enormous quality-of-life distinction to all however probably the most discerning of viewers. It definitely shouldn’t be a large enough distinction to outweigh a $300 premium and a four-hour hit to battery life. If you’re somebody for whom the OLED is definitely worth the value, you most likely know who you might be.

The Dell XPS 13 OLED lid on a wooden table seen from the top.
Buy it for $1,699.99.

Dell XPS 13 OLED

  • $1,650
  • $1,900
  • 14% off

Prices taken at time of publishing.

In the Dell XPS 13 OLED, an awesome laptop computer meets an awesome display.

  • $1,650 at Dell

Photography by Monica Chin / The Verge