The new Dell XPS 13 has a 13.3-inch screen, but it has the small footprint of an 11-inch notebook. Fortunately for us, the XPS 13 isn’t all beauty and no brains. This laptop features the horsepower to make work and play enjoyable, and more than enough battery life to never die on you.
Dell followed up by sending us a lower-end version of the XPS 13, this time without the touchscreen and with only a standard 1,920×1,080-pixel resolution, but with the promise of much-improved battery life. Trading down the resolution doesn’t seem like a big loss in a smaller 13-inch system, but not having a touchscreen is a setback for anyone looking to use Windows 8 effectively, especially considering that the touchpad on the XPS 13 is one of the system’s few weak spots.
The 13.3-inch display has a nearly borderless edge-to-edge design, available in two versions, a 3,200×1,800-pixel touch panel and a 1,920×1,080-pixel non-touch version. We’ve now had a chance to test and use both versions, and which one you choose makes a fairly significant difference to the overall experience.
The higher-resolution screen has a glossy glass overlay that provides touch control and also serves to create a single-layer smooth surface over the entire top panel of the laptop. The 1080p version has a matte finish and lacks that glass overlay. That means the bezel is slightly raised above the screen itself, and you don’t have a single, level surface, but instead a screen that is slightly inset.