The Dell XPS 13, our favourite, tops the table as the best laptop overall in 2019, knocking off the likes of Apple MacBook Air, Asus Chromebook C434, Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, and Asus Chromebook C434. It has a powerful display and a slim design like the MacBook Air and it is fast – thanks to the Whiskey Lake processor.
- Excellent performance with updated processors
- Cutting-edge 4K display
- Slim & lightweight
- Correct positioning of webcam (now above the screen)
- Excellent keyboard
- Battery life isn’t extraordinary; just decent
- Little improvement to its predecessor
|13.3-inch 3820 x 2160 touch display
|1.8-GHz Intel Core i7-8565U processor
|Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Home (64-bit)
|Roughly 8 to 12 hours of use
|Intel UHD Graphics 620
|Widescreen HD (720p) webcam with 4 array digital microphones
|Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C), USB-C 3.1, micro SD card reader, headset jack
|11.9 x 7.8 x 0.3 inches (30.23 x 19.81 x 0.76 cm)
|2.7 pounds (1.23 kg)
|802.11ac Wi-Fi Bluetooth 4.1
- 11.9 x 7.8 x 0.3 inches
- 2.7 pounds (1.23 kg)
- Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C)
- micro SD card reader
- Headset jack
Truth be told, with regard to innovative design, the Dell XPS 13 is not the best laptop in the world. Brands like Huawei and Asus have made better significant design improvements in recent times. Again, as far as design goes, both 2018 and 2019 Dell XPS models have virtually the same design. Looking at the 2019 model for the first time, you would think you got yourself the previous version because of similarity in design.
The 2019 XPS 13 is sleek, professional and portable. Three colour models available are: rose gold-on-white, silver-on-black, and frost-on-white design.
Before now the webcam was placed below the display, but Dell has responded to design-related criticisms by placing the webcam in its correct position: above the screen despite the very thin-bezels around the display of the Dell XPS 13. This is not an innovation across the laptop market.
One outstanding feature of the 2019 Dell XPS 13 is the fingerprint reader which is built into the power button.
The 2019 version of Dell XPS 13 maintains the same weight at 2.7 pounds (1.23 kg) and size at 11.9 x 7.8 x 0.3 inches (30.23 x 19.81 x 0.76 cm) as the 2018 model.
One outstanding feature of the 2019 Dell XPS 13 is the fingerprint reader which is built into the power button. This facilitates quick logins. You won’t encounter problems logging in via the fingerprint scanner.
Two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, one USB-C 3.1 port, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a microSD card slot are the ports available on the laptop. Some laptops like the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 lack the new thunderbolt 3 port.
- 13.3-inch 3820 x 2160 touch display
With a 3820 x 2160 4K Ultra HD display, the Dell XPS 13’s screen flaunts incredible bright and stunning colours which make for an awesome viewing experience. The Full HD version features a lower resolution.
Dell XPS 13’s 2.25 mm webcam boasts a 720p widescreen sensor which functions with far-field microphones that lets you use Alexa or Cortana even if you are one or two metres away from your laptop. The webcam’s picture quality – 0.9 megapixels – isn’t the best, but OK for a laptop. You don’t expect the picture quality of a Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus.
The Dell XPS is made of anodized aluminium screen lid coupled with carbon fibre keyboard deck, although some variants come with woven glass fibre which gives it some premium appeal. This is conspicuous on the white variants.
- 1.8-GHz Intel Core i7-8565U
- 16GB RAM
The real reason the 2019 Dell XPS 13 is the best ultraportable is largely as a result of its performance.
The Dell XPS 13’s predecessor which is shipped with Kaby Lake R Core i7-8550U is fast, but the 2019 Dell XPS 13 which has Intel Whiskey Lake Core i7-8565U is faster and more efficient. The slightly superior CPU speed will help the XPS 3 tackle tough computing spreadsheet, Photoshop and video encoding tasks effortlessly.
You won’t have issues taking on several tasks simultaneously with the 2019 Dell XPS 13.
If you can’t afford the Core i7 version, Dell has an affordable Core i3 edition. Another mid-level option is the Core i5. Go for the Core i5 model if you intend to do simple tasks like surfing the web, watching movies and performing word processing assignments.
Memory options range between 4 to 16 GB of LPDDR3 Dual Channel RAM, and storage goes from 128GB to 2TB.
You won’t have issues taking on several tasks simultaneously with the 2019 Dell XPS 13. This year’s XPS 13 manages temperature with a Gore insulation.
Keyboard and Touchpad
- Backlit keyboard
Like the 2018 model, the keyboard is quite responsive and a joy to type on. The backlighting makes keyboard beautiful. You will love the touchpad which is coated with glass. The two-finger touchpad buttons are excellent.
- Up to 21 hours
According to the manufacturers, you get roughly 12 hours of use on the 4K model and 21 hours with a Full HD display. Well, in reality, there has been a significant battery performance boost but don’t expect 2019 XPS 13 to last all day. The Full HD model might serve you an entire work day.
Software and Warranty
- Windows 10 Pro
- 1-year warranty
The 2019 version is shipped with not-so-many apps. Some noticeable apps found on this model include Dell Update, Dell Mobile Connect and a power manager. Connecting your smartphone (even an iPhone) with your Dell laptop can now be done without a glitch thanks to the Dell Mobile Connect feature.
All Dell XPS 13 laptops come with a 1-year limited warranty.
With lots of improvements with regard to performance and speed, the Dell XPS 13 is a very, very good laptop and remains our top pick. You will be impressed with the 4K display and its 13-inch slim design. It remains the best ultraportable available.