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Dell XPS 13 Plus (2023) review: Only Windows laptop that is so Premium and Futuristic

Dell, as we all know, has been the only premium Windows laptop maker for years now, and the brand has made its XPS lineup a signature one. So, the Dell XPS 13 Plus is the most premium notebook by the brand that speaks for itself be it in terms of display, design or unique capabilities. Though it has a premium price to pay but worth going for if you are a fan of the Dell XPS lineup.

As you all know, the Dell XPS 13 Plus is even more expensive than the MacBook Air M2 and falls in line with the MacBook Pros, but is it worth paying the extra bucks in 2023? How good is the XPS 13 Plus for daily usage? We will find out in our review today:

Dell XPS 13 Plus Specifications

SpecificationValue
Display13.4″ UHD+ AR Infinity Edge 500 nits Touch
ProcessorIntel Core i7-1360P with 12 Cores – 8P + 4E (3.70 GHz up to 5.00 GHz)
Operating SystemWindows 11 Home
Memory32GB LPDDR5 RAM (5200 MHz)
Storage1TB PCIe Gen 4 SSD
Battery LifeUp to 12 hours
Weight2.7 pounds or 1.24 kg
Dimensions11.6 x 7.8 x 0.6 inches
Ports2x Thunderbolt 4 (USB Type-C ) with DisplayPort and Power Delivery, 1 USB C to USB A v3.0 adapter ships standard
Other FeaturesBacklit Keyboard + Fingerprint Reader

Design and Build Quality

Continuing to offer the same sleek and futuristic design, the Dell XPS 13 Plus is made out of CNC-machined aluminium and glass, which makes it both strong and lightweight. Whenever you look at it, you will definitely fall in love with the premium design it showcases, and this is the only laptop that looks as premium as the MacBook Pro or even better than that in its own way.

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You can easily carry this cute-looking, lightweight buddy around with you as it is only 1.2 kg in weight, and that makes it easier for people who want a thinner notebook to carry around for everyday work or play.

Display

Even though this Dell XPS 13 Plus has a smaller 13-inch size, thanks to the InfinityEdge display with a 16:10 aspect ratio, you get more screen real estate even though the display size is small. Thanks to a high UHD+ resolution, you can enjoy crisp visuals altogether, whether you are working on a project or something just lying down or watching Netflix, it feels good.

Being an OLED display with 304 pixels per inch and having touch support helps with a lot of daily tasks or even when you are too lazy to use the trackpad. Though claiming to support up to 500 nits, the display was very bright, and most users can work with even 60% brightness saving some battery life in our tests, the color accuracy was really good too.

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This display easily covers 100% sRGB color gamut, 100% DCI-P3 and 96% Adobe-RGB, so, indeed this is one of the top-notch OLED displays on a laptop. So, this Dell XPS 13 Plus could be really useful for those who need these kinds of professional displays to work on the go conveniently.

Performance

Coming to the performance, the only item that has changed from the previous year is the CPU, though not by much. The 13th generation P-series CPUs from Intel, these are 28W chips meant for high-end laptops like this one, are used in it. Although the P-series offers somewhat higher performance, I still like the 15W U-series because of its longer battery life.

This Dell XPS 13 Plus laptop though is aimed towards people who need decent horsepower with smoothness in daily office usage and lightly to moderate demanding tasks. It lacks a dedicated GPU while being so pricey, so, the Intel Core i7-1360P processor will struggle in extreme cases compared to the MacBook Pros which has better compute power overall.

It’s sad that you cannot push the Dell XPS 13 Plus beyond some level, yes, it’s powerful no doubt but not enough to meet the needs of a heavy end user. Here are some benchmarks for your reference:

BenchmarkScore
PCMark 105718
Geekbench 6 Single-Core2501
Geekbench 6 Multi-Core11203
Cinebench R23 Single-Core1563
Cinebench R23 Multi-Core9814
PCMark 10 (Storage Test)2014
3DMark Time Spy1675

As you see in the benchmarks, the scores are good but not extraordinary or something good enough for the price that Dell is charging, yes, it’s a good MacBook Air replacement at a somewhat higher cost. You will though appreciate the instant wake or smooth workflow in your day-to-day usage but this Dell XPS 13 Plus is definitely targeted towards premium Windows laptop lovers, business customers and office goers.

Audio & Webcam

Having a slim design sometimes means you end up sacrificing the audio experience but that is not the case here thanks to the new quad speaker design, the Dell XPS 13 Plus gives a great music listening experience or binge-watching and even hearing video calls with ease. The audio here is louder and gives a broader range of sound which is not close to MacBook Pros but it definitely comparable to the MacBook Airs’.

Talking about the webcam, Dell has used a retro 720p webcam which has good quality no doubt but in 2023, a better 1080p resolution webcam is almost a necessity.

Keyboard & Trackpad

The backlit keyboard here, as you see, is the most compact and futuristic-looking layout that is carried on from the predecessor and has fully used every inch of space of the chassis. Well, for some it might be a bit challenging to grasp this layout because there is almost no space between the keys but you can get used to it with time, but I do like that touch bar up on the top that glows always.

The quality of the keys are not the most satisfying but ok-ish I would say, it would be better if these keys were more clicky. Coming to the glass trackpad, which Dell calls it seamless trackpad you will not notice it right away compared to traditional laptops which gives a unique style appeal I would say. If you ask about the quality of the trackpad though, I will say it’s quite good and I loved using it but the lack of space to use the trackpad forced me to use my dedicated mouse.

I/O and Connectivity

In terms of I/O, there are only two USB Type-C ports on each side, both supporting Thunderbolt 4 for faster transfer speeds or even charging. Though you always get both a USB-C to USB-A 3.0 adapter and a USB-C to 3.5mm headset adapter in the box but is never convenient to carry both of them always, a sacrifice you have to make for a slimmer design.

No there is no SD or microSD card slot or even a headphone jack which sometimes will make you sad, so, for this I would prefer a MacBook Pro anyway but if you can live without these ports then of course the laptop will be a good choice. Yes, you also have both Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth support which works as expected while you connect your mouse or even work anywhere the network speeds are always good.

Battery Life

Lastly, talking about the battery life of this Dell XPS 13 Plus, though Dell promises up to 12 hours of battery life in reality that’s not the case. Though the 13th Gen is much more efficient than the 12th Gen but not something extraordinary like the M1 or M2 from Apple, so the battery life is around 5-6 hours when you actually work and that can be stretched to 7-8 hours if you are watching something.

Verdict

Now, should you consider this Dell XPS 13 Plus as your next laptop? Well, that depends on your budget, needs and preferences, while I have no doubt about the premiumness both in terms of usability and design this laptop offers but in this competitive market price is a major concern though. If you have money to spend or get sponsored then the Dell XPS 13 Plus is the perfect laptop for you or even if you need the best compact Windows laptop, I would undoubtedly say this is the one.

However, comparing the MacBooks and this Dell XPS 13 Plus, it becomes very hard to recommend this one especially because of its high price and lack of high-end productivity performance. Or you have more affordable ASUS ZenBooks or LG Gram or Lenovo Yoga laptops as cheaper alternatives but definitely, I would have liked a dedicated GPU so that people could potentially stretch this XPS 13, but for that, you have to get the XPS 15s that are even more costlier.

Buy Dell XPS 13 Plus: https://amzn.to/3Mnh0OJ

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Design & Build Quality
Display
Performance
Audio & Webcam
Keyboard & Trackpad
I/O and Connectivity
Battery Life

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Raunak Saha
Raunak Saha
A cs engineer by profession but foodie from heart. I am tech lover guy who has a passion for singing. Football is my love and making websites is my hobby.
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Dell, as we all know, has been the only premium Windows laptop maker for years now, and the brand has made its XPS lineup a signature one. So, the Dell XPS 13 Plus is the most premium notebook by the brand that speaks for...Dell XPS 13 Plus (2023) review: Only Windows laptop that is so Premium and Futuristic