Over the last 13 years we here at Digital Trends have reviewed and tested over 400 laptops, so trust us when we say that the Dell XPS 13 is the all-around best laptop right now. With a sterling design, brilliant display, and lightning-fast performance, among other features, this Ultrabook performed spectacularly in all keys areas. What’s more, it’s currently on sale on Dell’s official website for a whopping $400 off. Normally sold for $1,200, you can now get the XPS 13 for $800. Our choice for one of the best laptops overall, the best 15-inch laptop, and the XPS 13’s big brother, the XPS 15, is also on sale for $1,450. Hurry and take advantage of these deals because they certainly won’t last long.
The XPS 13 is one attractive Ultrabook. Its anodized aluminum chassis comes in Alpine White, Rose Gold, or Platinum Silver (all stunning), with a faint pearlescent sheen to it. The Dell logo sits solitary yet triumphant in the center of the lid. Although it has long been derided as the “nosecam” because of its unfortunate placement at the bottom of the screen, the webcam has now migrated to its rightful place at the top center. It also happens to be the tiniest webcam we’ve ever seen, although it can still take a decent picture. What’s more, the webcam is compatible with Windows Hello so you can log in with just your face. Outlining the screen is what Dell calls the InfinityEdge bezel, and it is beautifully scant and modern. With dimensions of 11.9 x 7.8 x 0.5 inches, this 2.7-pound laptop is super portable and would be the perfect partner of mobile professionals.
This laptop’s 13.3-inch FHD 1,920 x 1,080 non-touch display (the 4K touchscreen version will set you back by $300, and it’s a power hog) bursts with sumptuous colors, deep contrasts, and an incredible amount of detail. It also gets astonishingly bright, averaging 375 nits. Just like the display, the side-firing speakers are excellent. They can easily fill a medium-sized room with clear and rich sound, although the bass lacks punch, a clear compromise of its slimness.
Another fine feature of the XPS 13 is its backlit keyboard. It remains one of its greatest strengths, with a firm and tactile bottoming action. Finicky typists should be warned that the layout is still on the small side but with a typing experience this comfortable, who cares? Keeping up is the wonderfully responsive touchpad that boasts full Windows Precision Touchpad support.
Armed with a 10th-gen Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, this laptop provides incredibly smooth and lightning-fast performance without any hint of lag. And with its 256 GB PCIe SSD, transferring files is far from sluggish. However, its Intel UHD 620 Graphics GPU isn’t equipped to process graphically taxing games such as Battlefield V and Destiny 2. It will perform much better with older titles with less demanding graphics. In terms of battery life, as we’ve mentioned, we recommend you skip the 4K touchscreen model if you want the most endurance. In our continuous web surfing test, this unit was able to last over 12 hours.
The Dell XPS 13 is thin, fast, and long-lasting, making it our favorite ultraportable thus far. And now that the nosecam, the one thing that marred the previous model, has finally met its demise, it’s practically perfect. Get it for $800 – a huge $400 less than its normal retail price of $1,200 – on Dell’s official website.
The XPS 15 laptop has a silver aluminum finish that makes it look classy and sophisticated. It may not compete with the more modern aesthetic of a Surface or a Mac (not even the XPS 13), but it’s still a head-turner. Its 15.6-inch 4K Ultra HD display offers dramatic and dynamic images with rich contrasts and vivid colors. The XPS 15 is neither the thinnest nor the lightest laptop we’ve ever seen, being a full pound heavier than the 15-inch MacBook Pro, but its bulk serves a purpose: It’s built like a tank and feels extremely sturdy and durable.
This laptop is outfitted with a terrific number of ports. You’ll find two USB-A ports, a Thunderbolt 3 (4 lanes of PCI Express Gen 3), an HDMI port, and a full-size SD card slot. Typing on this laptop’s keyboard is speedy and comfy, with a layout that fortunately doesn’t stray from the normal. The touchpad is also extremely responsive, reacting well to multi-finger gestures and the lightest of strokes.
This unit runs with a ninth-generation Intel Core processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of memory. It’s a formidable speed demon, capable of running heavy software like Photoshop, Pro Tools, and CAD swiftly with little to no heat, making it our top pick for the best laptop for video editing. It deftly handles multiple opened programs and browsers and streaming Ultra HD videos. In fact, you can even use this as a gaming laptop thanks to its upgraded Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics chip, unlike the XPS 13. Graphically demanding games run smoothly and remain glitch-free with an excellent frame rate to boot. Finally, the XPS 15 can easily last an entire day even with maximum usage. Its 97-watt-hour battery managed over 14 hours in our video loop test.
It may not be the thinnest or lightest 15-inch laptop out there, but when it comes to sheer power, display, and battery life, the Dell XPS 15 laptop is a seriously strong contender and our pick for the best 15-inch laptop for 2019. Get this striking and powerful laptop on Dell’s website for $1,100.
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