Dell XPS 13 for music production



Positioning

The XPS series from Dell are premium laptops that combine all the best in the company, light weight and long battery life.

The 2021 Dell XPS 13 2 in 1 is an evolutionary update from the previous year. The laptop is still as light and tiny as ever, but 11th generation processors from Intel are now available.

Over the past few years, the XPS 13 has been the most interesting laptop in the thin-and-light segment. I would call XPS an “ultrabook”, but this concept, according to Intel, has already outlived its usefulness. Now we need to say “laptop on the Evo platform.” Moreover, the Dell XPS 13 for music production seems to be the best possible fit.

Specifications

  • Processor: 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 (12MB cache, 4 cores, 2.8GHz to 4.7GHz)
  • OS: Windows 10 Pro
  • Graphics: Intel® Iris Xe Graphics
  • Memory: 16 GB dual-channel LPDDR4X, 4267 MHz
  • Storage: 512GB M.2 1620 PCIe Gen 3 x4 NVMe SSD
  • Screen: 13.4″ FHD (1920 x 1200) 60Hz touchscreen, dirt-resistant light-absorbing coating, 100% sRGB color gamut, 450 nits, wide viewing angle, low blue light, narrow bezel , Eyesafe® technology, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 coating, active stylus support
  • Battery: 51 Wh, 45 W compact adapter (weight with cable 240 g)
  • Webcam: 2.25mm widescreen HD (720p) webcam with two digital array microphones + Windows Hello IR camera
  • Keyboard: backlit with fingerprint scanner, black
  • Touchpad: standard size 11.3 by 6.7 cm, gesture support
  • Audio: Stereo speakers 2W + 2W
  • Connectivity: Killer™ AX 1650, 2×2, MIMO, 2.4/5GHz, Wi-Fi 6 (Wi-Fi 802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.1

Given the materials, design, features, and price, it’s clear that the target audience for a laptop is upper-middle-income people looking for a quality Windows PC.

And the screen aspect ratio of 16 to 10 hints that one of the target audience groups are managers and office workers. That’s probably the way it is. The last couple of times that I saw the Dell XPS 13 live is proof of this. At the airport, a man in a good suit, despite the fact that it was already around midnight, was actively typing something on a laptop. And the second time, a business girl with an XPS 13 under her arm in a beautiful Mercedes came to find out about taxes at the same time as I did. Judging by her question, she is the owner of some small business.

Equipment

Usually we do not stop at the configuration of laptops, since there is nothing interesting here. But let’s make an exception for Dell.

In addition to a laptop and a compact 45W charger, the kit includes an adapter from Type-C to classic USB Type-A. By the way, the laptop also supports charging through the universal 65 W charging from Xiaomi.

Along the way, I can not kick Dell for the lack of a stylus in the kit.

Appearance

The design of the Dell XPS 13 2 in 1 has not changed since last year. There is still the same brushed aluminum and carbon fiber in the keyboard area. And, of course, the laptop is easy to open with one hand. Read captions for photos.

Screen and webcam

There are 2 screen options to choose from.

13.4″ FHD

13.4″ FHD (1920 x 1200) 60Hz touchscreen display with dirt-resistant light-absorbing coating, 100% sRGB color gamut, 450 nits, wide viewing angle, low blue light, narrow bezel, technology Eyesafe®, Corning Gorilla Glass 5, active stylus support

13.4″ Ultra HD

13.4″ Ultra HD (3840 x 2400) 60Hz touchscreen, dirt-resistant light-absorbing coating, 90% DCI-P3 color gamut, 450 nits, wide viewing angle, low blue light, narrow bezel , Eyesafe® technology, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 coating, active stylus support

To put it simply, there is 4K with 90% DCI-P3 color gamut and Full HD with 100% sRGB coverage. Given the screen size, I would suggest taking Full HD. This choice will have a positive effect on battery life. The increased color gamut and high resolution are, of course, good, but you are unlikely to take this laptop for design tasks.

Both screen options are covered with a large protective glass Gorilla Glass 5, so you can not be afraid of large scratches. Perhaps the main plus of the screen is its high brightness. With the declared 450 nits, the test model gave out a “honest” 500 nits. With such brightness, it is comfortable to work with a laptop even in the park, sitting on a bench on a clear day.

In the US, Dell introduced a version with an OLED screen a couple of weeks ago. It has a resolution of 3456 x 2160 and a brightness of 400 nits. Should I wait for an OLED screen? Of course, it has better color reproduction and contrast. But here you need to understand what tasks you need a laptop for. If you sit in Excel or mail, then where is the OLED screen?

Surprisingly, Dell persists in stocking its best laptops with 720p webcams. Apparently, behind this lies a certain statement to the world. Well… so be it.

The camera has standard 720p quality. It’s embarrassing that, unlike Lenovo and HP, which have started stocking their laptops with shutters or even physical camera shutdowns, Dell is ignoring this trend. In my opinion, in vain, since with the increased number of video events via Zoom and other platforms, for example, I am glad that I can just close the webcam and not be afraid that I will accidentally click on something and get on the air.

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