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CNET First Look
Dell turns its great XPS 13 into a hybridThe XPS 13 2-in-1 adds a 360-degree hinge to the laptop's bezel-free design.
[MUSIC] One of my favorite laptops of the past couple of years has been the DELL XPS 13. It's a premium feeling, powerful 13 inch laptop, but that XPS 13 has been around for a couple years. And in that time we've seen a lot of great laptop designs that are thinner and lighter, and are even catching up to that no bezel look. So maybe the XPS 13 needs a bit of a rethink. And that is why we have the XPS 13 2-in-1. That slightly awkward name tells us though that this is a hybrid PC, sometimes called a two-in-one, which shift between laptop and tablet modes by rotating the screen back on its 360 degree hinge. But even if you never fold it back into a tablet, it still works perfectly fine as a clamshell laptop. Now at first glance, the XPS 13 2-in-1 is close to my platonic ideal of a modern laptop. It's slim, there's little wasted space on the compact body. And it has a few high-end features that help it stand out such as an optional fingerprint reader, a dual lens IR webcam and of course, that great edge-to-edge display. It's not gonna be as fast as a standard XVS 13 because it's got a lower power processor made especially for super thin laptops and tablets, but I found it worked great for Office tasks, for HD video and even for a little gaming. Now there are a few sacrifices. Compared to the standard XBS 13, you're swapping two full size USB ports and an SD card slot for two smaller USBC ports and a micro SD card slot. This is now my go-to XBS model and because it starts at 999, it's a great starting point for anyone looking for a mainstream laptop or hybrid. There's just one more thing that drives me a little crazy about it. The power button is just a tiny sliver on the right-side edge. It's hard to hit on purpose but surprisingly easy to hit accidentally. [MUSIC]