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CNET First Look
Drop the high-end display in Dell's XPS 13 for better battery lifeThe design on this less-expensive version of the XPS 13 isn't as slick, but battery life gets a big boost.
What if we took our favorite new laptop of 2015 so far, and gave it much better battery life? I'm Dan Ackerman, and this is the Dell XPS 13 non-touch edition. This is a less-expensive version of the Dell XPS 13 that we first saw at CES. Back in January of this year and reviewed in a very high end configuration, one that had a 3200 by 1800 touchscreen, a very nice, laptop. Performance was fine, battery life, again, it was fine, we got about seven hours out of it in our battery tests. But Dell said, you know what? We've got a different configuration that's probably gonna do a lot better. Let us send that to you. This is a less expensive, not more expensive, a less expensive configuration of the same XPS 13 notable for its very thin screen bezel. You really get screen almost to the edge of the whole body right here. This. This just has a 1920 by 1080, a standard HD screen, and it's a non-touch screen. So this configuration comes down to about 899. Certainly a lot less than the 12 or $1,300 you're gonna pay for the high res touch version of it. Now doing our battery test, we found that this thing actually did a lot better. It ran for 12 hours on a battery test which is MacBook Air territory. That's amazing. Either Dell has done something in this configuration to, to further optimize [UNKNOWN] battery or frankly powering that big 3200 by 18000 screen with the touch overlay was just draining a lot of power. So if you say to yourself, this system costs less and lasts longer. What's not to like about it? I do have a couple of things that are holding me back. One is, I miss the touchscreen. This is a non touchscreen display. And frankly, the touchpads on these are not as great as the ones you'll find on let's say a Macbook. So you're gonna wanna reach up and touch the screen occasionally for navigation. Dropping it, I, I think is kind. Kind of annoying. You also don't get the edge to edge glass over the display which, which means that the screen is, is inset from the bevel here, and not quite as slick looking, although some people will prefer it. You see the matt finish right here as opposed to the glossy finish. On the touch version the big problem of course is that you don't have anything in the middle. What I'd love to see is Nexus 13 with a standard 1920x1080 touch screen. And if you give me nine or ten hours of battery life out of that I think that would be the best of both worlds. I'm Dan Ackerman and that is the Dell XPS 13 non-touch version