Best 4K laptop Buyers’ guide

The Dell XPS 13 is a major challenger of the Apple MacBook Air’s throne for the best high-quality ultraportable notebook laptop. This isn’t designed to be a gaming machine, but a premium general use and light workstation laptop, for office workers, writers, and creatives who don’t need a lot of rendering power in their workflows. For the model we’re reviewing here, the laptop comes with a Intel Core i7-1185G7 CPU and Intel Iris Xe graphics, both of which do the job.

The 16:10 display gives you a bit of extra headroom on what is overall a small screen. Bezels are also pleasingly thin, maximizing the screen space you do have. Contrast and brightness are both great on this machine, and you get superb color gamut in the sRGB space, specifically getting: 100% sRGB, 80% Adobe RGB and 80% DCI-P3 coverage.

Build quality on this machine is top-notch, and it’s genuinely impressive how sturdy the Dell XPS 13 feels despite being so thin. The membrane keyboard is a pleasure to type on, being both comfortable and satisfyingly clicky, and the trackpad is also pleasingly responsive and accurate. Fan noise is also kept to a minimum, making this the ideal working laptop when on public transport or a quiet study area. The microSD card reader it comes with is another welcome feature, particularly one that runs as fast and efficiently as this one. Unfortunately, probably the biggest disappointment with the XPS 13 is the speakers: these are better than your typical gaming laptop effort certainly, and can get quite loud, but they don’t match up to the great quality of the MacBook’s in terms of audio quality and bass replication.

In a similar vein, although the 1080p version of the XPS 13 has a great battery life of around 15 hours in non-strenuous usage, the 4K display option we’re looking at here today doesn’t compare as favourably, coming in closer to 7 hours. This isn’t terrible, but it’s a few hours below what we would have liked. The 1080p webcam does have InfraRed technology but is merely adequate in terms of quality, along with the internal mic.

Beside these points though, the only real downside of this 4K laptop is the price, which isn’t terrible for a 4K display compared to the other options here, but considering the small size of the machine and its relatively lightly powered CPU & GPU, might be a bit steep for some. Then again, compared to a MacBook it doesn’t seem unreasonable.

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