Review: The 2022 Dell XPS 13 is more than just a pretty face

Sharon Harding

Specs at a glance: Dell XPS 13 2022 (9315)
worst Better It has also been reviewed
Monitor 13.4 inch 1920 x 1200 IPS non-touch screen 13.4-inch touch screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels
The operating system Windows 11 Home operating system Windows 11 Pro operating system Windows 11 Home operating system
CPU Intel Core i5-1230U Intel Core i7-1250U vPro processor Intel Core i5-1230U
RAM 8 GB LPDDR5-5200 32 GB LPDDR5-5200 16 GB LPDDR5-5200
storage 512 GB NVMe PCIe 4.0 x2 SSD 1 TB NVMe PCIe 4.0 x2 SSD 512 GB NVMe PCIe 4.0 x2 SSD
GPU Intel Iris Xe
networks Wi-Fi 6e, Bluetooth 5.2
ports 2 Thunderbolt 4 ports
size 11.63 x 7.86 x 0.55 in
(295.4 x 199.4 x 13.99 mm)
Weight 2.59 lbs
(1.17 kg)
battery 51 watts
a guarantee One year
Price (MSRP) $849 $1499 $1,150
else USB-C to USB-A and USB-C to 3.5mm adapters included

I had a welcome surprise when I first laid eyes on the latest Dell XPS 13 (9315). The color options—a youthful azure or a unique purplish brown—are visual candy in a PC world dominated by shimmering silvers, adult grays, and boring blacks. The 2022 Dell XPS 13 doesn’t compromise by offering a more traditional color approach at a cheaper price point, as previous XPS 13 laptops have done, too.

Having scrolled through the previous appearances, I’ve found that there’s even more to enjoy under the hood. While this isn’t a redesign like the one given to the more expensive Dell XPS 13 Plus, the company did make a few tweaks to make the XPS 13 lighter and thinner than ever before, all while accommodating quality-of-life upgrades like better speakers. And a bigger battery. Unfortunately, it has a frighteningly limited port selection and is dongle dependent.

There are flashier alternatives to a thinner, lighter laptop, but the 2022 XPS 13 is a nice clamshell with a lot more to offer than a couple of unique looks.

If the look kills

I’ve worked with many XPS 13s over the years, including personal purchases, review units, and work-released systems. So you can forgive me if you find it a tedious iteration or two in terms of design changes. After all, it’s not every year that you get a display like the Dell XPS 13 Plus.

The 2022 XPS 13 has an unforgettable look. Just take a look:

2022 XPS 13 in Umber (top) and Sky (bottom)
Zoom in / 2022 XPS 13 in Umber (top) and Sky (bottom)

Sharon Harding

The laptop’s chassis is made of CNC-machined aluminum colored in a “tone-on-tone” design, as Dell describes it. There’s a subtle icy blue called Sky and an advanced purple Specter-like HP called Umber.

I’m glad to see uniquely colored computers and accessories that help brighten up my workspaces and home offices. But I’m surprised there isn’t a more traditional color available. Dell found a decent middle ground: In some lighting, the hoods have a more muted look, with even the blue version able to pull off the silver. Understandably, though, blue and purple laptops aren’t for everyone.

However, the XPS 13 has a polished finish and well-chosen colors that feel fun but not overdone, making it one of the more attractive laptops we’ve reviewed all year. Its design is solid and professional in feel, with a thin cover that brings minimal flex and a surface that shows a little give when you force it on.

This year’s XPS 13 is its thinnest yet, and while that’s good news for portability, it’s terrible news for port selection. There are only two USB-C ports on the XPS 13.

2021 Dell XPS 13 9305 on top of the 2022 XPS 13 9315 in Sky and Umber.
Zoom in / 2021 Dell XPS 13 9305 on top of the 2022 XPS 13 9315 in Sky and Umber.

Sharon Harding

At least they’re powerful Thunderbolt 4 (Thunderbolt 4 supports USB4.) Plus, the laptop comes with two dongles to add a USB-A and 3.5mm connection. But this beautiful, portable computer shouldn’t be held back by adapters.

#Review #Dell #XPS #pretty #face

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