Dell XPS 13 review: The best Windows laptop just got better

8 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple’s MacBook Air claims laptop reliability crown.

But now, Dell has refreshed the XPS 13 again with some minor improvements that focus on exactly the things that bothered me with the first one: battery life, performance, and the trackpad.

Apple’s MacBook Air is the most reliable laptop on the market, according to a survey of nearly 60,000 American consumers conducted recently by Consumer Reports. The ultra-light notebook has an estimated failure rate of 7% within the first three years of ownership, according to the publication’s poll of people who purchased a laptop in the last five years.

Since the speculations about a November 2015 launch of the laptop began the rounds, the question on everyone’s mind is: When is it actually arriving? Consumer Reports found that Windows-powered laptops, which on average are much less expensive than those sold by Apple, failed at significantly higher rates. Speculation about the new device began to circulate even before confirmation of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which is scheduled for June next year. Most manufacturers are racing to create the best 2-in-1 hybrid with a crazy Yoga-like hinge, 4K display, and touchscreen, but Dell has gone back to the basics of what we all love about a portable computer. Consumer Reports noted that Apple’s notebooks were more expensive to repair than Windows PCs when they did go south, with a third costing $300 or more, more than three times the repair cost of an average Windows notebook.

What many are sure of is that they may witness a radical change on the design of the MacBook, given that it has consistently remained the same since it first hit the stores. The outlet stated, “It is reported that the new MacBook Air will be thinner than existing models, performance is more prominent, will debut next year in Apple’s WWDC.” There are reports that there are very high chances the 11-inch model may be bumped off and a 15-inch variant could be added to the lineup. I love the idea of a combined tablet and laptop, but until there’s enough touch apps designed for this hybrid world, I just want a laptop that works.

More than a third of those polled who bought an Apple laptop added AppleCare, more than twice the fraction of Windows notebook buyers who purchased an extended warranty from the retailer or maker. It’s useful for new peripherals that will start to appear regularly next year, and will also support Thunderbolt 3, but it’s mostly just future-proofing. I haven’t noticed a huge change in performance from the model earlier this year, but the addition of Windows 10 certainly makes the new XPS 13 feel snappier. That’s enough for me to comfortably leave and travel to a meeting and work away from my desk, and it’s close to the dream of working a full day without charge. Apple has made a good start with its new 12-inch MacBook, and I think it’s time the industry stops obsessing over touchscreens and focuses on some raw laptop innovation.

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