Dell XPS 13 Laptop Review: A Stunning New OLED Screen

The Dell XPS series is one of the best-selling Windows laptops for good reason: they are compact, powerful devices with excellent 4K displays (if you choose the 4K model) and the entry price is not too high (relatively speaking) . If you are looking for an Ultrabook with the right name, then the XPS series, especially the XPS 13, has been our favorite for a long time.

Dell recently released an updated version. The specifications have not changed much, but there is a big addition: OLED display, price increase, impressive viewing experience and unfortunately shortened battery life.

Same Ol’ Excellence

2021 XPS 13 Use the same Intel 11th generation chip as the previous model (9/10, recommended WIRED). Intel Iris Xe graphics cards can be added, and the 8, 16, or 32 GB RAM options remain the same. All the goodies of the latest models are kept here.

Unfortunately, everything is also available, which is not so good in the 2020s version, that is, the number of ports is small. You will get two USBC Thunderbolt 4 ports, a headphone jack and a microSD card reader. Third USBC port-I often put him and Booking Steps on the second port of the USB mouse so that it can be plugged into anything else and relies on the annoying dongle.

My other complaint is related to battery life. In our video leak test (including playback of local 1080p video files), the battery life of XPS 13 in 2021 reached nearly 11 hours. This is slightly smaller than the previous year’s model, which should be due to the OLED display (more on this later). Worse is the performance in the real world. XPS 13 is usually difficult to last a full day on a single charge. This confuses me. Because I usually use an older XPS 13 (with a 4K monitor) and have no problem getting the job done on the same day.

Battery life is sufficient for most people. They usually take about six hours to insert it, which is neither the best nor the worst. However, I hope Dell will make it the next area of ​​micro-optimization because Dell apparently did it in the previous two XPS 13 updates.

On That OLED

Now let us turn to the new one: OLED displays. It only works on the 3456 x 2160 (3.5K) model, which does not match the 4K UHD+ monitor I own (and similar), but the pixel difference is not noticeable in fact.

Place any OLED display next to a non-OLED display and you will notice the colors. Whether it’s a TV, a phone, or a current laptop, OLED colors will pop out of the screen; because of their darker blacks, they are brighter, richer, and more lifelike.

What is OLED and why should I worry? Well, oh, for organics (LED is still LED). It is organic, just like chemistry, not like the pesticide-free bananas you buy at the grocery store.Light is emitted by organic molecules, which in most cases are rings of carbon atoms.

Traditional displays have a backlight, which emits light through a layer of material (which varies according to the type of display) and then indicates the color that the pixel should display at a given point in time. Each diode acts as its own backlight. When the battery is low, there is no backlight. This is why black looks so beautiful on an OLED screen; it is really the lack of light, not the hiding of the light that is still glowing.

I know what you are thinking. If there is no backlight, why is the battery life shortened? Shouldn’t OLED use less power? Well, for example, if the screen is fully lit from a predominantly white web page, the OLED screen appears to be using more power. The answer or answer is dark mode. All OLED laptops I tested have Windows installed in dark mode, which is very helpful. (I turned it off and the situation got worse.) But if you mainly browse the Internet, mostly white pages, OLED may consume more power.

I switched my favorite browser, Vivaldi, to dark mode, switched themes in Slack, Gmail, and some other websites I use frequently and found it helpful. But the Internet is great in most cases.

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