The Dell XPS 13 9365 is the latest in Dell’s range of 2-in-1 laptops which perform as both a notebook and a Windows 10 tablet, but with no model priced below £1,000 are they really worth such a high price tag?
Upon opening the box it’s instantly apparent that there are no expenses spared with the Dell XPS 13 9365 the laptop comes in a stylish box which when opened presents the stunning laptop in all its glory. Interestingly though, the cables were still in the box in which the laptop was delivered in, but I suppose that doesn’t really mater as they’re often left cluttering the floor anyway.
In terms of build quality, the laptop is incredibly well built with a sturdy metal and carbon fibre casing which is surprisingly not too heavy. But that makes sense considering this is supposed to be both a laptop and a tablet. Overall though, the quality of this laptop is phenomenal. Oh and it has a fingerprint sensor too, if that’s something you’re interested in.
As a laptop, the Dell XPS 13 9365 functions as it should, it’s a Windows 10 laptop at the end of the day and doesn’t really offer many bells and whistles for the price. The joy of this notebook comes when you flip the screen all the way back and bring the laptop’s tablet mode into play. One thing I’ve noticed of late is that keyboards seem to be an afterthought on most laptops, they’re either incredibly flimsy, or they’re stiff, squished together, and uncomfortable. On this laptop however there’s no compromise as the keyboard is a joy to use and feels close to a full-size keyboard even on a smaller 13-inch model.
One problem I did find, or one problem I’d personally be uncomfortable with is the positioning of the keyboard when being used as a tablet, but we’ll get into that in a second.
The Dell XPS 13 9365 trackpad is also really smooth and easy to use, plus with gesture controls built in, it makes navigating every day tasks pretty enjoyable.
In comes the 360 degree hinge which allows you to flip the screen all the way back and use the laptop as a tablet. The first thing I noticed was that the hinges were nice and firm but not overly stiff. There’s a good amount of resistance here allowing you to position the screen at a comfortable viewing angle when in tablet mode, however there’s one big flaw that I wouldn’t be comfortable with on a £1,000+ laptop:
The keyboard is placed on whichever surface you’re placing the tablet on.
Rather than twisting the screen around and having the display cover the keyboard, the keyboard and trackpad is instead facing the surface of the table, which isn’t exactly ideal, especially if you’re using the laptop to share documents, video, or images among a couple of people. It’s also very bizarre to hold a tablet when you can feel the keyboard on your palm.
Another slight annoyance was the positioning of the tablet mode. One scenario was watching Netflix in bed. Rather than having the bulk of a laptop taking up space on the bed, we thought we’d flip it into tablet mode and angle the screen, however there was very little screen angle available before the laptop switched back into laptop mode, which was a little frustrating. We found it easier to position the laptop in more of a “teepee” position which worked to some degree.
The Dell XPS 13 9365 is definitely a cutting-edge bit of kit. Rather than filling the svelte chassis with an array of different ports, the device offers two USB-C ports and depending on where you stand with #DongleLife this is either a blessing or a curse, though for me it was more of the latter. Dongle’s I personally don’t mind, however those two USB-C ports quickly shifted to one when I needed to charge the laptop as one of them also doubled as a charging port..
The good news is that the laptop comes packed with some pretty robust hardware including Intel’s 7th/8th generation iCore processors, and at least 8GB RAM, which makes not only every day tasks a breeze, but also some mild gaming here and there. Sure, it won’t run the latest AAA titles, but if you’re a sucker for an indie title here and there, it’s definitely a nice device for both work and play.
In addition to the aforementioned fingerprint sensor, the laptop also works with Windows Hello thanks to the IR-enabled webcam allowing you to unlock your laptop with your face. The webcam’s quality is also very impressive.
Unfortunately I’m under the impression that the Dell XPS 13 9365 costs more than it’s really worth. It’s build quality is fantastic, don’t get me wrong, but where the laptop lacks in functionality, others half the price excel. Even Dell’s previous 2-in-1 line come in at a much cheaper price. There are some fancy bells and whistles like the IR webcam, touch screen, fingerprint sensor, and of course the ability to use Dell’s own stylus.
The Dell XPS 13 9365 is definitely aimed more at professionals than personal. The battery life is incredibly impressive, the touch screen is responsive, and its overall build feels like it’ll be very long-lasting, however for the Average Joe who’s looking for something to study on, watch Netflix, or browse social media, much like most of Apple’s devices, it’s a bit of an expensive accessory.