Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2022): Two-minute review
The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 we’ve all come to know and love is no more, may it rest in peace. Sorry no, it’s not that Dell has retired the line. On the contrary, it looks like it’s here to stay judging by the recent updates the manufacturer has made on it: case in point, its form factor, which leads me to my original statement.
Dell has taken that gorgeous svelte convertible form factor that we all loved about the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 – you know, the one that gave us that gorgeous, luxurious shell and the four-modes-in-one design – and raised us a Windows 11-powered Lenovo Chromebook Duet instead. By that, I mean that you’re getting a tablet with a folio attached as opposed to an actual laptop.
Now, I’m not at all dissing the Chromebook Duet here; it is, after all, one of the best Chromebooks on the market and a personal favorite of mine. However, it’s also hard to find joy in its detachable design, and seeing one of the best Windows laptops (not to mention one of the best laptops on the market) downgrade its stunner of a form factor to a flimsy folio that requires a solid surface to be properly functional was, I must admit, a disappointment.
I realize what Dell was trying to do here. The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2022) is much lighter, much thinner, and much more compact than its predecessor while offering next-generation specs under the hood, which makes it an excellent laptop to carry around with you as a result, whether you’re going on business trips or trying the whole digital nomad thing once again. In that, it has succeeded. I brought this laptop with me to Greece for two weeks, using it as my work laptop there, and it offered me access to a full-fledged operating system without the physical burden of even the best Ultrabooks.
With this new detachable form, however, come some sacrifices. There are only two ports on hand – specifically, two USB-C ports – and the battery has been downgraded from about 10 hours to a mere eight. Rubbing salt in the wound, the folio isn’t only flimsy; it also has a steep learning curve if you’re used to the traditional laptop design. And while the keyboard and the trackpad on it are reliable and comfortable to use, the laptop still keeps a steep price tag that I personally think is only worth it if you’re getting that famed XPS chassis with it. As it is now in its current form, Dell should have brought that price down closer to the ground.
Price aside, the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2022) is worth it, but only if you’re planning on traveling a lot or traipsing around the world for a year or so. Otherwise, I would honestly go for something else entirely.
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2022): Price & availability
- How much does it cost? From $1,149 (about £910 / AU$1,695)
- When is it available? Available now
- Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK, and Australia
You’d think Dell would considerably drop the price of the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2022) seeing as it’s completely swapped out that premium chassis with an XPS Folio, making this 2022 remodel essentially a Windows tablet with a detachable keyboard. Sadly, it still starts out steep, setting you back $1,149 in the US for the Intel Core i5-1230U, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD configuration that comes with both the Folio and the Stylus.
You can get this same base configuration for cheaper in the US, but at $949, you’re also sacrificing the folio and the stylus. The stylus, I can live without; but taking the detachable keyboard and mount away means giving up its laptop functionality, leaving you with a Windows tablet and missing the point of the XPS 13 line entirely.
In the UK, it’s even more expensive, with the UK base configuration of Intel Core i5-1230U and 8GB RAM but only 256GB SSD setting consumers back £1,229.04. This same base configuration is also available in Australia for AU$1,498.20.
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2022): Specs
The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2022) comes in several different configurations in the US. Dell offers both Intel Core i5-1230U and the i7-1250U chips, as well as 8GB and 16GB LPDDR4x of RAM, 512GB and 1TB SSD, and the options to add the XPS Folio and/or the XPS Stylus, and allows consumers to pick and choose as they see fit for their needs.
In the UK and Australia, however, choosing your configuration is much simpler. UK customers have four to choose from, starting with the i5-1230U-powered base model with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage and topping off with a higher-end i7-1250U, 16GB RAM, 1TB storage configuration. Australian customers have all but one – they don’t have the i5-1230U-powered one available with 16GB memory and 1TB storage.
|Component||Base model||Review unit||Top configuration|
|Price||$1,049 (US only)||$1,149 / £1,479.04||$1,549 / £1,879.03 / $2,998.60|
|CPU||Intel Core i5-1230U||Intel Core i5-1230U||Intel Core i7-1250U|
|GPU||Intel Iris Xe Graphics||Intel Iris Xe Graphics||Intel Iris Xe Graphics|
|RAM||8GB LPDDR4x||16 GB LPDDR4x||16 GB LPDDR4x|
|Storage||512 GB, M.2, PCIe NVMe, SSD||512 GB, M.2, PCIe NVMe, SSD||1 TB, M.2, PCIe NVMe, SSD|
|Screen||13″ 3:2 3K (2880×1920) Touch 500-Nit Display||13″ 3:2 3K (2880×1920) Touch 500-Nit Display||13″ 3:2 3K (2880×1920) Touch 500-Nit Display|
|Ports||2 Thunderbolt 4 (USB Type-C) with DisplayPort and Power Delivery||2 Thunderbolt 4 (USB Type-C) with DisplayPort and Power Delivery||2 Thunderbolt 4 (USB Type-C) with DisplayPort and Power Delivery|
|Wireless||Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6E 1675 (AX211), 2×2, 802.11ax, Bluetooth wireless card||Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6E 1675 (AX211), 2×2, 802.11ax, Bluetooth wireless card||Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6E 1675 (AX211), 2×2, 802.11ax, Bluetooth wireless card|
|Camera||2160p at 30 fps RGB camera, 1080p at 30 fps FHD RGB camera||2160p at 30 fps RGB camera, 1080p at 30 fps FHD RGB camera||2160p at 30 fps RGB camera, 1080p at 30 fps FHD RGB camera|
|Weight||From 2.9 pounds (1.3kg) with XPS Folio||From 2.9 pounds (1.3kg) with XPS Folio||From 2.9 pounds (1.3kg) with XPS Folio|
|Dimensions||11.50 x 7.90 x 0.29 inches (292.50 x 201.20 x 7.40 mm)||11.50 x 7.90 x 0.29 inches (292.50 x 201.20 x 7.40 mm)||11.50 x 7.90 x 0.29 inches (292.50 x 201.20 x 7.40 mm)|
All US, UK and Australia configurations come with an Intel Iris Xe Graphics and a 13-inch 3:2 3K (2880×1920) touch display with 500 nits of brightness. All configurations available in the UK and Australia, meanwhile, already come with the Folio and the XPS Stylus.
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2022): Design
- The new detachable design is quite an adjustment
- Thinner, lighter, more compact
- Slim on ports, but great features
So sorry, Dell. I loved the XPS line since its inception, but I am not truly convinced that the shift from a sleek 2-in-1 from to a detachable folio is the way to go. Don’t get me wrong; I have, within a week, managed to adapt to this new design. I’ve gotten the hang of it. I’ve found my routine with it.
And it really does make the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2022) a joy to carry around and use when you’re away from your home or office desk. At 2.9 pounds (1.3kg) and 11.50 x 7.90 x 0.29 inches (292.50 x 201.20 x 7.40 mm), it manages to be much lighter, much thinner, and much more compact than its predecessor.
I hardly felt it was there in my backpack as I clocked 20K steps in Athens or hauled my luggage on ferries. So much so that I had to regularly feel for it around the back to make sure that it hasn’t been ripped out of the bag by some pickpocket. That compact form also makes it a joy to use on flights and trains since it doesn’t take up that much space and isn’t, therefore, in danger of being squished by the uncaring passenger in the seat in front of you who doesn’t bother to look before reclining their seat.
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Still, the XPS Folio, much like many other folios, is flimsy around the middle so that the keyboard is always flapping around willy-nilly, which means really that the only comfortable way to use this thing is when you’ve got a solid surface handy. Forget about using your weekender bag as a makeshift desk at the airport; the laptop will dance around so much you might as well install a disco ball and start a rave at your gate.
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The mount part of the folio does have several levels of adjustments so you can choose the optimal angle of the screen, and I want to make sure that doesn’t go unnoticed because it is useful. The keyboard is still, as with previous models, very satisfying and comfortable to type on. And the trackpad is very responsive and accurate – not to mention, nice to the touch.
The XPS Folio doesn’t have any ports on hand, unlike my beloved iPad Magic Keyboard, and Dell leaves it to the XPS 13 itself to house the ports. Seeing as it is now essentially a Windows tablet, there’s not much space for a lot, which means two USB-Cs it is! If you’re expecting an SD or microSD reader, you better bring a USB hub. The good news is that Dell has included a USB-C to USB-A v3.0 adapter and a USB-C to 3.5mm headset adapter in the box. Both ports are also on the same side, which can be annoying sometimes if you’re charging.
The 2880 x 1920 display boasts 500 nits of brightness and touch functionality. My review model came with a stylus, but I’m not really big on using that unless I’m scribbling on my tablet. So, unless you know you’re using it extensively, I recommend skipping that and saving $100/£100. Also due to its tablet form, you’re getting a rear 2160p at 30 fps camera on top of the 1080p webcam and 480p at 60fps IR camera in front.
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2022): Performance
- Great performance for general productivity and light photo editing
- Display looks fantastic
- Speakers could be better
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2022): Laptop benchmarks
Here’s how the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2022) performed in our suite of benchmark tests:
3DMark: Night Raid: 10,752; Fire Strike: 3,051; Time Spy: 1,068
GeekBench 6: 1,564 (single-core); 7,097 (multi-core)
25GB File Copy: 648.7 MBps
Handbrake 1.6: 15.64
CrossMark: Overall: 1,313 Productivity: 1,303 Creativity: 1,400 Responsiveness: 1,109
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI: Gathering Storm: 16fps
Web Surfing (Battery Informant): 8:16:39
Despite its more compact form, TechRadar’s own benchmark results show that the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2022) is still a capable work (and school) laptop. It manages to keep up with the Dell XPS 13 (2022), which by the way has kept that traditional laptop shell that it’s 2-in-1 counterpart is now missing.
The same specced XPS 13 delivered comparable performance and results to the XPS 13 2-in-1 (2022), with the latter beating it out slightly in multicore performance in the Geekbench test. Though the XPS 13 did beat it in everything else, it wasn’t by much so that shouldn’t have a massive impact in real-world scenarios.
In practice, the laptop is capable of multitasking, especially running 20 or so tabs at the same time while streaming movies on the Netflix app. I haven’t experienced any slowdowns while doing productivity work on this laptop.
It fares well with very light photo editing on Lightroom as well, but I wouldn’t edit on this considering that very small display. Also, our display test only yielded 70% DCI-P3 coverage, and the brightness wasn’t uniform across the board so it’s not the best for video editing either.
The 2880 x 1920 display is still fantastic, however. It’s very bright with sharp visuals and vivid colors. Both All Quiet on the Western Front and Luther: The Fallen Sun look fantastic on it, and there’s a lot of detail even in darker scenes, which I really appreciate as I absolutely detest watching scenes where you can barely see anything (side eye to you, Chris Nolan).
Its touchscreen feature is amazing to use as well, not to mention handy. I found myself using it more often than I usually do when on a touchscreen laptop, perhaps due to its tablet nature.
The 1080p webcam isn’t really fancy, though the higher resolution is certainly appreciated. Still, it seems to have a smaller set aperture, which means you can’t really get creative with your exposures, and only records at 30fps so there’s noticeable ghosting. The picture quality is sharp and clean, but expect considerable chromatic and luminance noise in darker scenes – not too much that it ruins the video but enough that it’s distracting to more discerning viewers.
There is a 480p at 60fps IR camera for Windows Hello facial recognition login, and this one works fast, and it works like a charm. It logs me on every single time within a split second without a fuss.
As for the speakers, they’re decent but not amazing. There’s enough volume, and the soundstage is good. But the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2022) is essentially a tablet now so it’s not like they can fit in a truly impressive set of drivers in there. Expect the sound quality to be somewhat hollow with recessed mids and bass.
- Performance score: 4.5 / 5
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2022): Battery
- Scored just a little over 8 hours in our Web Surfing battery test
- Lasts even shorter when doing productivity work
I wish the battery life were better on the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2022). The previous generation could squeeze out about 10 hours of juice, but this one is held back by middling battery life.
Granted, our Web Surfing battery test manage a decent eight-hour (or a little over) life out of it, which in theory means you’re getting a full workday off of it, that isn’t exactly the case in practice. During actual use on a typical work day, it didn’t last as long as I had hoped, the battery draining to about 50% with brightness at 50% after four hours of productivity use, which to me just means having about 10 tabs open on Google Chrome and nothing else.
If you’re the type to stream shows while you work, this definitely isn’t going to last you an entire day. It’s a good thing, I guess, that you can charge it with just about any 45W USB-C charger, and it charges decently fast.
Should you buy the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2022)?
|Price||Switching out that luxurious XPS shell with a flimsy folio, this should be cheaper than it is.||3.5 / 5|
|Specs||There are plenty of configurations to choose from in the US, UK and Australia.||4.5 / 5|
|Design||The XPS Folio definitely has a steep learning curve, but it’s something you can adjust to within a week. It does make it all the more compact and lightweight.||4 / 5|
|Performance||This is a capable laptop (if you can even call it that) for productivity work and for school.||4.5 / 5|
|Battery||It can squeeze out a little over 8 hours at best. Not much.||3 / 5|
|Average rating||The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2022) is a capable laptop that’s ideal for traveling. However, it’s a bit of a downgrade from its previous generations.||4 / 5|
Buy it if…
Don’t buy it if…
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2022): Also consider
|Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2022)||Dell XPS 13 (2022)||Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 8|
|Price:||From $1,149 (about £910 / AU$1,695)||From $899 / £854 / AU$1,898||$1,399.99 / £1,440|
|CPU||Intel Core i5-1230U – i7-1250U||Intel Core i5-1230U – i7-1250U||Intel Core i7-1360P|
|GPU||Intel Iris Xe graphics||Intel Iris Xe graphics||Intel Iris Xe graphics|
|RAM||Up to 16 GB LPDDR4x||Up to 32GB LPDDR5||16GB|
|Screen||Up to 1TB PCIe SSD||Up to 1TB PCIe SSD||1 TB SSD M.2 2280 PCIe Gen4|
|Storage||13″ 3:2 3K (2880×1920) Touch 500-Nit Display||13.4 FHD+ (1920 x 1200) InfinityEdge Non-Touch Anti-Glare 500-Nit Display||Up to 14″ WQUXGA (3840 x 2400), OLED, Touch, 100% DCI-P3, 400 nits, 60Hz|
|Ports||2 x Thunderbolt 4||2 x Thunderbolt 4||2x USB-C Thunderbolt 4.0, 1x USB-A 3.2, 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2, 1x headphone / mic combo|
|Wireless||Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2||Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2||Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1|
|Camera||2160p at 30 fps RGB camera, 1080p at 30 fps FHD RGB camera||720p at 30fps, no privacy shutter||1080P FHD RGB/IR Hybrid with dual mic and privacy shutter|
|Weight||2.9 pounds (1.3kg) with XPS Folio||2.59 lb (1.17kg)||Starting at 1.4kg (3.08 lbs)|
|Dimensions||11.50 x 7.90 x 0.29 inches (292.50 x 201.20 x 7.40 mm)||11.63 x 7.85 x 0.55 in (295.4 x 199.4 x 13.99 mm)||12.52 x 9.06 x 0.6 inches (15.2 x 318 x 230mm)|
If the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2022) has you considering other options, here are two more laptops to consider…
How I tested the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2022)
- Tested the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2022) for three weeks
- Used it for work and streaming and during my travel
- Stress-tested it using our suite of benchmarks
The new Dell XPS 2-in-1 isn’t just like any other convertible laptop. It has now taken a tablet with a keyboard form, which was a suprising move by Dell. Naturally, I had to see just how convenient or non-convient this form factor is by taking it with me on my two-week holiday in Greece.
During my three week testing, I used it for work, surfing, and streaming movies and shows. I also used it for work video meetings as well as personal video calls with friends. I also ran it through our suite of benchmark tests.
With years of extensive experience testing and reviewing laptops, and as one of the Computing editors at TechRadar, I have all the right tools to determine whether or not a laptop is worth your time and money. You can trust me to put them through their paces and make the right recommendations.
Read more about how we test
First reviewed May 2023