Last year I reviewed an Dell XPS 13 and absolutely fell in love with the Laptop, so when given a chance to review the Dell XPS 12 2-in-1 (Laptop or Tablet) and a bunch of accessories I jumped at the chance. With any device that I review they get a real world test, in this case I have been using the Dell XPS 12 2-in-1 now for three weeks which included a two week road trip as my only Laptop / Tablet.
I have never had a Laptop with a detachable screen so my main concern was not so much it being detachable, my concern was more based on performance. Would the XPS 12 act more like a Tablet or a Laptop. My typical travel does not require me to edit video, but on this trip beyond normal work stuff, I had 4 videos that I needed to edit for a client and the XPS 12 handled them like a champ. I was actually taken back a little bit, encoding video is typically the true test on a computers performance and the XPS 12 performed remarkably well with the Intel 6th Generation M5 Processor.
The Dell XPS line has set the bar in workmanship, just like other XPS models this one utilizes premium materials such as Carbon Fiber, Machined Aluminum and screen hardened with Corning Gorilla Glass. Weighing in at 2.8lbs with the keyboard base of 1.75lbs with just the tablet. The build of the Dell XPS 12 2-in-1 is solid and elegant. While XPS Laptops are thin to begin with this one has already garnered a lot of attention by the folks I have exposed it to.
The screen docking utilizes magnets to snap it into place to establish a solid link between the keyboard and the screen. The 12.5 inch 4k Ultra HD display using the XPS 12 in tablet mode is simply incredible bright and vibrant. When you detach the screen from the keyboard you are asked if you want to stay in PC mode or switch to Tablet. Either choice is fine with Windows 10 the experience is pretty much seamless. The screen features a 352 DPI and has 8 million pixels resulting in an incredible screen experience. I cannot say it enough the screens of the XPS line is really what sets Dell apart from the competition.
The XPS comes with 2 cameras a 5MP user facing camera an 8MP world facing camera. Perfect for high res photos or web-chatting. Thunderbolt 3 has arrived in a big way the XPS 12 has two Thunderbolt 3 ports with the new Type-C connector for blazing fast file transfers.
Let’s talk about the keyboard’s, when you order your XPS 12 you will be able to choose between two keyboard’s. When I tested the XPS 13 last year, I felt that the keyboard on that laptop, was the best keyboard ever designed for a laptop. When I received the XPS 12 with it came their Premier Keyboard with Premier Magnetic Folio which has a 1.9mm travel, when I expressed to the Dell team that I really loved the XPS 13 keyboard they surprised me by sending me the XPS Slim 12 Keyboard – with 1.3mm travel and adjustable viewing angles up to 150 degrees. This blew me away, in that I could have “my” choice of keyboards. Do not get me wrong the premier keyboard is a great keyboard, if you like a little deeper keyboard action the premier is for you.
The XPS fits into a business environment with all the management and security features of a Latitude. The new Dell Thunderbolt dock, a story in itself connects to the XPS 12 with a single cable. I will be talking in detail in a later article about dock and other key peripherals.
For travel the Dell Adapter – USB Type C to HDMI/ VGA / Ethernet / USB 3.0 allows you to quickly connect for presentations and or hard wired networks. The Dell Active Pen allows you to interact with the XPS 12 with a stylus.
During my last trip, I was late in preparing a report for my company, which required about 4 hours of work. So while on the plane ride home, in coach I was able to knock out the report in laptop mode and then watch a 4k movie with plenty of battery life left comfortably on the tray table. It’s a sweet time to have this much power and versatility.
No longer do you have to travel with a massive laptop to get the performance and screen real-estate to get work done. Whether I am crunching multiple spreadsheets one moment in laptop mode, or watching a video in bed in tablet mode the Dell XPS 12 2-in-1 (Laptop or Tablet) is the perfect business or travel device. In a world where versatility in being able to get multiple functions out of one device the XPS 12 has allowed me to lighten my travel load while at the same time provide the power I need to do what I do whether at the office, home or travel.
Bit of a side note if you’re looking at other options. I used a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 recently for a few hours so it’s not a full comparison here. But if I was asked to choose between one or the other the choice is very easy, my pick is the Dell XPS 12 2-in-1.
Disclaimer: I have been provided the Dell XPS 12 2-in-1 (Laptop or Tablet) to review from Dell. The views and commentary are my own and represent my experience with the product line.