When I reviewed Dell's XPS 13 from late 2017, I called the design uninspiring, and I called out the webcam placement and the lack of facial recognition. In fact, the webcam placement below the display has become something of a joke, among both reviewers and Dell's competitors.
Well, now Dell can make fun of it too, as even someone from the firm told me at CES. The webcam is finally above the display, and the company used a tiny camera module to do it.
The design is also much sexier. The aluminum body color is called Frost, and it has an all-white interior. If you want the old gray body with the black carbon fiber interior, you can still get that. There's also a Rose Gold model with the same white interior. The point is that Dell took a laptop that used to be somewhat bland and made it sexy.
|CPU||Intel Core i7-8565U (8MB cache, up to 4.6GHz)|
|GPU||Intel UHD Graphics 620|
|Body||11.9x7.8x0.3-0.46in (302x199x7.8-11.6mm), 2.7lbs (1.23kg)|
|Display||13.3-inch UltraSharp 4K Ultra HD (3840x2160) InfinityEdge touch display, 100% sRGB color gamut, HDR-ready enabled by Windows HD Color, Dolby Vision, 400- nits, 1500:1 contrast ratio, 178° wide viewing angle - 89° / 89° / 89° / 89°, touch – antireflective|
|Ports||(2) Thunderbolt 3 with power delivery and DisplayPort (4 lanes of PCI Express Gen 3)|
(1) USB-C 3.1 with power delivery and DisplayPort
Micro-SD card reader
3.5mm headset jack
wedge-shaped lock slot
|RAM||16GB LPDDR3 Dual Channel SDRAM at 2133MHz|
|Storage||512GB PCIe 3 x4 SSD|
|Material||CNC machined aluminum in Frost with arctic white woven glass fiber palm rest (UV-resistant and stain resistant coating)|
Edge-to-edge Corning Gorilla Glass 4 on touch panels
|Connectivity||Killer 1435 802.11ac [2x2] + Bluetooth 4.2 Miracast capable|
|Audio||Stereo speakers professionally tuned with Waves MaxxAudio Pro; 1W x 2 = 2W total|
Widescreen HD (720p) 2.25mm webcam with 4 array digital microphones; Far Field Cortana capable
|Windows Hello||Fingerprint sensor in the power button|
|OS||Windows 10 Home|
The Dell XPS 13 actually starts at $899.99, and there are loads of customization options. The base model includes a Core i3-8145U CPU, 4GB RAM, and 128GB of storage, along with a 1080p display. While the consumer model comes with Windows 10 Home, you can get it with Windows 10 Pro or even Ubuntu. If you get Ubuntu though, the fingerprint sensor and Waves MaxxAudio Pro won't work.
I enjoy pretty gadgets. There's something about them that makes them more pleasant to carry and to use. After all, if you're going to shell out a couple grand for a new PC, you don't want it to feel dull. The Dell XPS 13 does not fall short on that. This is a beautiful machine.
As usual, the outer shell is made out of aluminum, although there are Frost and Rose Gold colors, rather than the standard grayish-silver. The palm rest is made up of woven glass fiber that has a stain-resistant coating to keep its Arctic White color over time. Naturally, if you still want that grayish-silver color, you still get the carbon fiber black palm rest.
It's funny, because the Frost color really doesn't look all that different from a regular old silver, aluminum laptop. You know, the MacBook clones that we've seen so many of. It's a bit of a lighter shade though, and it's a really nice touch.
This machine is made from a single block of aluminum, and Dell says that that means it's stronger than a device that's made from separate pieces. The build quality certainly feels solid, although Dell isn't boasting and MIL-Spec testing.
As far as ports go, I'm sad to say that there's no USB Type-A anymore. Personally, I feel like it's still worthwhile to keep one of these things around, even if I didn't find myself missing it. It's the same story as with the webcam; you don't have to use something often to miss it when you do need it.
On the left side of the device, you'll find two Thunderbolt 3 ports, either of which support speeds of up to 40Gbps, or they can power up to two 4K displays. Of course, if you run four 4K monitors off of the two ports, don't blame us when the integrated graphics can't handle it. You could, however, use an external GPU with one of those ports.
To the right of the two USB Type-C ports, there's a battery indicator. This is a pretty cool feature. Just press the button and a number of those five LED lights will tell you how much battery you have left. It's a nice and easy way to see if you need a charge before leaving your home.
On the right, there's a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port, a 3.5mm combo audio jack, and a micro-SD card reader. Other than the absence of USB Type-A, the selection of ports is pretty sweet. I appreciate having a micro-SD card reader, as I feel like it's one of those features that gets the chop when trying to hit a certain size and weight.
Display, and there's a webcam on top of it
As I've mentioned a few times, the webcam is above the screen now. Dell's XPS lineup has always been about creating an immersive experience, with narrow bezels that measure 4mm on the sides and 5.98mm on top. That's why the webcam has historically been on the bottom. The company favored immersion over proper webcam placement.
When I'd bring up the subject, folks from Dell would simply ask me how often I used my webcam. The answer is, of course, never. We all use our phones for video calling now. Other companies mocked the placement of the camera, calling it a nostril-cam. While I agree with the sentiment of prioritizing immersion over a part that's rarely used, it's still something that you want to work properly when you use it. Now, you can have the best of both worlds.
For comparison, the late 2017 model that I reviewed had 5.2mm bezels on the top and sides, so the top bezel is slightly larger. Still, it's not nearly as big as it would be if there was a full-sized webcam.
And then there's the actual display, which is 13.3 inches and has a 3840x2160 resolution. If you want better battery life, go for the 1080p model, but this definitely provides the better experience.
It's probably one of, if not the best laptop displays on the market. It uses Dell Cinema, a combination of CinemaColor, CinemaSound, and CinemaStream. CinemaColor utilizes Dolby Vision HDR, providing a wide dynamic range of colors. CinemaSound utilizes Waves MaxxAudio Pro, and CinemaStream uses Killer Wireless to prioritize streaming video over other apps.
The UltraSharp screen supports touch, and it has a 178-degree viewing angle, or 89 degrees from any side. It also has a 1500:1 contrast ratio and brightness goes up to 400 nits.
As mentioned, the narrow bezels enhance the experience, making it feel more immersive. And the good news is that you don't have to sacrifice webcam placement to get that anymore.
The keyboard has the standard chiclet-style, backlit keys that we're used to in Dell XPS laptops. The key travel is 1.3mm, which is pretty standard these days. It used to be 1.5mm, but shallower keyboards are becoming more and more common.
These don't feel too shallow though, which is really good news. With Dell's XPS 15 2-in-1, the company used a new MagLev design, which was really shallow and hard to use. I'm glad to see that they haven't brought this over to the XPS 13.
Overall, the keyboard is pretty standard though. It's comfortable to use, and it's accurate, but there's nothing about it that stands out to me like with Lenovo's ThinkPads or HP's new EliteBooks. It definitely gets the job done.
The keys are a bit loud though. If you're a hard typist, you'll want to keep this in mind or you'll end up annoying people that sit near you.
The trackpad definitely gets the job done as well. It uses Microsoft's Precision drivers, so it gets great performance and supports all of the gestures that you're used to. This is actually pretty important, as most of HP's laptops do not have Precision trackpads, and it's my biggest complaint about them. I'd call HP's use of Synaptics drivers its "webcam under the display", or that one big problem that keeps its devices from being nearly perfect.
And of course, let's not forget about the woven glass fiber palm rest, which is quite nice. The textured feel is different from the rest of the pack, it's comfortable, easy to clean, and it won't stain. On a side note, Dell says that the total glass fibers in one palm rest stretch 117,500 miles, which is almost five times around the Earth, or almost halfway to the moon.
Fingerprint sensor and the lack of an IR camera
Sometimes I wonder about companies and their roadmaps. This is one of those times. Last year's XPS laptops included an IR camera for facial recognition, and they were the first to do so. This year, with the webcam being moved above the display, that feature is gone.
I have to think that last year, when the facial recognition feature was introduced, Dell was already working on its shrunken-down webcam, and they probably knew it was coming this year. So, the company added the feature and then killed it in the following generation.
The XPS 13 does still support Windows Hello with a fingerprint sensor in the power button. First of all, the fingerprint sensor works fine. Unlike laptops from Huawei and LG, you still need to scan your fingerprint after the machine boots up, which is a disappointment to me. With a Huawei or LG laptop, it actually scans your fingerprint when you press it, automagically signing you in when it boots up.
Dell told me that they think that would be a security risk. The company has a certain benchmark, and if Windows takes longer than that to boot, it assumes that you could have walked away from the laptop in that amount of time.
I still believe that facial recognition is the most natural way of biometric authentication for a laptop, unless you can automatically sign in by pressing the power button. But that's why it frustrates me so much that Dell added it last year just to take it away this year.
The Dell XPS 13 that was sent to me includes an Intel Core i7-8565U, 16GB RAM, and a 512GB SSD. If you want an awesome experience, get that. You can get it with a Core i3 or i5, also from the Whiskey Lake family, and Dell still sells the last generation models with Kaby Lake R.
It's also worth noting that Dell makes an XPS 13 2-in-1, and one thing is not like the other. The XPS 13 2-in-1 uses Intel's 5W Y-series processors, as opposed to the 15W U-series chips. The Y-series is dual-core instead of quad-core as well, and you're sacrificing a lot of power if you get the convertible.
I mention this because most OEMs these days put U-series processors in both their clamshell laptops and their convertibles. That's not the case with the Dell XPS 13 and the XPS 13 2-in-1.
As far as general performance goes, the XPS 13 is great. It's similar to any ultrabook with a Whiskey Lake Core i7 and 16GB RAM. It's great for productivity-related tasks, and even some light creative tasks like photo and video editing. I always describe it as if you want to edit video all the time, get something with a dedicated GPU, but you can use this to edit video in a pinch.
As far as battery life goes though, the XPS 13 was really a mixed bag. There were times when I'd get as little as three hours, and times when I'd get over eight hours. The strange thing is that I really can't tell you what I did differently on the times that it got less battery life. Obviously, doing heavier tasks will shorten the time, but it all seemed pretty random. You'll want to have a power cable with you.
For benchmarks, I used PCMark 8 and PCMark 10. PCMark 8 provides three tests: Home, Creative, and Work. The Home test checks common tasks like video chat, web browsing, casual gaming, and more.
This score is a bit lower than some competitors, such as the HP Spectre x360, which got 3,531. Still, it's fine. The Creative test checks more GPU intensive tasks like video editing and mainstream gaming.
This one was about the same as the HP. Finally, the Work test focuses on productivity-related tasks like writing and spreadsheets.
I also ran the general test in PCMark 10, just to see how it does there.
The PCMark 10 test narrowly outperformed the Spectre x360, which got 4,036.
The Dell XPS 13 is a great all-around clamshell laptop, with a beautiful design and a small footprint. My biggest complaints are that there's no IR camera - particularly that Dell gave us facial recognition and then took it away - and there's no USB Type-A. Most consumer laptops still keep at least one USB Type-A port, and this one does not.
Other than the beautiful design, one thing I really love is the display. Like I said, it's one of the best on the market, with its Dolby Vision HDR and narrow bezels. With Dell Cinema, it makes for an incredible media consumption experience.
And that's what it's all about. It provides a great work experience, and a great play experience, all in a body that's pleasant to look at and won't weigh down your bag. Unless you're looking to buy a convertible, the Dell XPS 13 is definitely worth checking out in a laptop.
Gallery: Dell XPS 13 2019 review
- Windows 10
- Xps 13
- Xps 13 2019
If you do want one of those better cameras in a Dell device, the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 does come with a 5MP webcam that supports 1080p video. That's because this year's model is a tablet, and that form factor always tends to have better cameras. That's all there is to know about the webcam on the 2022 Dell XPS 13.Where is the webcam located on a Dell XPS 13? ›
The Dell XPS 13 webcam is really small
The goal was to take the screen as close to the edge of the laptop as possible, and to make that happen, Dell moved the webcam under the display.
- Press and hold the Windows ( ...
- In the Search box, type camera.
- Right-click Camera, and then select app settings.
- Click or touch Reseat, and then confirm you want to reset the camera app by clicking or touching Reseat.
- After the process finishes, close the Settings window.
Because of the very thin screen border (also called a bezel), the webcam had been relegated to a spot below the screen, rather than above it.What is special about Dell XPS 13? ›
The Dell XPS 13 is the best Windows laptop you can buy, offering a stunning display, a great keyboard and long battery life within an attractive, slim design that's easy to take anywhere.How do I turn on my Dell laptop webcam? ›
- Click "Start | All Programs | Dell Webcam | Webcam Central," or click Start and type "webcam" into the search box. ...
- Click "Snap Photos" to turn on the webcam and start taking pictures.
- Click "Record Videos" to enable the camera and begin capturing video.
- Click the Start button. ...
- Click "Webcam Console" or "Launch Webcam Console." Click the "Camera" tab to adjust the brightness, contrast and color, change pan / zoom and enable or disable face tracking.
Dell Inspiron laptops include an internal webcam located above the screen, allowing you to make video calls or record videos of yourself without having to attach an external webcam.How do I fix the camera on the top of my laptop? ›
- Connect the webcam to your laptop. ...
- Install the webcam's software (if necessary). ...
- Wait for the setup page to open for your webcam. ...
- Follow any instructions on the screen.
- Press the Install button, then select your preferences and settings for the webcam.
The switch is the Privacy shutter and you can slide the privacy shutter to cover the camera lens and protect your privacy when the camera is not in use.
Like last year's XPS 13, the XPS 13 Plus uses a 720p webcam.Why does Mark Zuckerberg tape his laptop camera? ›
The taped-over camera and microphone jack are intended to protect against hackers using your laptop camera to take surreptitious pictures or videos or accessing your microphone to eavesdrop on conversations – a possibility once your device has been accessed through "ratting."Should webcam be above or below you? ›
For optimal appearance, the camera should be placed just above your eye-level and angled slightly downward. There are a few ways to accomplish this flattering angle. Place the webcam on a stack of books, a box, tripod or webcam grip behind your monitor.Why is everyone covering their laptop camera? ›
Cybercriminals can access these cameras, and because of their positions — facing your living room, kitchen, or office — they can expose your privacy and sensitive conversations. That's why it's a good idea to cover up your webcam or take other steps to improve your internet security.Is XPS 13 laptop any good? ›
The XPS 13 is a reliable little laptop that's great for business use. It's light enough to carry around and has a fast processor to work with. You'll have no problem doing a little bit of everything, like building presentations, streaming video, and playing simple games.Is the Dell XPS 13 the best Windows laptop? ›
Compared To Other Laptops. The Dell XPS 13 9310 is one of the best ultraportable laptops on the market. It stands out for its premium design, sturdy build, high-quality display, and comfortable keyboard. However, its port selection is worse than many other laptops in its class.Why is the Dell XPS so good? ›
But when it comes to the combination of power, build quality, and portability, the Dell XPS 15 is the closest Windows-running contender that I've been able to find. It's exceptionally thin and light for its size. Its keyboard and touchpad are best-in-class. Its OLED screen is a dream to view.Why are webcams poor quality? ›
As with all photography, the way to create better images is to capture more light, and the method of capturing more light is to use larger image sensors and larger lenses. That's why a consumer DSLR or mirrorless camera produces much better images than a webcam.Why are laptop cameras so low quality? ›
Laptops have bad cameras because they represent an area where manufacturers can cut corners and save on production costs. Laptop manufacturers would rather spend resources on components that will fetch them higher prices for their laptops, such as better screens and processors.What is the resolution of Dell webcam? ›
The new Dell Pro Webcam (model WB5023) follows a similar playbook to last year's Dell UltraSharp 4K Webcam, with a compact, barrel-shaped design and automatic cropping software to keep you centered in the frame. Though instead of 4K resolution, the Pro Webcam records and streams up to QHD 2560 x 1440 resolution.
If there is a [F10 Camera hotkey ] on your keyboard of the computer①, please turn the camera on first. (This hotkey lets you turn on/off the camera quickly.) If no, please go to Step 3.How do I activate my webcam? ›
- In the dialogue, select Open preferences.
- To enable camera or mic permissions: Camera: Click Camera Select the checkbox next to "Google Chrome." ...
- Your computer may ask if you want to quit to save changes. To save changes, click Quit now.
Select the Settings icon in the Start menu. Choose Privacy. In the Camera section, turn on Allow apps to access your camera to allow access by some apps and services. Tap the slider next to each app or service in the list to allow some apps and services to access the webcam while preventing others from having access.How do I manually adjust my webcam settings? ›
Press Win + I to launch the Settings app. Select Bluetooth & devices from the left sidebar and select Cameras from the right pane. Select the webcam you want to change the settings for. You'll see a live webcam image at the top, and right below, you'll see Default image settings.Can I change my webcam settings? ›
Open the Camera app. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then select Settings. Select Options. Adjust the settings for each option.Can you adjust webcam field of view? ›
Change Your Webcam Angle
Changing the webcam angle is possible for any average webcam. Whether you use a program such as Skype or Zoom or have software unique to the webcam manufacturer, enter into the general settings and set the viewing angle to around 60mm.
The main difference between a laptop camera and a webcam is that the webcam is an external piece of equipment that is hooked up to the laptop, whereas the laptop camera is integrated into the system. As a result of this integration, the built-in camera tends to be of lower quality.How do I test my Dell Webcam? ›
Click “Start | All Programs | Dell Webcam | Webcam Central” to launch the webcam application. Sit up straight in the chair and look toward the webcam located in the top center of your computer's monitor.How do I know if my laptop has a built-in webcam? ›
To open up your webcam or camera, select the Start button, then select All apps, and then select Camera in the list of apps. If you have multiple cameras, you can switch between them by selecting Change Camera at the top right once the Camera app is opened.What is the camera on top of a computer called? ›
A webcam lets you do just that. With one of these tiny, bug-eyed cameras hooked up to your computer, you can broadcast pictures of yourself or your home to the entire world! A webcam is a bit like a digital camera and works much the same way.
Problem: The camera is too high (or your chair is too low). Solution: An eye-level camera builds connection and conveys clarity. Make sure your computer's webcam is at the same height as your eyes. Raise your laptop (a stack of books will do in a pinch) or lower your seat.How do I fix over exposed webcam? ›
- Launch the software for your webcam. ...
- Locate the "Settings" or a similar menu within your webcam software and click to open it.
- Locate the "Brightness" or "Exposure" tab, and click to open it.
- Move the "Brightness" or "Exposure" slider to the left or right to adjust the amount of light your webcam is processing.
The extra hole near your laptop camera is microphone(in few laptop models, it is near the camera, in others, it is near track-pad). In few laptops, you have multiple microphones for noise cancellation. It is clearly mentioned in the manual that comes along with the laptop.What are the two circles next to my laptop camera? ›
It's for Face ID scanning and also auto brightness.How do I turn off the front camera on my Dell laptop? ›
- Right-click the Start button or press 'Win' + 'X'.
- Click Device Manager.
- Click the dropdown arrow next to the image of devices - Cameras.
- Locate the Camera driver and Right-click the Integrated Camera.
- Click Disable.
Dell XPS 13 FHD vs. 4K display: Which should you buy? Best answer: Most people would be better off with the 1920x1200 (FHD+) display rather than spend more on 3840x2400 (UHD+). However, if you're looking for HDR support and better DCI-P3 color, the UHD+ display is the way to go.What is the difference between XPS 13 and new XPS 13? ›
Both come with up to 32GB of LPDDR5 RAM clocked at 52000MHz, but for storage, the Dell XPS 13 Plus comes with up to a 2TB SSD, while the regular XPS 13 only goes up to 1TB. That's actually a downgrade for the XPS 13 compared to previous models.Is the XPS 13 laptop good for video editing? ›
Dell XPS 13 review: Power and performance
The 11th-generation Intel Core i7 and 16GB of memory do help, allowing it to do a decent job of tackling Lightroom and Premiere Pro tasks. During testing, it's able to handle batch processing and exporting of high-resolution images, as well as 4k video rendering admirably.
Does Covering Your Computer's Camera Really Keep You Safe? Many security experts recommend camera covers as a first step to promote your cybersecurity. Because protection is as simple as placing a Post-It note or electrical tape over your camera, taking the extra precaution is a no brainer.Does Mark Zuckerberg put tape over laptop camera? ›
“I put a piece of tape — I have obviously a laptop, personal laptop — I put a piece of tape over the camera. Because I saw somebody smarter than I am had a piece of tape over their camera.”
Looking at your face on Zoom is like looking in a funhouse mirror. Because we're staring into them head-on and at an unflatteringly close range, Kourosh explains, front-facing computer cameras flatten out our faces, making our noses appear larger and our eyes smaller.Should I look at the screen or the webcam? ›
The camera should capture your face and part of your upper body, with the camera being aligned with your eyes. When talking, you should always look at the camera (not the screen), so it feels like you're having eye contact with the other person.How do I put the camera on the top of my monitor? ›
- Choose the location where you want to place your webcam. ...
- Unfold your webcam to expose the base of the device. ...
- Slide the front of the clip over the top of your monitor with the webcam facing toward the front.
Any webcam, including built-in laptop and phone cameras, can be hacked and used for webcam spying. It's easy to think you're safe from hacking on a private network, but without extra security, you may still be vulnerable to webcam hacking.Can people see you through your camera? ›
On top of that, popular app developers aren't immune to accusations of watching you through your phone's camera. Generally, however, a stalker would need to install spyware on your device in order to compromise it. Hackers can gain access to your phone physically, through apps, media files, and even emojis.Can someone see you through your phone camera? ›
Yes, smartphone cameras can be used to spy on you – if you're not careful. A researcher claims to have written an Android app that takes photos and videos using a smartphone camera, even while the screen is turned off – a pretty handy tool for a spy or a creepy stalker.Does the Dell XPS 13 9310 have a camera? ›
Dell XPS 13 (9310) specs and features.
|Category||XPS 13 (9310)|
|Front camera||HD 720P (top bezel)|
Hit Win-key and type devmgmt. msc . This applet will show you all devices on your Windows pc. Look for imaging devices , there should be your webcam, if it's drivers are installed.Does my Dell computer have a built in camera? ›
Many Dell laptops and flat panel monitors include an integrated webcam above the LCD screen. Unlike external webcams, which connect to your office computer through a USB slot, you cannot unplug a built-in camera.Does XPS 13 have face ID? ›
The infrared camera with Windows Hello* recognizes your face, unlocking your XPS with secure facial recognition technology. The fingerprint reader integrated into the power button lets you log on with just a touch. *Available on systems with a Windows operating system.
Using the privacy shutter
Slide the privacy shutter to the left to access the camera lens. Slide the privacy shutter to the right to cover the camera lens.
Type webcammictest.com into your browser's address bar. Click the Check My Webcam button on the website's landing page. When the pop-up permission box appears, click Allow. Your webcam's feed should then appear in the black box on the right-hand side of the page, indicating that the camera is working.How do I use my Dell built-in camera? ›
- Click the Start button. ...
- Click "Webcam Console" or "Launch Webcam Console." Click the "Camera" tab to adjust the brightness, contrast and color, change pan / zoom and enable or disable face tracking.
All Video, No Audio
Unlike most consumer webcams, the UltraSharp doesn't have a microphone at all.
Go to the Start menu (press the Windows logo key). Type Device Manager in the Search bar and click on the option when it appears in the search results. Once the Device Manager window opens, look for your webcam device under 'Cameras', 'Imaging Devices', or 'Sound, video, and game controllers.How do I know if my computer has a built-in camera? ›
On a PC computer, one of the first clues to whether your computer has a camera is to look for the camera lens. This is typically located at the top edge of the screen in the center. The camera lens on a laptop could be quite small and appear like the front-facing camera on your smartphone.How do I find my built-in webcam? ›
In Search on the taskbar, type device manager, then select it from the search results. Find the problem webcam from the list of devices shown in the Device Manager. It should appear either under Cameras or Imaging devices.