Dell XPS 13 9315 2-in-1 review – a Surface Pro 9 alternative worth checking out – LaptopSpirit
The Windows tablet is back. We’ve had new models in this category for a few years now, dominated by Microsoft’s Surface Pro range, but 2022 has seen the launch of even more compelling new models. The new Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (9315) is certainly one of the most interesting of the lot, ditching the convertible format to go head-to-head with the Surface Pro 9 in its field. A smart choice? What does the Dell tablet do against its rival from Microsoft, the most iconic of Windows tablets?
Dell released three XPS 13s in 2022: the XPS 13 Plus 9320, the XPS 13 9315, and the XPS 13 9315 2-in-1. Now that we’ve covered the first two, let’s move on to the 2-in-1, the first removable XPS in nearly a decade.
Beautiful, comfortable, light: the winning tablet/folio duo
Just a few weeks ago, we had the Dell XPS 13 9315 laptop version in our hands. Same name but completely different configuration for it Dell XPS 13 9315 2-in-1. So far, the XPS 13 family has nothing crossover replaceable. Dell chose to turn it into a tablet, a rather successful change that brings a bit of innovation to the XPS family.
Already outside. The tablet is light in hand (736 g) and easy to handle. The aluminum back has the same Blue color as the laptop version – a very metallic light blue. Unsurprisingly, we discover an aluminum back surface (chiseled CNC), while the front is surrounded by an edge-to-edge Gorilla Glass screen. The level of finish is up to the mark, with good underhand resistance and confidence-inspiring density.
By the way, the only criticism we can form is that the boxy silhouette has a bit too marked edges for our taste. It’s not as comfortable in the hands as the iPad or Surface Pro 9.
However, the tablet itself is quite convincing, even the stylus is optional, which is essential for anyone looking to get the most out of a Windows tablet.
Includes detachable keyboard. It’s a folio, that is, an envelope that covers the back and front and has a keyboard and touchpad. The keyboard is modeled after the XPS 13 Plus 9320, which we particularly appreciated. Some may consider the 1mm stroke too short, but the actuation is precise and the large buttons (18 x 18mm) with no gaps between them are very comfortable, better than expected in any case. removable keyboard. In terms of typing, we are on par with a true ultrabook keyboard. It is of course backlit (2 shades) and comes with a larger touchpad (119 x 74mm) than its laptop sibling. Its soft material is reminiscent of Microsoft’s Alcantara touch, which is a real advantage in the service of comfort. The other side of the coin is quite confusing. So be careful.
What’s great about this folio case is that it also doubles as a stand thanks to its magnetic backing. Therefore, the tablet cannot be placed for viewing by itself. The tilt system is quite well thought out and as a result can find some stability in the knees, which is rare in this type of system. The catch is that the magnets only allow it three different angle settings (100°, 112.5°, 125°) where the Surface Pro has no angle limitation of the stand hinge.
Now let’s go to the screen. It is surrounded on all four sides by equal margins of satisfactory proportions. The thin bezel on a touchscreen tablet is certainly more pleasing to the eye, but it’s often difficult to operate as fingers tend to accidentally activate the touchscreen. Zero complaints on that side. We are dealing with a 13-inch screen in 3:2 format and 3K resolution (2880×1920 pixels). Again, screen resolution is adequate with 200% scale (by default). The sRGB color space is completely coveredflirts with maximum brightness 500 nits and the contrast is excellent (1929:1) and the white point is at 6425K. A light anti-reflective coating counteracts the mirror effect often criticized for touchscreens. By adjusting the brightness, the image on the screen is almost always bright, except for strong outdoor light or large fingerprints on the surface. However, there is no OLED option for this Dell XPS 13 and the screen frequency is limited to 60Hz where the Surface Pro offers 120Hz refresh.
A word about the cameras available on this XPS 13, it offers 1080p on the front.Infrared for Windows Hello and 11MP (2160p) in the rear camera. Image quality is noticeably sharper than any laptop webcam, although color accuracy still has a ways to go. Speaking of Windows Hello, biometric authentication is also possible via the fingerprint reader on the Power button on the edge of the tablet.
Finally, as with other models of the XPS 13 series, the connection is reduced to its simplest expression, ie two USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4 ports. Dell still focuses on providing a USB-C to USB-A adapter and another for the jack (headphones). It’s still minimalist, but we know the versatility of this type of TB4 connector and the penchant for all things wireless. However, when the tablet is plugged in, there is only one free port left to connect its peripherals or a wired headset.
Performance is not a priority. Silence on the other hand…
Like the classic Dell XPS 13 9315, our XPS 13 9315 2-in-1 features ultra-low-power Intel Alder Lake-U processors. Hence, the processor Intel Core i7-1250U Our test model (10 cores, 1.1 GHz) was configured with a 9W TDP, so it doesn’t allow you to claim more than office tasks. For a tablet, this isn’t really effective, especially if your usage isn’t demanding.
Indeed, this 2-in-1 has more of a family vocation for entertainment and web browsing than anything else. In question, the processor with a thermal envelope is limited to 9W, as well as a fanless configuration (without ventilation). This is a really strong point because we don’t have it no noise pollution in use, even when you push the tasks a bit, or during a Windows update, which some ultrabooks already start reading… But in the absence of ventilation, only dissipation deals passively with temperature regulation (90 °C max), so to avoid overheating must be stored in another way. That’s why the Dell XPS 13 9315 2-in-1 doesn’t really stand out from the rest of the bench.
Also, it’s not the Dell Power Manager utility that specifically allows you to change the thermal management profile, nor the Windows power supply profiles that will change anything. Indeed, such parameters mainly affect ventilation, which is not here.
Let’s be clear, the Dell XPS 13 9315 2-in-1 remains perfectly functional in all tasks. sent by 16 GB of RAM (welded) and a 512 GB SSD memory in the tested configuration, the system responded perfectly to everyday tasks (web surfing, YouTube, Netflix, etc.), but for example, video or photo export required a little more patience.
When the tablet is mounted in the case like a laptop, two speakers are placed on each side. They offer honest power and quality for tablets. The sound fills the room without any problems, but the bass is weak and the overall balance is lacking.
Last but not least for a tablet: autonomy. With its medium-capacity battery (49.5 Whr), the Dell XPS 13 9315 2-in-1 does not break records. We just made it 8 hours of battery life a somewhat disappointing total given the processor’s low power consumption during our test. We also regret the two-piece (2.70 m) configuration of the USB-C charger. The charging pad itself is not very large (60 x 55 mm; 245 g), but it is very large to carry.
Our take on the Dell XPS 13 (9315) 2-in-1: XPS or Surface Pro?
Right now, the Dell XPS 13 9315 2-in-1 is arguably the best competitor against the Surface Pro 9. The keyboard case is one of its strong points, as it offers real typing comfort, a large touchpad and scratch protection. The tablet itself is thinner and lighter than the Surface Pro 9, though its square silhouette isn’t the most comfortable in the hand. The complete absence of ventilation noise is also in its favor. It’s a real pleasure to start exporting photos in Capture One without hearing the slightest breath.
But the one who says there is no noise is also saying that there is not much performance. At least, it’s certainly not enough to meet the needs of, say, a photographer as a basic computer. Other office automation uses or those that justify the use of a tablet such as illustration are perfectly suited to this XPS.
In short, if you plan to do office work, write and send a lot of emails, the XPS 13 9315 2-in-1 is probably the best choice. On the other hand, if you intend to use the touchscreen in tablet mode more often than you need a stylus, the Surface Pro and its 120Hz display is a cut above.
The difficult question of price remains. Listed at €2,099 at the time of writing, the tested configuration (Core i7, 16GB, 512GB SSD) is €100 cheaper than the Surface Pro 9 with Core i7. For this reason, the colorful price will not be included in the list of elements that can distract us from the Microsoft tablet.
Dell XPS 13 9315 2-in-1 scores 3.5/5
- Strong points
- Flawless finish (tablet and folio)
- Perfectly silent (no fan)
- 11 Mp rear camera
- To review
- Folio is optional and needed to tilt the tablet
- There is no headphone jack or card reader
- Limited performance (9W CPU)
Compare the various available configurations of the Dell XPS 13 9315 2-in-1
Dell XPS 13 9315 2-in-1 Specifications
|Screen(s)||13.4″ 3K 3:2 Touch IPS 500 nits (2880×1920, bright)|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-1250U Alder Lake (1.1 GHz, 10 cores (2P/8E), TDP 9W)|
|RAM is installed||16 GB LPDDR4x 4267 MHz (soldered)|
|Graphics card||It is integrated into the Intel Iris Xe processor|
|Storage||512 GB M.2 SSD (NVMe PCIe)|
|connectors||2 USB 4 Type-C Thunderbolt 4|
|Network||Wi-Fi ax (2×2, Wi-Fi 6 Killer 1675), Bluetooth 5.2|
|Windows Hello||Yes, via webcam and fingerprint reader|
|Audio system||2 x 2W Waves MaxxAudio Pro Smart Amp speakers|
|Operating system||Windows 11 Pro 64 bit|
|Declared autonomy / Battery||10 hours / Li-Ion 3 cells 49.5Whr|
|Weight / Dimensions (mm)||736 g (tablet) + 560 g (folio) / 292.5 x 201.2 x 7.4|