Dell XPS 13 User Guide – Best review and report

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One of our favorite laptops, the Dell XPS 13 offers strong performance and long battery life in an incredibly compact design with a gorgeous Infinity display that has almost no bezel. We gave this 2.6-pound, 13-inch laptop an Editor’s Choice award and frequently recommend it to those who want the best of the best.

xps 13 front

Whether you already own an XPS 13 or are strongly considering one, you’ll want to know how you can make the most of it. Use our advice below to improve the laptop’s battery life, take better webcam pictures, find helpful accessories and much more.

MORE: Dell XPS 13: Full Review

Bloatware Removal

It’s not atypical for laptops to come with some bloatware, and that’s the case with the Dell XPS 13, too. We found Flipboard, Groove Music, iHeart Radio, Twitter and Candy Crush Saga all preinstalled on the laptop. If you don’t want or need these, you can easily uninstall them.

See our guide to software removal in Windows 10 here and eliminate wasted space on your SSD.

MORE: How to Uninstall Programs in Windows 10

Fixing the Webcam

In order to accommodate the near bezel-less design, the Dell XPS 13’s camera lives in the lower left hand corner of hinge, which makes it shoot pictures straight up your nose. If you’ve played with angles and haven’t fixed it, consider some of our fixes, a combination of MacGyvering and using other hardware.

MORE: How to Turn the Dell XPS 13’s ‘Nosecam’ Into a Webcam

Display Driver Problems

Does your display flicker? Do you get error messages that your display driver has crashed? This bug was somewhat common among early machines, but Dell has issued a fix for it. Using our guide, you’ll learn to where to find the new drivers and how to install them.

MORE: How to Fix Dell XPS 13 Display Driver Problems

Battery Life

The XPS 13 lasted for 11:54 on the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which involves surfing the Web continuously at 100 nits of brightness (for the XPS 13, that’s 44 percent of total brightness). This laptop outlasts several of its competitors by hours, and we’re impressed by it.

Still, you want to squeeze every last drop out of the battery, so we ran more tests to find the battery settings that will make your XPS 13 last the longest on a single charge. Find out how turning down the brightness, tweaking the power settings or making other changes can give you longer endurance.

MORE: How to Increase Battery Life on the Dell XPS 13

 In December 2015, Dell released a BIOS update that adds up to 2 hours of battery life. We tested it and found that it worked, so you should definitely learn how to install it.

Accessories

We rounded up some of our favorite accessories for the XPS 13, ranging from a keyboard and mouse, a traveling case, and even a USB Type-C charger. Whether you’re buying for yourself or need a gift for a Dell XPS 13 owner, you’ll find a worthwhile companion to your computer on the list.

MORE: Best Accessories for Your Dell XPS 13

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Andrew E. Freedman

Andrew E. Freedman,
Andrew joined Laptopmag.com in 2015, reviewing computers and keeping up with the latest news. He holds a M.S. in Journalism (Digital Media) from Columbia University. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Twitter @FreedmanAE.
Andrew E. Freedman,
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