Our XPS 13 2-in-1 review unit features a screen with 500 nits of brightness and a native resolution of 1,920 by 1,200 pixels, which is a bit higher than full HD (1,920 by 1,080 pixels) because of the laptop's unique 16:10 aspect ratio. Picture quality seems better than most other full HD screens I've used, with more-vivid colors and a rated 1,800:1 contrast ratio.
When you're propping it up as a tent (with the speakers facing you) or using it as an easel (with the speakers facing upward), the quality is better. The Waves MaxxAudio driver includes some nifty features, like the ability to track the position of your head using the camera so as to improve directional audio while wearing headphones, but I didn't notice any difference while listening to audio tracks and movie trailers on YouTube.
While all versions of the XPS 13 2-in-1 now come with Intel's Ice Lake processors, only the Core i5- and Core i7-equipped models feature the versions of the chip with upgraded Iris Plus graphics. Previously found almost exclusively on Apple laptops, on-CPU integrated Iris Plus silicon is more powerful than the Intel UHD Graphics that power most Windows ultraportable laptops, if not quite as powerful as dedicated GPUs from AMD and Nvidia that you'll find in workstations or gaming rigs. We've performed extensive benchmark testing on an Intel-provided reference laptop with the same CPU that's in the XPS 13 2-in-1, and results were about what you'd expect: incrementally better general computing capabilities consistent with a new CPU generation, and dramatically improved graphics performance, thanks to the Iris Plus silicon and faster system memory.
Graphics rendering is one area where the XPS 13 2-in-1 is unquestionably the fastest in this test group. Our 3DMark and Superposition results show just how much better the Iris Plus graphics system is compared with the UHD Graphics silicon that is part of most previous-generation Intel mobile CPUs.
The XPS 13 2-in-1 achieved more than 13 hours in our battery rundown test, which involves running a locally stored 720p video file with Wi-Fi turned off until the laptop dies. This is even better than the XPS 13 clamshell's result, though not quite as good as the class-leading MacBook Pro and Spectre x360 13, the latter of which is equipped with a special energy-saving display that consumes around 1 watt of power. 1e1e36bf2d