New Dell XPS 13



The nontouch XPS 13 has the same Intel HD Graphics 5500 GPU as the touch version, so it's not surprising that they turned in similar graphics scores. In short, this GPU will suffice for most everyday tasks but will fall short when you're trying to game past medium settings.
In World of Warcraft, the XPS 13 averaged 33 frames per second at 1080p with the graphics set to Good. That's better than the EliteBook (21 fps), as well as the Lenovo's equally unplayable 18 fps. When I increased the effects to maximum, though, the XPS 13 managed only 16 fps.
On 3DMark Fire Strike, which measures GPU performance, the XPS 13 scored 704, which is slightly below the touch version of the XPS 13 (740) but better than the ultraportable average (692), the EliteBook 1020 (403) and the Yoga 3 Pro (384).
Duplicating 4.97GB of multimedia files took the XPS 13's 128GB solid-state drive a total of 58 seconds, for a rate of 87.7 MBps. That's considerably slower than the 256GB SSD in the more expensive XPS 13 (154.2 MBps), as well as the Lenovo (175 MBps), the EliteBook (182 MBps) and the Air (190.3 MBps). It's even below the ultraportable average of 106 MBps.
The XPS 13 redeemed itself on our Spreadsheet Test. It paired 20,000 names and addresses in OpenOffice in 5 minutes and 2 seconds, which was faster than the touch XPS 13 (5:34), the Yoga 3 Pro (5:46) and the EliteBook (6:36). Only the MacBook Air's time of 3:43 was faster.
The biggest difference between the nontouch version of the XPS 13 is that it has a full-HD (1920 x 1080p) display, whereas the touch-screen model has a quad-HD (3200 x 1800p) display. That means the nontouch XPS 13 has a lower resolution than the Yoga 3 (also 3200 x 1800p) as well as the HP EliteBook 1020 (2560 x 1440p). However, we've found a 1080p display to be more than sufficient, and that it uses less power than higher-resolution panels.
When I watched a 1080p trailer for The Avengers: Age of Ultron, both the nontouch XPS 13 and the touch version looked great, but colors really popped on the touch model. Details in Iron Man's Hulkbuster armor and the sheen of gold in his helmet were crisper and more vibrant. I also noticed a bit more contrast. The nontouch XPS 13 had a slight greenish cast, which was most obvious in scenes with lots of grays and whites, such as when Hawkeye was running through a snowy forest.
The nontouch model still provides pleasing visuals. In fact, its matte finish enables wider viewing angles than the touch-screen version; the glossy touch panel kicked back more reflections.
While the nontouch XPS 13 was just as bright as its touch-screen counterpart (298 nits versus 295 nits), the nontouch version was less accurate, as its Delta-E score of 10.6 was more than twice as high as the touch-screen edition's 5.1 (lower numbers are better).
The nontouch Dell displayed a similar range of colors, as its sRGB color gamut of 91.7 percent was just a few points shy of the touch-screen version (97), as well as the EliteBook (95) and the Yoga 3 Pro (99).