August 16, 2022

Futuristic design Dell “XPS 13 Plus” review, too neat and where is the touchpad and Fn key?

4 min read

Dell Technologies’ XPS 13 Plus is a mobile notebook PC with a neat and futuristic design that eliminates unnecessary lines and steps as much as possible. Various new functions and ingenuity have been incorporated to make it look neat, such as a touch pad completely integrated with the palm rest, a backlit “touch function media key”, and a “zero lattice keyboard” with almost no space between keys. It has been. I want to check the sophisticated design, the usability that I care about, and the performance using the actual machine.
Where are the touchpad and Fn keys?
First, let’s take a look at the most eye-catching touchpad. When I open the display, it looks like there’s no touchpad, but the palm rest has a solid touchpad. A haptic touchpad is used that detects the force pressed by the pressure sensor and reproduces the click feeling with the vibrator. This mechanism itself is also used by other companies, but usually it is explicitly expressed as a touchpad by providing a step with the palm rest. The XPS 13 Plus, on the other hand, has a fully integrated palm rest and touchpad design.

It looks futuristic and sophisticated, but what about the usability you care about? The reaction and sensitivity of the vibrator did not seem to be significantly different from those of other manufacturers. There is a clear reaction and the way it vibrates is natural. The range of concern was wider than I expected, and I was able to use it without any discomfort. You can use the touchpad just like you can see it on a regular laptop.
I also don’t see the Fn key, which is usually laid out at the top of the keyboard. When the power is turned on, the Fn key glows white and appears, and it is a mechanism to operate by touching with a capacitance type. It is named “touch function media key”, and the Fn key and media key (screen brightness adjustment and volume adjustment) can be switched with the Fn key + Esc key. It’s not a normal key, so I’m sure some people will avoid it, but it seems that the judgment depends on how much you use the Fn key. Especially for those who are converting characters using F7 or F10, it will be a little difficult to use and it will take some getting used to. People who use the Fn key as a media key and don’t use it very often shouldn’t be too worried.
Also note the new keyboard named “Zero Lattice Keyboard”. The gap between the keys is extremely narrow, and the keyboard looks very beautiful. The key pitch is about 19mm in actual measurement, which is the same as a general keyboard. Since the adjacent keys are close to each other, I thought that I might accidentally press two keys at the same time, but when I actually hit them, there were almost no erroneous inputs and it was a comfortable hit. The stroke is shallow and it feels like it hits the bottom, but it is a level that is not a problem for everyday use. It can be said that it is a keyboard that has both good appearance and ease of use.
It’s refreshing even when closed! External interface is Thunderbolt 4 port x 2 divisible specification
The XPS 13 Plus has a neat design even when the display is closed. The body of CNC machined aluminum has a lumpy appearance in a good sense. There are no noticeable lines on the top plate, back, or sides, and it looks noise-free. Two color variations are available: bright silver “platinum” and black “graphite”.

The display is the narrow frame “Infinity Edge display” that Dell is good at, and the 13.4-inch display fits in the main body. The main body size is 295.4 (width) x 199.04 (depth) x 15.28 (height) mm, and the weight is from about 1.24 kg. The narrow frame design makes the main body compact, so it feels heavy when lifted, but it is not so difficult to carry.
The display has a 13.4-inch screen size, and there are several options available. LCD / 1920 × 1200 / non-touch / non-glossy / 500 nit, organic EL / 3456 × 2160 / touch / gloss anti-reflection / 400 nit, LCD / 3820 × 2400 / touch / gloss anti-reflection / 500 nit is. This time, I tried LCD / 1920 × 1200 / non-touch / non-glossy / 500 nito, but the aspect ratio is 16:10, which is a little longer in the vertical direction than full HD, and Web pages and Office applications are easy to see and use. The surface of the display is not non-glossy, but it has a sharp display.
The external interface is equipped with one Thunderbolt 4 port (compatible with USB Type-C, DisplayPort, power supply) on the left and right sides. I’m sorry if it’s only a Thunderbolt 4 port, but since a USB-C –USB-A 3.0 adapter and a USB-C –3.5mm headset adapter are included, you can connect to USB Type-A devices and earphones etc. no problem. However, since the number is small, it is safe to have a USB hub or dock. Although the AC adapter is small, it is a large capacity type of 60W. When charging with a USB PD compatible 45W AC adapter, it was possible to charge, but the power was insufficient, and it was displayed on the screen that there was a possibility that the original performance would not be exhibited. When using your USB PD compatible adapter, pay attention to the wattage.

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