Dell XPS 13 9315 2-in-1 review: cool, flexible, pricey convertible

Dell XPS 13 9315 2-in-1 is a powerful and flexible laptop for on-the-go productivity and entertainment.

Dell XPS 13 9315 2-in-1 review
(Image: © Rachael Phillips)

Our Verdict

The Dell XPS 13 9315 is a 2-in-1 laptop with a great balance of performance, portability, and design. It features a sleek and stylish chassis, a powerful processor and a stunning 13-inch touchscreen display. Sitting at 11.50 inches x 7.90 inches x 0.29 inches in size, it’s ideal whether you’re working at home or on the go. In terms of performance, the XPS 13 9315 is powered by an Intel Core i7-1250U processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. This configuration is powerful enough for most tasks, including web browsing and basic photo editing.

For

  • Detachable screen
  • Excellent webcam
  • Lightweight

Against

  • Folio is tricky to position
  • Flat keyboard
  • Stylus sold separately

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SPECS

CPU: Intel Core i7-1250U processor
Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
RAM: 16GB 4267MHz LPDDR4x Memory Onboard
Screen: 13" 3:2 3K
Storage: 512GB
Ports: 2 Thunderbolt 4 (USB Type-C)
Size: 11.50 inches x 7.90 inches x 0.29 inches
Weight: 1.6lb
Folio Weight: 1.23lb

The Dell XPS 13 9315 is an excellent choice for anyone who wants a powerful and portable laptop that can do it all. It's thin and light enough to easily carry around, and with enough power to handle even most tasks, it’s ideal for students, business professionals and creatives alike.

This machine is ideal for those who can’t choose between a traditional laptop or a tablet. The keyboard is fully detachable, so if you want to use it in tablet mode, then the impressive 13-inch touchscreen display just pulls away. It also comes with a stylus, so is brilliant for taking notes, and creating digital art or graphic design

I tested the top-spec Dell XPS 13 9315, with an Intel Core i7-1250U processor, 16GB of RAM and 512GB memory. I used it as my main work machine for around two weeks to create documents, write notes, upload images, browse the web and update social media. I also used it to stream movies, read some magazines and listen to podcasts. When testing, I used some power-hungry apps such as Adobe Suite for photo and video editing as well as running benchmarks on its overall performance and battery life. I tried to use it in equal measures as a laptop and a tablet to see how it compared to my usual set-up of using a MacBook Pro and iPad. If you want to know more about the testing process here at Creative Bloq, then check out our how we test laptops guide

Design and display

If there’s one stand-out design feature of the Dell XPS 13 9315 it’s that it is a 2-in-1 laptop meaning you can either use it as a normal laptop thanks to its folio-style keyboard or a tablet. In a similar design to the Microsoft Surface Pro 9 or even the iPad Pro, its all-metal chassis looks and feels great. It comes in a sky blue finish which sets it apart from the rest of the slate grey laptops currently saturating the market. 

Weighing in at just 1.60 lbs and measuring a sleek and slinky 11.50 x 7.90 x 0.29 inches this is a great machine to use if you’re regularly on the move. It effortlessly slots into a small backpack or large handbag leaving plenty of room for other items you may need for the working day. 

In a move similar to the latest MacBook Pro this machine comes with just two Thunderbolt 4/USB-C ports. Although Dell does provide a handy USB-C to USB-A adapter and a USB-C to 3.5mm headphone jack, they’re easy to lose and it would probably be a better idea to supply the computer with an all-in-one hub. Or just do what Apple do and let the user either adapt to two ports or supply their own hub. Especially given that the XPS Stylus is an optional extra. 

This is a detachable 2-in-1 design so it uses a folio case to act as the cover as well as housing the keyboard and trackpad with the screen just snapping on and off using a magnetic connection. Whilst the folio case is a great design as it means you can make that turn from laptop to tablet faster than Clark Kent turns into Superman, it can be a bit of a faff to try and find the right angle to prop the screen up in order to easily type or use it as a traditional laptop. That said, once you learn how to do it, it almost becomes second nature. 

The display, however, is worth all the folio faffing. It’s a 13-inch, 3:2 ratio (so perfect for document creation) touchscreen display with a generous 60Hz refresh rate. The edge-to-edge Gorilla Glass does a good job of protecting the screen from any knocks or scratches. You’ll particularly enjoy the screen if you stream a lot of your content, given that it isn’t 4K the colours were vivid and the image was sharp with perfect pixel response. It has a whopping 500 nits of brightness too so considering this is a machine that has been designed to be used on the move, this is an ideal machine for digital nomads who want to work in the beer garden this summer and still have a full view of their screen.

When it comes to the audio though, that’s quite a letdown. I used it to stream YouTube videos and movies, and whilst the screen looked great, the two 2W speakers were tinny leaving me reaching for my headphones if I wanted to listen to anything for longer than a few minutes. I also tested it by listening to music on Spotify, I played a range of songs with different levels of bass, and the speakers didn’t improve. 

I had a bit of a love-hate relationship with the keyboard. Whilst the super slim design was nice to handle, it did feel flimsy, especially when I was frantically trying to type out a review. The keyboard is also very flat, there's no uplift on it like the Microsoft Surface Pro 9 so while it's ok for typing on for a short period – like emails or social media updates, anything longer than that brought on finger fatigue. The trackpad is a good size and very responsive and is capable of Windows gestures.

Features

Dell XPS 13 9315 2-in-1 review: features

(Image credit: Rachael Phillips)

Of course the main standout feature of the Dell XPS 13 9315 is that it’s a 2-in-1 laptop with a detachable design. The 13-inch screen is attached to the folio-style keyboard using strong magnets allowing you to use your machine as a handheld tablet or a full-sized laptop. Attaching and separating the two is super easy they just pull apart and snap back on. 

The dual camera system is a superb addition. There's one camera at the front and another at the rear. The cameras are also pretty good quality, the rear-facing camera is a 2060p, 11MP, 4K camera. Although, I'm not too sure that it'll get used that much since who walks around taking photos with their tablet, so this may have been better placed at the front. That being said, the front-facing camera is still impressive with 1080p and 5MP, it provides sharp and vibrant images with exceptional detailing, perfect for anyone who likes to video calls or has to appear on Teams meetings frequently. 

This laptop ships with Windows 11 Home as standard and is loaded with Microsoft 365 apps and the Xbox app, so perfect if you want to play games, although, I will cover the gaming aspect of this later in this review. It also has the My Dell app pre-installed, which will help users adjust the settings for performance, sound as well as visual optimisation. It supports Windows Hello, so no more having to try to remember passwords as it has a built-in fingerprint reader on the power button. 

The 13-inch touchscreen has active pen support, and the stylus is sold separately but it is worth the purchase, especially if you like to take notes or create digital art. The stylus is very reminiscent of Apple’s first-gen Pencil, I didn't get sent one for use in this review, but users have stated that it's comfortable to hold, easy to handle and has programmable buttons to make the whole experience a lot easier. Plus, charging the pencil is just like the Apple iPad system, it magnetically snaps to the edge of the screen to charge when not in use, and Dell claims it can last for around 50 days on a single charge. The stylus also has a built-in Tile function, so if you're anything like me (who's constantly misplacing my Apple Pencil), you can track it down quickly using the Tile™ app.  

Performance

Dell XPS 13 9315 2-in-1 review: performance

(Image credit: Rachael Phillips)
Dell XPS 13 9315 2-in-1: Benchmark scoring

Cinebench R20 Single-core: 1,443
Cinebench R20 Multi-core: 6,858
GeekBench 5 Single-core: 1,561
GeekBench 5 Multi-core: 7,177
PugetBench Premiere Pro: 219 overall score
PugetBench Photoshop: 575 overall score
Battery life test: 8hrs 23min

The Dell XPS 13 9315 unit that I reviewed has an Intel Core i7-1250U processor, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of memory. I found that the processor did a good job of basic multi-tasking, I often used the machine with more than one program running alongside multiple tabs on both Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome at the same time, and it didn’t slow or produce any lag. It’s an ideal work machine, especially if you use it for a lot of web browsing and document creation. But that said, I did use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator and found they worked incredibly well. 

It was a bit of a mixed bag when it came to the benchmarking tests. The XPS 9315 2-in-1 scored 1,561 on Geekbench 5 for single-core and 7,177 for multi-core. The Cinebench R20 tests came back as 1,443 single-core and 6,858 multi-core. 

I’m afraid this isn’t the laptop for you if you enjoy gaming. The Intel Iris Xe Graphics offers limited performance for anything other than basic games. I did give the Xbox app a go and found that the 60Hz display felt slow and laggy. Plus, when playing games, it felt like the CPU and GPU were throttling under the load. 

Overall, it performs exceptionally well when running office apps, web browsers, even streaming content and basic photo and video editing. But if you try and get it to do more, it’ll start to stutter under pressure. 

Battery Life

Dell XPS 13 9315 2-in-1 review: battery

(Image credit: Rachael Phillips)

The Dell XPS 13 9315 2-in-1 has a 49.5Wh battery which I did think would perform better than it did. During the battery test I ran, this machine lasted just 8 hours and 23 minutes. While that’s just enough to get you through the working day, if you’re planning on doing anything power-hungry then make sure you take your charger with you.

Price

Dell XPS 13 9315 2-in-1 review

(Image credit: Rachael Phillips)

The Dell XPS 13 9315 doesn’t come with too many configuration options and frankly, it's quite a pricey machine. I tested the 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1250U processor with 16GB RAM which had a price tag of £1679.04. There’s also the option to choose the Intel® Core™ i5-1230U with either 8GB RAM at a cost of £1179.04 or 16GB at £1479.04. It’s important to choose your package well as the memory and storage cannot be upgraded after purchase. The folio is included in that price but the stylus will set you back an additional £101.08. 

Of course, it’s worth keeping in mind that you are getting a tablet and a laptop in one package for this price, but if you’re looking for a laptop that represents better value for money, check out our best Windows laptop guide.

Should I buy the Dell XPS 13 9315 2-in-1?

Should you buy the Dell XPS 13 9315 2-in-1 r

(Image credit: Rachael Phillips)

It's hard not to be impressed by the Dell XPS 13 9315. While it's not a game-changer in the world of 2-in-1 laptops, it is a solid machine that can effortlessly handle day-to-day tasks as well as double up as a tablet for those who want a little more freedom. The impressive screen paired with the 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1250U processor and 16GB RAM offers fast performance, especially when creating documents and browsing the web. It's also a really good experience when streaming content. 

However, it does have its downsides, with below-average battery life, fiddly folio design and a super flat keyboard, it isn’t the easiest machine to work with. If you’re looking to buy this more for the tablet aspect than the laptop, then you may want to consider the Apple iPad Pro (2022), which can be kitted out with a pencil and folio keyboard, it is a bit pricier than the Dell XPS 9315, but it is easier to handle. If you’d prefer to stick to Windows but want something with a little more oomph, then it’s worth looking at the Microsoft Surface Pro 9, which is more powerful but shares the same detachable design.

But overall, if you’re looking for something that will let you bridge the gap between work and play and offers a stunning screen in a compact package, the Dell XPS 13 9315 is certainly one to think about. 

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The Verdict
8

out of 10

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (9315)

The Dell XPS 13 9315 is a 2-in-1 laptop with a great balance of performance, portability, and design. It features a sleek and stylish chassis, a powerful processor and a stunning 13-inch touchscreen display. Sitting at 11.50 inches x 7.90 inches x 0.29 inches in size, it’s ideal whether you’re working at home or on the go. In terms of performance, the XPS 13 9315 is powered by an Intel Core i7-1250U processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. This configuration is powerful enough for most tasks, including web browsing and basic photo editing.

Rachael Phillips
Writer

Craft writer Rachael Phillips has written for The Evening Standard, The Independent, Fit&Well, The Radar, T3, and TopTenReviews. She also writes on many other subjects, including lifestyle, travel, food, internet culture and eco-living for online and print publications.