Dell XPS 13 Plus (2023) review: It still feels like the future

Dell’s new XPS 13 Plus is an incremental upgrade to an already modern take on a laptop

Dell’s XPS laptops are some of the best on the market. In fact, we’ve got two of them on our best laptops list at the time of writing this. One of those two is the Dell XPS 13 Plus from 2022, so I think you already know where this review is headed.



We’re already calling the 2023 version the best 13-inch laptop, especially since the only difference between the 2023 and 2022 models is that the new one has Intel’s 13th-generation processors. This is just a spec bump update that brings a boost to performance. You still get the haptic touchpad, unique keyboard, OLED display, and more.

Sure, it’s not perfect, as Dell is still using a 720p webcam across the board. Still, the XPS 13 Plus is going to be one of our favorites for a long time to come.

About this review: Dell sent me a Dell XPS 13 Plus for the purposes of this review, and it did not see its contents before publishing.

Dell XPS 13 Plus (2023) A very futuristic laptop9 / 10

The 2023 Dell XPS 13 Plus comes with upgraded 13th-generation Intel Core processors while keeping the futuristic and sleek design it’s known for, including an invisible touchpad.

Brand Dell Color Platinum Storage Up to 2TB Gen 4 PCIe NVMe SSD CPU Intel Core i7-1360P Memory Up to 32GB Operating System Windows 11, Ubuntu Linux Battery 55Wh, integrated Ports 2x Thunderbolt 4/USB4 Type-C Camera 720p at 30FPS, 400p at 30FPS IR for Windows Hello Display (Size, Resolution) 13.4-inch FHD+ (1920×1200) touch or non-touch , 13.4-inch UHD+ (3840×2400) touch, 13.4-inch 3.5K (3456×2160) OLED touch Weight From 2.71 pounds (1.23kg) GPU Intel Iris Xe graphics Dimension 11.63 x 7.84 x 0.60 inches (295.3×199.04×15.28mm) Network Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth Speakers Dual 2W stereo speakers Price From $1,499 Power 60W AC Adapter Type-C Keyboard Platinum Backlit English Keyboard with Fingerprint Reader Pros

  • Modern features like redesigned function keys
  • OLED display
  • Plenty of performance with decent battery life
  • Fantastic keyboard


  • 720p webcam
  • No border around the touchpad
  • Mostly just a spec bump

$1399 at Dell $1950 at Best Buy

Dell XPS 13 Plus (2023) pricing and availability

The Dell XPS 13 Plus was refreshed earlier this year in a quiet announcement, and it’s available now. It starts at $1,499 from, which has all configurations, although you’ll also find specific SKUs at Best Buy. The base model you’ll find at Dell comes with an Intel Core i7-1360P, 16GB LPDDR5, a 512GB SSD, and a 13.4-inch FHD+ touchscreen. Note that the i7 is the only processor option. RAM can go up to 32GB, storage can go up to 2TB, and there are two UHD options: OLED and non-OLED.


A refined take on XPS

A few years ago, Dell redesigned its XPS 13 and 15, and also added a 17-inch option. They featured more refined versions of the XPS’s sleek, iconic look, and both the XPS 15 and 17 are still using that design in 2023. A couple of years ago, the company made a more radical change with the XPS 13, which comes in Umber and Sky colors, and produced an all-new premium laptop, called the XPS 13 Plus.

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It comes in Platinum and Graphite, and the inside doesn’t have any kind of black carbon fiber or white woven glass fiber. The only way that the XPS 13 Plus looks like other XPS machines is if you’re looking directly from the top down. It’s also still made out of a single block of aluminum, a design principle that Dell will probably continue to use for the rest of time. It makes for a more premium feel and for a thinner, lighter chassis.

This Dell XPS 13 Plus comes in at 0.6 inches thin and 2.71 pounds, so it’s about the same weight as a MacBook Air, albeit a bit thicker. The footprint is smaller, though, mainly due to the narrower bezel around the display.

There are only two ports, both of which are Thunderbolt 4. There isn’t even a headphone jack on this thing. Thankfully, Thunderbolt is the everything port. It can support speeds of up to 40Gbps, so you can expand that tiny USB Type-C port into multiple USB Type-A ports, USB Type-C ports, HDMI ports, DisplayPort, SD card slots, and more with the help of a dock.

Dell has been one of the biggest adopters of Thunderbolt on the Windows side and one of the first to ditch USB Type-A in its premium laptops. Even the jumbo-sized XPS 17 only has Thunderbolt ports. This particular laptop just takes it a step further with the exclusion of a headphone jack.

As usual, I love the design of the Dell XPS 13 Plus. It’s the same as it was last year, and that’s great.


It’s all OLED, all the time

The Dell XPS 13 Plus comes with three 13.4-inch 16:10 display options. You can choose between 1920×1200, 3840×2400, or a 3456×2160 OLED option. As a side note, this is the only 13-inch XPS that comes with anything better than FHD+.

Dell sent me the 3.5K OLED model, so that’s what we put to the test below. The main benefit to the 3.5K OLED display over the 4K panel is that you get true blacks since pixels are basically turned off on OLED screens, but that’s about it. Dell’s 4K LCD screens are just that good. Take a look at my Dell XPS 17 review from this year. The color measurements have no business being this high.

Our Dell XPS 13 Plus review unit supports 100% sRGB, 94% NTSC, 96% Adobe RGB, and 100% P3. These are great results, and from my experience with Dell XPS laptops, which is pretty extensive, you’ll get similar results with a non-OLED 4K panel, while the FHD+ option is a lot more common. Dell XPS displays are just some the best around, whether they’re OLED or not.

Dell XPS displays are the best around, whether they’re OLED or not.

Brightness maxed out at 376.7 nits, which is a little lower than expected. But it’s that black number, which never gets above 0.02, that really sets it apart from a non-OLED screen.

Unfortunately, and this is a downside to all XPS laptops, the Dell XPS 13 Plus still has a 720p webcam. If you want webcam quality, you should go somewhere else, and in fact, Dell has more or less acknowledged that. Pretty much every other premium laptop on the market has moved onto a larger, higher-quality FHD sensor. Even many of Dell’s own Inspiron laptops have done the same.

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XPS purposefully has not. Dell prioritizes narrow bezels above all else. It makes for the most immersive display on the market, and as mentioned earlier, it has a significantly smaller footprint than a MacBook Air. A better webcam would mean a larger top bezel, and Dell isn’t willing to make that sacrifice. If that’s what you want, the company has other offerings to sell you.


A radical shift for laptops

The keyboard on the Dell XPS 13 Plus is unlike anything else on the market. The function keys are capacitive, the touchpad is borderless and haptic, and the keys aren’t islanded. It’s also actually really comfortable to use, something I didn’t expect when these kinds of keys were introduced with last year’s model. The depth and force required feel just right. Normally, I prefer keys with some space between them, but Dell has proved that it can make this design work.

Now let’s get to the fun bit. The capacitive function keys at the top allow you to tweak settings like volume, brightness, and so on as standard. This is a big leap from keyboards as we know them, which usually default to F-keys. Now, you can press the Fn key, and those buttons turn into F-keys. (To be clear, the only time I pressed the Fn button to do this was to take the picture above.) This is an excellent choice since F-keys are useless in 2023.

And yes, if you feel like you’ve heard this story before, it’s because this is all very similar to Apple’s Touch Bar, which ended up as a failed experiment. In contrast, this is a smart implementation. Apple tried to allow any app to use the Touch Bar to include its own custom functions. That’s not what’s happening here.

There’s also no border around the haptic touchpad, and if that doesn’t make this laptop look futuristic, I don’t know what does. The haptic touchpad, made by Aito, is actually great to use. The bad is that it has no border, so there’s no indication of when your finger is going to slide off the touchpad.

If the borderless touchpad doesn’t make this laptop look futuristic, I don’t know what does.

I asked Dell about this last year when the previous model came out, and I was told that you basically have to rely on muscle memory. That’s true about 99% of the time, but as we all know with technology, when it fails 1% of the time, it’s that much more frustrating.

LG actually solved this issue on its Gram Style laptop by putting lights around the haptic touchpad, so it only lights up when you’re using it. This is a good idea for future Dell models.


Really the only big change

The CPU is the only thing that’s changed since last year, but it’s not as big as you’d expect. It uses Intel’s 13th-generation P-series processors, which are 28W parts designed for premium laptops like this one. I still prefer the 15W U-series for the better battery life, but the P-series gives you a bit more performance. In testing 13th-generation laptops, I’ve found that Intel also seems to have worked out some issues with these chips. Last year’s 12th generation featured the P-series’ debut, and I often felt like it was just sticking a more powerful part inside a chassis designed for a 15W chip, but I’m not seeing the same thermal issues I saw last year.

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Performance is fine. While Intel 13th-generation Core CPUs feels a lot more refined, I wasn’t blown away by battery life, although frankly, you’ll never get really excited about performance improvements in ultrabook chips like this. It still has integrated Intel graphics, so you won’t be able to smoothly perform tasks like video editing, either. These things are designed to do a job, and they’re good at doing it.

One thing I’ll say is that it doesn’t benchmark too well, at least in PCMark 10. It scored 5,463, which is not as good as last year’s Dell XPS 13 Plus (Core i7-1280P), which got a 5,481. If you look at comparable laptops like the Lenovo Yoga 9i, it does a lot better.

Dell XPS 13 Plus Core i7-1360P

Lenovo Yoga 9i Core i7-1360P

HP Dragonfly Pro Ryzen 7 7736U

PCMark 10 (plugged / unplugged)

5,463 / 5,087

6,115 / 5,847

6,148 / 4,945

3DMark: Time Spy




Geekbench 6 (single / multi)

2,502 / 11,046

2,464 / 10,859

1,924 / 8,225

Cinebench R23 (single / multi)

1,601 / 6,640

1,810 / 7,869

1,539 / 11,480

As far as battery life goes, the best I could get was five hours and 12 minutes, with the power slider on balanced and the brightness on medium. Like I said, I expected better since this is no better than average. In my four runs, which include using it for normal work until the battery runs out, I got 235, 258, 302, and 312 minutes.

Should you buy the Dell XPS 13 Plus (2023)?

You should buy the Dell XPS 13 Plus (2023) if:

  • You want a laptop that feels cool and modern
  • You’re on the go a fair bit
  • Your workflow includes any kind of photo editing or productivity

You should NOT buy the Dell XPS 13 Plus (2023) if:

  • You rely heavily on using a touchpad instead of a mouse or touch
  • You’re on a lot of video calls
  • Your workflow includes video editing

While the XPS 13 Plus (2023) is still an excellent machine, Dell is still prioritizing a narrow bezel above all else, so it still has a small 720p webcam sensor. So, if you need a good webcam, you have to go somewhere else, and in the premium segment, that means the Lenovo Yoga 9i or the HP Spectre x360. The other issue is the touchpad, which is great but doesn’t have an indication of where it ends. From time to time, you’ll end up trying to drag something off of the touchpad, and that’s a pain point. Of course, if you’re not using the touchpad 100% of the time, it’s really fine.

The Dell XPS 13 Plus is one of those laptops that just feels cool. From the sleek design to the capacitive function keys that change at the press of a button, using this machine definitely feels more futuristic than almost anything else on the market. And yet, it manages to do all of this while remaining light and compact, so it’s great to carry around everywhere. It’s a fantastic laptop; just be aware that if you’re a really heavy touchpad user, you might run into an issue from time to time.

Dell XPS 13 Plus (2023) One futuristic laptop9 / 10

The 2023 Dell XPS 13 Plus comes with upgraded 13th-generation Intel Core processors while keeping the futuristic and sleek design it’s known for, including an invisible touchpad.

$1399 at Dell $1950 at Best Buy

Categories: Reviews