Dell XPS 12 XPS9250-4554 Laptop Review

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Convertible laptops are here to stay; for many people, they are very useful products. You no longer need to carry two different devices – laptop and tablet – with you. Instead, they are built into one computer. Such a hybrid laptop is Dell XPS 12 XPS9250-4554 which, by the look of main specifications, looks like a decent one. But let’s not judge the book by its covers. Instead, let’s have a closer look at this 2-in-1 notebook.

General performance

Dell XPS 12 XPS9250-4554 trusts on a bit older processor technology, the Intel Core m5-6Y54 from the end of 2015. Its dual-core configuration and 1.1GHz clock frequency might not seem appealing, but do not forget there’s also turbo boost of 2.7GHz. The CPU Mark score for this unit is ~3300 which is on the lower mid-range scale compared to other processors. Bright side is, the unit draws just little power – 7W TDP – and I believe it’s a fanless (silent) processor.

You will get 8GB DDR3 1600MHz memory installed on this notebook. For such a non-gaming laptop that is plenty, ie. the RAM will not be a bottleneck here. You will find all common applications, such as Netflix and YouTube run smooth on this rig. Indeed, the memory can not be upgraded because it’s soldered on board, but you wouldn’t ever need more anyway!

Storage is served by a 256GB M.2 solid-state drive. I can’t say for sure if it’s SATA or PCIe unit, but the current drive can be upgraded if you’re not happy with it. In any case, such SSD is often exactly what users are looking for – offering excellent performance and some 230 gigabytes of free space for your files.

Is this a gamer’s laptop?

Dell XPS 12 XPS9250-4554 was not designed with gamers in mind. The biggest obstacle keeping heavyweight gaming off limits is the lack of a dedicated graphics card. This unit only has Intel HD 515 integrated graphics engine on the processor. It’s not a powerful one at all. You can play many older games without issues, but the need for lower resolution and settings is imminent. To name a few examples, you’d get around 30FPS on Grand Theft Auto 5 and Battlefield 4 played on minimum details.

Video

Ports and interfaces

Dell XPS 12 XPS9250-4554 has two modern USB-C 3.1 ports. They both support Thunderbolt 3 and transfer rates of 10Gbps for USB 3.1 and 40Gbps for Thunderbolt 3. The two ports can also be used to charge this laptop (in fact, there is no dedicated power port so you’ll need to use either of the USB Type-Cs for charging).

On top of the two USBs, there is just a headset/microphone combo. There are no video outputs at all. But you might know the USB Type-C works with Thunderbolt, DisplayPort and HDMI. You will just need an adapter for that, and then hooking up a PC display or HDTV works.

The laptop has a wonderful WiFi adapter, Intel’s 8260 with 2×2 802.11ac dual-band support, Miracast and Bluetooth 4.1 enabled. In case you want to use cable, the USB Type-C can be used with a cheap RJ-45 dongle.

Not a surprise, this notebook has no optical drive. You can either get an external one, or opt to download all your files from Internet. You might also find good use for the laptop’s microSD card reader.

Miscellaneous

Dell XPS 12 XPS9250-4554 is not a big laptop by any means. The diagonal on the display is 12.5 inches, but it has a professional-grade 3840×2160 resolution – which is also called Ultra HD. The panel type is IPS and it supports 10 finger multi-touch. The screen seems to be glossy with Corning Gorilla glass. It detaches from the keyboard part, essentially leaving you with a powerful tablet.

I’ve read some negative things about the battery. It’s a 30Whr non-replaceable unit. People have reported it lasts just a few hours under web browsing. Three-four hours is your best bet, and less than that if you are putting the laptop under very heavy use.

While the notebook doesn’t come with a pen, it surely works with an active stylus.

The keyboard has backlight feature.

Why should I buy this?

Dell XPS 12 XPS9250-4554 solves the problem of having two different devices. It is a laptop and tablet built into one. I imagine you save money and space by getting such a convertible unit.

The performance is enough for day-to-day operations, such as video streaming from any service or multi-tab web surfing. You can even use this for Photoshop or programming. The processor isn’t the best of the series but can surely tackle 99% of the programs people often use.

Many user reviews say the screen quality is superb. It’s easy to believe, after all it’s a smaller 12.5″ display with a ridiculously high Ultra HD resolution. Watch a movie, edit an image, do whatever – you’ll find the screen suffice for your needs!

Why shouldn’t I buy this?

It makes no sense to get the Dell if you are into gaming a lot. You’re going to get rather poor frame rates out of the unit in comparison to real gaming laptops. Surely, you can play some sessions now and then, but don’t expect FPS go through the roof on almost any game.

Summary

In short, Dell XPS 12 XPS9250-4554 is a 2-in-1 laptop with decent performance. While the processor is rather average, its memory and storage solution are fast and robust. In addition, the small display offers Ultra HD resolution which in another words means sharp image quality. You won’t get a great gaming rig out of this, but for a powerful business/student/traveler hybrid the Dell makes a great choice!

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