Small business owners need technology that is fast, connected and reliable – especially when it comes to important everyday devices like laptops. I know my laptop logs a lot of hours and miles as I bounce from my home office to meetings and conferences around the country. When it comes to choosing a laptop, I look for one that is powerful, portable and allows me to stay connected with my team no matter where I am.
Dell recently approached me, asking if I would be interested in trying out the new Dell XPS 13 laptop and some related accessories. Since I am always on the lookout for the latest devices that will boost my productivity, I said yes. After taking ample time to explore and review the Dell XPS 13, I can tell you that this is the ultimate laptop for small business owners. Not only does this laptop have a number of features that make it perfect for travel – but when you’re at home, it can also replace your traditional PC.
First, let me give you a rundown of the Dell XPS 13 laptop and the various add-on accessories that are helpful for small business owners.
Dell XPS 13 Laptop
Dell calls this laptop the “smallest 13-inch display laptop on the planet” and I was amazed by its small size. It has an incredibly thin frame, and the 13.3-inch display is virtually borderless. Using something called the InfinityEdge display, they have managed to create a super small 5.2mm border on the top and both sides. As you can see in the picture below, it’s mostly screen which provides a better viewing experience.
The thin frame contributes to a lightweight device that weighs as little as 2.7 pounds, depending on the exact XPS 13 model you purchase. I was also impressed by the long battery life – over 18 hours of run time on a single charge!
What’s super impressive is the Dell XPS 13 laptop’s incredible power. It contains a 6th generation Intel processor, Core i7 and Intel HD Graphics 520. It runs on a Windows 10 operating system, with 1TB storage and expandable memory up to 16 Gb. I include these specifics for those who are interested – if your eyes just glossed over reading that, just know that all of these features add up to a laptop that is FAST and powerful.
My favorite accessory for the Dell XPS 13 laptop is the Thunderbolt Dock. This dock includes multiple ports that allow you to connect to other devices and displays. This includes two USB 2.0 ports, three USB 3.0 ports, the Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C port which is also found on the laptop, VGA, Mini Display Port, Display Port, HDMI, and Ethernet.
So what does all of that mean? It means you can use the dock to connect to virtually anything! Using this dock, your XPS 13 laptop can replace your traditional PC in your office. Leave the dock on your desk and keep it connected to your monitor, keyboard, and mouse. When you’re ready to work in your office, just plug in your laptop and GO! You can also use the dock to connect multiple monitors, to connect to a projector when making presentations, and to connect to other display units.
The picture below demonstrates how this laptop – with the Thunderbolt Dock and accessories – can create your new PC-free home office.
There are many other accessories that you can get with the Dell XPS 13 laptop including:
- The Dell Power Companion – which gives you up to 10 additional hours of battery life and can be used to charge on the go. (It even charges your phone and tablet!)
- The Dell Premium Sleeve – which protects your XPS 13, with a cord pass-through for in-bag charging with the Power Champion.
- The Dell Premier Backpack – which helps you store your laptop and accessories. It has a TSA Checkpoint-Friendly design that allows you to pass through security without taking the laptop out of your bag.
- The Dell Bluetooth Mouse – which is portable, comfortable, and helps you stay productive on the go.
- The Dell UltraSharp 32” Ultra HD Monitor and Dell Wireless Keyboard & Mouse – which you can set up in your home office, along with the Thunderbolt Dock.
A Laptop for Home and Travel
The Dell XPS 13 laptop is the perfect laptop for home AND travel. Consider this scenario:
I have to hop a plane for a conference in Chicago. I pack my XPS 13 laptop and accessories in the Dell Premier Backpack. The TSA Checkpoint-Friendly design means I don’t have to take the laptop out of the bag at security. The long battery life means I can work on the plane even though I used the laptop last night and forgot to charge up.
The XPS 13 comes pre-installed with Dropbox, so at the conference, I quickly grab my presentation. Oh no, they are having technical difficulties with the conference technology! No problem – I grab my Thunderbolt Dock, connect the laptop then also connect their projector. Despite the slip-up, the presentation goes on smoothly.
On my way back to the airport, I notice that my laptop battery is running low (after all, I forgot to charge up last night!). Luckily my Dell Premier Backpack has an internal pocket for the Dell Power Companion. I can charge the laptop without even having to remove it from the backpack.
Now I’m home, and I have to get back to work. I plug the laptop into the Thunderbolt Dock, along with my computer monitor, mouse, and keyboard. My office is set up, and I’m ready for a productive workday.
This is a hypothetical scenario, but it demonstrates the power of the Dell XPS 13 laptop. It’s fast, reliable, and will keep you productive whether you’re in the office or on the go. From my experience reviewing these products, the Dell XPS 13 laptop and accessories are essential tools for the modern small business owner.
This review was created in partnership with Dell; however, the opinions and experiences expressed are my own.