Notebookcheck

Dell XPS 12 9250 4K Convertible Review

Sebastian Bade, Stefanie Voigt (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 04/08/2016

4K for on the go. Dell wants to advance the convertible sector by setting new standards with the new 2-in-1 XPS 12 9259. A 4K panel, 512 GB SSD and Core m7 are some technical highlights that Dell offers. The XPS proves to be a real jack-of-all-trades in routine use but has to accept clear deductions when it comes to battery performance. Find out in our in-depth report what the total package has to offer.

For the original German review, see here.

Dell's XPS 12 9250 is aimed at private and business users alike. The versatility strikes with the XPS 12's innovative design. The magnetic docking port has no mechanic parts. The tablet is pulled out for mobile use and reinserted for working productively.

Dell has packed a good combination of performance and mobility in a slim casing here. All devices from the XPS 12 lineup are powered by energy-saving Intel Core m processors of the 6th generation. The entry-level device based on Intel's Core m3-6Y30, 4 GB LPDDR3 RAM, 128 GB SSD and a Full HD touchscreen is sold for 1249 Euros (~$1423). Our review sample with Intel's Core m7-6Y75 CPU, Full HD touchscreen, 8 GB LPDDR3 RAM, 512 GB PCIe SSD and the 4K touchscreen presently carries a price tag of 1799 Euros (~$2051) - a proud price for a convertible. The energy-saving Intel Core m processor is cooled passively and spares the user from distracting side noises. Nevertheless, the processor has enough computing power for most office and multimedia applications.

New devices are launched almost weekly on the convertible market. However, to keep the performance roughly on the same performance level in the test course, we only selected comparison devices that also sport energy-saving Intel Core m processors. Thus, the following devices come into question:

Dell XPS 12 9250 4K (XPS 12 Series)
Graphics adapter
Intel HD Graphics 515, Core: 300 - 1000 MHz, 20.19.15.4326
Memory
8192 MB 
, LPDDR3-1600 MHz, 2 of 2 filled, dual-channel
Display
12.5 inch , 3840 x 2160 pixel 352 PPI, Corning Gorilla Glass, native pen support, Sharp SHP143D, IPS, 10 finger multi-touch, glossy: yes, detachable screen
Mainboard
Intel Skylake-Y Premium PCH
Storage
Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB, 512 GB 
, M.2 SSD, 425 GB free
Soundcard
Intel Skylake-U/Y PCH - High Definition Audio
Connections
2 USB 3.1 Gen2, 2 Thunderbolt, 1 Docking Station Port, Audio Connections: stereo, Card Reader: micro-SD, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: position sensor, brightness sensor, Noble Lock Port
Networking
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8 x 291 x 193 ( = 0.31 x 11.46 x 7.6 in)
Battery
28 Wh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Primary Camera: 8 MPix rear
Secondary Camera: 5 MPix front
Additional features
Speakers: stereo, Keyboard: chiclet keyboard, Keyboard Light: yes, power supply, Dell USB-C to USB-A 3.0 adapter, Dell Premier Magnetic Folio, McAfee Internet Security, 12 Months Warranty, , fanless
Weight
1.27 kg ( = 44.8 oz / 2.8 pounds), Power Supply: 234 g ( = 8.25 oz / 0.52 pounds)
Price
1799 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

The installed hardware is not found in the base unit but behind the display for maintaining the versatility of application possibilities. Like Microsoft's Surface Pro 4, the casing of Dell's XPS 12 is made of a magnesium alloy. The display has a thickness of just 8 millimeters. The keyboard dock (480 grams) and the display (790 grams) attach virtually noiselessly to one unit. The magnetic connector keeps the display in place. However, it is aggravating that the screen cannot be used in different modes in conjunction with the keyboard. The tablet is simply inserted into the designated bearing and fixed there. Dell loses crucial points in the ranking due to this restriction. The build nevertheless makes a solid impression. The display can be pulled out of the dock using only one hand - which is not always inevitably an advantage.

As already said, the tablet is composed of a magnesium alloy, which bestows the device with a very good stiffness. It is virtually impossible to twist the display without damaging it. The customer feels as if they are holding a high-quality and well-built device in their hand thanks to the black soft-touch finish. The tablet's display is made of toughened Corning Gorilla Glass. A small Windows logo that can also be used as the Windows button is also found on the front. The tablet's compact build of a low 8 millimeters looks stylish and also very elegant due to the black design. A shiny black Dell logo is slightly lowered in the center back. The keyboard dock is also completely black, matching to the tablet's design. The grip is good, and the soft-touch finish does not needlessly compile fingerprints. The keyboard is not quite as rigid as the tablet and can be warped marginally with some effort. The stiffness is nevertheless good, and there should not be any restrictions in routine use.

The compact build does not allow the user to upgrade the device, and there is no need for the user to clean a fan in Dell's XPS 12 9250. No negative aspects are found in the build quality. In summary, it can be noted that Dell wants to lure buyers with plain elegance in terms of looks.

Connectivity

The buyer naturally finds the elegantly designed tablet alongside the matching keyboard dock among the accessories for Dell's convertible. Furthermore, Dell's Premier Folio that protects the device from scratching is also included. The Folio can also be used as a holder/stand for the tablet. The interface diversity of Dell's XPS 12 is very straightforward: All expansion interfaces are situated on the left and are limited to a micro-SD card reader, two USB 3.1 Gen2 ports and a headset jack. Both USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports support the Thunderbolt 3 standard, which allows expanding the device with further external interfaces. An adapter for using the well-known USB port is also in the box. Dell does not install a dedicated power socket in the XPS 12; one of the two USB 3.1 ports has to be used for that. Other adapters, such as Ethernet, DisplayPort, HDMI and VGA, are found on the list of accessories and have to be purchased separately.

Left: headset socket, 2x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10 Gbit/s) Thunderbolt 3 (power-in/charging, PowerShare, (40 Gbit/s bi-directional), micro-SD card reader, volume control
Left: headset socket, 2x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10 Gbit/s) Thunderbolt 3 (power-in/charging, PowerShare, (40 Gbit/s bi-directional), micro-SD card reader, volume control
Right: power button, Noble Lock slot
Right: power button, Noble Lock slot


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Communication

Dell furnishes the XPS 12 with a Dual Wireless-AC 8260 module by Intel for wireless communication. The installed Wi-Fi module also supports Bluetooth 4.1. The wireless module can reach gross data rates of 867 Mbit/s via 2x 801.11 ac. Unwelcomed interruptions in communication did not occur during the test period. Internet browsing was possible without issues even at a distance of approximately 15 meters to the router. Cabled network connections are only possible with a matching adapter.

Security

TPM enables encrypting hardware
TPM enables encrypting hardware

Dell provides the option of enabling Bitlocker hardware encryption via a Trusted Platform Module 2.0 to store sensitive encrypted data on the storage device. That is an important aspect especially in the business sector when delicate firm information is on the device. A Noble Lock port is situated on the right to protect the device against theft.

Accessories

The included accessories are limited to the small 30-watt power supply and a USB-C-to-USB-A adapter. However, Dell also offers a wide range of accessories for its XPS 12 9250, such as diverse adapters for VGA, HDMI and LAN via USB bus. The D3100 USB 3.0 docking station provides LAN, USB, 3 video ports and support for 4K. However, its price starting at 215 Euros (~$245) is quite decent. Dell also has a stylus in its lineup for creativity. Prices start at 61 Euros (~$69) here. An overview of optional accessories can be found here:

Dell XPS 12 9250 accessories

Maintenance

Maintenance is virtually impossible for non-experts. The installed components cannot be replaced without problems. However, the fanless design makes cleaning these components unnecessary.

Warranty

Customers receive a one-year pick-up and repair service on defect hardware components when buying a new Dell XPS 12 9250. A pick-up warranty for the next business day with Premium Phone Support that includes help with software issues and setting up Wi-Fi printers, as well as short waiting times on the phone can be ordered optionally. The warranty periods and their prices are as follow:

  • 1 year pick-up and repair hardware support included by standard on the convertible
  • 1 year on next business day with Premium Phone Support (+40 Euros, ~$45)
  • 2 year on next business day with Premium Phone Support (+159 Euros, ~$181)
  • 3 year on next business day with Premium Phone Support (+249 Euros, ~$283)
  • 4 year on next business day with Premium Phone Support (+329 Euros, ~$374)

Operating System

Dell sells its XPS 12 devices with Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit.

Input Devices

Keyboard in daylight
Keyboard in daylight
Keyboard with enabled backlight
Keyboard with enabled backlight

Keyboard

The included keyboard dock for the XPS 12 9250 is a chiclet keyboard with a subtle white backlight. The keys have a size of 14 x 14 millimeters spaced at 3 millimeters. The key drop is 1.9 millimeters and offers a clear pressure point. The key stroke provides the user with a good feedback. The matte, lightly roughened keys are all at the same height. The keys are big enough so that nothing stands in the way of energetic typing. The keyboard layout offers a good overview and does not look too cramped. The subtle, white backlight also enables working in poorly illuminated work environments. The brightness can be set in two levels. It can also be turned off completely so that the battery runtime is not unnecessarily shortened. The stability is quite good thanks to the rigid keyboard dock. A lot of pressure has to be applied to dent areas on the keyboard.

Touchpad

Sleek touchpad
Sleek touchpad

The touch-sensitive pad without dedicated keys is almost centered below the keyboard. With a surface area of 100 x 55 millimeters, the space on the keyboard dock has been utilized ideally. The surface is sleek and provides good gliding properties up to the edges. The cursor can be moved accurately and quickly over the desktop. The keys in the lower part of the touchpad provide the user with good feedback. A quiet, short click is audible when the keys are used. The keys' pressure point is also sufficient and an unintentional click will be rather rare.

Touchscreen

4K 12.5-inch touchscreen
4K 12.5-inch touchscreen

The touchscreen has a diagonal of 31.8 centimeters and has a resolution of 3840x2160 pixels. We did not have any problems with the touchscreen in the test period. The 4K multi-touchscreen is very responsive; all inputs were implemented instantaneously. The screen's surface is agreeably smooth and allows accurate inputs. It could tilt back a bit when used in the keyboard dock, but that is not distracting. A possible disadvantage might be the narrow left and right edges. The touch surface could be unintentionally brushed when used without the dock held in a hand.

Display

Subpixel grid
Subpixel grid
Visible backlight bleeding in the corners and at the lower edge
Visible backlight bleeding in the corners and at the lower edge

Dell touts its XPS 12 as having the best 4K panel of its class. But first things first: A native resolution of 3840x2160 on a diagonal of 12.5-inches leads to a pixel density of 352 PPI. The screen's average brightness of 399 cd/m² is very impressive and even allows working in a bright environment. The illumination of 81% could be somewhat better. A decent contrast ratio also ensures a rich reproduction on the 4K panel. However, we see some unsightly backlight bleeding on a completely black screen. This will not restrict routine use, though. PWM flickering could be measured at a screen brightness of 20%. That should not cause problems even for sensitive users due to the high frequency of 1000 Hz.

356
cd/m²
387
cd/m²
392
cd/m²
386
cd/m²
437
cd/m²
420
cd/m²
393
cd/m²
418
cd/m²
404
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 437 cd/m² Average: 399.2 cd/m² Minimum: 22 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 81 %
Center on Battery: 437 cd/m²
Contrast: 1249:1 (Black: 0.35 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.56 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2
ΔE Greyscale 2.67 | 0.64-98 Ø6.4
100% sRGB (Calman 2D) 100% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 86% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.17
Dell XPS 12 9250 4K
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
HP Spectre x2 12-a003ng K3D42EA
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-256G-1006
HP Elite x2 1011 G1
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y51, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
Microsoft Surface Pro 4, Core m3
HD Graphics 515, 6Y30, Samsung MZFLV128 NVMe
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2
Toshiba Portege Z20t-B-10C
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y71, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GVNU
Response Times
-3%
-37%
20%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
36 (19, 17)
47 (16, 31)
-31%
46 (17.2, 28.8)
-28%
38 (24, 14, Spikes in between)
-6%
Response Time Black / White *
35 (8, 27)
26 (5, 21)
26%
31 (6, 25.2)
11%
27 (13, 14, Spikes in between)
23%
PWM Frequency
1000 (20)
50 (50)
-95%
1429 (20)
43%
Screen
-40%
-51%
-4%
-19%
-71%
Brightness middle
437
353
-19%
364
-17%
389.2
-11%
390
-11%
342
-22%
Brightness
399
347
-13%
331
-17%
392
-2%
352
-12%
301
-25%
Brightness Distribution
81
91
12%
84
4%
92
14%
81
0%
76
-6%
Black Level *
0.35
0.44
-26%
0.44
-26%
0.27
23%
0.69
-97%
0.393
-12%
Contrast
1249
802
-36%
827
-34%
1441
15%
565
-55%
870
-30%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.56
6.09
-71%
7.32
-106%
3.61
-1%
3.04
15%
9.69
-172%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
9.3
7.01
25%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.67
6.24
-134%
7.37
-176%
3.8
-42%
2.88
-8%
9.27
-247%
Gamma
2.17 101%
2.41 91%
2.03 108%
2.16 102%
2.43 91%
2.95 75%
CCT
6681 97%
7238 90%
6479 100%
5969 109%
6848 95%
6010 108%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
86
46
-47%
42.2
-51%
63
-27%
55
-36%
40.4
-53%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
100
71
-29%
66.1
-34%
97
-3%
85
-15%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-22% / -33%
-51% / -51%
-21% / -12%
1% / -10%
-71% / -71%

* ... smaller is better

In the color accuracy analysis, we measured a DeltaE rate of 4.35 (ColorChecker) and 2.67 (Grayscale). These rates are acceptable. However, only the screen in Microsoft's Surface Pro 4 can compete among the comparison devices. The color-space coverage ranges from good to very good. The AdobeRGB color space is covered by 86% and the sRGB color space even 100%.

CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps
AdobeRGB color space: 86%
AdobeRGB color space: 86%
sRGB color space: 100%
sRGB color space: 100%

The screen's high brightness allows outdoor use. However, restrictions will have to be accepted due to the screen's glossy surface. Also, direct sunlight should be avoided. The screenshots below illustrate this problem.

Outdoors in sunlight
Outdoors in sunlight
Outdoors in the shade
Outdoors in the shade

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
35 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 8 ms rise
↘ 27 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 89 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (25.5 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
36 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 19 ms rise
↘ 17 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 28 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (40.7 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 1000 Hz ≤ 20 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 1000 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 20 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 1000 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9813 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

The viewing-angle stability issue looks quite good in Dell's convertible. The manufacturer states 170 degrees. The screenshots show what the test picture looks like from different positions. An annoying grayish tint does not cover the screen even in a very flat viewing angle.

Viewing angles: Dell XPS 12 9250
Viewing angles: Dell XPS 12 9250

Performance

Dell's XPS 12 9520 is a 12.5-inch convertible laptop. The convertible offers enough computing power for office routine. Dell's device easily copes with Internet browsing or rendering media content. Our review sample, the premium model based on Intel's Core m7-6y75 processor and 8 GB of LPDDR3 RAM, has more than enough performance reserves to process several applications simultaneously. The generous 512 GB PCIe SSD also provides plenty of storage and contributes to smooth workflow. Dell lists the review sample at a purchase price of 1799 Euros (~$2051). The entry-level version is available for 1249 Euros (~$1423). Higher-performance devices with faster Core i processors, such as Microsoft's Surface Pro 4, exist in this price range but they cannot offer noiseless operation.

The review sample makes an overall positive impression. However, buyers who opt for a Core m7 processor in this performance range should not expect a speed marvel. Nevertheless, fast and smooth workflow in conjunction with noiseless operation reaps in plus points here.

CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
GPU-Z
GPU-Z
Latency Monitor
HWINFO

Processor

As to the processor, Dell relies on Intel's Core m lineup. The processor is based on the Skylake architecture. Our review sample houses the top model of this lineup, Intel's Core m7-6Y75. The manufacturer can limit the Turbo Boost bandwidth owing to the configurable TDP. Dell crops the maximum Turbo rate here. Theoretically, 2.9 GHz would be possible when both cores are utilized. A maximum clock of 2.6 GHz is recorded in the single-core test of the Cinebench R15 benchmark. It cannot be maintained permanently, though. The CPU Multi 64-bit test is performed at a CPU clock of 1.8 - 1.9 GHz. Microsoft's Surface Pro 4 with Intel's Core m3-6Y30 can place itself before Dell's XPS 12 9250 here. A much better performance development is seen in the CPU Single 64-bit test. Asus' Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T furnished with the same SoC as our review sample manages to retrieve approximately 9% more performance from the small chip when all cores are utilized. The processor would be capable of even more, but the manufacturer limits the performance development due to the fanless and compact design in favor of stable operation even during full load. Presently, no convertible on the market can implement the full performance of Intel's Core m7.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Dell XPS 12 9250 4K
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
104 Points ∼100%
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2
100 Points ∼96% -4%
Toshiba Portege Z20t-B-10C
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y71, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GVNU
97 Points ∼93% -7%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4, Core m3
HD Graphics 515, 6Y30, Samsung MZFLV128 NVMe
88 Points ∼85% -15%
HP Elite x2 1011 G1
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y51, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
84 Points ∼81% -19%
HP Spectre x2 12-a003ng K3D42EA
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-256G-1006
80 Points ∼77% -23%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2
214 Points ∼100% +9%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4, Core m3
HD Graphics 515, 6Y30, Samsung MZFLV128 NVMe
206 Points ∼96% +5%
Dell XPS 12 9250 4K
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
196 Points ∼92%
Toshiba Portege Z20t-B-10C
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y71, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GVNU
190 Points ∼89% -3%
HP Spectre x2 12-a003ng K3D42EA
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-256G-1006
177 Points ∼83% -10%
HP Elite x2 1011 G1
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y51, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
153 Points ∼71% -22%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2
1.28 Points ∼100% +31%
Toshiba Portege Z20t-B-10C
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y71, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GVNU
1.15 Points ∼90% +17%
HP Elite x2 1011 G1
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y51, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
0.99 Points ∼77% +1%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4, Core m3
HD Graphics 515, 6Y30, Samsung MZFLV128 NVMe
0.98 Points ∼77% 0%
Dell XPS 12 9250 4K
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
0.98 Points ∼77%
HP Spectre x2 12-a003ng K3D42EA
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-256G-1006
0.94 Points ∼73% -4%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2
2.47 Points ∼100% +13%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4, Core m3
HD Graphics 515, 6Y30, Samsung MZFLV128 NVMe
2.27 Points ∼92% +4%
Dell XPS 12 9250 4K
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
2.19 Points ∼89%
HP Spectre x2 12-a003ng K3D42EA
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-256G-1006
2.15 Points ∼87% -2%
Toshiba Portege Z20t-B-10C
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y71, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GVNU
2.14 Points ∼87% -2%
HP Elite x2 1011 G1
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y51, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
1.72 Points ∼70% -21%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2
4553 Points ∼100% +13%
Dell XPS 12 9250 4K
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
4041 Points ∼89%
HP Spectre x2 12-a003ng K3D42EA
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-256G-1006
3839 Points ∼84% -5%
Toshiba Portege Z20t-B-10C
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y71, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GVNU
3810 Points ∼84% -6%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4, Core m3
HD Graphics 515, 6Y30, Samsung MZFLV128 NVMe
3286 Points ∼72% -19%
HP Elite x2 1011 G1
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y51, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
3276 Points ∼72% -19%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2
7473 Points ∼100% +62%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4, Core m3
HD Graphics 515, 6Y30, Samsung MZFLV128 NVMe
6994 Points ∼94% +52%
Toshiba Portege Z20t-B-10C
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y71, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GVNU
6606 Points ∼88% +43%
HP Spectre x2 12-a003ng K3D42EA
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-256G-1006
6356 Points ∼85% +38%
HP Elite x2 1011 G1
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y51, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
5370 Points ∼72% +16%
Dell XPS 12 9250 4K
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
4611 Points ∼62%
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
4041
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
4611
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
5549
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
2.19 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
0.98 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
22.08 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.8 %
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
196 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
104 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
26.39 fps
Help

System Performance

The limited Turbo Boost functionality is also evident in the PCMark benchmark scores. Dell's XPS 12 9250 is defeated in almost all tests. HP's Spectre x2 12-a003ng K3D42EA with the same processor achieves 20 - 30% more points in PCMark 8 in some cases. These scores are in line with the subjective impressions during the test period. We would have wished for a bit more performance for installations or demanding applications. Opening complex websites would also benefit from more power. However, that does not mean that the system runs sluggishly. The performance limitation is barely noticed in routine use.

PCMark 8
Storage Score v2
HP Spectre x2 12-a003ng K3D42EA
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-256G-1006
4895 Points ∼100% 0%
Dell XPS 12 9250 4K
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
4895 Points ∼100%
Work Score Accelerated v2
HP Spectre x2 12-a003ng K3D42EA
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-256G-1006
4078 Points ∼100% +32%
Toshiba Portege Z20t-B-10C
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y71, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GVNU
3936 Points ∼97% +28%
HP Elite x2 1011 G1
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y51, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
3480 Points ∼85% +13%
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2
3472 Points ∼85% +13%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4, Core m3
HD Graphics 515, 6Y30, Samsung MZFLV128 NVMe
3186 Points ∼78% +3%
Dell XPS 12 9250 4K
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
3084 Points ∼76%
Creative Score Accelerated v2
HP Spectre x2 12-a003ng K3D42EA
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-256G-1006
3362 Points ∼100% +16%
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2
3298 Points ∼98% +14%
Toshiba Portege Z20t-B-10C
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y71, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GVNU
3263 Points ∼97% +12%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4, Core m3
HD Graphics 515, 6Y30, Samsung MZFLV128 NVMe
2968 Points ∼88% +2%
Dell XPS 12 9250 4K
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
2903 Points ∼86%
HP Elite x2 1011 G1
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y51, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
2705 Points ∼80% -7%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Toshiba Portege Z20t-B-10C
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y71, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GVNU
2816 Points ∼100% +24%
HP Spectre x2 12-a003ng K3D42EA
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-256G-1006
2675 Points ∼95% +17%
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2
2614 Points ∼93% +15%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4, Core m3
HD Graphics 515, 6Y30, Samsung MZFLV128 NVMe
2426 Points ∼86% +7%
HP Elite x2 1011 G1
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y51, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
2397 Points ∼85% +5%
Dell XPS 12 9250 4K
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
2277 Points ∼81%
PCMark 7
System Storage
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2
5388 Points ∼100% +25%
Toshiba Portege Z20t-B-10C
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y71, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GVNU
5379 Points ∼100% +25%
HP Elite x2 1011 G1
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y51, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
5144 Points ∼95% +20%
Dell XPS 12 9250 4K
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
4299 Points ∼80%
Entertainment
Toshiba Portege Z20t-B-10C
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y71, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GVNU
3057 Points ∼100% +9%
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2
2869 Points ∼94% +3%
HP Elite x2 1011 G1
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y51, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
2863 Points ∼94% +2%
Dell XPS 12 9250 4K
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
2797 Points ∼91%
Productivity
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2
3724 Points ∼100% +80%
Toshiba Portege Z20t-B-10C
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y71, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GVNU
2356 Points ∼63% +14%
HP Elite x2 1011 G1
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y51, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
2068 Points ∼56% 0%
Dell XPS 12 9250 4K
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
2067 Points ∼56%
Score
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2
4480 Points ∼100% +4%
Toshiba Portege Z20t-B-10C
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y71, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GVNU
4421 Points ∼99% +2%
Dell XPS 12 9250 4K
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
4318 Points ∼96%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4, Core m3
HD Graphics 515, 6Y30, Samsung MZFLV128 NVMe
4274 Points ∼95% -1%
HP Elite x2 1011 G1
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y51, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
4087 Points ∼91% -5%
PCMark 7 Score
4318 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
2277 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
2903 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
3084 points
Help

Storage Device

Dell offers its XPS 12 premium model with a 512 GB SSD by Samsung. To be precise, it is the MZVLV512HCJH model in the M.2 format from the PM951 lineup. According to Samsung, this SSD achieves a sequential read rate of up to 1050 MB/s and a sequential write rate of up to 560 MB/s. However, the AS SSD test shows that the write rates are considerably lower with just 150 MB/s. The SSD in the review sample achieves a read rate of a whole 1184 MB/s, which is even higher than Samsung's factory specification.

CrystalDiskMark
CrystalDiskMark
AS SSD
AS SSD
Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
Sequential Read: 984.4 MB/s
Sequential Write: 525.3 MB/s
512K Read: 428.7 MB/s
512K Write: 176.6 MB/s
4K Read: 37.31 MB/s
4K Write: 104 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 254.4 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 234.1 MB/s

Graphics Card

Intel's HD Graphics 515 graphics unit supports DirectX 12 and clocks at a maximum of 1000 MHz. The performance of the different HD Graphics 515 models can also vary extremely due to the TDP limitation. This restriction in the maximum TDP range is also seen in the integrated graphics unit of our review sample. Although the HD Graphics 515 can outperform the HD Graphics 5300 by 30% in 3DMark 11, the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 tops that by 20% and illustrates the possibilities. The working memory in Dell's XPS 12 9250 operates in dual-channel mode, from which the graphics unit benefits. A video decoder can now also decode H.265/HEVC videos and thus unloads the CPU. Nevertheless, the low-end GPU is not suitable for either up-to-date games or supporting demanding hardware. Games released before 2010 and browser-based games can be rendered. However, buyers should opt for a device with a dedicated graphics card when more GPU power is frequently needed.

3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance GPU
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
2548 Points ∼100% +153%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4, Core m3
HD Graphics 515, 6Y30, Samsung MZFLV128 NVMe
1206 Points ∼47% +20%
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2
1083 Points ∼43% +7%
Dell XPS 12 9250 4K
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
1008 Points ∼40%
HP Spectre x2 12-a003ng K3D42EA
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-256G-1006
996 Points ∼39% -1%
Toshiba Portege Z20t-B-10C
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y71, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GVNU
693 Points ∼27% -31%
HP Elite x2 1011 G1
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y51, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
555 Points ∼22% -45%
1280x720 Performance
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
2711 Points ∼100% +143%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4, Core m3
HD Graphics 515, 6Y30, Samsung MZFLV128 NVMe
1344 Points ∼50% +21%
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2
1188 Points ∼44% +7%
Dell XPS 12 9250 4K
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
1115 Points ∼41%
HP Spectre x2 12-a003ng K3D42EA
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-256G-1006
1098 Points ∼41% -2%
Toshiba Portege Z20t-B-10C
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y71, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GVNU
775 Points ∼29% -30%
HP Elite x2 1011 G1
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y51, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
625 Points ∼23% -44%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
1886 Points ∼100% +241%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4, Core m3
HD Graphics 515, 6Y30, Samsung MZFLV128 NVMe
740 Points ∼39% +34%
HP Spectre x2 12-a003ng K3D42EA
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-256G-1006
660 Points ∼35% +19%
Dell XPS 12 9250 4K
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
553 Points ∼29%
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2
464 Points ∼25% -16%
Toshiba Portege Z20t-B-10C
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y71, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GVNU
453 Points ∼24% -18%
HP Elite x2 1011 G1
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y51, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
371 Points ∼20% -33%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
7424 Points ∼100% +115%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4, Core m3
HD Graphics 515, 6Y30, Samsung MZFLV128 NVMe
4604 Points ∼62% +33%
HP Spectre x2 12-a003ng K3D42EA
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-256G-1006
4546 Points ∼61% +32%
Toshiba Portege Z20t-B-10C
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y71, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GVNU
3585 Points ∼48% +4%
Dell XPS 12 9250 4K
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
3457 Points ∼47%
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2
3434 Points ∼46% -1%
HP Elite x2 1011 G1
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y51, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
2946 Points ∼40% -15%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
49514 Points ∼100% +81%
HP Spectre x2 12-a003ng K3D42EA
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-256G-1006
42545 Points ∼86% +55%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4, Core m3
HD Graphics 515, 6Y30, Samsung MZFLV128 NVMe
42046 Points ∼85% +53%
Toshiba Portege Z20t-B-10C
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y71, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GVNU
35835 Points ∼72% +31%
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2
35580 Points ∼72% +30%
HP Elite x2 1011 G1
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y51, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
29336 Points ∼59% +7%
Dell XPS 12 9250 4K
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
27409 Points ∼55%
3DMark 11 Performance
1115 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
27409 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
3457 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
553 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
277 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Dell's XPS 12 9250 is definitely not made for gaming. The convertible can render a few older games smoothly; however, only in low resolutions and low quality settings. The 3DMark benchmark also again illustrates that the processor in Dell's XPS 12 cannot develop its full potential. Compared with Microsoft's Surface Pro 4, our review sample always has to take a place behind it. The Surface also achieves higher frame rates in the game BioShock Infinite. The performance of the HD Graphics 515 is enough to pass some time with various games released before 2010. There are also many browser games that Dell's convertible can render without massive restrictions. However, Microsoft's Surface Book is a real alternative when more graphics power is needed.

low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 33.2817.3720.14.67fps
Battlefield 4 (2013) 24.8117.8811.946.67fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 8.35.67fps

Emissions

System Noise

Since Dell's convertible does not have a fan and is furnished with an SSD for storing data, it does not produce any distracting noises. Quiet electronic noises are audible from the back in idle. However, the ear has to almost be placed directly on the device to hear that. These side noises increase slightly during load and when copying data on the SSD. These noises are no longer audible at a normal distance to the device. We can therefore say that the device runs noiselessly.

Temperature

Stress test: Prime95 + Furmark
Stress test: Prime95 + Furmark

The review sample performed our stress test (Prime95 and Furmark run for at least one hour) in the same manner in both AC and battery modes. At the beginning of the test, the processor clocked at 1.4-1.8 GHz which is reduced gradually until it settles to 900-1000 MHz. We measured a maximum temperature of approximately 44 °C on some spots of the casing. However, these rates do not represent a normal condition and should not be reached in routine use. 30 °C is only surpassed on three points in idle.

Max. Load
 38.2 °C
101 F
39.4 °C
103 F
35.6 °C
96 F
 
 36 °C
97 F
36.6 °C
98 F
34.4 °C
94 F
 
 36.9 °C
98 F
39.3 °C
103 F
41.4 °C
107 F
 
Maximum: 41.4 °C = 107 F
Average: 37.5 °C = 100 F
37.7 °C
100 F
43.9 °C
111 F
42.8 °C
109 F
35.9 °C
97 F
41 °C
106 F
39.4 °C
103 F
33.8 °C
93 F
35.2 °C
95 F
35.1 °C
95 F
Maximum: 43.9 °C = 111 F
Average: 38.3 °C = 101 F
Power Supply (max.)  54 °C = 129 F | Room Temperature 21.8 °C = 71 F | FIRT 550-Pocket
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 37.5 °C / 100 F, compared to the average of 30.3 °C / 87 F for the devices in the class Convertible.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 41.4 °C / 107 F, compared to the average of 35.4 °C / 96 F, ranging from 21.8 to 55.7 °C for the class Convertible.
(±) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 43.9 °C / 111 F, compared to the average of 36.5 °C / 98 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 30.2 °C / 86 F, compared to the device average of 30.3 °C / 87 F.
(-) The palmrests and touchpad can get very hot to the touch with a maximum of 41.4 °C / 106.5 F.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 29 °C / 84.2 F (-12.4 °C / -22.3 F).

Speakers

Speaker characteristics
Speaker characteristics
Maxx Audio Pro settings
Maxx Audio Pro settings

The speakers are situated on the tablet's front upper left and right. However, not much should be expected from the stereo speakers. The maximum volume is acceptable for the convertible. The sound and the acoustics are focused on trebles and mids, while the low tones are virtually non-existent. Predefined audio profiles for adapting the sound to personal needs can be selected using the Maxx Audio Pro software. Both microphones are found left and right above the webcam.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Dell's convertible does not present any record-breaking power consumption rates. A minimum of 5.4 watts in idle is good, but some rivals do a much better job. Our review sample is located in the upper third of Core m devices with a maximum power consumption of 24.4 watts. The power supply is sufficiently sized with a maximum output of 30 watts.

Dell XPS 12 9250 4K
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
HP Spectre x2 12-a003ng K3D42EA
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-256G-1006
HP Elite x2 1011 G1
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y51, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2
Toshiba Portege Z20t-B-10C
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y71, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GVNU
Power Consumption
20%
52%
21%
33%
Idle Minimum *
5.4
4.5
17%
1.5
72%
4.2
22%
2.4
56%
Idle Average *
10.2
7.7
25%
4
61%
8.4
18%
4.6
55%
Idle Maximum *
12.5
8.3
34%
5
60%
8.9
29%
5.6
55%
Load Average *
21.4
19.8
7%
13.9
35%
15.9
26%
15.6
27%
Load Maximum *
24.4
20.6
16%
16.9
31%
22.5
8%
30.7
-26%

* ... smaller is better

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.39 / 2.7 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 5.4 / 10.2 / 12.5 Watt
Load midlight 21.4 / 24.4 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy

Battery Runtime

The non-removable 28.5 Wh battery is not exactly lush. The determined battery life is therefore rather poor. The battery was depleted after 4:03 hours in the Wi-Fi test. This practical test involves opening websites every 40 seconds using the "Balanced" energy profile and a screen brightness of approximately 150 cd/m². That corresponds to reducing the screen brightness by 7 levels. The device shut down after just 1:32 hours of full load and had to be reconnected to an outlet. The maximum runtime using minimum screen brightness and disabled communication modules is 6:10 hours. Dell loses this point due to the tight capacity here.

Minimum battery life
Minimum battery life
Maximum battery life
Maximum battery life
Wi-Fi battery life
Wi-Fi battery life
Charging time
Charging time
Dell XPS 12 9250 4K
28 Wh
HP Spectre x2 12-a003ng K3D42EA
42 Wh
HP Elite x2 1011 G1
54 Wh
Microsoft Surface Pro 4, Core m3
38 Wh
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
45 Wh
Toshiba Portege Z20t-B-10C
72 Wh
Battery Runtime
95%
192%
88%
112%
275%
Reader / Idle
370
954
158%
1063
187%
791
114%
1013
174%
1616
337%
WiFi v1.3
243
361
49%
675
178%
488
101%
402
65%
760
213%
Load
93
166
78%
288
210%
138
48%
182
96%
348
274%
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
6h 10min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (EDGE: 25.10586.0.0)
4h 03min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 33min

Pros

+ very good and viewing angle stable screen
+ very high screen resolution (4K)
+ premium and solid build
+ high-capacity 512 GB SSD
+ decent input devices
+ passive cooling
+ stylish and elegant design

Cons

- processor cannot develop its full potential
- screen's tilt angle not adjustable
- unsatisfactory battery performance
- 12-month standard warranty only

Verdict

In review: Dell XPS 12 9250 4K. Test model courtesy of Dell Germany
In review: Dell XPS 12 9250 4K. Test model courtesy of Dell Germany

Dell's XPS 12 9250 is a slim, 12.5-inch convertible. The installed Intel Core m7 6Y75 processor has enough power for routine tasks, and its TDP allows passive cooling. The SSD impresses with high read rates and ensures a fast-running system. The high-resolution, 12.5-inch screen with 3840x2160 pixels convinces with high contrast, good color-space coverage and strong viewing-angle stability. It is also very responsive as an input device and implements commands instantaneously. The keyboard dock nicely matches the tablet's looks and pleases the user with a quiet keyboard and accurately functioning touchpad.

At first glance, an elegant convertible that becomes even more interesting when looking closer at the specifications. The question remains whether Dell has perhaps set the price too high, though.

Despite all that, there is still reason for criticism. The tilting angle cannot be adapted to the seating position, which does not allow an ergonomic work position at the desk. Although the review sample is furnished with the strongest processor from Intel's Core m lineup, the performance cannot be completely retrieved. Thus, Microsoft's Surface Pro 4 with a Core m3, for example, is sometimes much faster. We would also have hoped for a longer battery life. The battery performance should be somewhat better in a tablet that is also marketed for the business sector.

Purchase recommendation or not - anyone thinking about buying this kind of device will now know what shortcomings have to be expected and/or what convincing aspects the device has. Dell demands an exorbitant 1799 Euros (~$2051) for the test configuration. That is definitely not a bargain, but it is one of the few devices with a 4K panel in a 12.5-inch size - if that is the driving force. Perhaps a configuration with a weaker CPU would come into question since the full performance of the installed Core m7 processor cannot be retrieved anyway.

Dell XPS 12 9250 4K - 04/18/2016 v5.1
Sebastian Bade

Chassis
83 / 98 → 85%
Keyboard
87%
Pointing Device
97%
Connectivity
51 / 80 → 63%
Weight
72 / 35-78 → 86%
Battery
75%
Display
88%
Games Performance
52 / 68 → 76%
Application Performance
69 / 87 → 79%
Temperature
87%
Noise
98%
Audio
50 / 91 → 55%
Camera
70 / 85 → 82%
Average
75%
85%
Convertible - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Dell XPS 12 9250 4K Convertible Review
Sebastian Bade, 2016-04- 8 (Update: 2018-05-15)