The Portable Workstation: Dell's XPS 13 Ultraportable + 32" UltraSharp UP3216Q 4K Monitor

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

Dell recently came knocking with a simple proposition: they would send us their XPS 13 ultraportable and the 32-inch UltraSharp UP3216Q 4k monitor to play with and see how we liked it to replace one of our editor's workstation desktop PC. Being able to give away the bundle to one of our readers post-experiment was the icing on the cake.

With two 22-inch monitors and a 24-incher, I barely had enough room for my keyboard and mouse, but it was a trade I was willing to make. I’ve stuck with this arrangement for a few years now, sitting patiently on the sidelines as the display industry slowly transitioned from full HD displays (1,920 x 1,080) to Quad HD (2,560 x 1,440) and most recently 4K (3,840 x 2,160) and above.

As resolution climbed and prices slid, I toyed with replacing the smaller units with monitors packing more pixels but there was this one lingering question that kept me from pulling the trigger: Could I replace my trio of displays with a single, large 4K monitor?

Read the complete article.

 

Evernessince

TS Evangelist
Please don't make it country specific, you have readers from all over the world :)
Most of the time it's not their choice to make it country specific. A company like Dell may not be releasing the product in all markets at once or import duties and shipping could make a giveaway pointless. Just shipping an Ultrabook and monitor international would cost easily over $100 for the slowest shipping method without tracking (SAL). I'm guessing with tracking and insurance the total would come out to at least $200 if shipping from the US to any country besides canada and mexico. This still doesn't include duties or tax either.
 
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madboyv1

TechSpot Paladin
There are, of course, downsides. Notebooks aren’t nearly as upgradeable as custom-built desktops. Sure, you can add RAM and swap in a faster drive with more storage, but once the processor in your notebook becomes obsolete and no longer meets your needs, it’s time to shop for a whole new machine.
Actually, with many ultra portables that are really pushing the thinness aspect, it is not uncommon to have the RAM soldered directly onto the motherboard. This can be an issue for some if the vendor is pricing more memory at a significant premium. I found this out after-the-fact with the Dell XPS 12 convertible, though I was at least able to upgrade the storage as the SSD was mSATA.

I can't wait till tomorrow though to throw my name into the giveaway. That monitor makes me salivate, and that XPS13 would blow my XPS12 out of the water considering how I use it...
 

Dennis83

TS Rookie
You can use an external graphic card over the thunderbolt 3 connector. These cases for external video cards are sturdy and have their own power supply included.
 

Radical

TS Enthusiast
Pick up the XPS 15 and you get a 960M included by default, and with Pascal mobile now in the wild, the thought of an XPS 15 with a 1060 or 1050 is pretty exciting.
 

EndlessWaves

TS Booster
I thought the article ended rather early, I had to double check there wasn't a page 2 I was missing.

You didn't even address some the points you set out in the premise, such as whether a 32" 3840x2160 was an appropriate size for use without scaling and I was expecting more detail in how it's changed your working habits, what the limitations of the setup are and so on.

Please don't make it country specific, you have readers from all over the world :)
Additional delivery, customs and tax to send a prize abroad can easily amount to 25%+ of the value of the items so it adds to the cost of running the competition quite a bit.
 

Darth Shiv

TS Evangelist
Definitely watching this one. Also working from home and my laptop is a Dell XPS 15 L502x. Long in the tooth and pretty heavy. Been eyeing off upgrade options that save weight.
 

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member
I thought the article ended rather early, I had to double check there wasn't a page 2 I was missing.

You didn't even address some the points you set out in the premise, such as whether a 32" 3840x2160 was an appropriate size for use without scaling and I was expecting more detail in how it's changed your working habits, what the limitations of the setup are and so on.

Please don't make it country specific, you have readers from all over the world :)
Additional delivery, customs and tax to send a prize abroad can easily amount to 25%+ of the value of the items so it adds to the cost of running the competition quite a bit.
These questions and more will be answered in our standalone review of the UP3216Q :)
 
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RobertWebb2

TS Enthusiast
I for one have only dreamed of having the ability & funds of having a dream system like this. I would give away my whole setup that I am using if this Dell XPS 13 finds it way here at my home. For me, It take having a workhorse with me now(HP Elitebook 8570w) for the ability to get things done while traveling, And my Desktop(HP Compaq Pro 6300 SFF) hooked up to a Vizio 26" Ultra Fine Display. With running different virtual machines. It would be great to put the different machine on a dedicated section within that awesome 4K display.
 

gusticles41

TS Evangelist
The Thunderbolt dock was "suspiciously unavailable" because Dell pulled them from the shelves...They are absolutely terrible and unusable. Our company purchased 60+ of them with XPS13's and Precision 5510's and had high hopes right off the bat. We could not deploy them to our users they were so unstable. In the meantime, Dell offers a lesser USB-C dock which can output to 1 digital display + VGA. While this dock isn't perfect, it works for the time being..
 

SKPAUS

TS Rookie
No doubt it's a great package! I think with laptops what has helped the office worker is being given the flexible login access to work from home. Sure the tech helps & am glad organizations are noticing the need to upgrade.
 

Jay Wessels

TS Rookie
A great well written article which covers the precisely same arrangement I have been considering. I use a Macbook Pro with two additional monitors at the desk currently which is one part of my work. I sometimes need a PC and continue to use a Desktop for this. This Dell Notebook would allow me to travel and do the firmware flashing at any location and also to take my Macbook for my normal work. Seems it then gives me adequate PC power to use one unit to replace my current ageing Desktop and avoid messy monitor changing or switches. Can't wait to win this lovely little Dell and BIG monitor.
 

bluto 2050

TS Addict
I like my brand new Haswell Core i5 SSD/HDD windows 10 dual booting HP tower and cherry MX brown Logitech G610 keyboard and Logitech MX hypersrcrolling lazer mouse and the 27" screen that has a similar pixel density to the Sony XBR 55" 4K R HDR Wide Color Gamut TV in here that you can not see any pixels on on at 2ft or maybe less and this is only an 27" HD PC monitor .

The eye candy that wide color gamut 10 bit HDR 4 K TV can make will put any PC short of a professional production workstation to shame anyway if you arent gaming above 120Hz or 4:4:4 2160p @120fps this PC cant even think about with Haswell IGPU Intel HD 4600 graphics in it

. Oddly enough outside of the screen the specs on my 3 year old 14" QHXD Core i7 8 GB ram HP Elitebook arent far at all from off this Dell XPS and it has a nice brushed metal maybe stainless exterior and deck and an excellent keybed with a track stick and decent speakers and so on and its not old school real thick and heavy but not ultra thin either but very plausible in an executive meeting today but I think the business class HP Elite books and whatever similar product HP has today are up market from these XPS notebooks and similar Dell notebooks back then anyway .

The Core i7 Elitebook with the QXHD d/GPU option has enough CPU to be very plausible but it doesn't have the speed or grunt of the Core i5 Haswell desktop and in my retired dotage I prefer a swift desktop and an MX cheery brown keyboard .

I had the legendary IBM Bucking switch mechanical keyboards and the Lexmark clones after that for many years and there is nothing like a good mechanical keyboard and decently fast CPU with an SSD and a decent size screen butt all that in your article looks looks like a fairly plausible set up for someone just not me ☺
 

bluto 2050

TS Addict
[QUOTE="bluto ]reply to self
[/QUOTE]forgot to add those wonderful IBM and Lexmark mechanical KB were at work since the mid 80's until I retired much later with a corporate think pad nearly chained to me out in the field and at home when I wasn't on a destop at work or my persomnal desktop at home .

I had one of those KB at home maybe an IBM model M for many years and PC's and then made the mistake (torture ) of using a collection of membrane KB's for a good while and got this Logitec mechanical MX Cherry brown G610 about 3 mo. ago and very glad I did .

There is just * nothing at all like a good mechanical Cherry MX brown std KB anymore .