Traveling for work can be a pain. The delays, the tiny airplane seats, the unreliable and expensive food, and the lumpy hotel pillows. Wouldn't it be nice if you had one little nicety to rely on? Like maybe a super-sophisticated, high-end laptop that is as dependable and powerful as it is easy to look at?

There are many great workhorse ultrabooks on the market today, but you won't get a more gorgeous package coupled with great performance than with the Dell XPS 13. Its design is simply stunning, and its display has one of the thinnest bezels on the market, meaning you get a lot of screen in a tiny profile.

The XPS 13 is also flexible, offering a wide range of configurations to suit almost any small business user. The base model, which starts about $800, comes with an Intel i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, 12GB of storage and Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, which doubles data transfer speeds over the Thunderbolt 2 and is eight times faster than USB. If you need more oomph, it's expandable to 16GB of memory and 1TB of solid-state hard drive space.

TechRadar named it "Best in Class" and the best ultrabook of 2017. Users tend to agree, although some reviewers mentioned issues with the trackpad and the fan coming on upon opening any program.

One user really disliked the pre-loaded software and trial-ware on the machine, writing on Dell's XPS 13 page: "The XPS is a fantastic laptop with high-end hardware that works well together. Unfortunately, it is bogged down by horrible Dell spamware (like the software that kept bugging me to write this review) and garbage trial software. Why can't companies offer high-end laptops with just an operating system?"

Most laptops and PCs come with a lot of this pre-loaded software - also known as bloatware - but you can get rid of most, if not all, of it by using one of the many utilities like Slim Computer.  

Other complaints include the placement of the webcam, positioned on the lower left of the display. While it allows for the virtually borderless InfinityEdge display, it can make for some awkward, chin-heavy, video chats.

Overall, this laptop is a pleasure to use even when you're stuck in a tiny plane seat in economy. Its outstanding battery life means you won't be forever searching for an outlet, even when your flight gets delayed. Again.

Published on: Nov 6, 2017