More importantly, the non-touch display in this $899 configuration loses the edge-to-edge glass overlay that the touch version had. The screen bezel is still very thin, but it lacks that unified, tied-together look and feel you get from a single plane covering the entire front-facing panel of the laptop.
But that trade-off in design and touch brings with it a notable benefit. This version of the XPS 13 ran significantly longer in our battery life tests, running for more than 12 hours on a single charge, while the high-res version ran for about 7 hours on the same test. That's a major boost, and it puts the XPS 13 in MacBook Air territory.
Saving several hundred on this configuration and getting radically improved battery life seems like a win-win situation, but I do miss the slick glass overlay and the touchscreen. If Dell had an in-between version with a 1,920x1080-pixel touchscreen and battery life somewhat close to that 12-hour mark, that might be my perfect 13-inch Windows laptop.
Sony wowed the crowds with its Vaio F409 laptop, which squeezed a 13-inch laptop into what felt very close to an 11-inch body, and more importantly, cut the bezel surrounding the screen down to the barest minimum.
We said at the time that this was a system that moved the needle on laptop design, taking a cue from the past few generations of television design, where screen bezels have already been squeezed to nearly nothing. Dell called it the infinity display and described it as "virtually borderless."