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Howdy Campers!


I just got my Leap Motion and set it up, so I thought I'd write off a quick review. (Picture Heavy, Warning)




I'll start off with a few quick unboxing photos because some folks like to see this sort of thing. Nothing extensive however. (Apologies for the differing aspect ratios, I cropped them all)


First up is the box itself, the usual plain, white affair with a picture of the product on the front, common for most gadgets these days.





Inside the box was the device itself, 2 USB Cables (1 short, 1 Long) 





Here is currently where I have the device set up.





Set up


Once you plug the device in, nothing happens, no driver install. You are however promoted to go to to install the drivers and Software.




After you install the software you are treated to a lovely visual setup, it shows you what the device can see, represented by a slick demo with great visuals, you have to put your hands over the device and wave them around, displacing the floating orbs, and leaving a visual trail from each detected fingertip. Using this demo you can position the device where it can easily detect your hands. 




Once you set up the device, you are shown your Apps, a handful will begin to download and install automatically.




From here you will notice that the device doesn't function inside the Windows environment. What you are required to do is go to the Leap Motion App Store and download an experimental app called Touchless for Windows. This is where the disappointment sets in, while the Sensor works great inside of apps that are designed for it, this experimental app is very "Hit & Miss" when it comes to detecting things. There are 2 distinct "zones" infront of the sensor. The 'Hover' Zone, where it detects movement, but wont detect it as a 'Touch' where it would act as a left click with the Mouse. When navigating using your finger in the desktop environment, the sensor will quite often lose track of your fingertip and get confused as to where it is, resulting in it rapidly going from the 'hover' zone to the 'touch' zone and back rapidly. Sometimes it'll work brilliantly for several minutes and then it'll have a techno-tantrum. Which is odd because inside of the Leap Motion apps it performs flawlessly, I never had a single hiccup, sadly most of them are overpriced games or tech demos. To test it inside of Windows 8 I downloaded Fruit Ninja and Cut the Rope from the App Store, Leap Motion worked rather well inside of Metro Apps, not quite as slick as inside Leap Apps, but better than trying to use it on the desktop. Inside the Start Screen it was a breeze too, a quick flick up with your fingers to get the "All Apps" Screen from the bottom to fly up, tiles are big enough to easily select them. I had no issues accessing the Metro controls at the screen sides using leap motion either. Inside Windows 8 it basically emulates the Touch Screen. I saw it plugged into my friends iMac, and he was able to use gestures up to five fingers for the purposes of scrolling between fullscreen apps.




Reviews for Touchless Windows aren't favourable either, with an average of 2 Stars out of 5. Most negative reviews citing the same broken features, obviously as a version one product there are bound to be some bugs, and the app is listed in the 'EXPERIMENTAL' section so I believe these'll be ironed out in the near future. 






It's a device that shows great promise, is it going to replace the Keyboard and mouse? No. Can it complement them? Absolutely. I enjoyed playing Fruit Ninja and other Metro Apps without a Mouse, also used a painting app from the App Store and unleashed my inner 6 year old for a happy half-hour. I'm sure it's only going to improve software-wise so I'm going to keep a hold of it.

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I had a slightly worse experience than you - I've been having quite a few difficulties in using it in the Windows environment, especially for gestures, and the circle onscreen indicating where my finger is located doesn't track where my finger is actually hovering over the screen (especially towards the top and bottom of my screen, but I'm willing to wait a bit for the software to improve before making a final judgment.  I can definitely see the potential in this technology, and it's really impressive how accurate it does track finger movements from such a small device.

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It's a device that shows great promise, is it going to replace the Keyboard and mouse? No. Can it complement them? Absolutely. I enjoyed playing Fruit Ninja and other Metro Apps without a Mouse, also used a painting app from the App Store and unleashed my inner 6 year old for a happy half-hour. I'm sure it's only going to improve software-wise so I'm going to keep a hold of it.


Thanks man.  Keep this updated when new drivers/software comes out and once you mess around with it some more.  for $80, it shows promise if done right and much cheaper than the Kinect

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I had a slightly worse experience than you - I've been having quite a few difficulties in using it in the Windows environment, especially for gestures, and the circle onscreen indicating where my finger is located doesn't track where my finger is actually hovering over the screen (especially towards the top and bottom of my screen, but I'm willing to wait a bit for the software to improve before making a final judgment.  I can definitely see the potential in this technology, and it's really impressive how accurate it does track finger movements from such a small device.



It seems to have gotten better at tracking my finger, however it still struggles with my finger crossing over those 2 Zones. 

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Thanks for the impressions guys, I think this tech or any NUI tech has great promise but sounds like there is work to be done on the software side.  Still good effort from the guys for first gen, will keep an eye on this and see how it keeps improving.

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Knife Party

nice review

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I was very disappointed by this.. It doesnt keep track of your fingers if you tilt your hand to one side..which from the demos they put out you'd think it would.


Navigating through windows with the touchless app takes twice as long as with a mouse.


The cut the fruit app can't even find my graphics card to run for some reason.. it's a gtx 670.

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I am pleased i didnt go through with the pre-order for mine now, would have been a waste of cash as i would not have used it.

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I had the same experience as the reviewer. I tried it out first on Windows 7, couldn't launch Cut the Rope at all. After the update, it is working but apparently the gesture and control were confusing and not precise. However, the issue seems up to the implementation of specific app, in some apps it worked better than the others.

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Crap, crap, crap, crap.  Did I say crap?


Useless, worthless.  Makes everything 100 times harder than using a mouse.


Nice gizmo for all the geeks out there but really no practical use for it IMO.

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I thought I read that right:  the rollout delay was due to them wanted to ensure they have a quality product....


Buckwald claims that Leap Motion has a whopping 600,000 units of the Leap ready to go right now, but added, "Ultimately, the only way we felt 100% confident we could deliver a truly magical product that would do justice to this new form of interaction, was to push the date so we would have more time for a larger, more diverse beta test."


Are we to believe none of the issues people are complaining about did not come up during testing?  Seems they took the path of the times for a lot of IT companies - send out a product, collect the money, then slowly, eventually fix it.

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From the demos I saw, I thought it be a nice replacement for a touch screen monitor. Boy was I wrong.I too found out you have to download an app for that and it works terribly. After having it work terribly in everything including Google Earth, I found the Acer touchscreen monitor on sale at Best Buy for $399 and I'm returning the Leap asap.

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So glad I didnt pre-order one now.

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When something sounds/looks too good to be true, it probably isn't. I like the idea of Leap Motion, and think it is the next best thing just after IllumiRoom. Hope they get their software fixed so that people don't run too far away. 

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It's a new form of interaction and the way in which you interact has yet to be determined. It will eventually come to rely on a gesture system that would become second nature to those willing few participants. Trying to use it as a virtual touch-screen interpreter has set this thing up for inevitable failure. Don't blame the technology, it does what it has always been known to logically do.


I don't have one, because I know the software isn't ready for it. I'm not going to write it off though as this is promising technology. I should support its development by purchasing one 'just cause', but I'm in no position to do so right now. Hopefully it can hang in there until I'm ready to adopt it; if not well than it probably isn't meant to be, yet.


I encourage those reading this review to not write it off just yet.

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I think it was my fault for expecting this little device to be amazing and then being disappointed by it. Still got a lot of potential though.

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People honestly thought gesture controls would be better than a mouse?



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People honestly thought gesture controls would be better than a mouse?




I don't think everyone expected it to be better than a mouse, or a replacement.. I just hoped it would be more accurate than it is, or as accurate as the video displaying how effortlessly navigates

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People honestly thought gesture controls would be better than a mouse?




I have tried the Leap Motion controller...  it is not ready to replace the physical keyboard and a mouse but once you install LM software and ready to go... you will see virtual keyboard on the screen that docked on the edge of the screen and a keyboard button on the lock screen.


I use the physical keyboard for typing long letters or something like that...  LMC can be used for short time.  I have used LMC for web scrolling and click to see other sites.


You can use the mouse for clicking the links if you are not able to the hand gestures via LMC.

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I just set up mine, after making Touchless auto-start (just make a shortcut to the exe in Startups folder) and restarting so Windows enables some of the touch-enabled functionality, it actually works decently in the Windows environment. I feel like the device isn't near its potential yet though and people will have to figure out how to use an interface like this.

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  • 3 months later...
:: Lyon ::

Wondering how it is now after a few months have passed.. Have they updated the firmware or release apps that can take advantage of the Leap Motion yet?

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  • 8 months later...

It seems to have gotten better at tracking my finger, however it still struggles with my finger crossing over those 2 Zones.

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      As for the security-only update, it's KB4598275, and you can download it manually here. It only includes the following changes:

      It has the same known issue as the monthly rollup.

      Turning over to Windows 7, again, you'll need to be paying for extended security updates for your organization to get these updates. It's also possible that the cost of these updates is doubling soon, since it's been one year since support was ended for the OS. Either way, if you're paying for them, the monthly rollup update is KB4598279 and you can download it manually here. It includes the following changes:

      The only known issue is the same as for the Windows 8.1 updates above. Finally, the security-only update is KB4598289, and you can download it manually here. You'll only be getting the security updates mentioned in the last bullet point above, and the known issue is also the same as for the rest of the updates.

      As mentioned above, the monthly rollup updates are usually installed automatically, but you may prefer downloading and installing them manually. With the security-only updates, you have no choice but to do it manually.

    • By Namerah S
      Anker Nebula Solar Portable review: An excellent substitute for a smart TV
      by Namerah Saud Fatmi

      While many may know of Anker because of its popular chargers and power banks, the electronics giant also boasts a wide range of portable projectors. This division of the company carries the brand name Nebula, and it offers portable projectors at premium prices. The Nebula Capsule, for example, is about the size of a 12-ounce soda can and sells for around $349 on Amazon.

      Today we will look at an Anker product leaning towards the larger and heavier range of portable projectors made by the company, the Nebula Solar Portable. The entertainment device retails at $599.99 and doubles as an Android TV with two 3W speakers to complete the cinematic experience.


      Display 60in to 120in, HDR10, 1080p 1920x1080 native resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio, 400 ANSI lumens brightness, 3-second autofocus
      30,000hrs of LED-life
      Front / rear / front ceiling / rear ceiling projection mode
      Auto (vertical ±40°) / manual (horizontal ±40°, Quadrilateral ±40°) keystone correction Weight 1.4 kg / 49.4 oz Dimensions Length: 192.25mm / 7.6in
      Width: 192mm / 7.6in
      Height: 58.65mm / 2.3in Connectivity WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2 Dual Mode, Chromecast OS Android TV 9.0 CPU Quad Core A55 Chipset GPU Quad Core Mali G31 RAM 2GB DDR Storage 8GB eMMC Battery 20,000mAh, 3 hours playback, 3 hours charge time with Power Delivery 20V-3.25A Ports (1) HDMI 2.0
      (1) USB Type-A
      (1) USB Type-C

      Speaker 2 x 3W speakers with Dolby Digital Plus Input 1 physical button, 3 touch buttons, IR/Bluetooth remote, Nebula Connect Android/iOS Bluetooth remote app Modes Projector Mode, Bluetooth Speaker Mode Mount Tripod, built-in stand for tables Design

      The Nebula Solar Portable projector has a pleasing minimalist design with rounded corners. It comes in a matte white finish that doesn't track fingerprints or marks of any sort. There are a total of four buttons, three touch buttons on the top and one physical button on the back. The buttons on top include volume up and down buttons plus a mode button which switches the entertainment device between projector mode and the Bluetooth speaker mode.

      Meanwhile, located on the back, the one and only physical button on the Nebula Solar Portable which powers the projector on or off can be found. This is where you will also find the grilles for the 3W dual speakers, an LED light to indicate device status, an HDMI 2.0 port, a USB Type-A port for USB flash drives or hard drives, and a USB Type-C port for charging.

      To keep the miniature home cinema system cool, there is also a fan inside. When you turn on the projector it is pretty noisy. According to Anker, it should be no louder than 30dB. But when I tested the noise levels my results fluctuated between 53dB and 71dB, with an average figure of 63dB.

      Anker's portable entertainment system comes with a remote control to navigate the system. It has buttons for options such as power, home, back, settings, volume controls, up, down, left, right, autofocus and Google Assistant. There is a microphone in the upper left corner of the remote.

      Although the projector has a small built-in flap underneath it, it doesn't serve much purpose from a functionality point of view. The Solar Portable does have keystone correction, it doesn't work well when using the flap. When I used it to keep the Nebula device on my table, the picture was tilted and I couldn't fix it for the life of me. The only solution was to put a piece of cardboard underneath it at an angle.

      Display and Sound

      With the lights turned off, the Anker Nebula Solar Portable could easily pass as a TV. The wireless projector has a display output size that can be anywhere between 60-inches and 120-inches according to the placement. It has a native 1920x1080 resolution, HDR10, a 16:9 aspect ratio, an LED-life of 30,000 hours, and rated to output 400 ANSI lumens.

      In order to ensure a perfectly aligned and straight projection, it also features keystone correction and three-second autofocus which is extremely fast. All of this translates to a bright, crisp, and colourful visual experience without any observable colour distortion.

      Furthermore, the Nebula Solar Portable has an option to adapt its display to the colour of the wall for accurate colour-correction which is really handy if you don't have white walls.

      When you turn on the lights, the picture quality still isn't half as bad as one would expect. In fact, I would go so far as to say it is quite nice with the lights on and incredibly good in low light. The whites and blacks are very solid.

      The Anker Nebula Solar Portable has a pair of decent 3W speakers with Dolby Digital Plus. I was satisfied with the loudness of the duo. For medium to large-sized bedrooms, they work excellently and are perfect for movie nights with friends and family. The sound quality is very crisp and clear with good treble and okay bass, nothing exceptional. Vocals can be understood very well. It doesn't hold its ground against a full-blown home theatre system, but for movies and videos, it gets the job done.

      In trademark Anker Nebula fashion, the Solar Portable can also function as a standalone Bluetooth speaker. All you've got to do is press the mode touch button on top of the portable projector to toggle the Bluetooth speaker mode.


      It was a new experience for me to encounter a projector that runs Android TV. The Nebula Solar Portable runs the latest version and supports all the apps you could ever want on your TV in my opinion. There's an HDMI 2.1 port that can connect to a laptop or even a console. The remote has a Google Assistant button which enables voice controls for the mini home theatre.

      It also has Chromecast built-in and can pair with any smartphone, iOS or Android, via the Nebula Connect mobile app. Users can manage their projector through the app or use it as a mouse or remote control for the Anker device. The end result is that you can browse or view any sort of content from any platform of your choice on the Solar Portable without hassle or inconvenience.

      Feel like watching a YouTube video that you just discovered on your phone on a bigger screen? No problem. Want to continue that show you were watching last night on Netflix or Amazon Prime? No problem. Need to share some family photos from your flash drive at a dinner party with guests? Again, no problem at all. It literally works as a substitute for a modern television set.

      Performance and Battery Life
      On paper, the 20,000mAh battery life of the Nebula Solar Portable is touted to be enough for three hours of usage. Unfortunately, with heavy usage, this is reduced to about two hours in my experience. While this is enough for an average length movie, it does not satisfy the requirements for binge-watching TV shows. So if you plan on having a Queen's Gambit marathon, you'd have to plug it in to be safe.

      On the bright side, the official charge time, given to be three hours, is an overstatement. The Nebula Solar Portable comes with an Anker PowerPort III 65W charger and a 3m USB Type-C to USB Type-C cable out the box. Charging up the portable projector from zero to max took me almost exactly two hours and twenty minutes.

      To wrap things up, let's weigh up all the pros and cons of the latest portable Nebula device. On one hand, the audio and visuals are excellent, the projector runs Android TV, it has Chromecast and versatile ports. On the other hand, battery life is not satisfactory, and the fans are a bit too loud when nothing is playing.

      Compared to the previous Nebula gadget that we reviewed, the Solar Portable has many improvements that are just enough to make me want to recommend it to people. It's basically a portable smart TV with a screen size that can change according to your preference or needs. I think Android TV was a very wise decision as it enables the user to install any compatible app from the Google Play Store.

      Previously, the Nebula smartphone app was still in beta. This has changed now and the app works very smoothly with the projector. It even has a live chat option which answers most queries almost immediately. Starting from installing the app to pairing it, the entire process takes only about five minutes.

      The picture quality is really great and the colours look vivid. The clarity, sharpness and hues are all balanced very nicely. I watched a bunch of BBC nature documentaries with my family and the display quality was very well received. As I mentioned before, with the lights off or even in low light, it is really easy to forget that you're not watching TV. I was pleasantly surprised by the impressive visual output capabilities of the projector.

      The last point to factor in would be the price. If you're looking to purchase a Nebula Solar Portable, the miniature makeshift home cinema will cost you a hefty $599.99. That's a lot of money for something that only stays alive for only about two hours!

      I think the Solar Portable is suitable for a very specific crowd such as tech lovers who like unconventional gadgets, people who like to have impromptu movie nights when they're out and about or startups who need to have meetings or share audio/visual presentations on the go. So if you fit in any one of these groups, have deep pockets and the concept of a smart TV with an adjustable screen size tickles your fancy, this would be a great buy.

      As an Amazon Associate, Neowin may earn commission from qualifying purchases.

    • By Rich Woods
      Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 9310 review: Tiger Lake, Thunderbolt 4, and more put it over the top
      by Rich Woods

      Dell's new XPS 13 2-in-1 isn't too different from its predecessor. In fact, the 2019 model was a big change. It added a 16:10 display, hinting at a greater redesign for the rest of the XPS lineup. It was also the first XPS 13 2-in-1 to use a proper Intel U-series processor instead of an anemic Y-series chip.

      This year, we're getting Intel's 11th-generation processors. The CPUs are the second-generation 10nm chips from Intel, and they solve some issues with clock speed. The graphics are also much improved with new Iris Xe. They also come with things like Thunderbolt 4, faster memory, and more.

      The XPS 13 2-in-1 also adds an IR camera above the screen, something that it removed with the previous generation. And finally, it now comes in the classic XPS look, with the carbon fiber palm rest.

      CPU Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor (12MB cache, up to 4.7GHz, 4 cores) Graphics Intel Iris Xe graphics Body 297x207x14.35mm (11.69x8.15x0.56in), 1.32kg (2.9lbs) Display 13.4-inch FHD+ (1920 x 1200) InfinityEdge touch display, 500-nit, 100% sRGB color gamut, 1800:1 contrast ratio
      Dolby Vision, 178° wide viewing angle +/- 89° / 89° / 89° / 89°, 0.65% antireflective, anti-smudge, Eyesafe® technology Storage 512GB PCIe 3 x4 SSD RAM 16GB LPDDR4x Dual Channel SDRAM at 4267MHz Battery 51WHr battery (Integrated), 45W AC adapter Audio Stereo speakers professionally tuned with Waves MaxxAudio Pro; 2W x 2 = 4W total
      3.5mm headphone/microphone combo jack
      Dual array digital microphones; Far Field Cortana capable
      Widescreen HD (720p) 2.25mm webcam Ports (2) Thunderbolt 4
      (1) microSD
      (1) 3.5mm combo audio Input Touch Display
      2 Digital Array Microphones
      Full size, backlit MagLev keyboard; 0.7mm travel
      Precision touchpad, seamless glass integrated button
      Windows Hello fingerprint reader in power button & HD (720p) Windows Hello camera in upper bezel Connectivity Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650 (2x2) built on Intel chipset + Bluetooth 5.1 Construction CNC machined aluminum in platinum silver with black carbon fiber composite palm rest or CNC machined aluminum in frost with arctic white woven glass fiber palm rest (stain resistant coating)
      Edge-to-edge Corning Gorilla Glass 6 OS Windows 10 Home Price $1,499.99
      Day one
      Aside from the charger and the pen, also in the box is a USB Type-C to USB Type-A adapter. As with all modern XPS laptops, there are no USB Type-A ports on the device.

      Dell sent me the platinum silver model with the black carbon fiber palm rest. I'm so used to seeing the white woven glass fiber palm rest, so while it feels like a change of pace, this is classic Dell XPS design right here. The sides are silver though, whereas in previous years, they would have been black.

      Other than that, the outside of the device looks pretty much the same as it has. The aluminum lid is stamped with a chrome-colored Dell logo, which is still the flashiest part of the exterior.

      And as always, it's one of the most compact 13-inch laptops on the market. As Dell puts it, it's a 13-inch laptop in an 11-inch laptop's chassis, and ever since the bezels were chopped down even further last year, that seems more true now than ever. However, the compact footprint doesn't translate to the weight of the device, which is 2.9 pounds. For a premium 13-inch convertible, that's pretty average, although it's not unexpected given that it's made out of aluminum.

      As far as ports go, the XPS 13 2-in-1 only comes with two Thunderbolt 4 ports, one on each side, along with a microSD slot on the left and a 3.5mm combo audio jack on the right. Gone are the old days of having a button with a battery indicator. I actually miss that feature, but I digress.

      In this case, Thunderbolt 4 is a big deal, because it's an upgrade over last year's model. For some companies, it's not, and here's why. Thunderbolt 4 can handle data speeds of up to 40Gbps, power dual 4K displays off of a single port, and more. Technically, Thunderbolt 3 could do the same thing, but with the new generation, that's actually the minimum spec. Previously, the minimum spec was actually 20Gbps, and the ability to connect just one 4K display on a port.

      The big problem with Thunderbolt 3 was that there was virtually no way to know what you were buying. A Thunderbolt logo was all you'd see. Dell used the minimum spec on its XPS lineup, so in this case, Thunderbolt 4 is a big improvement.

      I also absolutely love that Dell put Thunderbolt 4 ports on both sides of the laptop, something that's very rare in the Windows world and more common in the Chromebook world. When it comes to connecting things, whether it's a peripheral or just a charging cable, there's almost always a more convenient side to use, and if that side isn't the side that the port is on, it's a pain point. HP puts them both on the right side, Lenovo puts them both on the left, but Dell is doing both sides, and it's appreciated.

      Display and audio
      The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 has a 13.4-inch 16:10 display. Your options for the resolution are FHD+ and UHD+, and Dell sent me the former. While I used to prefer UHD just for the extra pixels, I'm actually starting to prefer FHD on screens this small. You're really not missing out on anything, and you get much better battery life.

      But also, Dell just makes awesome displays. No matter what resolution you get, you get 500-nit brightness, support for Dolby Vision HDR, and a 178-degree viewing angle. That means that no matter what angle you're looking at the screen from, there's no visible color distortion. It's excellent, and thanks to the 16:10 aspect ratio, it's a taller display. That also makes it more comfortable to use in tablet mode.

      The bezels are as small as ever, and there's an IR camera next tot he webcam now. You might recall that Dell actually introduced an IR camera a few years ago. That was back when it had a 16:9 display with the webcam below the screen. Dell added the IR camera next to what was jokingly referred to as the "nostril cam" by some, but when the company shrunk down the webcam to fit in the top bezel the very next year, the IR camera didn't come along.

      Now, we have the IR camera right on top, as it should be. And that bottom bezel where the webcam used to be is gone now, with that area being taken up by the larger display.

      Dell has something called Dell Cinema, which is the combined audio, video, and streaming experience for media consumption. And it's a pretty great combination. For the screen, there's CinemaColor, using Dolby Vision HDR. You can also use the CinemaColor app to set it to different modes like movies, sports, evening, and animation. Personally, I find the evening mode to be much better than the night mode that's built into Windows 10.

      Then there's CinemaSound, which uses Waves MaxxAudio Pro. The two 2W speakers sound clear, as they always do from Dell's XPS laptops. And then there's CinemaStream, which prioritizes network traffic for the video that you're streaming. All-in-all, Dell has put together one of the best media consumption experiences around, mainly because they've focused on it so much.

      But also, there's a new Dell Cinema Guide app that was announced last year. It's like a hub for all of your streaming services, except for Netflix, since Netflix doesn't like to play well with others. In the Dell Cinema Guide app, you just have to add all of the services that you use, and it will populate. It's not actually playing the content in the app, so you don't have to sign into the services. You just pick them, and then browse.

      Keyboard and touchpad
      The keyboard is one of the biggest differences between the XPS 13 2-in-1 and the XPS 13 clamshell, other than the convertible form factor, of course. The XPS 13 2-in-1 has a MagLev keyboard, something that first debuted in the XPS 15 2-in-1 and reached its second generation in last year's XPS 13 2-in-1.

      Honestly, this feels a lot more like the first generation to me, which I don't like as much. I really appreciated the improved keyboard last year, and maybe it's because I just reviewed the XPS 13 clamshell, but the keys feel more wobbly and less comfortable than I remember them being last year. It seems louder as well.

      According to the specs, this should be the same keyboard as we got last year, with 0.7mm key travel. It's using magnets to balance the shallow depth with resistance, and it actually does a better job at that than you'd expect. The whole point is to create a keyboard that takes up less space in the chassis. I just don't really understand why Dell has to make such sacrifices and other companies don't; the same can be said for when Dell used to use Y-series processors in the XPS 13 2-in-1.

      Still, when Dell introduced its redesigned XPS 13 clamshell at CES last year, I asked if it was making the switch to MagLev, because I thought last year's XPS 13 2-in-1 was that good, that it wasn't a compromise anymore. It struck me that Dell didn't think it was good enough to use in the clamshell, so I'd recommend testing out this keyboard before buying it.

      The Microsoft Precision touchpad is clickable, something that should probably go without saying, but when we start talking about saving space in the chassis, the mechanical touchpad can be one of the things on the chopping block. I appreciate that Dell has been making its touchpads bigger, taking advantage of the available real estate on the deck. In fact, for such a small footprint, you'd probably expect a much smaller touchpad.

      Performance and battery life
      This year's refresh was mostly about including Intel's new 11th-generation processors, which are codenamed Tiger Lake. The successor to Ice Lake, this is the second generation of Intel's long-delayed 10nm process, and there are some significant improvements.

      One big change is that the CPU itself is just better. With the 10th generation, Intel actually had two mobile families: Ice Lake and Comet Lake. Comet Lake existed as yet another 14nm family, but it also offered a more powerful CPU because Intel had to lower clock speeds to get down to 10nm. That's been improved with Tiger Lake.

      But once again, Intel is also focusing on integrated graphics with its new Iris Xe brand. It's pretty great, and you can do things with the XPS 13 2-in-1 that I'd have told you to get a dGPU for just a few years ago. It still feels like an impressive technical feat, seeing something this small and knowing that it actually has some graphics power.

      You can actually do some Full HD gaming on the XPS 13 2-in-1, or you can do some video editing on it. Obviously, it's engineered for productivity and that should be your main use case, but there's a world of possibilities as Intel continues to focus on graphics power.

      As for battery life, I got about six and a half hours of real-world work out of it. As usual, that's with the power slider one notch above battery saver and the screen on 25% brightness. I always keep the screen on the lowest brightness that I can comfortably use, and it's a testament to the screen's brightness that I can keep this one at 25%. But as far as battery life goes, keep in mind that if you go for the UHD option, you'll get worse battery life than this.

      For benchmarks, I used PCMark 8 and PCMark 10.

      XPS 13 2-in-1
      Core i7-1165G7 XPS 13 2-in-1
      Core i7-1065G7 Lenovo Yoga 9i
      Core i7-1185G7 Dell XPS 13
      Core i7-10710U Acer Asipre 5
      Ryzen 7 4700U PCMark 8: Home 4,344 3,795 3,867 3,501 3,702 PCMark 8: Creative 4,560 4,194 4,762 3,966 4,228 PCMark 8: Work 3,980 3,723 3,473 3,342 3,689 PCMark 10 4,929 4,441 4,861 4,314 4,718 Geekbench 5 1,526 / 5,623
      As always, Dell's XPS 13 2-in-1, just like the rest of the XPS lineup, is a winner. It's so compact and portable and it focuses on a range of use cases. My two biggest complaints are the MagLev keyboard, which you should really try before you buy, and that there's no 4G LTE option. And as I mentioned earlier, it's hard to cut Dell a break on the MagLev keyboard since no other OEM has to do it like that.

      But like I said, this works for a broad array of use cases. Obviously, it's engineered for productivity as a main use case, but now one wants to use a device for just work. No, at the end of the day, you'll take it home and watch movies and such, or play games. And with Tiger Lake and Iris Xe performance, you can absolutely play games, or you can edit those family photos in Photoshop or Lightroom.

      Since this is a convertible, it's even more versatile. You can fold the display back and use it as a tablet, using the pen to draw, mark up photos, draw routes on maps, and so on. You might be better off asking what the XPS 13 2-in-1 can't do rather than what it can.

      And it's quite good at all of those things. Like I said, Dell XPS is always a winner, and you can never really go wrong with buying one. If you want to check out this model, you can find it here.