Dell Xps 13 13.3 Laptop Review

By | 11/11/2022

Best of the year 2018 logo small

Flagships don’t have to exist big. Since its debut at CES in 2012, the Dell XPS xiii (starts at $999.99; $2,049.99 equally tested) has racked upward rave reviews as what the visitor calls the world’southward smallest xiii-inch laptop. Information technology’due south undergone numerous component upgrades, faced fierce competition (the HP Spectre 13 and the Razer Blade Stealth come to mind), and arguably even gotten a bit long in the tooth, yet the late-2017 XPS thirteen (9360) reigns as our Editors’ Choice. Or reigned, we should say. Today’due south XPS 13 model recaptures the glamour of the original version with an fifty-fifty trimmer design in a gorgeous rose gold end with a soft-textured white palm rest made of woven glass fiber. The latest XPS 13 steals the crown as our favorite loftier-stop ultraportable.

The $999.99 silver-and-black base of operations Dell XPS 13 ($784.78 at Dell)(Opens in a new window)
model carries an eighth-generation Intel Core i5-8250U processor and somewhat skimpy 4GB of RAM and 128GB SATA solid-state drive; $i,199.99 gets you 8GB of memory and a 256GB PCIe SSD. Each of these systems has a full HD (one,920-by-1,080) non-impact brandish.

Our $two,049.99 tester ($1,999.99 plus $50 for the gold-and-white finish, not counting frequent sales or coupons on Dell’s site) features a faster Cadre i7-8550U fleck, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB PCIe solid-state drive, and a 4K (3,840-by-2,160) impact screen. The but option is a 1TB SSD for $400 extra.

Small Gets Fifty-fifty Smaller

At 0.46 by eleven.9 by seven.viii inches, the new XPS 13 is 0.13 inch thinner and 24 percent smaller by volume than the previous version. It’s a pilus thicker than the larger HP Spectre thirteen ($ane,499.77 at Amazon)(Opens in a new window)
(0.41 by 12 by eight.8 inches). Weight is unchanged at two.68 pounds, slotting between the Spectre (2.45 pounds) and the Razer Blade Stealth (two.98 pounds).

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Imperfect but Adequate Typing

The gold pinnacle and lesser and white edges of the XPS 13 scream smartphone-similar style. (There’s also a platinum silver version with a black carbon fiber palm rest for $fifty less.) As before, two wide prophylactic strips instead of the usual four dots serve as nonskid feet on the system’s underside. Opening the lid reveals the white keyboard, deck, and bezels—razor-thin above and on the sides, broad below the glossy black screen.

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Dell XPS xiii (9370) Review

Fashionable details include a stainless tone-on-tone Dell logo on the lid and laser-etched instead of stickered regulatory details on the lesser. Dell says the nine-layer drinking glass fiber of the vaunted palm rest (which even so hosts the mandatory Intel sticker) not but stays cooler than metal but features a titanium oxide coating to resist yellowing or staining.

The webcam of this XPS xiii is still mounted below the display, since the bezel above is besides small, merely it’due south moved from the left corner to the center. Its images are articulate and crisp, but go on to highlight your chin and nostrils, as if you are taking a picture while standing at the base of operations of a statue, every bit well as your behemothic Hulk hands on the keyboard.

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1 Cool Thing: Dell XPS 13 (9370)

The webcam works with Windows How-do-you-do for face recognition logins, and the power button at the summit right of the keyboard doubles as a Windows Howdy fingerprint reader. (We wondered if nosotros could press the button just in one case to both turn the laptop on and log in, merely holding it downward that long turned the Dell off over again.)

So slim is the new XPS 13 that its USB Type-A and HDMI ports have disappeared. Instead, on the unit’s left side you’ll find two Thunderbolt 3 ports, forth with a Noble lock slot and a battery judge consisting of a tiny push and five tiny LEDs. On the correct are a USB-C port, a micro SD card slot, and an sound jack.

Room for Expansion

Dell provides a USB-C-to-USB-A dongle (colored white, like the AC adapter that plugs into one of the Thunderbolt three ports) for connecting an older wink bulldoze or other peripheral, but finding a DisplayPort dongle for an external monitor is upward to you. Would-be gamers will notation that the Thunderbolt 3 ports now deliver four instead of ii PCI Express lanes, so the new organization is compatible with external graphics-card boxes.

The Wonderful World of Colour

The petite, side-mounted speakers pump out surprisingly loud sound—and so loud that it’due south rough and raucous at height volume. Half book is more than than adequate for solo listening, and (except for a predictable lack of deep bass) features appealing instrumentals and vocals. You’ll hear some cooling fan noise when the system is working hard, just it’s then faint every bit to be hands drowned out by the speakers.

Dell XPS 13 white 3

We wish Dell offered a 1080p impact screen for the XPS thirteen, considering the standard 1080p display lacks touch and the 4K touch screen is arguably too much resolution for a 13.3-inch panel, making icons and carte text likewise small unless y’all crank upwards Windows’ zoom (which is set out of the box to a whopping 300 percent).

But we must acknowledge the 3,840-by-2,160 brandish makes fine details sharp every bit a tack, while also offer broad viewing angles. Brightness is ample, fifty-fifty dialed down a few notches; dissimilarity is fantabulous; and colors pop like poster paints. You lot won’t find a improve screen in the xiii.3-inch grade.

You lot tin can probably find a better keyboard, although the XPS 13’s is all right—it feels shallow (no surprise in such a slim laptop) and plasticky, but responsive for all but the fastest typing. The Delete fundamental is small, just we’re pleased to find dedicated Home, End, Page Upward, and Page Down keys instead of having those functions doubled upwardly on the cursor arrows. The medium-sized touchpad glides and taps smoothly, though the lower-corner “buttons” are a bit potent.

Dell includes a one-twelvemonth warranty.

Dell XPS 13 white 4

Potent Operation, but 4K Screen Saps Power

Plenty of other ultraportables, including the XPS xiii 9360, carry the same Core i7-8550U quad-core CPU as our model 9370, and then we easily nerveless a crop of competitors for our benchmark tables. The number that jumps out at you is our PCMark 8 role productivity performance test, where the new XPS’ score of 2,988—though essentially reaching the 3,000 that we consider splendid—trailed the 3,580 of last twelvemonth’s version, largely because the test fares poorly on systems with 4K screens.

Dell XPS 13 (2018) Performance Test 1

Pushing 4 times as many pixels is besides the principal reason the new XPS 13 lacked the old one’s bombardment life, lasting a respectable nine and a half hours in our video playback test (and beating the 3,200-past-1,800 Razer Blade Stealth

) but coming nowhere near the full Hd model’s virtually 16 hours. Between a less-demanding display and a slightly bigger battery, the 9360 prevailed easily.

Dell XPS 13 (2018) Performance Test 2

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On a more positive note, the 9370 excelled in our Cinebench CPU measurement and Handbrake video editing exercise, and information technology was tops in our 3DMark graphics tests—although none of these ultraportables, with their integrated as opposed to discrete graphics, are meant for more than casual gaming at total screen resolution.

A Option of Editors’ Choices

If you desire to save a few dollars and get a few more bombardment watt-hours (or need USB iii.0 ports), the XPS thirteen 9360 remains a outset-class ultraportable purchase. But it’s only human to want the latest and greatest, and in the case of the 9370 in that location are other reasons every bit well—the even trimmer pattern, the cutting-edge Thunderbolt iii ports, the dual Windows Hello options, and the fact that the gilded-and-white unit is one of the best-looking laptops nosotros’ve ever seen. If you want to stand out from the oversupply, the newest XPS 13 is an easy Editors’ Choice pick.

The Bottom Line

A new rose gold and white color scheme—well worth an extra $50—makes the Dell XPS xiii a stunning fashion statement, and it’s backed by strong performance and a svelte just sturdy build.

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