It’s safe to say that the time to lug around large and heavy laptops for daily work is a thing of the past. Because right now there is a whole market of laptops with premium and budget segments that are thin and light. In July 2020, Dell launched the thin and light XPS 13 laptop for the premium segment in India.
The Dell XPS 13 (9300) is the updated 2020 version of the Dell XPS 13 (7390) that was introduced in 2019. It essentially builds on the same lines as its predecessor and refines them in terms of design and better internals. We have been using the Dell XPS 13 for a while and here is our review.
Price and availability
The Dell XPS 13 is available in India in two variants, one with an Intel i5 processor and the other with an Intel i7 processor. There are also two color options: platinum silver with black carbon fiber and Frost with arctic white glass fiber.
The i5 variant of the Dell XPS 13 launched in July 2020 costs Rs 1,50,990, while the i7 variant currently costs Rs 1,95,790.
The main difference in price is the smaller memory and smaller RAM. The i5 variant of the Dell XPS 13 has 8 GB of RAM and 512 GB SSD, while the i7 One has 16 GB of RAM with a 1 TB SSD.
While the prices for the Dell XPS 13 are a bit high, it is a premium device that is designed to compete with the best in the segment.
Here is the Dell XPS 13 (9300) configuration sent to TechRadar for review:
CENTRAL PROCESSOR: 10th Generation Intel® Quad Core ™ i5-1035 G1 Processor (6MB cache, up to 3.7 GHz)
Graphic: Intel Iris Plus (integrated)
R.A.M: 8 GB LPDDR4x (3733 MHz)
Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1920×1080)
Camp: 512 GB SSD (PCIe, NVMe, M.2)
Ports: 2x USB-C 3.1 with Thunderbolt 3, microSD card reader, combo audio jack
Connectivity: Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650, 2 x 2, Bluetooth 5.0
Camera: Widescreen HD (720p) 2.25 mm webcam
Weight: 1.2 kg
Size: 296 x 199 x 14.8 mm (W x D x H) (11.6 x 7.8 x 0.58 in)
Let’s start with the design of the Dell XPS 13, which is pretty attractive right off the bat. It is a thin and light textbook notebook that fits comfortably in almost any standard office bag that the user would like to carry.
We received the platinum-silver variant with black carbon fiber. It has a smooth, matte finish and the Dell logo is cut out with a reflective coat. Dell uses angular lines in the laptop, which makes it look even more elegant.
The Dell XPS 13 has a maximum thickness of 14.8 mm and weighs 1.2 kg with an aluminum body and carbon fiber for the keyboard and palm rest. On the underside of the device there is an exhaust pipe for the heating and stereo speakers on both sides.
In terms of ports, the Dell XPS 13 has a Thunderbolt 4 that doubles as a DisplayPort and Power Delivery port while supporting four lanes of PCI Express Gen 3. There is a 3.5 mm combination port for headphones and microphone and another Thunderbolt 4 double has a DisplayPort / Power Delivery. There is also a microSD card reader. At first glance, this might seem like a lack of ports, but to make a compact laptop, you have to compromise on the larger ports.
Typing on the Dell XPS 13 is also one of the more appealing parts of the laptop. Thin and light laptops tend to compromise on the size of the keys on the keyboard, and even those who opt for full-size keys only end up about halfway and choose to keep keys like the spacebar and backspace smaller close. However, this is not the case with the XPS 13, which has full keys that respond well to hits.
The touchpad is a regular size but is sensitive enough to do the job well. The texture on the carbon fiber palm rest ensures that there is no slippage, which in turn contributes to a better typing experience.
The display of the laptop opens up to a maximum of 125 degrees. The most noticeable feature, however, is the almost non-existent bezels around the display, bringing the display to a screen-to-body ratio of 91.5%.
The Dell XPS 13 offers a 13.4-inch Full HD + display with an aspect ratio of 16:10 and supports an sRGB color range of 90%. This makes it one of the best displays on a thin and light laptop on paper.
The slightly larger display of the Dell XPS 13 compared to the previous version makes a big difference when it comes to displaying content. While it does not offer a refresh rate higher than 60 Hz, the display manages with excellent color rendering.
Media content on both online OTT platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney Hotstar, as well as offline sources, was a pleasure to see on display. It even handles 4K content quite well and the additional space makes for an even more intense experience.
The anti-glare 500 nit display of the Dell XPS 13 is well suited for bright lighting conditions. I tried exercising on the laptop in the sun and didn’t have to do much reading what I wrote on a white background.
The real sign of the Dell XPS 13’s display came when I was trying to play some games like Rainbow Six Siege, Dota 2, and Valorant on it. While Dota 2 and Valorant usually have bright and vivid graphics, Rainbow Six Siege in the game often includes faint and dark graphics that the display handled like a champion.
The Dell XPS 13 is made up of premium internals, which means that the performance of the device should be uncompromising and for the most part stand up to that image. The XPS 13 has an Intel i5-1035G1 processor of the 10th generation, which is clocked at 2.7 GHz with 8 GB LPDDR4x RAM at 3733 MHz and 512 GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD.
It doesn’t have a separate GPU, instead it uses the Intel Iris Plus graphics, which is part of the Intel 10th generation processor. Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650 and Bluetooth 5.1 are used for connectivity. It comes with a 4 cell battery with 52 Whr.
The Intel i5 Ice Lake processor handles almost all daily work-related tasks and keeps them running smoothly. That includes a couple of dozen Chrome tabs, Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom with WhatsApp and Spotify in the background.
The Dell XPS 13 scored 2332 on Cinebench R23 for multi-core tests and 2637 on PCMark 10, which sets it apart from most of the competition when it comes to thin and light laptops.
While not intended for gaming, I tried some of the less GPU-intensive multiplayer games like Rainbow Six Siege, Valorant, and Dota 2 on the Dell XPS 13. And the laptop was able to handle all of this, albeit not at its best visuals. While Dota 2 ran at around 55 fps, just one step ahead of ‘Best Looking’, Valorant ran at around 60 fps at 1080p, while the Vulkan variant of Rainbow Six Siege ran at 70fps at 720p, with all visual elements set to ‘low’ were set.
While working on the Dell XPS 13 with regular office applications, Photoshop, and other such software did not generate a lot of heat, we felt some issues while doing some brief video renders with DaVinci Resolve. This isn’t a big red flag, however, and the laptops’ internal cooling generally holds up well.
The battery of the Dell XPS 13 is a 4-cell battery with a capacity of 52 Whr. The 45W Type-C power supply is quite compact compared to the other laptops available. And I have to say that this is really a win for the laptop.
The Dell XPS 13 usually kept me on a full charge in the morning for my 8-hour workday and then had something left over. While viewing media content on the laptop with full audio, it typically lasts more than eight one-hour episodes of a series.
On the other hand, laptop usage is unique to every user, which means that every other user has different numbers for battery life. But the Dell XPS 13 would definitely be among the top performers in this segment, regardless of who rates it.
The Dell XPS 13 is a complete, thin and light premium notebook with a few flaws. But the key phrase here is the “Premium” tag, which means that while it is in a class of its own, it doesn’t serve the purpose for the masses.
The price of Rs 1,50,990 makes it out of reach for most people and we understand that Dell is fooling these people with this particular device. For this purpose, functions like Windows Hello and the fingerprint scanner, which doubles as a power button, are really used.
However, at the time of this writing, we have to mention that the newer generation of Dell XPS 13 (9310) laptops are out on the market with updated specs such as 11th generation Intel processors. Therefore, these should also be taken into account.
There are few places where Dell goes wrong with the XPS 13, and the laptop’s spec sheet is proof of that. For those on the budget for the laptop, this is definitely a recommended device.
Source link : https://www.techradar.com/reviews/dell-xps-13-9300-india/