When people ask me to suggest a premium Windows laptop, I simply tell them to buy the Dell XPS 13, if they can afford it. There are many deserving laptops in the high-end of the laptop market, but the XPS 13 has some unique strengths that make it perfect for this segment.
The new Dell XPS 13, which I tested last week, includes Intel’s latest 11th Gen “Tiger Lake” CPUs and a gorgeous 13.4-inch 4K display along with the best build quality you’ll ever find in a laptop. However, with its 155,518 rupees base price, the XPS 13 is clearly a CEO laptop.
Here is my review of the Dell XPS 13.
Dell XPS 13 Specifications (As Reviewed): 13.4-inch 4K touchscreen | 11th Gen Intel Core CPU | 16 GB of RAM | Intel Iris Xe Graphics | 512GB SSD | 1,2 kg | Windows 10 | 2 USB Type-C, microSD card reader, 3.5mm headphone jack | 720p webcam | Wi-Fi 6 compatibility.
Dell XPS 13 (9310) Review Price: 215,497 rupees
Dell XPS 13 (9310) Review: What’s New?
The new XPS 13 looks identical to the previous generation model, which I reviewed last August. You’ll get the machine in a machined aluminum casing with a carbon fiber palm rest and Corning Gorilla Glass 6 on the screen. It’s incredibly light and the touchscreen model I got to review weighed only 1.27kg. The XPS 13 is perfectly balanced and quite easy to hold. While sitting on the couch the other day, watching the 2021 Grammys highlights, I put the XPS 13 on my lap.
During the course of my tests, the Dell XPS 13 felt like a solid laptop. I use my laptop more often and take it with me everywhere I travel, and while traveling is no longer a happening due to the pandemic, I will always give preference to a lightweight machine that fits in a messenger bag but still does not skimp on performance. .
Dell is selling the XPS 13 in two color schemes, and I got the review unit with Frost White with an Alpine White composite fiber palm rest.
Dell XPS 13 (9310) Review: What’s Good?
The 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,400) display on my review unit is very nice. It’s a touchscreen and it looks great. I can tell the difference between the screen quality of the XPS 13 and my Surface Pro. The screen is sharp, super bright, and rich in colors. Dell sticks with a taller 16:10 aspect ratio for the 13.4-inch screen. The bezels on all four sides are negligible, giving users more screen real estate without increasing the size of the laptop. There is also support for Dolby Vision.
For most users, a 4K display is likely to be overkill and I don’t recommend the 3840x2400p model unless you’re working on large spreadsheets on a daily basis. I think the FHD display option available on the base model makes the most sense as it can help extend battery life.
Above the screen is a 720p HD webcam with a built-in infrared sensor. The HD webcam isn’t great, although it’s perfectly fine for zoom calls. I wish Dell had packed a 1080p FHD webcam in a laptop as expensive as the XPS 13. While the 720p HD webcam supports Windows Hello, there is also a fingerprint reader built into the power button.
The XPS 13’s speakers are excellent. They’re not as good as the ones you get on the 16-inch MacBook Pro, but I’m not complaining too much. Music sounds rich and audio can easily fill a small room.
The keyboard is fantastic. The XPS 13 has a full-size, backlit keyboard with dedicated rows of function and number keys. It is the same keyboard that you will find throughout the XPS line. The keyboard has more travel and typing is relatively quiet. Below the keyboard is a trackpad, which is surrounded by carbon fiber on the palm rest. The trackpad is large and responsive, and it also supports all multipoint gestures in Windows 10.
The model Dell lent me to test came with a Core i7-1165G7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage. The computing performance was surprisingly good, although I can’t tell the difference between the latest Tiger Lake CPUs and the “Ice Lake” processors. In daily tasks, I never had a problem with the laptop. Not even once did the XPS 13 have trouble opening web tabs in Chrome.
The Evo brand laptop also features powerful Iris Xe integrated graphics. I think the XPS 13 is a capable machine and will be able to handle demanding programs and multi-tasking, something one would expect from a computer that costs Rs 215,497. During my time with the XPS 13, I did not see the laptop getting hot. Sometimes yes, the fans do sound loud, but that has not affected the performance of the machine. It is a silent machine.
The XPS 13 should work easily throughout the working day, although again that depends on its use. A typical work day in my life includes surfing the web, editing and uploading stories, editing photos, checking my email, listening to Apple Music, watching YouTube videos, and writing a lot. The XPS 13 lasted about six hours in my tests, which I would say is fair for a laptop with a Core i7 processor and a 4K touchscreen.
Dell XPS 13 (9310) review: what’s wrong?
Despite being an excellent laptop, the Dell XPS 13 has some shortcomings. To make the laptop ultra-thin and light, Dell has included limited connectivity ports. There are only two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4, a headphone jack, and a microSD reader. Beyond that, there are no other ports on the laptop. However, the XPS 13 comes with a Type-C to Type-A adapter in the box.
Dell XPS 13 (9310) review: should you buy it?
The Dell XPS 13 is an expensive machine. And the starting price to enter that coveted club is Rs 155,518, which is a lot of money to spend on a laptop. What I keep reminding people is that the XPS 13 is designed for CEOs and senior executives who aspire to have a laptop that not only looks premium and sophisticated, but also delivers workstation-level performance above the March. Honestly, I don’t have a lot of bad things to say about the Dell XPS 13, but yeah, the price isn’t for everyone.