Dell XPS 13 (2019) Review
Dell XPS 13 is the best ultra-thin laptop on the Windows operating system. If you are looking for just such a device, you should buy it. Over the past few years, the XPS series has become one of the most popular, thanks to the thin bezels near the screen, as well as an elegant and compact design. Also, this year, Dell has brought these gadgets to near perfection. And this was not least facilitated by the webcam, which was finally placed at the top of the screen. Therefore, she will no longer present the user in a disadvantageous manner during video calls. Also, the novelty surprised with even more narrowed frames near the screen, as well as Dolby Vision HDR support. That is why this gadget can be recommended to almost everyone.
Dell XPS 13 Advantages
- Webcam over the screen
- Fast loading
- Exquisite design
Dell XPS 13 disadvantages
- Still no full-sized SD card slot
- Competitors have integrated graphics
Dell XPS 13 remains one of the best ultraportable computers on Windows. Its design is better than it has ever been, and the Dolby Vision HDR screen is brighter than ever. But most importantly, the developers of Dell finally returned the webcam to the right position. Of course, there are drawbacks, but there are few of them, and they are mainly fixated on small gaming performance.
It’s best to start with updates that are especially noticeable. For example, a screen with Dolby Vision and HDR can handle more colors. On it, bright colors will become even brighter, and dark ones may become even blacker than they were. On such a display it is better to watch TV shows from Netflix. Also, the user will be able to find a large number of HDR videos on YouTube. It’s good that the XPS 13 offers Dolby Vision, since this feature is not even on all premium TVs, not to mention laptops, where you can see it even less often.
So far, 4K HDR is not offered for Windows, but it is possible that this will change as more and more computers begin to support these standards. But even with simple HD content, the XPS 13 display still looks amazing, offering vibrant colors and contrast. In addition to the OLED panels that will appear on the XPS 15 and other 15-inch laptops later this year, the XPS 13 is one of the best on the market today.
Finally, a webcam is mounted above the display. Over the past few years, Dell has had to lower the camera under the display, which made the viewing angle terrible. This was a compromise to improve the Dell Infinity Edge display and narrow its scope. But for this year’s model, the company developed the smallest 720p webcam. This is not the best option among those used in laptops, but at least it is functional. The XPS 13 also has four microphones, which are useful for clearer audio transmission during video calls, as well as for Cortana commands.
In addition to the improved webcam and Dolby Vision, Dell also managed to reduce side panels again. The company claims that they are 23% thinner than the original model. The figure, of course, is impressive, but compared to last year’s model, the difference is not noticeable. Nevertheless, it’s good to see that Dell is constantly improving its Infinity Edge technology. This was one of the first companies to offer a frameless screen, but now it’s a pretty standard feature for laptops. Even Apple does something similar, as can be seen on the latest MacBook Air, but Dell is still the best manufacturer in this regard.
Dell has not greatly changed the overall design concept of the XPS 13. The subtle aesthetics still appear in this model, but the gadget is not the lightest. The panel has an inlaid Dell logo – the only decoration. Below there are two rubber feet, ventilation holes, and XPS marking. Arctic white looks are nobler than the color of pink gold. Design is one of the advantages of the device. The days when Dell released boring gray PCs are long gone.
There are also some unique improvements that are not so easy to see. The company has added a special hinge that makes it easy to open the lid with one hand. She rises smoothly.
Under the hood, Dell has placed the latest eighth-generation Intel Core processors, supporting up to 16 GB of RAM. There is also a 2 TB drive. Since the device runs on Intel UHD 620 integrated graphics, you should not expect it to become a powerful gaming device. But still, there is hope that this will be taken into account soon. Moreover, the equipment in the ASUS ZenBook S13 is better, including thanks to the NVIDIA MX150 GPU. This gives enough graphics acceleration to play Overwatch at 1080p and 60 FPS, while the XPS 13 barely reaches 30FPS at 720p.
Despite the fact that competition is becoming increasingly apparent, the XPS 13 remains one of the fastest among ultraportable devices. However, you should not expect anything else from him, because the fastest configuration that you can order today is equipped with a Core i7-8565U processor and 16 GB of RAM. Not surprisingly, the XPS 13 easily handles the daily workload. As a rule, you can scroll through dozens of tabs in several browsers on it, edit images, use various chats, play music, and all at the same time.
When the Dell XPS 13 load is higher than his usual mark, he reacts a little better than last year’s model. This is because the number of heat pipes and fans has been doubled, so that heat removal has become more efficient. For the overall stability of the system, this is good, but only if the noise from the fans does not bother you. If it causes discomfort, you can pay attention to fanless laptops, but their main drawback is that such devices sacrifice processor power.
Dell XPS 13 Battery life:
Thus, the work of the XPS 13 can be called good, but only if the battery will cope with the load imposed on it. To test the endurance of the device, a simple test was carried out, which was to watch HD-video until the laptop turns off. The gadget lasted 12 and a half hours, which is two and a half hours longer than the model of the last year of release. That doesn’t exactly match the nearly 16 hours that the Surface 2 laptop gives out, but at least on par with the new MacBook Air. In other words, the owner of the gadget does not have to worry that his laptop will be discharged in the middle of the day.
Dell hasn’t made any major changes to the keyboard and trackpad of the XPS 13. This is good because everything was great here. The keyboard is responsive and fast, and the trackpad is surprisingly smooth. To connect other devices, there are three USB-C ports, two of which support Thunderbolt 3. There is also a microSD card reader and a headphone jack. The box also has a USB key for any old accessories.
XPS 13 costs from 80 thousand rubles, if you buy a configuration with a slow Core i3 processor, 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB SSD. It is better to buy a model of the second type with Core i5 and double the amount of RAM. Let it cost more. You can also select individual components to your liking.
Since the model for this year is not much improved compared to last year, you can find some excellent offers from old collections, but at a much lower price. And all because stores are selling old models. This is especially beneficial if you do not need to use a webcam under the screen. As for alternatives from other manufacturers, the ZenBook S13 may be suitable, which costs not much more but has excellent functionality. For example, thinner frames and special graphics.
Of course, there is the HP Specter 13, as well as the Specter Folio. A folio is a good option if you are looking for something more than a traditional laptop. As for Apple alternatives, the updated MacBook Air looks great, but it runs on a slower processor than the XPS 13. The 13-inch MacBook Pro has more powerful features but also has a more voluminous case, which not everyone may like.
So, XPS 13 is still an ideal option among thin and light laptops with Windows. You will not lose if you select it, especially if you plan to use the magnificent Dolby Vision display. But it’s also clear that this laptop has many competitors that will quickly catch up if Dell doesn’t come up with something original by next year.
Dell XPS 13 Specification:
CPU and graphics
- Intel 8th Generation Core i3, i5 and i7
- Intel UHD 620
- 13.3-inch LCD
- 1080p or 4K (both with Dolby Vision)
- Touchscreen option available
- 4-16GB LPDDR3 RAM
- 128GB to 2TB NVMe PCIe SSD
- 3 x USB 3.0 Type-C (2 with Thunderbolt 3 support)
- MicroSD port
- 1 x 3.5mm audio output
Size and weight
- 7.8 × 11.9 × 0.3 inches
- 2.7 pounds
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