DELL XPS 13 UPGRADED REVIEW

by Guest Author on August 9, 2019

in Guest Posts, Reviews

COMPARING IT WITH PREVIOUS VERSIONS

Dell’s XPS series has always been a great windows alternative for the overpriced MacBooks that always offer lesser value than the price they ask for. XPS notebooks have more or less the same thickness and weight, the same screen quality (even better, for instance, the 4k display of XPS 15 9560), and a clearly better keyboard than the old-fashioned Macs. 

The most popular XPS model in the world is the XPS 13 because of a 13-inch screen (best for office use). It has always outperformed its competition in performance and display benchmarks with big margins. Many users ended their search for the best notebook after buying the XPS 13.

The XPS 13 recently got updated in the 2019’s Computex held in March in Taipei, China, along with similarly upgraded notebooks and new arrivals from big brands such as Asus, HP, and Microsoft. Dell re-wired the XPS 13 for the fourth time. The changes this year were primarily focussed in aesthetics and build quality.

CONTENTS

  1. Older Versions of the XPS 13
  2. Dell XPS 13 2019 specifications and review
  3. New changes in the XPS 13
  4. The final verdict

OLDER VERSIONS OF THE XPS 13

XPS 13 9350 (2015)

  • Dell’s XPS 13 9350 made a lot of people go bonkers because of the fact that it had ultra-slim bezels (just a few millimeters in length). Dell called it the infinity-edge display.
  • It was one of the few laptops that competed with the Apple Macbook Air in terms of thickness and actually surpassed it in terms of usability.
  • The lid was a lookalike of the Macbook Pro and was made out of aluminum.

XPS 13 9360 (2016)

  • There were really minor changes in the Dell XPS 9360 as compared to the XPS 9350. Almost all of the changes were performance-based, which means the body and build were just copy-pasted.
  • To begin with, the 2016 version had an Intel i7 Kaby lake update and the 2015 variant was limited to i6 Skylake only.
  • The graphics were updated from Intel HD 520 to Intel HD 620.
  • The 2016 model got a new Rose Gold skin. Also, the battery got bigger from 56 WHr to 60 WHr

DELL XPS 9370 VERSION (2018)

DELL introduced BIG changes and upgrades in the newer XPS 13. The changes were a mix of performance and design.

To begin with, the CPU’s were available in the 8th generation and the choice of inbuilt graphics was restrained to only UHD 620 graphics.

The display was also enhanced. You could get a UHD 4k display on the max, with an even bigger (3840 x 2160) resolution. No change was made in the webcam, which was positioned on the bottom-most hinge.

The body was made thinner, smaller and lighter than the previous versions. The changes were clearly visible because the USB A type was taken out and thunderbolt 3.0 ports were added.

The battery was made smaller to make the body compact. Dell resorted to 52 WHr battery from the 60 WHr battery that it originally changed in 2016.

Overall, the changes in the XPS 9370 were brought keeping in mind the competition and the users who wanted thin and light laptops. Big sacrifices like removing the type-A port had to be done. 

DELL XPS 13 9380 (2019) REVIEW

PROS                                                                                                   

  • Upgraded processor                                                                    
  • Humongous battery life                                                        
  • Ultra-thin and lightweight                                               

CONS

  • No USB A ports
  • Expensive

DESIGN

Like the previous versions of the XPS 13, this one also has an aluminum lid. The Dell logo in the middle is made of plastic. There are three basic design schemes available in the XPS, one with a pure white body (from start to finish), another with the same white chassis and a rose gold lid, and the third with a silver lid and black chassis. The white and rose gold version is matte in texture and the silver one is sleeker and glossier.

The insides of both variants are made of the same material, but with different color schemes- black and white respectively. The chassis is made using carbon fiber and there has a freckle-like pattern that feels firm to hold. It gives you a tight grip for the palm rest. 

There is a unique feature in the XPS that is impossible to notice until you open it. It’s the hinge. The hinge rotates in such a way that some part of the screen rests below the body because of which the body lifts to about 2 degrees. 

DISPLAY

The 4k UHD panel in the XPS is quite glossy and bright. The graphics detail (3840 x 2160) and color reproduction (99% RGB) is unmatched. But the big problem with it is its battery life reduction. The touchscreen variant only allows you to use it for just more than 8 hours. The non-touch 1080p FHD display actually works for more than 11 hours on a single charge.

PERFORMANCE AND GRAPHICS

With the Whiskey Lake Intel i7-8565U and a 16 GB RAM (maximum), the XPS 13 runs like a roadrunner (the one in the show). You can call yourself the Coyote because anything you throw on it with the intention of killing it, gets dodged by it superfast. 

There are two fans in the XPS which help in the cooling system. Even the software allows you to configure the fans to maximize their output, which was unseen in the previous versions.

The storage is configurable up to 1 TB PCIe NVME SSD (don’t go for anything less than 256 GB)

The graphics offered in the XPS are very base level- Intel UHD 620. They can be used at the most for some regular video editing and Illustrator. For games, it’s better to connect an external GPU through the thunderbolt ports.

KEYBOARD AND TRACKPAD

 The full-sized island-style keyboard in the XPS is backlit and has 1mm travel. The keys require 60 grams of actuation force to type.

The keys pop up very nice and they are spaced quite well. The one problem that you can face from the keys is the position of the page up and down buttons that are near the navigation arrows. You can accidently hit them which is really frustrating.

The trackpad is made of glass and measures 4.1 x 2.3 inches in area. The area is pretty average but we have to consider that the focus was always kept on making the body thinner. Still, the touchpad could have been wider.

PORTS

LEFT- (5) Wedge-shaped lock slot | (6) 2 Thunderbolt 3 with power delivery & DisplayPort (4 lanes of PCI Express Gen 3) | (7) HD camera | (8) Battery gauge indicator | (9) Speaker

RIGHT- (1) Speaker | (2) 1 MicroSD card reader | (3) 1 USB-C 3.1 with power delivery & DisplayPort | (4) Headset jack |

NEW CHANGES IN THE XPS 13

WEBCAM

  • This is the biggest change in the XPS 13 this year, and quite honestly, the most demanded one. All the models in the XPS had the webcam positioned on the bottom-most screen bezel (as you can see the wide black bar in the first laptop, which is the 9370). The problem in that, apart from looking really ugly is that it pointed to the nose at a very odd angle. 
  • This year’s XPS, however, has changed that at brought the webcam back to the top where it should be.

HATCH ON THE BACK

  • This change is more like an older change, the 2018 XPS 13 did it, but still, it’s great to know that it is there as of now. Earlier, there used to be a lid in the middle of the back that opened up to product information and a few screws, which really made the aesthetics look ugly.  
  • That hatch was completely removed to make the XPS as plain and simple as possible.

DESIGN

  • Most of the design-related changes took place in the year 2019, which is why the design this year, upgraded very little and isn’t visible except the webcam change.
  • The weight of the XPS is heavier this year. It was 1.21 kg in 2018, and it increased to 1.23 kg this year. The difference is very minor and won’t be a big deal
  • The hinge became a little stiff in 2019. It was easier to open, as far as previous models are concerned. The difference can be felt but you were not able to open the previous models with a single hand anyways.

HARDWARE SPECS

  • The limits in storage space and battery life have been pushed this year, at least for the FHD 1080p version. The battery life, according to Dell can last up to 21 hours for the FHD variant. The storage space, which was limited to 1 TB PCIe SSD is doubled to 2 GB PCIe SSD.
  • There is an Intel i3 8th generation variant also available in the 2019 XPS. It is significantly cheaper than the i5 variant, but also restricted in terms of power.

THE FINAL VERDICT

To sum up the whole article in a single sentence, the Dell XPS 13 9380 is a BIG YES. But that yes is pretty relative as well.

For people who don’t have an XPS 13 and want a kickass 13-inch laptop for their desk job, or student life, or graphics editing (but not gaming), the 2019’s Dell XPS 13 is a sure shot buy, because it has all the great specs and a design that you’d wish for. It is expensive, a little bit, but it’s worth the money you saved for a long time.

The people who already have an XPS 9370 will probably not care about letting it go or upgrading it since it’s already costly plus it is a very close sibling of the XPS 9380. Only the guys who want a better webcam, a little longer battery life and extremely powerful specs (that’s more like greed) should opt for upgrading their XPS 13.

Others who had the oldest versions of the XPS 13 should definitely look forward to the 2019’s version since it has changed exponentially since 2018.

Guest article written by: I am Gagandeep Singh, a Undergraduate student by profession and a gadget lover by heart. I am a blogger who loves to talk about laptops and PCs. I have used various laptops and have written numerous articles. I aim to help out people and solve their device-related problems by giving them gadget advice.

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