Dell’s XPS 13 laptops is one of the most well-known in the business. Loaded up with Intel’s powerful 8th-Gen core processor, the XPS 13 is even faster and more powerful than ever. Plus, Dell finally got rid of the nosecam. However, the combination of a 4K display and a power-hungry CPU puts the battery life at just under 8 hours, which can be a detriment to mobile professionals. If you need more endurance, we recommend the 1080p model, which endured for more than 12 hours on our battery test. Regarding design and performance, the XPS 13 remains among the best in its class.
Dell decided to shake things up with a new color scheme that’s just as alluring as the previous model, if not more so. The anodized aluminum has a light gray finish that stops just short of pearlescence, looking as radiant as morning frost just before it gives way to the rising sun. The Dell logo sits triumphant in the center of the lid as the lone adornment.
A peek along the sides of the system reveals the Arctic White finish that awaits inside the laptop. The interior deck retains the glass-fiber weave from previous models that’s simultaneously pretty and strong. The pristine white continues toward the display, outlining the scant borders of the Infinity Edge bezel. Follow the bezels and you’ll discover that the webcam has migrated from the bottom bezel back to its rightful place at the center-top (more on that later).
At 11.9 x 7.8 x 0.3~0.5-inches, the 2.7-pound laptop is one slim laptop. At 0.6-inches thick, the Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch (with Touch bar), Razor Blade Stealth and Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 look chunky by comparison.
Software and features
Dell is unsurprisingly light on the unique software front, with just a few apps getting pre-installed on the operating system. McAfee or Norton antivirus suites are no longer included in lieu of a spattering of Dell-made apps.
The most notable of which are Dell Mobile Connect, Dell Update, and Dell Power Manager. The former allows you to connect your Android phone or iPhone with your computer, managing it straight from the Windows 10 interface. Dell Update pulls in new support files straight from Dell when needed. Finally, Dell Power Manager provides detailed controls for your laptop’s battery and power profile that Windows otherwise doesn’t.
As for unique hardware features, the optional fingerprint reader embedded into the power button is sleek and discreet while being speedy enough for fast logins. That said, we do prefer biometric login via infrared face detection, as it’s just that much faster.
The new cam is only 0.08-inches, but still manages to take a good picture. In response to the XPS 13’s webcam being derisively dubbed the “nosecam” due to its position in the bottom bezel, Dell made its own webcam and moved it back where it belongs in the top bezel.
Dell promises up to 12 hours of use from the 4K version of the XPS 13, which is derived from a Mobile Mark 2014 benchmark score. Meanwhile, the Full HD version lasts up to 21 hours in the same test. Of course, our tests produced nowhere near the same numbers, as is expected.
However, our tests did show a marked increase in battery life year-on-year, particularly the local video playback benchmark. The XPS 13 lasted nearly three hours longer than the previous model in this test. General use is also going to see a boost in longevity, judging by this laptop’s result in the PCMark 8 Battery benchmark. In that test, we saw the 2019 XPS 13 last for 21 minutes longer than the 2018 model – an 8% boost, all told.
You still won’t see all-day battery life from the 4K Dell XPS 13, but it’s vastly improved anyway, and the Full HD version will likely get you through an entire work day based on these numbers. Still, this is impressive longevity for a 4K display.
Specification of Dell’s XPS 13 laptops
|CPU||1.8-GHz Intel Core i7-8565U processor|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Pro|
|Hard Drive Size||1 TB|
|Hard Drive Type||PCIe SSD|
|Highest Available Resolution||3840 x 2160|
|Native Resolution||3840 x 2160|
|Optical Drive Speed||n/a|
|Graphics Card||Intel UHD Graphics 620|
|Wi-Fi Model||Killer 1435 802.11ac [2×2]|
|Touchpad Size||4.1 x 2.3 inches|
|Ports (excluding USB)||Headset|
|Ports (excluding USB)||security lock slot|
|Ports (excluding USB)||Thunderbolt 3|
|Ports (excluding USB)||Thunderbolt/mini DisplayPort|
|Ports (excluding USB)||USB Type-C|
|Warranty/Support||1-year limited warranty|
|Size||11.9 x 7.8 x 0.3~0.46 inches|
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