Dell XPS 13 (2019) evaluation: One step nearer to laptop computer perfection
Regardless of few adjustments through the years, Dell’s XPS 13 continues to be setting the usual for ultraportable laptops. With the American tech titan selecting to make slight changes with every new mannequin, relatively than utterly reinventing the wheel, the much-loved XPS 13 hasn’t modified fairly as dramatically as a few of its rivals in an identical timeframe.
It ought to come as no shock that this yr’s XPS 13 is not any completely different. The 2019 mannequin stays the identical nice laptop computer you’re already accustomed to by now, albeit with a handful of delicate tweaks to the well-trodden formulation. Has Dell accomplished sufficient this yr to take care of its rating on the high of the laptop computer hierarchy?
READ NEXT: The perfect Ultrabooks you should buy
Dell XPS 13 (2019) evaluation: What you want to know
The 2019 Dell XPS 13 is the newest in an extended line of 13in XPS laptops. As you’d count on from another premium laptop computer, there are quite a few configurations obtainable. This yr’s XPS 13 has been up to date with the newest eighth-generation Intel CPUs and could be fitted with as much as 16GB of RAM and 512GB of PCIe SSD storage. Unsurprisingly, the laptop computer additionally features a 13.3in non-touch IPS show and is working both Home windows 10 or Ubuntu.
Maybe most crucially of all, the XPS 13’s 720p webcam is now situated above the display screen. Slightly than sitting beneath the show with earlier fashions, and making you appear to be Jabba the Hutt throughout vital convention calls, the small 720p webcam is now in a a lot better-suited place.
Purchase now from Dell
Dell XPS 13 (2019) evaluation: Worth and competitors
The mannequin I used to be despatched to evaluation, which features a Full HD display screen, Intel Core i7-8565U chipset, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, will set you again £1,399. In case your pockets is a bit of lighter, a base-spec XPS 13 goes for £1,020, whereas top-spec fashions start to get relatively expensive.
For £1,669 you may decide up a 4K touchscreen variant, which is powered by the identical processor with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. Dell has been sort sufficient to supply a less expensive 4K touchscreen mannequin for £1,399, though you’ll should accept a not-so-powerful Intel Core i5-8265U chipset.
It’s a disgrace that there’s no discrete graphics improve with this yr’s XPS 13. The modern Razer Blade Stealth 13, which I reviewed at £1,500, is full of an Nvidia GeForce MX150 GPU that gave its gaming efficiency a major enhance. In fact, the laptop computer’s stamina would seemingly take a hefty knock, however it will be good to be given the choice.
The Dell XPS 13 has to combat off various key rivals, together with Huawei’s phenomenal Matebook X Professional and the ultra-stylish Microsoft Floor Laptop computer 2. HP has fallen behind the pack considerably lately, nevertheless, because the HP Spectre 13 (2018) lags behind in practically each efficiency class.
Dell XPS 13 (2019) evaluation: Design
Dell all the time makes lovely-looking laptops and this yr’s XPS 13 refresh is yet one more high quality instance. The aluminium physique and ‘aerospace’ carbon fiber design make for a sturdy but light-weight construct that’s straightforward to hold round all day. The matte ‘woven glass fiber’ palm rests are additionally good, however nothing beats the Alcantara cloth on the Microsoft Floor Laptop computer 2.
The brand new XPS 13 additionally has an identical bodily dimensions to its predecessor, measuring simply 7.8mm at its thinnest level and weighs a backpack-friendly 1.17kg. This laptop computer exudes high quality, as you need to count on for a machine of this value.
With such a slim chassis it may be troublesome to squeeze in a wholesome vary of ports, and in 2019 the Dell XPS 13 continues to undergo from connectivity deficiency. You do get three USB Sort-C ports, of which the 2 on the left-hand facet are Thunderbolt three enabled, however there aren’t any HDMI or USB Sort-A connectors. There’s a microSD card slot and three.5mm audio jack on the precise edge, nevertheless, and Dell does embrace a USB Sort-C adapter within the field.
The most important distinction between this XPS 13 and the earlier fashions is the scale and place of the webcam. Dell claims to have made “the world’s smallest HD webcam” – it measures simply 2.25mm – and this innovation has allowed the producer to place the digital camera above the display screen. It’s remarkably small and doesn’t intrude with the XPS 13’s famously skinny bezels, both. For patrons, the improved webcam spells the top of a woeful period of exaggerated double-chins attributable to the unflattering under-screen webcam angle.
As earlier than, this yr’s XPS 13 is available in three completely different kinds. My evaluation mannequin had the normal platinum silver lid with black carbon fiber inside, whereas the opposite two could be configured with an arctic white keyboard encompass with a selection of both a rose gold or frost-coloured chassis.
Dell XPS 13 (2019) evaluation: Keyboard and touchpad
Unsurprisingly, the chiclet keyboard on the Dell XPS 13 is an absolute pleasure to sort on. It’s a small laptop computer, which necessitates a extra compact key structure, however I discovered it to be very user-friendly; with a palm planted both facet of the touchpad all the keys are inside straightforward attain, and there’s no want to maneuver your arms about an excessive amount of.
There’s a sturdiness to this keyboard which you don’t typically discover in a laptop computer. It jogs my memory of the keys on a Lenovo ThinkPad, which make a ‘thumping’ sound relatively than a ‘clicking’ noise that creates a way of solidity and dependability, and journey distance is ideal too. The LED backlighting can both be turned off or set to 2 ranges of brightness when urgent the F10 key.
Not all the things’s excellent, although. For essentially the most half the touchpad on the Dell XPS 13 is ok, however when utilizing two-finger scrolling it generally seems to have a thoughts of its personal. I discovered that the scroll command can over-respond massively, going all the best way to the highest or backside of the web page, though that is fairly rare. Worse, two-finger scroll will often activate an erratic cursor-spasming which whips it all around the display screen and even clicks on stuff you’ve not requested it to.
Whereas it doesn’t occur on a regular basis – it is available in bursts – it’s enormously irritating as a result of as soon as it kicks off there’s not a lot you are able to do. That is presumably a software program fault however I couldn’t say whether or not it impacts another fashions in addition to the one I’ve examined.
When transferring the cursor in regards to the display screen the touchpad is responsive and correct for essentially the most half, and virtually your entire floor space of the touchpad could be pressed – you don’t should be that correct with the left and proper clicks.
To the precise of the keyboard, simply subsequent to the Delete key, sits the round energy button. This doubles as a fingerprint sensor though it’s not essentially the most dependable that I’ve used. After a few week of utilizing the fingerprint unlock perform the reader stopped recognising my finger presses and I needed to undergo the scanning course of once more. When it’s working, nevertheless, it unlocks the laptop computer virtually immediately.
Dell XPS 13 (2019) evaluation: Show and audio system
Few laptops can boast such a colour-accurate, high-contrast show as discovered on the brand new Dell XPS 13. This evaluation mannequin has a 13.3in FHD (1,920 x 1,080) non-touch IPS panel with a refresh price of 60Hz, and it’s frankly good.
The XPS 13’s show has an sRGB gamut protection of 95.2% and a mean Delta E of 1.6, that means that it’s well-suited for colour-sensitive photograph and video enhancing duties. The vast majority of the color palette is reproduced completely, though some reds and greens are oversaturated barely. The show additionally has a brilliant most luminance of 413cd/m2, with excessive visibility even in overbearing lighting situations. The matte end additionally helps to maintain reflections to a minimal and its distinction ratio of 1,643:1 is effectively above common, too.
There isn’t a lot to say in regards to the XPS 13’s twin speaker association, nevertheless, that are side-mounted and blast audio downwards in direction of the laptop computer’s resting floor. They do the job effectively when watching cat movies and fail compilations on YouTube, however I would like in the event that they had been a bit of louder.
Purchase now from Dell
Dell XPS 13 (2019) evaluation: Efficiency and battery life
Dell has fitted its newest XPS 13 with an Eighth-Gen Intel Core i7-8565U processor with a base frequency of 1.8GHz and a most clock pace of four.6GHz. This evaluation mannequin additionally has 8GB of RAM to help with multitasking.
Though the Dell XPS 13 packs a extra superior Intel chipset than the 2018 mannequin we examined, each achieved virtually an identical scores within the Skilled Critiques 4K media benchmarks. Within the take a look at, which measures picture enhancing, video enhancing and multitasking efficiency, the 2019 XPS 13 bagged an total ranking of 95 in comparison with the 2018’s rating of 96. Do take into account that the 2018 mannequin configuration was configured with double the RAM and was £250 dearer when it launched.
Nonetheless, it’s a formidable outcome and it manages to stay remarkably cool and quiet even when pushing it to its limits. It doesn’t fairly provide the most effective at school efficiency, although: the Razer Blade Stealth 13 cranked out a rating of 115 below the identical situations, though it was additionally fitted with 16GB of RAM along with an Nvidia GeForce MX150 discrete graphics chip.
The gaming efficiency of the XPS 13 is suitable, however as soon as once more it’s no match for the Razer Blade Stealth 13. Analyzing the GFXBench outcomes, you may see that each laptops achieved comparable body charges within the Manhattan on-screen benchmark, however within the un-capped off-screen take a look at the Razer’s efficiency was effectively over double that of the Dell’s.
I additionally in contrast their potential to run the demanding Metro: Final Gentle gaming benchmark on high-settings at Full HD decision. On this take a look at, the XPS 13 averaged an unplayable 16.3fps whereas the Stealth 13 maintained a body price of 39fps. Clearly, the Razer Blade Stealth 13 is the laptop computer of selection in case you’re after respectable gaming efficiency on a compact, moveable machine however the Dell XPS 13 will nonetheless deal with older titles with out an excessive amount of of a fuss.
In the case of battery life, although, the Dell XPS 13 excels but once more and even manages to greatest the outstanding stamina of final yr’s mannequin. Within the Skilled Critiques standardised battery rundown take a look at the brand new Dell XPS 13 reached a complete time of 10hrs 35minutes earlier than lastly powering down. That’s 28 minutes longer than final yr’s Dell XPS 13 and an enormous six hours longer than the Blade Stealth 13. It’s hardly stunning that the Razer carried out so poorly given its power-sapping internals, and that’s an actual chink in its armour.
Final however not least we come to the laptop computer’s storage efficiency. The Dell XPS 13 is fitted with a 256GB NVMe SSD, which achieved sequential file learn speeds of 1,937.5MB/s and sequential file write speeds of 396.8MB/s within the AS SSD benchmark. That is roughly on par with the competitors, however this yr’s XPS 13’s speeds are a bit slower than the 2018 mannequin we examined.
Purchase now from Dell
Dell XPS 13 (2019) evaluation: Verdict
It’s no shock, however this yr’s XPS 13 is a shocking machine that ranks among the many greatest premium compact laptops in the marketplace. The delicate design tweaks are most welcome, and it packs the efficiency capabilities that suitably justify the excessive asking value.
Certainly, It gives an enchancment on final yr’s mannequin in virtually each space, however the touchpad issues I encountered are nonetheless a bit of troubling. It will even be good to see a wider vary of ports on subsequent yr’s laptop computer, in addition to an elective GPU improve. Nonetheless, because it stands, this model is Dell’s greatest laptop computer but, and I think about it’ll be very onerous to beat within the coming months.
|Dell XPS 13 (2019) specs|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-8565U, Eighth-Gen,
|Extra reminiscence slots||zero|
|Max. reminiscence||8GB RAM|
|Display screen measurement||13.3in|
|Display screen decision||1,920 x 1,080|
|Display screen sort||LCD IPS (60fps)|
|Graphics adapter||Intel UHD 620 Graphics|
|Graphics outputs||USB Sort-C with DisplayPort (x3)|
|Storage||256GB PCIe NVMe SSD|
|Reminiscence card slot||Micro SD|
|USB ports||USB Sort-C, 2 x USB Sort-C
with Thunderbolt three
|Different ports||three.5mm audio jack, Lock slot,
Micro SD reader
|three.5mm headphone jack||Sure|
|Wi-Fi||Killer 1435 802.11ac 2×2|
|Dimensions (WDH)||302 x 199 x 11.6mm|
|Working system||Home windows 10 Dwelling 64bit|
|Working system restore possibility||Home windows restore|
|Battery measurement||52WHr 4C|