Dell XPS 13 Laptop Review and Benchmarks

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Hey guys, Jarrod here and today we’re goingto check out the XPS 13 from Dell and find out how this little laptop performs througha number of benchmarks and see what it’s got to offer.

Inside the box we’ve got the laptop itself, warranty information, power brick and powercable.

Dell offer this laptop in a few differenthardware configurations, so I’ll first cover the specs in the one I’ve got here.

There’san 8th generation Intel 8550U quad core CPU which runs at 1.

8GHz and can turbo up to 4Ghz.

I’ve got 8GB of LPDDR3 memory running at 1,866MHz, but the top end model comes with16gb.

For storage there’s a 256GB Samsung NVMe M.

2 SSD, and for the graphics there’sno discrete GPU here, so we’re using Intel’s UHD 620 graphics which are included with theCPU.

This is powering the 13.

3 inch 60Hz IPS QHD+ display, and we’ll see how this performslater in the benchmarks.

As for network connectivity there’s Killer802.

11ac WiFi with Bluetooth support, no ethernet ports unfortunately unless you use a USB adapter.

The whole laptop is aluminium, or aluminium, whatever.

On the outside the laptop has amatte metallic silver look to it with a silver mirrored finished Dell logo, while insidethere’s this black carbon fiber composite material, which feels like smooth rubber.

The physical dimensions of the laptop are 30.

4cm in width, 20cm in depth, and just 1.

5cmin height, so it’s fairly thin.

The weight of the laptop will of course differbased on the hardware installed, and Dell list the weight at 1.

2KG for the model withouttouch screen, or 1.

29KG with touch screen.

I’ve got the touch screen model here, andwhile testing I found it to weigh very close to this at 1.

3KG, and when including the powerbrick and power cable for charging the total increases to just under 1.

6kg, so it’s prettylightweight and portable.

As mentioned the screen is a 13.

3 inch 60HzQHD+ IPS panel, in this case running at a 3200 by 1800 resolution, but it’s also availablein 1080p.

It looks great on all angles, I don’t notice any colour shift up or down,or side to side.

The screen is covered in gorilla glass, so it has a glossy finish,and will easily show reflections, but it does look very nice.

It also features Dell’sInfinityEdge, which is why there’s not much bezel at all around the display.

In this particularmodel it’s also a touch screen, and I found it to work pretty well, although fingerprintsshow up quite easily due to that glossy finish if you’re touching it all the time.

I’ve measured the colours produced by the screen using the Spyder 5 Pro, and my resultsreturned 98% of sRGB, 71% of NTSC, and 77% of AdobeRGB, so it’s doing fairly well therecompared to other laptops I’ve tested.

I’ve performed my usual backlight bleedtest on the display, which involves having the laptop show a completely black screenin a dark room to help emphasize any bleeding around the edges.

I then take a long exposurephoto with my camera to help display any bleed, so basically this is a worst case scenariotest.

Although there appears to be some small difference along the top towards the right,I couldn’t personally notice any bleed at all, both in normal lighting and dark roomscenarios, but this will of course vary from laptop to laptop.

While moving the display there was almost no flex at all, as the whole lid is solidmetal and the hinge runs along most of the base providing plenty of support.

The baseof the laptop wasn’t heavy enough to allow for one finger opening however, which is tobe expected based on how light this thing is.

Underneath the display in the bottom left corner is a 720p camera.

The camera looks alright, still fairly grainy even with some lighting.

Due to the thin bezelson the screen it’s positioned so low you have to tilt the screen right back to getyourself in the frame.

The microphone sounds fine, not great but I’ll let you judge foryourself.

The keyboard was nice to type with, the buttonsweren’t overly clicky but I found them a little small in general, at least with mylarge hands, but that’s expected for a 13 inch laptop with this much spacing betweenthe keys.

All keys light up with white LED backlighting, the brightness can be adjustedbetween two levels or turned off completely, and there’s 1.

3mm of travel.

There was only a little keyboard flex while pushing down fairly hard, I didn’t noticethis while typing normally and overall it feels very sturdy.

The touchpad has a light matte texture to it, it feels smooth and will click down whenpressing anywhere, the clicks are also fairly loud.

There’s a fingerprint scanner to theright of the touchpad, and speaking of fingerprints, the inside of the laptop does show them butthe black texture hides them a little, while the silver lid does a great job at hidingthem.

As for the available I/O starting on the leftside there’s the power input, USB 3.

1 Gen 2 Type-C port with Thunderbolt 3 using 2 PCIelanes, USB 3.

0 Type-A port, 3.

5mm headphone and mic jack, a battery charge indicator button,and the left speaker.

On the right there’s the right speaker,full size SD card slot, USB 3.

0 Type-A port, and Noble lock.

There’s nothing on the front, or on the back.

As for the speakers on the left and right sides, they sound pretty decent as far aslaptop speakers are concerned, there was a little bass and they sounded fairly cleareven at higher volumes.

Underneath was very clean with the XPS logoin the middle.

There’s a line of air intakes towards the back and two long rubber feetwhich extend most of the way along the base and help prevent the laptop from moving aroundon flat surfaces, and also rise it up slightly to help let cool air in.

Powering the laptop is a 60 Watt hour battery.

With a full charge and just watching YouTubewith the screen on half brightness, keyboard lighting off and background apps disabled,I was able to use it for 6 hours and 15 minutes, quite impressive considering the size of thelaptop! This is definitely because there’s no discrete graphics, so the battery can lasta lot longer compared to other larger laptops I’ve tested.

During normal use with an ambient room temperature of 23 degrees celsius, the CPU idled at 33degrees celsius, and here are the external temperatures of the laptop where you’llactually be putting your hands.

While maxing out the CPU with Aida64 for half an hour withthe same room temperature, the CPU initially peaked to 99c but then quickly dropped downas the CPU downclocked itself to stay cool, eventually it averaged a maximum of 87 degreescelsius while all four cores were sitting at just 1.


Unfortunately heat problemslike this are a drawback of thin and light laptops, but it’s not really going to bea problem unless you’re doing CPU intensive work on multiple cores, and sticking to singlecore workloads didn’t seem to be a problem, again it sat around 3.

7 to 4GHz on a singlecore at 87c.

We can see that the center of the keyboardarea towards the back has warmed up a bit more, although this wasn’t really an issuein practice as your hands don’t rest there, however it was noticeably warm while typing.

In terms of noise it ran quieter than all other laptops that I’ve tested, as there’sless heat due to the lack of dedicated graphics.

At idle it sat at the 36 decibel mark andI couldn’t even hear it, here’s what it sounded like.

While maxing out the CPU withAida64 it went to up 46 decibels, and here’s what that sounded like.

For reference, mostgaming laptops I’ve tested max out around 52-55 decibels, so the difference was quitenoticeable.

Last but not least let’s check out somebenchmarks, although there’s not as many as usual given the lack of discrete graphics,so gaming is mostly out.

Dota2 is probably the least intensive gameI have, and at the lowest settings we’re actually almost averaging 60 FPS, anythinghigher than that though and we start to struggle.

Just for fun I also tried PUBG on very lowsettings at 1080p, and it averaged 11 FPS so it’s not playable.

As for CPU power I’ve compared the 8550U with the 7700HQ in Cinebench, we can see inthe single core results the 8550U is actually ahead, as the single core does indeed turboup to 4GHz.

The multicore result shows the 7700HQ coming out ahead, and that’s likelydue to the 8550U downclocking itself so much due to the heat issues I mentioned previously,still not too far behind though.

I plan on doing more comparisons with the 7700HQ indifferent tests, so make sure you subscribe for that.

In Crystal Disk Mark the 256GB NVMe SSD performed around 1830 MB/s in sequential reads and 1260MB/s in sequential writes, so it’s pretty fast, 2 to 3 times faster than a standardSATA SSD.

In this exact configuration the laptop canbe picked up from Dell for $2,499 AUD here in Australia at the time of recording, whichconverts to about $1,975 USD with tax included, however it is one of the higher end configurationsavailable in the XPS 13 series, so you can save some money by reducing the specs, andof course we generally pay more for stuff in Australia, so if you’re in the US it’sa few hundred dollars cheaper.

So what did you guys think of the Dell XPS13 laptop? Overall I’m pretty impressed, compared to other laptops I’ve checked outrecently it’s got great battery life especially considering the size, and the whole thingfeels solid, it’s been built really well, and yet is still small and lightweight, perfectfor travelling with.

Unfortunately there’s no discrete graphics, so if you want to playanything other than the most basic of games you’re out of luck, personally that’sno issue for me, I currently use a 13 inch Macbook pro from 2013 when I travel, so thisseems like a nice competitor.

You may have heard that Dell announced an updated 2018model of the XPS 13 recently at CES, from what I can tell it’s mostly the same butslightly thinner with a smaller battery, so personally I’d probably still consider thisone.

Let me know what you guys thought down inthe comments, and leave a like if you found the information useful.

Thanks for watching,and don’t forget to subscribe for future tech videos like this one.