I’ve written about a variety of laptops for PC Gamers Nation over the last few years, and they’ve been a blast. However, there’s been a big gap in my experienceI’ve never had the chance to test an item that is among the top laptops that are available that is the Dell XPS 13. Imagine my excitement when I was given an XPS 13 with the Tiger Lake refresh of the Dell XPS 13 to review.
- A more streamlined design
- Tiny bezels around
- 16:10 display boosts productivity
- The keyboard and touchpad are bigger and great
- Excellent productivity
- Connectivity is not as good
- The battery life has been cut down
I received a premium, $1,550 model for the XPS 13 9310 The starting price is $1,150. It comes with the quad-core 11th-gen Core i7-1165G7 processor, 16GB of RAM as well as a 512GB PCIe Solid-State drive (SSD) and a 13.4-inch Full HD display in Dell’s latest 16:10 aspect ratio. I’m sure my writer, Luke Larsen, is a fan of this XPS 13 and has repeatedly said it is the top laptop available. I thought: Would I think exactly the same way?
Then jump to Design Performance | Display Keyboard as well as Touchpad Our Review
Okay, after having a look around the latest XPS 13, I get it. The newer versions look like well-designed laptops. This is since I didn’t have a chance to work with one before my review unit arrived and while I’m confident Luke to provide an honest and precise review, this isn’t the only laptop that I believe is worthy of the highest score he gave to the last model.
From a design standpoint, It’s perfectly proportioned and has the right amount of aesthetic elements into its minimalist appearance. In comparison with it’s a counterpart, HP Spectre x360 13 (the top XPS 13 competitor I believe) with its glistening design and striking colors The XPS 13 seems downright streamlined. Although I am a fan of HP and actually consider it to be one of my top choices, however, I do appreciate the work Dell has accomplished by introducing its XPS 13 as well. There’s no unneeded angle or line anywhere on the chassis of the laptop It just looks good. My review unit is the model with arctic white that comes with a woven glass palm rest made of fiber that’s not just comfortable but also looks stunning. The aluminium striping on the sides adds some design, and the tiny bezels — that extend all the way around the screen thanks to the aspect ratio of 16:10 -are as contemporary as they can be.
Yes, its build is excellent. It feels exactly as an expensive laptop should feel however, even though it’s constructed from various materials such as metal, glass, as well as glass fibre, it’s was somehow welded into one unifying whole. It’s not bent, twisting or flexing in any place. Other laptops have the same features, including the Spectre the x360 13 or even the competitive Asus laptops however, there’s absolutely no question this: Apple’s XPS 13 is firmly ensconced as the top of the best. This includes MacBook Pro.
Dell has also put a lot of effort to ensure durability and durability, such as making sure that the aluminium is double-dipped in the process of anodizing to ensure that you don’t scratch the surface each when you plug in an accessory. The hinge can be opened easily by using one hand, and it tightens at the right time to keep the display in position.
In comparison to the prior XPS 13 (not the last version, but the one prior to it) It’s smaller at 0.58 inches as opposed to 0.62 inches that is a lot thinner than the Spectre x360 13, which is 0.67 inches. It’s just a little heavier than the predecessor at 2.8 pounds, compared to 2.7 pounds. And the Spectre x360 13 tops them both with 2.88 pounds. These are, in reality, tiny distinctions, and if you place the XPS 13 against that of the Spectre x360 13. you’ll notice it’s the tiniest amount deeper and the tiniest smaller in width. In terms of real-world use is concerned, they’re basically identical in terms of how small they feel when moving them around or sitting on them.
I’m going to fault my XPS 13 a bit for the connectivity it offers, which is only two USB-C ports, with Thunderbolt 4 support (in the Tiger Lake manifestation) and microSD card readers. It’s the Spectre x360 13 also gives you two Thunderbolt 4 ports (in the most recent version) and the USB-A 3.1 port for older devices. It is recommended to carry the USB-C to USB-A dongle that Dell gives you inside the box. There’s of course Wi-Fi 6 as well as Bluetooth 5.1 available to ensure that your wireless connection is as modern as you can.
So do Tiger Lake make the XPS 13 more powerful? Of course is that it is. What is the speed? This is the most important issue.
Beginning by using Geekbench 5, the Core i7-1165G7-equipped XPS 13 scored 1,540 points in the single-core test, and 5,432 for the test with multicore. This is in contrast to those of Ivy Lake Core i7-1065G7 version with 1,329 as well as 4,862. This is a significant increase. This Spectre x360 13, with its Core i7-1065G7 processor, managed only 1164 and 3981, rendering it considerably slower. It is important to note that you can utilize HP’s Command Center utility to switch on Performance mode. It will affect Spectre 13’s performance. HP has been a bit cautious in setting the temperature to ensure the two-in-one remains silent and comfortable.
We’re now ready for our Handbrake test, which encodes a video of 420MB as H.265 The Tiger Lake XPS 13 took less than three minutes to finish the test, using the previous version of Handbrake that we tested for testing this Ivy Lake XPS 13, which took just eight seconds. Change on Dell’s performance mode, and you’ll cut 10-seconds off the score of the Tiger Lake. This Spectre x360 13 took a staggering 5.86 minutes to complete in regular mode, and 3.9 minutes in the Performance mode. If we analyze it in the context of Tiger Lake XPS 13’s results using the latest version of Handbrake and it’s more efficient over 10th generation CPUs.
As an example, this version of the XPS 13 required 3.35 minutes to complete the task in this model however, it took the Surface Book 3 13 with the Core i7-1065G7 CPU took just four minutes. This XPS 13 also beat out several other Tiger Lake laptops, such as the ZenBook 14 UX425EA from Asus. ZenBook 14 UX425EA, took just four minutes to complete in normal mode and an additional 30 seconds when it was in its Performance mode, compared to the XPS 13 in its performance mode, which was completed in less than three minutes. It was three times faster than the Acer Swift 5 is only three seconds slower as compared to the XPS 13 in its Performance modes (the Acer utility’s Performance mode actually caused the laptop to be slower). The Tiger Lake XPS 13 was speedy when we ran the Handbrake testing, though it wasn’t the fastest and definitely not much more efficient than that of the Ivy Lake version.
I also used Cinebench 20 on the Tiger Lake XPS 13 that we couldn’t test in the earlier version. The score was 518 when running in single-core mode as well as 1 921 in Multi-Core mode (the improvement was only marginal in the Performance mode). This is a bit lower than those of Acer Swift 5 which scored 5,42, and 2,091, and is just behind the more powerful Intel reference laptop we tested using the faster Core i7-1185G7. However, this XPS 13 was much faster than the ZenBook 14 UX425EA which scored 498 and 1,766 when in Performance mode. That’s despite its thicker chassis, and therefore theoretically superior thermals.
In the end in a nutshell, in short, the Tiger Lake XPS 13 is certainly a significant improvement in performance, but not enough to warrant upgrading if you’re satisfied by the speed and performance you get from your Ivy Lake XPS 13. If you’re considering one of the currently available Tiger Lake laptops, its performance on the XPS 13 is great enough to ensure that you don’t have to give up speed to have the laptop’s amazing design.
Of course, it’s important to include gaming as an area in which there is a place where the Tiger Lake model is superior to the Ivy Lake predecessor. The inclusion of Intel Iris Xe graphics did bring about a change in 3DMark Time Spy, for instance, where the latest XPS 13 scored 1,589 as against the older XPS 13 with 968. It’s not nearly twice its performance but not far off. It’s the XPS 13 9310 wouldn’t run Civilization VI, due to some reason, and crashed right following its splash screen. Once, Dell, has this problem solved it will be expected to run around fifty frames per second with 1080p or medium graphics, and that’s the best way to play the game. I tried Fortnite and got 29 frames-per-second (fps) in high graphics (in the Performance mode) this was slightly smaller than those on the Acer Swift 5 that managed 31 FPS. We didn’t bother to test using the Iris Plus GPU in this game, as, honestly it wouldn’t have been usable. Take note that Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 is equipped with an Nvidia GeForce MX350 discrete GPU clocked 37 FPS, this means that Intel Iris Xe is approaching an entry-level GPU speed.
One of the most significant improvements to the XPS 13, both the Ivy Lake and Tiger Lake versions, was the switch to an aspect ratio of 16:10 rather than the traditional 16:9. The benefit of this change is threefold. It is the first benefit of an increased height display that can display more information, with lesser scrolling, though at the cost of some letterboxing in the video. Additionally, you can fill all of the display screen real estates, leaving very little of a chin beneath. Thirdly, if you’ve done it correctly, you will enhance the amount of palm rest that you can get, which is always a great thing.
For the XPS 13, all of those are true. In my experience, I’ve been impressed by the higher display, much like I did when using Microsoft’s Surface devices that have an even larger 3.02 aspect ratio. Does it matter to me? It’s not really, as the differences aren’t that significant. It’s true that this XPS 13 enjoys the smallest bezels available as well as the chin that is smaller than those on the three sides. Thirdly it is that it is worth noting that the XPS 13 does have bigger palm rests as well as a larger touchpad as well, and both are pleasant improvements.
My test unit came with one Full HD+ display (1,920 1200 x 1,920). This was a little of a letdown for me considering my preference for high-resolution displays. I’ve also noticed that most Full HD (or so) displays be considerably lower resolution than the Displays with 4K that firms such as Dell use in laptops. This is why I wasn’t expecting the most impressive results of my colorimeter.
In the end, I was quite pleasantly amazed. First of all the display is extremely bright with 458 nits of brightness which is close to the display’s 500-nit brightness. Additionally, the contrast ratio is quite high at 1350:1. This is a lot better than the majority of Full HD displays you’ll find like its 14-inch Acer Swift 5 Full HD display that comes with 327 nits as well as a 950:1 contrast ratio. I’m not going to compare it with the Spectre 13 x360 since the one we reviewed utilized the OLED display that genuinely beats Dell’s display out from the park.
The color support was standard for a high-end Full HD display. The panel was able to cover 90% of the sRGB, and 75 percent of AdobeRGB each of these are excellent ratings, but not as high as higher-quality 4K displays that you can purchase. For instance, choose the XPS 13 display with 4K resolution and you’ll likely receive at least 90 per cent AdobeRGB and will keep creative professionals content. The color accuracy was excellent with the DeltaE 1.36. 1.36 -lower than 1.0 isn’t discernible by the human eye. It is the norm for professional displays.
In actual use, the display was an absolute pleasure. Brightness and brightness caused black text to leap off the screen, which is important for me as a professional writer. I was able to see that the colors were natural and adequate However I don’t edit images and videos. However, if you edit them then the 4K screen can make you more content. In the end, watching Netflix was an enjoyable experience due to Dolby Vision that continues to offer the most immersive HDR experience for laptops.
The audio was also a pleasant surprise, with lots of volume coming from the downward-facing speakers and absolutely no distortion. The mids and highs were excellent and there was some bass. The internal speakers to share Netflix with your friends, however, it is sufficient for solo use.
Keyboard and touchpad
Dell combined a keyboard with more keys and better key spacing into its new XPS 13 and maintained an identical amount of movement on the previous keyboard. I found it more enjoyable due to these factors for the sake of it. I also enjoyed the switches, which gave an incredibly responsive feel and a comfortable bottoming motion. Also, another Windows 10 keyboard catches up with HP’s Spectre keyboard as my top choice keyboard — it’s the virtual version of. It’s only the Apple Magic Keyboard on its latest MacBooks that is superior.
The touchpad is larger and has a more comfortable glass-covered. Its buttons operate more silently than before, and, like the rest of Microsoft Precision touchpads, it is precise and responsive. It also has a touch display that, like other touch panels of today, worked well and was a joy to use (I dislike displays that aren’t touch-based because I’m familiar with tapping and sliding across the screen).
Windows 10 Hello support is available in two ways. The first is a fingerprint reader integrated into the (unlabeled and a bit oddly) power button on the right-hand side of the keyboard. It was quick and responsive and I would prefer fingerprint readers integrated with the button for power. There’s also a small infrared camera in the bezel on top of the display which was incredibly accurate in recognising my face.
There’s a place where Tiger Lake XPS 13 falls way behind its Ivy Lake predecessor: Battery life. I’m not able to explain why I’m not able to conclude it’s because Tiger Lake has poor battery life, but then our database of 11th-gen devices is still quite small. While there is no doubt that the XPS 13 9310 has the identical battery capacity as the 9300, which is 52 watt-hours of power, the 9310 did not perform as well in the tests we were able to test.
In the beginning, like each Tiger Lake laptop, I’ve tested, the XPS 13 wouldn’t complete the Basemark web benchmark test, which is the most demanding test we have. Instead, I tested PCMark’s gaming battery test, which tests the GPU and CPU and recorded nearly four hours of endurance. In comparison, the Acer Swift 5, the other Tiger Lake machine I’ve tested using PCMark however, lasted less than two hours. Also, the XPS 13 beats out at the very least a Tiger Lake rival when it’s under pressure.
Moving on to our website benchmark, which acts as our best estimate of productivity battery performance for the Tiger Lake XPS 13 lasted for 8.5 hours. It’s close to Intel’s Evo certification standard for nine hours of actual battery life. If you do the right mix of work it could get there. It’s Ivy Lake XPS 13 lasted for 11.5 hours, while it was a bit slower than the Acer Swift 5 fell behind the XPS 13 9310 by 35 minutes.
Then, I put then the XPS 13 through our video-looping test which plays the Full HD Avengerstrailer until the battery is exhausted. It ran over 12 hours. It was which is in comparison to the Ivylake The XPS 13’s 14.3 hours, and well ahead of that of the Swift 5, which lasted 11.5 hours. I’m not going to include it with Spectre x360 13 into this test — its OLED display is seriously energy-intensive, and it’s not able to keep up with the Full HD laptops.
In the end in the end, ultimately, the XPS 13 9310 will likely provide you with the day and is close to meeting Intel’s 9-hour Evo certification standard. If you’re pushing the GPU and CPU the system, you’ll see less like always however, for more general efficiency tasks, I’d rate the battery’s performance as excellent, but not outstanding.
The Dell XPS 13 9310 with Tiger Lake remains the best laptop available despite the decrease in the battery’s lifespan. It’s nearly like its predecessor with regards to its appearance, input options, and overall user-friendliness, but it is slightly more efficient.
It’s not the least expensive laptop available, but as we pointed out in our XPS 13 9300 reviews, there are plenty of great alternatives investing less than $1000. If you’re in the market for an XPS 13-inch laptop that is clamshell you’ll find that this XPS 13 9310 could be your top choice.
Do you have alternatives?
Its HP Spectre x360 13 remains an excellent rival with that of the XPS 13, and it’s now available with Tiger Lake in the same small and striking box. Additionally, you’ll save hundreds of dollars over the XPS 13. You can also consider the Spectre x360 14, which uses an even more productivity-friendly 3:2 aspect ratio for its display and equips Tiger Lake components, all for about the same price as the XPS 13.
We’ve suggested that you consider the MacBook Air as an alternative, however, it’s complicated due to Apple’s recent switch into its very own Apple Silicon M1 processor, which totally alters the game. We’ll be reviewing it shortly so stay tuned to determine if it’s an acceptable replacement to XPS 13.
In the end, Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 3 is a laptop worth considering due to its comparable cost as well as weight and thickness. It has a 3:2 aspect ratio, which is more productive. Also, it’s gorgeous to boot.
How long will it take to last?
It’s a great choice. model XPS 13 9310 is a stunning build quality that gives you trust in decades of faithful service. Its components are current and will keep running. The 1-year warranty is normal and disappointing, as is the case with all warranties however you can purchase an extended warranty if you’re concerned about the long-term protection.
Should you purchase it?
Yes. It’s true. XPS 13 9310 is still the top laptop available.