Dell XPS 13 9300 Review

Content

  1. TECH SPECS
  2. Positioning
  3. Appearance
  4. Screen and webcam
  5. Keyboard and Touchpad
  6. Performance
  7. Battery life
  8. Impressions and competitors

TECH SPECS

  • Processor: Intel Core i7-1065G7, 4 cores
  • Graphics: Intel® Iris® Plus Graphics
  • Memory: 16 GB LPDDR4x SDRAM @ 3 733 MHz (32 GB maximum)
  • Storage: 3TB PCIe 4 x1 Solid State Drive
  • Screen: 13,4 ” 4K Ultra HD + (3840 x 2400) UltraSharp Touch Display, InfinityEdge Design, HDR 400 Certified, 500 nits brightness, 100% sRGB + 90% DCI-P3 color gamut coverage, 1 contrast ratio: 500, Corning Gorilla Glass 1
  • OS: Windows 10 Home
  • Connectivity: Killer ™ AX1650 (2×2) with Intel WiFi 6 Chipset and Bluetooth 5.0
  • Battery: 51 W * h, power adapter 45 W, adapter weight with wire 236 g
  • Audio: 2W + 2W stereo speakers
  • Webcam: 720p with Windows Hello IR camera
  • Keyboard: backlit, with fingerprint reader
  • Touchpad: oversized 11.2 x 6.5 cm, supports gestures
  • Ports:
    • 2 Thunderbolt 3 with Power Delivery and DisplayPort (4 PCI Express Gen 3 lanes)
    • 1 microSD card reader
    • 1 x 3,5mm headset / microphone combo
  • Dimensions: 7-13 x 296 x 207 mm, weight 1 266 g
  • Materials: Brushed, CNC machined aluminum in platinum silver with black carbon fiber composite palmrest (with UV and stain resistant protective coating)
  • Price: 145 000 rubles

Dell XPS 13 9300 Review

Positioning

XPS is Dell’s premium line of laptops. Not everyone knows, but XPS is not just a set of letters, but an abbreviation for eXtreme Performance System, that is, an extremely productive system.

Dell XPS 13 9300 Review

Dell XPS 13 is the smallest laptop in the XPS lineup. Due to its modest size, the laptop looks like a toy. However, given the more than powerful stuffing, the impressive size of the RAM and storage and support for the stylus, it cannot be called a toy. This is a complete working tool. The Dell XPS 13 will delight anyone looking for a combination of high performance, small footprint and long battery life.

Initially, XPS laptops were more focused on corporate users, but now these are models that will appeal to anyone who is not too attentive to the numbers on the price tag.

Appearance

  • Right side: 3.5 mm jack, Thunderbolt 3 port
  • Left-hand side: Thunderbolt 3 port, microSD

The laptop seems tiny. Due to its modest size, the Dell XPS 13 looks more like a stylish accessory than a full-fledged work machine. Looking at it, you think that the screen there is not 13.4 inches, but 12 inches maximum. Perhaps I am an overly big fan of laptops, but every time I took out a laptop during testing, I had some kind of joyful feeling of emotion.

The body is made of brushed aluminum. The surface of the touchscreen is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5, the surface around the keyboard is made of carbon fiber. It goes without saying that the laptop is tactile and looks super-premium. For some reason, carbon fiber attracts the attention of others.

Dell XPS 13 9300 Review

Brushed aluminum, Dell logo

Dell XPS 13 9300 Review

On the bottom cover – the XPS inscription. The laptop cannot be called Markim, but traces remain. By the way, one of the differences from the older 15.6-inch model is that there were speakers on the sides of the keyboard. Dell XPS 13 has speakers only on the bottom cover. Accordingly, if you put the laptop on a soft surface, then it will sound muffled.

Dell XPS 13 9300 Review

On the left side – microSD slot and Type-C Thunderbolt 3

Dell XPS 13 9300 Review

The sides are sanded to a high gloss

Dell XPS 13 9300 Review

On the right side there is a 3.5 mm jack and another Type-C Thunderbolt 3

Dell XPS 13 9300 Review

The ports on the laptop are few, but, in my opinion, the set is optimal. Thunderbolt allows you to connect both a monitor and a charger, there is a headphone jack

Dell XPS 13 9300 Review

Like the older model Dell XPS 15 9500, the kit comes with an adapter. However, if the older model has two USB Type-C and HDMI connectors, then the Dell XPS 13 has a Type-C to Type-A adapter. The adapter is useful, it is better not to lose it, since it separately costs 2 rubles

Dell XPS 13 9300 Review

Maximum opening angle

Dell XPS 13 9300 Review

An example of an older model – how handprints look on carbon fiber

Dell XPS 13 9300 Review

The black button in the upper right corner is not only the power button, but also the fingerprint reader

Screen and webcam

Dell has two screen options to choose from:

  • 13,4 ” 4K Ultra HD + (3840 x 2400) UltraSharp Touch Display, InfinityEdge design, HDR 400 certified, 500 nits brightness, 100% sRGB + 90% DCI-P3 color gamut coverage, 1: 500 contrast ratio
  • 13,4 ” Full HD + (1920 x 1200) InfinityEdge touchscreen display, HDR 400 certified, 500 nits brightness, 100% sRGB coverage, 1: 800 contrast ratio, and anti-smudge coating

Both Dolby Vision ™ screens, 170 ° +/- 85 ° / 85 ° / 85 ° / 85 ° wide viewing angle, 0,65% anti-glare, anti-dust coating

Dell XPS 13 9300 Review

The selection options are similar to the older model. However, if the older model has a 15.6-inch screen and you can wonder which option to choose (4K + with 100% Adobe RGB looks the most interesting), then in the case of the XPS 13, in my opinion, everything is simpler.

For a 13.4-inch screen, the Full HD + resolution is also great. And if you are not planning design work in which a wide color gamut is important, then you can do without a 4K screen. Windows in general does a good job of scaling the interface for 4K resolution, but the 300% figure itself in the settings looks funny.

Dell XPS 13 9300 Review

The screen is touch-sensitive, but, unfortunately, a laptop cannot be folded into a tablet. The screen supports a stylus, but it must be purchased separately.

Dell XPS 13 9300 Review

The bezels are very thin, and the webcam with Windows Hello IR camera is almost invisible. By the way, Windows Hello works great, and most likely you will rarely use the fingerprint scanner. The webcam is similar to that used in the older Dell XPS 15. The quality is mediocre. By the way, the CES 2021 exhibition recently began, and it seems that things have moved off the ground, since in the 2021 models the camera is already declared not 720p, but Full HD.

Dell XPS 13 9300 ReviewDell XPS 13 9300 Review

The screen has a gorgeous brightness of 500 nits. Despite the glossy glass coating, the screen has low glare, so it will work comfortably in all lighting conditions. For example, here the screen is turned to the window. The maximum brightness is more than enough.

Dell XPS 13 9300 Review

I tried to make a shot to show what I mean by the phrase that the screen has little glare. I reduced the brightness by half, but, as you can see, the screen still did not turn into a mirror.

Dell XPS 13 9300 Review

Keyboard and Touchpad

The notebook has a full-size magnetic keyboard with 1.3 mm key travel. In the upper right corner (empty black key) is a fingerprint scanner. The laptop is configured in such a way that it turns on automatically when you open the lid.

Dell XPS 13 9300 Review

In terms of ergonomics, everything is fine. Great quiet keyboard, convenient button layout. Yes, you can find fault with the paired arrow keys, for example. But don’t forget that Dell has housed such a chic keyboard in a 12-inch case.

Dell XPS 13 9300 Review

Dell XPS 13 9300 Review

The laptop has a two-level backlight

The Dell XPS of this generation has one of the nicest innovations – an oversized touchpad. The Dell XPS 15 has a truly royal touchpad, 15 by 9 centimeters. The XPS 13 has a smaller touchpad – 11.2 by 6.5 cm. This is slightly more than the average size. There are no questions about the touchpad, especially considering the fact that the screen is touch-sensitive and, probably, you will often poke your finger into the screen.

By the way, fingerprints are visible on the touchpad. I was constantly tempted to wipe the touchpad.

Dell XPS 13 9300 ReviewDell XPS 13 9300 Review

Performance

I have always admired Dell laptops for the simplicity of their design, for the fact that the user can easily upgrade or repair. Dell’s website always contains detailed guides that allow in 3-5 steps, using the most common screwdrivers, to update or repair a laptop by changing the Wi-Fi module or keyboard there. The older model Dell XPS 15 is made in accordance with these canons. But Dell XPS 13 does not imply that the user will delve into the filling. But this is nothing new. I can’t even remember the last time the Dell XPS 13 had a memory upgrade.

Both the drive and RAM are soldered on the motherboard, so you should be careful when choosing. I tested it with a 16GB RAM model. A variety of options are available for purchase, from 4 GB to 32 GB. In my opinion, 16 GB is the optimal choice. Why you shouldn’t buy 4 GB in 2021 (when smartphones already have 8-12 GB of memory), I guess I don’t need to say. 8 GB at the moment is a perfectly acceptable size, but still, a laptop is not bought for a couple of months, so you should take 16 GB.

The drives in the Dell XPS 13 are top-end in terms of speed. Size – from 256 GB to 1 TB. You should definitely not buy 256 GB unless you buy a laptop as a notebook. 512 GB or 1 TB is the best option.

Dell XPS 13 9300 Review

On my test I had a device with a maximum processor – 4 cores, the 7th generation Core i1065 7 G10. Dell also offers:

  • 3th Generation Intel® Core ™ i1005-1 G10 processor
  • 5th Generation Intel® Quad Core ™ i1035-1 G10 processor

Dell XPS 13 9300 Review

For my taste, it is still worth taking the i7, since the 10th generation of processors from Intel also acquired quite powerful integrated graphics. However, the most powerful graphics are indicated in the name of the processor by the combination G7. So if you want to play “tanks” well, you should take the Core i7.

Dell XPS 13 9300 Review

In everyday tasks, the laptop is practically silent and does not get warm. Fan noise can be heard under load, but it is unobtrusive. Given the excellent performance of the device, it can easily be connected to an external large monitor and work in Photoshop, for example.

Battery life

The laptop comes with a 50 W * h battery. Not the largest volume.

Dell XPS 13 9300 Review

For Full HD resolution, Dell is talking about over 10 hours of screen time. However, I had a 4K + screen on my test. At the same time, do not forget about the high brightness up to 500 nits. So the average laptop battery life was 5-5.5 hours.

Well, in general, I cannot complain, since the bundle comes with a 45 W power adapter, which together with the wire weighs only 236 grams.

Dell XPS 13 9300 Review

My main sadness about the Dell XPS 13 is that I did not have time to check if it was possible to use a compact charger like Xiaomi Mi GAN charger 65w for charging (I got the charger too late). The laptop did not respond to charging from smartphones, but they were less powerful. It is widely known that Dell, keeping in mind the quality, equips its chargers with special chips. However, feedback on the forums gives hope that the Mi GAN charger 65w is a great fit.

Typically I would recommend remembering to use Dell branded applications. For example, if the laptop needs to work from charging for a long time, then the maximum charge level should be limited to 50 or 80%. Thus, the battery life can be extended.


Impressions and competitors

The conclusions about the Dell XPS 13 are very simple. This is one of the best (if not the best) laptop in the ultraportable segment with a 13-14 inch screen. Thanks to its compact size, it will fit into any backpack or even a business folder. Power is in abundance, so when you come to the office, you can connect it to a large screen. At the same time, the design and materials directly indicate that this is a premium segment. The laptop is austere but stylish.

Dell XPS 13 9300 Review

From the claims I can think that the laptop does not fold into a tablet. If the screen is touch-sensitive, and the laptop is so light, then that would be appropriate. I also did not like that the kit does not include a stylus, and the adapter put in the box is only from Type-C to Type-A (the older model also has HDMI there). Not that you need it all, it’s just that when you buy such a premium device, you want to get something else.

Dell XPS 13 9300 Review

The Dell XPS 13 has many competitors, as the ultra-thin and light laptop segment is extremely popular. I suspect that in the comments I will be told about laptops from Xiaomi or Honor. However, you must understand that the XPS 13 is a premium product, so its natural competitors are the top-end Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i with a 14-inch screen or the HP Specter and HP Dragonfly.

Dell XPS 13 9300 Review

Well, I also recommend paying attention to the older model with a 15.6-inch screen. It is slightly larger and heavier, and has discrete graphics.

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