Dell xps 13 (2020) review

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a:hover>:text-black text-gray-13 dark:text-gray-e9 dark:<&>a:hover>:text-gray-e9 <&>a>:shadow-underline-gray-13 <&>a:hover>:shadow-underline-black dark:<&>a>:shadow-underline-gray-63 dark:<&>a:hover>:shadow-underline-gray-63">The Dell XPS 13 is the best laptop you can buy (for now).

This is an easy review. Today, we’re looking at the XPS 13 9310, Dell’s best-in-class 13-inch ultraportable laptop. It’s identical lớn the Dell XPS 13 9300, which I reviewed back in April, in every way, except one: it has Intel’s new 11th gen Tiger Lake processors. 

The new XPS 13 starts at $999.99. The base mã sản phẩm includes a vi xử lý core i3-1115G4, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, Intel’s UHD integrated graphics, & a 1920 x 1200 non-touch display. But the most exciting feature of the Tiger Lake line is Intel’s new Iris xe pháo integrated graphics. Models with those graphics start at $1,099.99 ($1,077.99 as currently listed) & include a quad-core vi xử lý core i5 1135G7 or i7-1165G7. You can go up to a $2,499.99 model with 32GB of RAM, 2TB of storage, và a 3840 x 2400 touchscreen. I tested a $1,649.99 configuration (listed at $1,616.99 as of this writing), which includes 16GB of RAM và 512GB of storage.


a:hover>:text-black text-gray-13 dark:text-gray-e9 dark:<&>a:hover>:text-gray-e9 <&>a>:shadow-underline-gray-13 <&>a:hover>:shadow-underline-black dark:<&>a>:shadow-underline-gray-63 dark:<&>a:hover>:shadow-underline-gray-63">A familiar XPS 13 with a brand-new chip.

If you haven’t read my đánh giá of the XPS 13 9300 from earlier this year, go ahead và do that now because everything I said about the exterior of that machine also applies here. TL;DR: it’s really good. The chassis is made of CNC-machined aluminum, the hình ảnh is stainless steel, the screen is Corning Gorilla Glass 6; the palm rests are a woven-glass fiber with a chất lượng texture. It’s lustrous, sturdy, & just about the best build quality you’ll find in a laptop. It’s also portable (2.8 pounds và 0.58 inches thick). The speakers are adequate, the keyboard is snappy and comfortable, and the touchpad is smooth and effortless lớn click. Another highlight is the 16:10 display with a 91.5 percent screen-to-body ratio, which gives you more vertical space than most consumer laptops (which are 16:9). You’ll notice the difference.

8.5Verge Score

Dell XPS 13 (late 2020)

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The Good

Nice 16:10 displayCompact chassis with premium build qualityBest-in-class performance and integrated graphicsSolid keyboard và touchpad
ul>:py-0 my-12 <&>ul>li>:mb-6 <&>p>:mb-8 <&_*>:font-polysans-mono <&_*>:text-14 <&_ul>:font-light <&_p>:font-light <&_strong>:font-medium <&>ul>li>:leading-130 <&_li>:marker:text-franklin border-t border-franklin <&_a:hover>:shadow-highlight-franklin <&_a>:shadow-underline-black md:first:pr-16 md:last:pl-16 md:w-1/2 md:border-t-0 md:first:border-r">

The Bad

Limited port selectionNot-great webcam with no privacy shutterProcessor upgrades won’t be noticed by most ownersRuns unusually hot under load

Two main downsides: the port selection is meh (two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4, a headphone jack, & a microSD reader), & the 2.25mm 720p webcam isn’t great, delivering a blurry and washed-out picture. It also doesn’t include a privacy shutter or kill switch.

Like I said, kiểm tra out the 9300 reviews if you want lớn read about the laptop’s exterior in more detail. What we’re focusing on here is the new processor’s performance and whether the 1165G7 (and its xe graphics) are an improvement over the Ice Lake generation. The answer is yes. But it’s not an emphatic or particularly excited yes. 

a:hover>:text-black text-gray-13 dark:text-gray-e9 dark:<&>a:hover>:text-gray-e9 <&>a>:shadow-underline-gray-13 <&>a:hover>:shadow-underline-black dark:<&>a>:shadow-underline-gray-63 dark:<&>a:hover>:shadow-underline-gray-63">It ships with a USB-C to lớn USB-A adapter.

It’s also one of the first systems lớn be verified through Intel’s new Evo program. By giving a laptop an Evo badge, hãng intel claims lớn be certifying that it offers a number of benchmarks for “premium” thin-and-light laptops — Tiger Lake processors, Thunderbolt 4, Wi-Fi 6, all-day battery life, fast charging, quick boot time, and, perhaps most importantly, solid real-world performance.

In day-to-day tasks, the 1165G7 certainly measured up. It was never overwhelmed by my legions of Chrome tabs, apps, and occasional Spotify, YouTubing, and Zoom calls overtop — no slowdowns or delays. I never once heard the fans spin up during daily use and never felt any heat either. If you’re using this configuration for work or school, you shouldn’t experience any performance issues. 

I saw a slight improvement in nội dung creation as well. The 9310 took 10 minutes và 43 seconds to lớn complete our real-world truyền thông media test, which involves exporting a 5-minute, 33-second 4K đoạn phim in Adobe Premiere Pro. That’s a bit faster than any máy vi tính with Ice Lake CPUs and integrated graphics completed the task. The apple macbook phiên bản pro 13 with Iris Plus graphics took 11 minutes và 26 seconds, và the Surface máy tính xách tay 3 took just over 15. It’s also better than we’ve seen from other 1165G7 systems. Asus’ ZenBook 14 was about a minute slower. 

a:hover>:text-black text-gray-13 dark:text-gray-e9 dark:<&>a:hover>:text-gray-e9 <&>a>:shadow-underline-gray-13 <&>a:hover>:shadow-underline-black dark:<&>a>:shadow-underline-gray-63 dark:<&>a:hover>:shadow-underline-gray-63">Have your pick of a bộ vi xử lý core i3, chip core i5, or bộ vi xử lý core i7.

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Here’s the thing: when it comes to lớn productivity, this XPS is good. It’s an uptick over its predecessor (and I’d be very worried if it wasn’t). On the other hand, the 9300 (and other Ice Lake systems) were already quite good. The difference in Chrome tab loading speed & Premiere Pro export time isn’t earth-shattering enough that I can see it making a difference in the lives of the average XPS 13 user. If you already own a comparable Ice Lake system or are considering buying one to lớn cut costs, I won’t urge you lớn upgrade.

a:hover>:text-black text-gray-13 dark:text-gray-e9 dark:<&>a:hover>:text-gray-e9 <&>a>:shadow-underline-gray-13 <&>a:hover>:shadow-underline-black dark:<&>a>:shadow-underline-gray-63 dark:<&>a:hover>:shadow-underline-gray-63">Content and truyền thông media creators can opt for a 4K 3840 x 2400 display.

Folks for whom it may be worth upgrading are those who want to play some light games. On titles with lighter textures (the only ones you’d want khổng lồ run on a máy tính like this), the XPS 13 did a noticeably better job than its predecessor. It averaged 111fps on Rocket League’s maximum settings without dipping below 100; the 9300 put up 70fps with a minimum of 41. The 9310 also won out on League of Legends, averaging 205fps while its predecessor averaged low 160s. (Of course, the XPS 13’s screen is only 60Hz, so your experience in these games won’t change. You’ll see 60fps on either machine.) & it beat its predecessor on Overwatch, averaging 48fps on Ultra settings to lớn the 9300’s low-40s average — a 10-ish percent increase. 

More good news for Intel: those results also put Tiger Lake slightly ahead of AMD competitors when it comes to gaming. The IdeaPad Slim 7, with AMD’s eight-core Ryzen 7 4800U, averaged 46fps on the same Overwatch settings. (You won’t notice a difference that small while you’re actually playing.)

a:hover>:shadow-highlight-franklin <&>a>:shadow-underline-black dark:<&>a:hover>:shadow-highlight-franklin dark:<&>a>:shadow-underline-white md:text-40 lg:-ml-100">Agree to lớn Continue: Dell XPS 13 (late 2020)

Every smart device now requires you lớn agree to lớn a series of terms và conditions before you can use it — contracts that no one actually reads. It’s impossible for us khổng lồ read & analyze every single one of these agreements. But we started counting exactly how many times you have to hit “agree” to lớn use devices when we đánh giá them, since these are agreements most people don’t read và definitely can’t negotiate.

A request for your regionA request for your keyboard layoutWindows 10 license agreement and Dell Terms of Sale / License AgreementMicrosoft accountPINDell’s support and ProtectionMcAfee security subscription
Wi-FiWindows Hello face và fingerprint recognitionPrivacy settings (speech recognition, location, Find My Device, sharing diagnostic data, inking and typing, tailored experience, advertising ID)Android phoneOneDrive backupOffice 365Cortana

Unfortunately, demanding games in 1080p are still out of reach for this machine. The 9310 chugged through Shadow of the Tomb Raider at an average of 22fps. That’s a respectable increase from the Ice Lake XPS, which averaged 17fps on the same title, but you can’t really play the game (at native resolution) on either machine. So while Tiger Lake will give you a better experience with some of your titles, it probably won’t expand the range of games you can play. (We bởi vì expect gaming performance khổng lồ get better over time.)

I think this size factor is also close lớn the limits of what it can cool. Throughout my gaming session, the CPU hit 100 degrees Celsius at a few points and spent a lot of time in the high 90s. (The keyboard was toasty throughout but not quite uncomfortable.) That’s hotter than I’d like to see, & I worry that if Dell continues with this design và Intel’s chips don’t make substantial gains in efficiency, the XPS 13 is going to lớn hit a wall when it comes khổng lồ performance.

a:hover>:text-black text-gray-13 dark:text-gray-e9 dark:<&>a:hover>:text-gray-e9 <&>a>:shadow-underline-gray-13 <&>a:hover>:shadow-underline-black dark:<&>a>:shadow-underline-gray-63 dark:<&>a:hover>:shadow-underline-gray-63">The 52Whr battery is integrated và not replaceable. RAM is also soldered.

Finally, battery life was a pleasant surprise. I got nine hours and 15 minutes using this XPS as my primary work driver at around 200 nits of brightness. That time doesn’t top the category, but it does mean this should comfortably last you a full work or school day. The caveat is that I had all the various battery-saving things on — the Windows Battery Saver profile, Dell’s Battery Extender, Intel’s Display power Savings, etc. When I ran a trial on the Windows Better Performance profile with Battery Extender off, I could expect closer khổng lồ six hours. I didn’t notice a performance difference between those two scenarios when I was just doing office work và streaming, so I recommend that you vị the battery-saving stuff if you want all-day juice.

a:hover>:shadow-highlight-franklin <&>a>:shadow-underline-black dark:<&>a:hover>:shadow-highlight-franklin dark:<&>a>:shadow-underline-white md:text-40 lg:-ml-100">Dell XPS 13 2020 specs (as reviewed)

Processor: Intel chip core i7-1165G7RAM: 16GBStorage: 512GBGraphics: intel Iris xe pháo GraphicsDisplay: 13.4-inch 1920 x 1200 cảm ứng displayPorts: two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 with DisplayPort & Power Delivery, one 3.5mm tai nghe / microphone combo jack, one microSD thẻ readerCamera: 2.25mm infrared 720p webcamWeight: 2.8 pounds (1.27kg)Dimensions: 11.64 x 7.82 x 0.58 inches (295.66 x 198.63 x 14.73mm)Operating system: Windows 10 Home

This XPS has a performance edge over what we’ve seen so far in 2020. The Tiger Lake processor is a respectable step forward, particularly in graphics performance. People who work with graphics and video clip will probably find the increase most useful. For everyone else who’s mostly using the XPS 13 for school and office tasks, both Ice Lake & Tiger Lake systems should be fine — upgrading isn’t essential. Gaming performance clearly varies widely by title — gamers may see a substantial difference or may see very little. But if you mostly play lighter fare that Ice Lake was already tearing through (which is probably the case for a good chunk of folks who are gaming on the XPS 13), you won’t see the improvement on this screen.

So overall, the XPS 13 is still an excellent laptop. It’s still one of the best you can buy. But I’m not as starstruck as I was at the beginning of this year, because the competition is creeping up. Zenbooks, Swifts, Yogas, Envys, và Spectres have all made strides in design, build, nifty features, and performance this year — & there are ARM-based Macbooks on the way. There are quite a few releases on the horizon that are looking more & more like the XPS 13. 

This is the best máy vi tính of 2020 with the fewest compromises and the fewest risks. But Dell will need lớn stay creative if it wants lớn keep XPS at the vị trí cao nhất of the stack in 2021.

Photography by Monica Chin / The Verge


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