Dell XPS 13 (2019) Review
The Dell XPS 13 is the company’s ultraportable flagship laptop, and for 2019, Dell launched an improved version on it. Moving the webcam to a better spot and equipping it with the latest Intel processor, we took the XPS 13 (2019) for a full spin to see how it fares. Check it out.
Design and Construction
Sized at 13.3-inches and with a starting weight of 1.22kg, the Dell XPS 13 is a small and lightweight laptop that’s easy to carry around. It looks premium and elegant, due to its aluminum constructed-body and its gray color. The Dell logo sits elegantly on the lid, giving the laptop a clean and minimal touch.
Open the lid and you’ll see the laptop’s black inner body with micro-patterns adorning the lower half of the laptop. Both the keyboard and touchpad are also colored the same as the body. Typing on the keyboard is pretty satisfying; they’re responsive, have a little bounce, and produce crisp clicking sounds. On the other hand, the decently-sized touchpad has a glass coating over it, which is smooth to the touch.
At the upper right corner of the laptop’s lower half is the power button that also doubles as a fingerprint reader. It should be pushed gently, as it tends to sink and stick.
A Noble lock slot, two Thunderbolt 3 with Powershare ports, and the battery gauge indicator are on the left of the laptop.
Meanwhile, on the right, one can find a 3.5mm audio port, a USB-C port, and a micro SD slot. Despite its small size, we like the fact that Dell equipped the XPS 13 with several ports. You’d still need a USB hub/dongle though if you plan on connecting USB-A devices to it.
The speakers are on either side of the laptop, and located a couple of spaces below the ports.
As mentioned, the XPS 13 is thin and light and can be carried around even with just a hand. Not only does It look and feel premium, but it also feels sturdy and durable.
Display and Multimedia
The XPS 13 has what Dell calls as an InfinityEdge design. The laptop has very slim bezels, making it incredibly attractive for watching videos. Even with the thin bezels, Dell managed to squeeze the tiny 2.25mm HD webcam at the center of the top bezel. It’s pretty good that Dell changed its mind about the XPS’s webcam placement and moved it at the top, compared to the previous version that had it on the lower bezel, giving users a rather unattractive nose view.
The display of the XPS 13 is incredible. With our unit having the UltraSharp 4K display, the colors are impressively vibrant, the blacks come out deep, and the contrast is excellent as well. Every single video that we viewed using the XPS 13 was pleasing to look at; the details came out crisp and sharp. Brightness isn’t an issue as well; you could set the brightness at the lowest setting, and you’ll still be able to see things clearly.
The version of the laptop that we have has a touchscreen display, and it’s pretty responsive. It’s so responsive that a brush of your palm or finger against the side of the screen would trigger it. We weren’t able to try using a stylus against it, but we imagine it would have the same response as well.
As for the speakers, they were a delight to use. We weren’t expecting much from them, but we were pleasantly surprised at the sound quality. The audio was loud, clean, crisp, and clear, even at the maximum setting. And if you somehow manage to cover the side speakers with your hands, fret not as the audio doesn’t come out muffled at all.
Performance and Benchmarks
An 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8565U CPU, codenamed Whiskey Lake, powers the XPS 13 unit that we have, combined with 8GB RAM and 256GB of SSD storage onboard. It runs on Windows 10 Home as its operating system and comes with several Microsoft and Dell apps on it. There are the usual apps such as Microsoft Office, Microsoft Edge, News, and Paint 3D. For Dell programs, it has Dell CinemaColor, Customer Connect, Digital Delivery, Mobile Connect, Power Manager, and Update. It also comes with third-party applications such as Netflix, Spotify, Candy Crush, McAfee for its virus protection. There’s a lot of bloatware, but of course, you can always uninstall them.
We ran the XPS 13 on Geekbench, and it scored:
On Crystal Disk Mark, the XPS 13’s SSD scored:
Sequential Read: 2583.5 MB/s
Sequential Write: 437.9 MB/s
Productivity, internet browsing, video-watching, computing tasks, and other tasks can certainly be handled by the XPS 13, and it does so in a smooth manner. Without a dedicated graphics card, however, the laptop can also play basic games.
To measure the battery life of the XPS 13, we did our usual video loop test — 1080p, 50% brightness, 50% sound with headphones, airplane mode, and balanced power setting. Dell claims that the standard XPS 13 has about 19 hours of battery life, while the 4K version will last up to 12 hours. Our battery test resulted in 9 hours and 30 minutes. It’s a couple of hours shorter than what Dell claims and honestly, it’s not enough to last someone all-day without charging it.
All in all, the XPS 13 2019 is an excellent refresh of the previous version. It improved a couple of aspects, such as the webcam placement and a newer processor. The screen is visually pleasing with its thin bezels and vibrant colors, the audio quality is excellent, and working on it is a breeze. Our only qualms about It is that it has a slightly disappointing battery life — well, when it comes to the 4K model, it has a load of bloatware in it, and let’s face it, the XPS 13 has a pretty hefty price tag that begins at PHP 109,980. There may be other laptops out there that have similar aspects and perhaps come at a lower price but do consider the Dell XPS 13 (2019) when you’re on the lookout for a new daily laptop.
Dell XPS 13 (2019) specs
- 13.3-inch UltraSharp 4K Ultra HD (3840×2160) InfinityEdge touch display, 100% sRGB
- 13.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) InfinityEdge display
- Up to 8th Generation Intel Quad-Core i7-8565U processor
- Intel UHD Graphics 620
- Windows 10 Home / Pro
- Up to 16GB RAM
- Up to 512GB PCIe SSD
- Corning Gorilla Glass 4
- Full-size backlit chiclet keyboard
- Glass-coated touchpad
- 720p Widescreen HD webcam with 4 array digital microphones; Windows Hello compliant infrared camera
- 1W x 2 Stereo speakers with Waves MaxxAudio
- 2x Thunderbolt 3 with Power Delivery & DisplayPort
- 1x USB-C 3.1 with Power Delivery & DisplayPort
- 1x microSD card reader
- 1x headset jack
- 1x Noble lock slot
- Fingerprint reader in power button
- 7.8mm-11.6mm x 302mm x 199mm
- Starts at 1.21kg
What we liked:
- Slim bezels surrounding the display
- Vibrant and bright screen
- Thin and lightweight laptop
- Great audio quality
- Smooth and fast CPU
What we didn’t:
- Average battery life on the 4K version
- A lot of bloatware/third-party apps