Dell made a daring assertion when it claimed its fully redesigned New XPS 13 can be among the many quickest laptops in its class, if not the quickest. After lastly laying our arms on the New XPS 13, we’d need to formally declare that Dell ain’t simply trash-talking.
How briskly is it? Let’s simply say the XPS 13 with an Eighth-gen Core i5 is as quick, if not quicker than, most Eighth-gen Core i7 laptops. It’s even on a par with, or quicker than, many bigger, beefier laptops, too.
However that’s not all. There’s far more to this redesigned XPS 13 that’s worthy of your consideration.
New XPS 13 worth and specs
Earlier than we get into the specs, we word that our first assessment unit exhibited odd points, the place it appeared to freeze. We shipped our first assessment unit again to Dell in change for a second one, which ran with out problem. This occurs with critiques now and again (so no, not all assessment items are cherry-picked), and we point out it when it does. We must also say critiques of the New XPS 13 on Dell’s personal web site have been considerably combined, however new designs typically see upticks in complaints. Our assessment is predicated on the second unit.
The New XPS 13 Dell submitted for assessment is the $1,200 mid-range mannequin. For essentially the most half, that is one of the best bang-for-the-buck of the New XPS 13 laptops (although we’ll parse out the opposite fashions beneath). Our assessment unit’s specs embody:
- Quad-core Intel Eighth-gen Core i5-8250U CPU
- 8GB of LPDDR3/1866 in dual-channel mode
- Samsung 256GB PM961 NVMe SSD
- 13.Three-inch 1920×1080 IPS display
- Killer 1435 802.11ac 2×2 wi-fi
- 52-watt-hour battery
The laptop computer measures 11.9 inches extensive by 7.eight inches deep. Dell formally places the tapered physique at 7.8mm to 11.6mm thick. Our calipers put it nearer to 16.6mm at its widest, however the disparity comes down to only the place you resolve to measure it.That’s nonetheless a discount from the earlier variations’s 19mm.
For weight, our scale put the New XPS 13 at 2 kilos, 10 ounces. Add its newer, smaller USB-C Energy Supply energy brick (additionally in white), and it’s about Three kilos, 2.2 ounces.
Oh, that webcam
The no-bezel InfinityEdge show that Dell’s featured within the XPS 13 since 2015 is generally unchanged. The display on this unit is a 1080p IPS panel that places out a really vivid 430 nits and options Corning Gorilla Glass four safety. There’s no contact choice at this worth, however Dell provides it on the 4K model.
One noticeable change is the placement of the webcam. The earlier mannequin put it within the decrease left nook, which was higher for viewing your left hand as you typed somewhat than your face. The New XPS 13 strikes it to the center nevertheless it stays low, which can annoy some customers. Alternatively, we recognize the long-overdue inclusion of an IR digital camera that helps Home windows Hiya face logins. Dell additionally embeds a fingerprint reader in to the ability button.
You’ll discover our explicit mannequin options its aluminum chassis in Rose Gold. Extra hanging is the keyboard deck. Dell says the “Alpine White” end, manufactured from woven glass fiber, is designed to be extraordinarily stain-resistant and received’t yellow from UV daylight, both. Its faintly bumpy texture is distinct from the barely rubbery black model.
XPS 13 trackpad and keyboard high quality
Though it appears to be like the identical, Dell has additionally improved the keyboard within the one space the place the earlier was missing: measurement. Whereas we at all times thought the journey was first rate, the keys simply felt a bit of cramped and small. The brand new model will increase the important thing measurement about 1mm from 14.8mm to 15.8mm. It’s sufficient, for our fats nubs anyway, to really feel so much much less cramped whereas typing.
We’ve at all times been followers of the trackpad on the XPS 13. On this mannequin, it’s a glass-smooth trackpad basically an identical to the prior mannequin’s. It’s sized accurately (for our ham-fists) and has excellent palm rejection.
XPS 13 ports: Controversy or not?
One space that’s more likely to make folks sad is the port choice. On the best aspect you get an analog audio port, a USB-C port and microSD port. The microSD port, we should always point out, will disguise all however 1mm of the cardboard, so you can go away a card in for secondary storage if you happen to wished. The left aspect contains a Noble lock port and two 40Gbps Thunderbolt Three ports (an improve from the 20Gbps variations on the older mannequin).
If you happen to seen the shortage of a sq. USB-A port, you’re not alone. Maybe impressed by a sure Cupertino-based firm’s success in taking things away from folks, Dell follows go well with. Frankly, it’s a giant bummer. Contemplate that after you’ve plugged within the USB-C charger and an exterior monitor (after you’ve bought a USB-C to HDMI or DisplayPort adapter), you’re left with solely a single USB-C/Thunderbolt Three port.
Certain, you can purchase a USB-C dongle or a Thunderbolt Three monitor that does charging, USB and different nifty issues, however that’s spending cash. Dell additionally features a matching USB-A to USB-C port dongle that we suspect most will lose inside two minutes of opening the field.
New XPS 13 Efficiency
The massive cope with the New XPS 13 is its efficiency. We’ve recognized for a while that Intel’s nifty Eighth-gen CPU depends upon cooling to carry out at its highest. We simply haven’t seen one which lets the chip present its stuff—till now.
Dell outfitted the New XPS 13 with twin followers and twin warmth pipes (the earlier mannequin makes use of only a single-fan and single-heat pipe). You possibly can see the beefier cooling within the picture beneath.
The cooling works, too. We used Intel’s XTU CPU stress check on the New XPS 13 for 45 minutes, and the XPS 13 ran between 3GHz and three.3GHz. The earlier XPS 13 caught to 2.4GHz to 2.8GHz for a similar run. XTU additionally exhibits that Dell has the New XPS 13’s chip set to run principally at 25 watts for more often than not, whereas the earlier mannequin had a restrict of 15 to 17 watts.
The tradeoff, although, is noise. Though below some masses, the New XPS was quicker and quieter because of the twin followers, on flat-out runs, it was louder. We additionally discovered the New XPS 13 kicked up these followers far before the older mannequin did.
To assist preserve the keyboard cooler, Dell outfits the New XPS 13 with a small strip of Gore thermal insulation. The concept is to assist channel the warmth away from the keyboard. Subjecting the New XPS 13 to a Prime 95 stress check, we discovered the New XPS 13’s keyboard radiated much less warmth than the earlier XPS 13 design did.
Cinebench R15 efficiency
Our first efficiency check is Cinebench R15, which we ran in each single-threaded and multi-threaded modes. This 3D-rendering process is indicative of the type of efficiency you would possibly see from fashionable functions that actually use the entire CPU cores, equivalent to content material creation. Single-core or single-threaded efficiency may be indicative of extra mundane duties, equivalent to Microsoft Phrase or Google Chrome, or different functions that rely extra on increased single-core pace.
Historically, the Core i7 has had a bonus in single-threaded masses, as a result of Intel tunes these chips to present you increased speeds on burst masses. That performs out right here, the place we see the Eighth-gen Core i5 falling about eight p.c behind the Eighth-gen Core i7.
The place all of it will get attention-grabbing is once you push the entire cores of a quad-core chip. The principle benefit the Core i7 has is short-term increase pace, which fits away as soon as it heats up. As you already know, the New XPS 13’s cooling lets it run flat-out for much longer. In Cinebench R15, we now see it leaps to the entrance, the place it simply outpaces the Eighth-gen Core i7 laptops. We’d argue that if you happen to actually want a quad-core CPU, you then’re in all probability shopping for it for heavy responsibility duties. That offers the benefit to the New XPS 13.
Though Cinebench R15 is a multi-threaded check, it runs in as little as a minute or two and doesn’t actually warmth up a laptop computer sufficient to see a long-term efficiency hit. For that we use the favored and free HandBrake to transform a 30GB file utilizing the Android Pill preset. The duty can take wherever from lower than an hour to a number of hours, relying on on the laptop computer.
Within the age of dual-core laptops, we by no means thought-about HandBrake a real efficiency check, however as extra of a thermal torture check. With at present’s ultrabooks packing quad-core chips, we count on folks to do content material creation creation duties that was left to bigger, heavier laptops.
The results of this harsher check exhibits an in depth tie between the New XPS 13 and the earlier XPS 13 design. The factor to recollect is the New XPS 13 is a Core i5, whereas the previous-gen XPS 13 is a Core i7. Examine the New XPS 13’s rating to the rating from the Acer Swift Three, a considerably bigger 14-inch laptop computer with an identical Core i5-8250 in it. It is no contest.
New XPS 13 Gaming Efficiency
In terms of gaming efficiency, Intel built-in graphics is built-in graphics. The great is that you would be able to actually play some video games you probably have reasonable expectations on the IGP. The New XPS 13 comes out in entrance, however not by a lot. Discover, too, that Seventh-gen laptops on this chart sustain surprisingly effectively.
New XPS 13 normal efficiency
As a lot as we have been impressed by the efficiency of the New XPS 13, we nonetheless wish to remind those that principally run a browser together with an Workplace software or two that for such duties, this laptop computer is overkill. PCMark eight Work Standard simulates efficiency throughout on a regular basis duties: doc modifying, looking web sites, and videoconferencing with colleagues. As you possibly can see from the outcomes, it’s principally a tie. Go on worth, keyboard, trackpad, weight, battery life, display high quality, and even colour, somewhat than CPU.
XPS 13 Battery Life
For the New XPS 13, Dell really needed to cut back the battery capability from the earlier mannequin’s 60 watt-hours to 52 watt-hours to accommodate the extra followers and thinner physique.
If 15 p.c feels like so much, it’s. Dell claims optimizations elsewhere within the laptop computer principally make up for it. To check it, we performed a 4K video file utilizing Home windows 10’s Films & TV participant whereas the laptop computer was in airplane mode, with a pair of earbuds hooked up. The display brightness was set to a reasonably vivid 250 to 260 nits, and we principally ran it from full till dry.
Dell’s declare, at the least in our check, turned out to be true. Each the New XPS 13 and the earlier gen lasted about 12.5 hours, which means the brand new mannequin does the identical with much less. We do wish to word that video rundown exams within the age of contemporary CPUs are a cakewalk. Net looking is definitely extra of a battery drain, however that is a tough check to duplicate for comparability.
From our expertise with the second unit, we are able to undoubtedly advocate the New XPS 13. With its barely improved keyboard, Home windows Hiya assist and wonderful efficiency, it might be troublesome to not. Let’s simply say this once more in case you didn’t learn our assessment: the New XPS 13 with a Core i5 is usually quicker than different laptops with Core i7 chips in them. That’s merely unheard-of.
If you happen to actually wish to be amazed, we additionally in contrast it to bigger, heavier 15-inch quad-core laptops, and it’s simply as spectacular. Within the chart beneath you possibly can see the New XPS 13 is performing awfully near the Dell XPS 15, with its a lot hotter Core i7-6700HQ, and really outperforms the Lenovo Yoga 720 15 with a Core i7-7700HQ in it. That’s merely loopy, and it says a lot about what Dell was capable of do with one of many smallest 13-inch laptops on the town.