All the way back in 2015, we asked ourselves if the Dell XPS 13 was the best Windows laptop on the planet. Here we are four years later and the answer is still a resounding “yes.” In fact, between its stunning InfinityEdge display, sharp resolution, super-thin bezel, and improved webcam design, Dell’s XPS 13 (2019) is better than ever before. It also makes for one of the best movie-watching laptops we’ve ever encountered. Indeed, this slim and sexy beast fuses size, form factor, style, and performance to sheer perfection. Is it still the best Windows laptop that money can buy? You’re damn right it is.
First and foremost: the basics. At the top of the line-up is the Dell XPS 13 (9380), which is the model we took for a test drive here at the office. Available in a variety of styles, it features a 13.3″ FHD (1920×1080) Non-Touch InfinityEdge Display and runs on the Window 10 Home operating system. Under the skin is an 8th Gen Intel Core i7 Processor, a 256GB SSD, an Intel UHD Graphics 620 with shared graphics memory, and 8GB of RAM. Throw down some extra cash and you can get up to 1TB of storage and 16GB of RAM.
Despite its impeccably thin design, the laptop is supremely durable, having been cut from a single block of machined aluminium. The palmrest—made of a carbon fibre composite—is likewise sturdy and lightweight. Meanwhile, this is Dell’s first laptop to include GORE Thermal Insulation for improved temperature regulation, resulting in greater performance. Add to that the backlit keyboard, three Type-C ports (including two Thunderbolt ports), a microSD card slot, a respectable battery life, and professional-grade speakers, and this gorgeous laptop leaves essentially nothing to be desired in terms of the fundamentals.
One of the biggest complaints about previous XPS models was that the webcam was placed at the bottom of the screen. This was due to the fact that the bezel was so thin that the webcam simply didn’t fit at the top. As such, each previous webcam didn’t exactly capture users from the most flattering of angles (hence the unofficial nickname of “nosecam”). On the latest incarnation, that perennial problem has finally been solved. Miraculously, Dell managed to design a webcam that fits into the top of the thin bezel, resulting in a much more pleasing angle.
Further distinguishing the Dell XPS 13 from both its predecessors and its counterparts is updated Dell Cinema technology. Put simply, the laptop delivers an extraordinary tier of visual immersion, bringing shows and movies to life by way of epic colour and sound. Upon streaming a few Marvel movies and Netflix shows here at the office, we were blown away by the crisp resolution and seamless performance.
Features of Dell Cinema include CinemaCOLOR, which employs HDR (High Dynamic Range) to enhance details and improve colour contrast. Consequently, the brights are brighter, the darks darker, and the images downright vivid. That’s joined by CinemaSOUND, an exclusive audio innovation that brings higher volume and deeper bass, thereby cranking up the immersion dial. Last but not least, CinemaSTREAMING amounts to faster and smoother performance with minimal buffering and improved bandwidth.
In addition to its brilliant resolution and indisputably sleek design, the Dell XPS 13 comes bolstered by optimal accessibility features. For one, there’s a fingerprint reader integrated into the power button, allowing you to log on with a single touch. Then there’s voice activation, which works from up to 14 feet away thanks to four built-in microphones. Because the laptop includes both Microsoft Cortana and Waves-enabled speech technology, background noise won’t interfere when you control music playlists or put together itineraries using just your voice.
The Dell XPS 13 is also supremely compatible and connective. Use the Thunderbolt ports to charge the computer, connect with multiple devices, or transfer data at up to 40Gbps (eight times that of a USB 3.0). Also featured is an advanced docking set up, enabling single-cable connections for things like power, Ethernet, audio, and video. Bring in an optional Dell Thunderbolt Dock and you’ll be able to support up to three full HD displays or two 4K displays. Speaking of compatibility, Dell Mobile Connect provides effortless and cord-free integration with your iOS or Android Smartphone.
Dell XPS 13 Technical Specs
Here’s a full breakdown of the Dell XPS 13 (9380):
- Processor: 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-8565U Processor (8MB Cache, up to 4.6 GHz, 4 cores)
- Operating System: Windows 10 Home 64bit English
- Memory: 8GB LPDDR3 2133MHz (up to 16GB)
- Hard Drive: 256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive (up to 1TB)
- Video Card: Intel® UHD Graphics 620 with shared graphics memory
- Display: 13.3″ FHD (1920×1080) Non-Touch InfinityEdge Display
- Battery: 52WHr (built-in)
- Wireless: Killer 1435 802.11ac 2×2 and Bluetooth 4.1
- Keyboard: Full size, backlit chiclet keyboard; 1.3mm travel
- Touchpad: Precision touchpad, seamless glass integrated button
- Camera: Widescreen HD (720p) 2.25mm webcam with 4 array digital microphones; Far Field Cortana capable
- Audio: Stereo speakers professionally tuned with Waves MaxxAudio® Pro; 1W x 2 = 2W total
- Ports: 2 Thunderbolt™ 3 with power delivery and DisplayPort (4 lanes of PCI Express Gen 3) 1 USB-C 3.1 with power delivery and DisplayPort 1 MicroSD card reader 1 Headset jack
- Slots: 1 Wedge-shaped lock slot
- Dimensions: Height: 7.8mm – 11.6mm (0.3″- 0.46″) x Width: 302mm (11.9″) x Depth: 199mm (7.8″)
- Weight: Starting at 1.23 kg (2.7 lbs)
In case it’s not yet obvious, we love the Dell XPS 13. It’s a smooth and sleek operator that pairs steadfast durability with a runway-ready body. The virtually borderless InfinityEdge Display delivers the utmost tier of graphics resolution, while the precision touchpad and integrated glass button make navigation a breeze. With the webcam in its rightful place at the top of the display, this brilliant device is basically indestructible in terms of allure and functionality alike. Get it in the new frost style, rose gold, or platinum silver with black carbon fibre interior. What’s important is that you get it, as it continues to be the best Windows laptop on the planet.