Dell XPS 13: The 2018 Edition Review
by Muhjir Ibrahim Shajahan
Dell has built rather an impressive portfolio with their XPS 13 line-up. Dell introduced their first ultraportable laptop named XPS 13, in 2013. The 2013 model had a thickness of 0.71 inches at its thickest and sported Intel’s fourth generation processors. At that time, laptops with USB-C was unheard of.
Come 2018; Dell brought in their A-game perfecting the XPS 13 series of laptops. The 2018 model only measures 0.46 inch at its thickest!
With the XPS, you are looking at a minimum price tag tailing the $1000 mark, and Dell didn’t stray far from the line with the 2018 version of XPS 13.
Let’s have a quick look at the important details on the 2018 Dell XPS 13;
• The laptop comes in two color options: Silver and Rose Gold.
• Display options: full HD or 4K Touch-enabled display.
• Uses Intel’s 8th generation U processors.
• Comes with 128GB, 256GB or 512GB SSD options.
• Available in 8GB or 4GB RAM options.
• Windows 10 home preinstalled, Windows 10 Pro optional.
Lets now discuss on what’s new in the 2018 Dell XPS 13 and whether it’s the right laptop worthy of your next purchase.
New Color Options of 2018 XPS 13
Dell always stuck to the black and silver color variations for the past XPS laptops. This time, they have refreshed the lineup with Silver and Rose Gold color options. Personally, I like the design path Dell chose for the new laptop. It will certainly appeal to a wider audience.
The new XPS 13 comes with Rose Gold color exterior paired with a white interior. This addition is a breath of fresh air considering the industrial looking color schemes that Dell used to offer. The only gripe I have is that the front camera and biometric authentication sensor cutout. It stands out from the white base quite a bit.
Dell didn’t just improve the screen on the 2018 Dell XPS 13; they made is 23 percent thinner than the previous model. This is an enormous upgrade compared to the past version. Now the laptop looks and feels even slicker than the 2017 version.
The 2018 model also ships with a 4K touchscreen option. The 4K panels are simply gorgeous to look at, and it performs just as well. The 4K screen gives out 415 nits of brightness which more than acceptable to be used outside. The anti-glare coating on the touchscreen version helps to keep the glares at bay, giving you an immersive viewing experience.
The new “Cinema Color” technology brings out deeper blacks in the panel. The brightness and sRGB values are also good. If you want to use the XPS for media consumption, the 2018 Dell XPS 13 doesn’t disappoint.
The best feature hands down is the bezel-less display panel. You need to use it to know the difference. And once you have used it, be sure not be satisfied with any other display options offered on the market!
The XPS 13 9370 comes with a wide variety of configurations. It uses the latest 8th generation processors from Intel. The CPU now has 4 cores compared to the past version of XPS line-up. If you are thinking that the new configuration is going to heat up the whole system within seconds, Dell has thought of a brilliant engineering addition.
The XPS 13 uses dual heat pipe, dual fan setup that keeps thermals in the cool area. This means that the laptop can use higher clock speeds for a longer period without throttling.
This is an area where the 2017 XPS 13 takes the crown away from the new XPS. The 2018 edition has only a 52 watt-hour battery compared to the 60 watt-hour battery offered in the 2017 version. Dell’s decision to go with a smaller capacity battery was made in favor to reduce the overall weight and size of the laptop.
But do not that this laptop will run out of juice in mere hours. Under real-world conditions, the 2018 XPS 13 will last more than 16 hours under light to medium use. You can expect the 4K paneled XPS to perform around 12 hours.
2018 Dell XPS 13 still gives one of the most impressive on-screen times compared to the rest of the competition.
Now, we are seeing a trend towards using of USB-C ports being used instead of USB A ports. But the 2018 Dell XPS 13 completely ditched the type-A connectors for one USB type-C connector and two Thunderbolt 3 ports. The laptop also sports a MicroSD card slot for connecting memory cards on the go.
Do not feel left out if you have peripherals that use USB type-A connectors as the laptop ships with a USB-C to USB-A dongle right out of the box.
Keyboard and TouchPad
If you have used the previous generation XPS, then the new one’s keyboard feels the same. It has the 1.2 mm key travel coupled with the glass touchpad. The tracking is done by windows precision drivers which is accurate and satisfying.
The shallow key travel will be loved by writers and is a pleasure to use if you are writing down an email or any content.
XPS laptops were always praised for using premium lightweight materials for their construction that were durable and sturdy. The XPS 13 follows the same design choice with a mix of aluminum and carbon fiber.
But if you choose to go with the rose gold version of the XPS 13, the hand rest is a completely different material. Dell uses a glass fiber weave for the rose gold version. To explain it in simple terms, it looks and feels awesome. The material feels a bit firm compared to the carbon fiber weave, but it won’t be an issue even if you rest your hands on it for extended periods.
The surface is extremely stain resistant making the job of cleaning it very easy, even if you managed to spill ball pen ink on it!
If you want a great looking Ultrabook that performs remarkably well, then 2018 XPS is a winner. But don’t make a decision just yet. It would have been much easier if the 2017 XPS 13 wasn’t on sale, but it definitely is!
It is a bit thicker but boasts bigger battery and USB type-A connectors.
So it comes to this; if you want a laptop with 4k Screen and need a considerable amount of processing power, then 2018 XPS 13 fits the bill.
But if you want a laptop that is still light and thin, and does all the ultra-portability stuff just right, then the 2017 model will not disappoint. Also, it costs less, giving more bang for the buck!