Editor’s Rating: 9/10
A slim and stylish model combined with powerful specs and great display
A thin and light 13-inch model that is packed with powerful CPU and decent battery life. A great option for work or business purposes with the flexibility to also provide entertainment.
The standard GPU used on this device doesn’t make it a great laptop for gaming. The improvements made also seem minimal if you compare it to the previous model.
Detailed Review Of Dell XPS 13 9380 (2019)
How do you make an already great laptop even better?
Retain the things that made it great and fix the things that need improvement. This is what Dell did with the latest model of the XPS 13 9380. Providing fixes on some of the things that annoyed people, while also improving upon the specs that it already has.
It’s powered by an 8th Gen Intel Core processor, making it a powerful laptop that can breeze through all types of work and tasks without any issues. It also has an updated battery life to allow for extended use of the laptop.
The use of a standard graphics card, though, doesn’t make this an ideal laptop for graphic-intensive programs.
Dell XPS 13 9380 Configuration In Review
Processor: Intel Core i7-565U (up to 4.6GHz) | RAM: 16GB LPDDR3 | Storage: 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | Display: 13.3” 4K Ultra HD touch screen, 3840 x 2160 pixels resolution | Operating System: Windows 10 Pro | Battery Life: 8 Hours | Weight: 2.81 lbs | Other Features: Backlit Keyboard, Fingerprint reader, Dell Cinema
Improvement In Design And Introducing New Color Schemes
Let’s get on with this review and see what improvements are made to the Dell XPS 13 9380.
One of the first things you will notice with this improved version is that there are now new color schemes available. The unit we tested comes in the Frost Silver and Arctic White finish, which looks sleek and stylish.
…the annoying “nose cam” is already gone…
The lid still features the anodized aluminum chassis but this time with the Frost Silver finish, which is a very light gray finish that makes the device look elegant and blends well with the Dell logo on the center. There’s also a Rose Gold option if you don’t like the look of the Frost Silver.
Inside the laptop, you will be greeted with the Arctic White finish on the device’s thin bezels, as well as on the keyboard deck. The white finish looks really great, but you have to make sure to wipe it as often as possible to prevent dirt from accumulating and ruining the dashing finish.
Another thing that you will notice inside is that the annoying “nose cam” (the previous XPS 13 placed the webcam below the screen, which led to the annoying up-the-nose angle during video calls) is already gone and Dell returned the webcam placement back on the top of the bezel.
To achieve this, Dell created a very small webcam, which is only 0.08-inch in diameter to fit the thin bezel. They also used what they call the InfinityEdge design to fit a 13.3-inch display and thin bezels on the device.
An already good-looking laptop was made even better with its improvements in design and features.
Great Screen And Functionality
Aside from the design, the Dell XPS 13 9830 also features a great screen and good functionality.
The 13.3-inch model that we tested comes with 4K resolution and we were blown away with its performance. It provided great details, as well as vivid colors while we were playing movies and videos.
It was a particularly great experience watching videos on the amazing display, despite its 13-inch size. The device also comes with Dell Cinema, which is a program that allows for better settings and configurations.
The program features 3 technologies, CinemaColor, CinemaSounds, and CinemaStream, which improves the device’s color, sound, and streaming capabilities. The touchscreen aspect is also very responsive and there wasn’t any delay on the response whenever we tap it.
Dell paired the XPS 13 9830 with great side-firing speakers. It produced loud enough sound that it can easily fill a medium-sized room. It can even fill a slightly large room without any issues. This makes the laptop an amazing device for watching movies and videos, providing entertainment when you need to take a break.
The webcam is also surprisingly good. Though you can’t expect to get good pictures or video feedback from it because of how small it is. It’s still good enough to take decent pictures and be used for video calls or meetings without you looking too pixelated or having too much visual noise.
The keyboard as well is not only aesthetically good, but it also delivers. Typing on it is very comfortable and it gives nice feedback. It’s also quiet so you will rarely hear a clicking sound as you type on the device. The touchpad is also accurate and responsive and it didn’t have any issues whether you use one or two fingers.
Connectivity is also not much of a problem with the XPS 13 9380 as it provides enough ports to use. On the left side are two Thunderbolt 3 Type-C ports, which are both capable of charging the device and be used as DisplayPorts for connecting the laptop to a larger monitor. The left side also contains a Wedge-shaped lock slot for securing the laptop on a table.
On the right side are a USB 3.1 Type-C slot, a micro SD card reader, and a headset jack. The lack of a USB 3.1 Type-A slot might be an issue for some people, but it’s not that big of a deal.
Better Performance And Solid Battery Life
In terms of power, the Dell XPS 13 9830 certainly delivers on that aspect.
This model is equipped with a powerful Intel Core i7-8565U with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD hard drive. These are amazing specs that will allow the device to easily power through almost anything task or activity that you will give it.
You can easily use this laptop for writing or editing documents, completing various spreadsheet tasks, video encoding, and other intensive computing tasks. Multitasking is also not an issue as we didn’t experience any slowdown when we were doing spreadsheet work while several browser tabs are open with one of them playing a YouTube video.
…still solid since it means the device can last for about a day’s worth of work…
You can even use this device for photo and video editing with its powerful CPU and RAM. Playing movies and videos or music while working is not going to be an issue as well. This device can handle almost any activity you put it through, except gaming.
Despite the powerful CPU, this device uses only an Intel UHD Graphics 620. This graphics card is not really intended for playing the latest titles and the more graphically-demanding programs. You can use this device, though, for light gaming or playing titles that are not demanding.
Some titles will likely require adjusting the graphics settings a bit to play it properly on this device. So if playing the latest titles is what you’re looking for, you might want to select a different device.
As for battery life, Dell promised that the XPS 13 9380 would last up to 12 hours on a single charge. Unfortunately, it wasn’t even close, as our test revealed that this device can function for 8 hours and 12 minutes, which is decent but it doesn’t make this one of the laptops with the best battery life.
We do acknowledge that this is better than the previous models of the XPS 13, so it’s still an improvement. More than 8 hours of battery life before needing a charge is still solid since it means the device can last for about a day’s worth of work.
Consistently ranked atop the best laptops available, the Dell XPS 13 (2019) improves upon its legacy. Maybe it’s from all the tough competition that’s been coming out or the changes we’ve seen in the high-end Ultrabook market, but the newest XPS 13 has kept up with the times. And it’s done a fantastic job of retaining what’s made the laptop so great while including some vital upgrades.
Dell just made one of the best laptops even better. Loaded up with Intel’s powerful 8th-Gen processor, the XPS 13 (starting at $899, reviewed at $2,449) is even faster and more powerful than ever. Plus, Dell finally got rid of the nose cam. However, the combination of a 4K display and a power-hungry CPU puts the battery life at just under 8 hours, which can be a detriment to mobile professionals.
Buy It If…
There are already many good laptops available in the ultrabook market. But this model remains one of the best laptops you can find. It’s a great device if you’re in the market for a powerful machine that can deal with almost all types of work tasks, including some photo and video editing, and can still be used for watching movies or playing casual games.
Don’t Buy It If…
As good as this ultrabook is, it can’t do everything. If you’re looking for a device that can play the latest video game titles or run graphic-intensive programs, then this device is not for you as its mediocre graphics card doesn’t allow it to do either task.
Dell XPS 13 9380 (2019) Alternatives
The great thing about the ultrabook market is that there are many options available should you find that this model is not for you. Here are some alternative laptop models that we recommend:
- Razer Blade Stealth: A powerful laptop that is built for hardcore gamers
- HP Spectre X360 13t: Premium looking but decently priced powerful laptop
- Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon: A good laptop designed for business use
If you prefer laptop models that are designed more for gaming or running graphic-intensive programs at reasonable prices, we compiled an intensive list of good gaming laptops that are affordable based on our research and testing.