Sturdy, elegant design
Sharp, 4K display
Strong hinge construction
The XPS series of laptops are American manufacturer Dell’s flagship products. The Dell XPS series is known for its slim, sturdy profile that bundles in the high-end processing capabilities for working professionals. Continuing with the series, the company recently introduced the XPS 13 (9310) laptop in India. We got our hands on the Intel Core-i7 version of the laptop whose price starts at Rs 2,09,990.
Dell XPS 13 (9310): Design and displayThe Dell XPS features an all-metal body with the back of the display in a greyish-white or silvery matte finish. At the centre of the back of the display sits the Dell logo, which has been carved finely out into the ultra-thin matte coating, laying bare the metal below, that glints in the light. It is the only part of the surface that can reflect the light falling on it, creating a glossy, premium look of the Dell logo. Though efforts have been made to render the rest of the flat surface free of fingerprints and to make it easy to hold the laptop, it can accumulate some dirt over a period of some days and is not resistant to smudges. Wiping the backside of the display spotlessly clean can require a bit of attention, as dust particles may cling obstinately to it.
While the back of the display comes in a silver-grey finish, the front of the chassis, with the keyboard and the trackpad, has been given a white one, which translates into a silver-white look for the Dell XPS 13 (9310).
Similar to the back of the display panel, the back of the chassis has also been given the same silver-grey matte finish although it is smoother in touch and it looks like a thinner film has been used to coat it. The ‘XPS’ logo sits in the centre of the back in the same fashion as ‘DELL’ does at the topside.
There are two, very thin rubberised strips running along the length of the chassis at the back to help keep the laptop perfectly horizontal on the table. They also make for a good grip for the laptop on the table.
The matte finish has been kept relegated to only the front and the back surface of the laptop (when it is in a closed position); that leaves out the edges of the laptop, on the display panel as well as the chassis and the backside of the hinge, and the silvery metal of the body can be easily seen and felt along the edges.
The display panel of the Dell XPS does not open all the way to the back in a perfect 180-degrees and opens up only up to an angle close to 120-degrees. The laptop has been given a central hinge design, which joins the display and the chassis very securely but not rigidly.
Overall, the laptop is a bit heavy to hold with one hand, being more than 1 kg in weight. The laptop measures 11.6 x 7.8 x 0.6 inches (295.7 x 198.7 x 14.8mm).
There are a total of four ports on both the edges of the chassis, where it joins the display panel: Two Thunderbolt 4 ports, a 3.5mm headphone/microphone combo jack and a microSD card reader.
Lack of a USB Type-A port could be a cause for consternation among users but Dell does ship in a USB Type-C to Type-A converting cable with the device, so it has saved itself from the backlash of buyers, for now, we think.
We must say that the top part of the chassis housing the keyboard and the trackpad has been carefully and impeccably done. The anti-fingerprint surface that covers the part of the chassis apart from the keyboard and the trackpad has also been done really well; it feels very smooth and does not register any fingerprints, smudges or spots, not even slightly. It looks like there isn’t a chance of any dust particles settling in here.
The display of the Dell XPS is the major attraction of the device as it is a 13.4-inch 4K OLED one with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels, which makes the display panel a bit weighty when compared to the chassis, though do not fear, the chassis does not weigh much. The display can be said to be roughly about 25% lighter than the chassis. The colours are sharp and accurate, the icons clear and compact. With a higher pixel density, the display brings out details and sharpness in visuals.
There are two, quite small and barely visible orifices for the microphone situated at the top edge of the display, evenly spaced out in the central part along the length of the edge. The bezels are slim and do not encroach upon the screen space. The display is not entirely glare-free and can cause a bit of reflection when against a light source.
Dell XPS 13 (9310): Performance
The XPS 13 (9310) unit that we reviewed comes with an Intel Core-i7 processor with Intel Iris Xe graphics (integrated). It boasts a 16GB LPDDR4x RAM and a 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD. The laptop runs Windows 10 Home operating system. With the high RAM, the XPS 13 could handle multitasking well with several tabs kept open. We opened 15-20 tabs at once, including YouTube pages, trying to see how fast the pages loaded. While the loading time could not be said to be instantaneous, it was not more than a few seconds. The laptop can handle 20+ tabs simultaneously and though it took some seconds for all of them to load properly, we didn’t face very little lag while working on them.
We noticed the left and the middle part of the keyboard warming up a tad more than expected after working for more than an hour. With a graphic-intensive application running, the heating issue got a bit worrisome. With light applications, the XPS 13 didn’t have much of a heating issue.
It is slightly difficult to get used to typing on the keyboard if you are used to other keyboards but the fingers adjust soon. The typing is smooth and silent.
The audio of the laptop could fill a room when the speakers are kept at the highest volume but it would be better to pair the audio up with a speaker or a headphone if you wish to enjoy some music at home. For watching a film or documentary at home, with the laptop sitting close, the speakers will do.
Dell XPS 13 (9310): Battery
The XPS 13 (9310) takes about 2 hours to charge to full from zero. The laptop chassis starts warming up when the XPS 13 is put to charge and can get hot during charging.
The XPS 13 (9310) comes with a 52Wh battery capacity and a 45W USB Type-C charger. After a complete charge, the laptop gave an average battery backup of 5-6 hours, which is not the most ideal but could do. It is recommended to use the laptop on Better or Best battery modes when using it for work as it could help stretch the battery life by 40-45 minutes. If you are using any graphic intensive application or streaming videos at very high quality for some hours, the battery could drop drastically.
With top-of-the-line specs and a silver-white colour scheme, the Dell XPS 13 (9310) comes in an all-metal, very sturdy body. It offers a 4K display with crisp visuals. The overall performance of the laptop is quite fast and the laptop can handle the pressures of multitasking for office professionals quite well. With heavy applications, there might be some heating issues. Lack of ports may be a cause of worry for some. Also, the heat dissipation in the device could have been better. Other than that, there are very few cons one could find with the Dell XPS 13 (9310). At a starting price of Rs 2,09,990, it is a lot to ask for but if you are willing to spend all that cash on a 4K display and a Core-i7 processor in a Dell machine only, the XPS 13 (9310) is a reliable choice.