Dell XPS 13 (9300) Review : Incredible Ultra-Light Laptop!

Dell XPS 13 (9300) Review : Incredible Ultra-Light Laptop!

XPS 13 (9300) Performance, Verdict + Award

Contents

Dell XPS 13 (9300) : Performance

Our Dell XPS 13 (9300) is powered by the 15-watt Intel Core i7-1065G7 (Ice Lake) with 4 cores and 8 threads, and Iris Plus Graphics with 64 Execution Units.

It comes with 8 MB of cache, and has a 1.3 GHz base frequency that ramps up to 3.5 GHz during intensive tasks.

Our review sample came with 16 GB LPDDR4X-3733 dual-channel memory, and a 1 TB SK hynix PC611 PCIe NVMe SSD.

Work Performance : PCMark 10

The Intel Core i7-1065G7 is a 25 watt processor that can be configured to run at a lower TDP of 15 watt – to improve battery life and reduce thermal output.

At the full 25 watt TDP, it should deliver PCMark 10 scores in excess of 4700. It is obvious now that Dell configured it for the cooler 15 watt TDP. This is why benchmarks are important.

This makes the Dell XPS 13 (9300) about 7.6% slower than the HUAWEI MateBook X Pro, which uses the Intel Core i7-10510U processor.

Gaming Performance : 3DMark Time Spy

The integrated Intel Iris Plus Graphics sounds powerful on paper – with 64 Execution Units – but it is only about as fast as the NVIDIA GeForce MX130 / GeForce 940MX.

So this is most definitely NOT a gaming laptop, although you should have no problem playing older games and games that are not 3D graphics-intensive like DOTA 2.

Battery Life : YouTube + Modern Office

The Dell XPS 13 (9300) comes with a 4-cell smart lithium-ion battery that is rated for 52 Whr.

Dell claims a battery life of up to 18 hours and 49 minutes with the Full HD+ display, and up to 12 hours and 13 minutes with the 4K UHD+ display.

In our general use, we have no problem working a full day on it without recharging, which makes it really convenient when travelling.

That said, we locked the brightness at 50% – higher than the average of 40% – to see how it performs in these worst-case scenarios :

YouTube Streaming

The Dell XPS 13 (9300) lasted 8 hours 15 minutes streaming YouTube videos in theatre mode using WiFi, before its battery dropped to 10%.

PCMark 10 : Modern Office

The Dell XPS 13 (9300) lasted 6 hours 36 minutes before it powered off while running the Modern Office benchmark.

Battery : Recharging Speed

Its 65 watt fast charger took about 52.5 minutes to hit the mid-point (55%), but 2 hours 23.5 minutes to fully recharge its battery from 10%.

Here are the times it takes to recharge from 10% :

  • 15% – 5 minutes 57 seconds
  • 20% – 11 minutes 53 seconds
  • 25% – 17 minutes 45 seconds
  • 30% – 23 minutes 22 seconds
  • 35% – 29 minutes 25 seconds
  • 40% – 35 minutes 8 seconds
  • 45% – 41 minutes 22 seconds
  • 50% – 46 minutes 56 seconds
  • 55% – 52 minutes 39 seconds
  • 60% – 58 minutes 27 seconds
  • 65% – 64 minutes 13 seconds
  • 70% – 70 minutes 15 seconds
  • 75% – 76 minutes
  • 80% – 81 minutes 58 seconds
  • 85% – 89 minutes 41 seconds
  • 90% – 100 minutes 50 seconds
  • 95% – 118 minutes 45 seconds
  • 100% – 143 minutes 20 seconds

This gives it a battery life : recharging time ratio of 3.45 : 1 for video streaming, and 2.76 : 1 for office work.

As a rule of thumb, you will need to recharge its battery about 22 minutes for every hour of battery life.

 

Dell XPS 13 (9300) : Verdict + Award

The Dell XPS 13 (9300) is a really great ultra-light laptop for people who are always on-the-go.

It packs serious processing power, memory and a huge SSD with the latest wireless connectivity built-in, in a very thin and light package.

It is less than 15 mm at its thickest point, and weighs less than 1.3 kg. But this is something you have to hold in your hand to actually get a feel of how much engineering went into the XPS 13.

Even the latest 13-inch Apple MacBook Pro, powered by the new Apple M1 SoC, is largerthicker at 15.6 mm and weighs more at 1.4 kg!

The extremely thin profile offers some challenges to first time users – limited physical ports. Yet the XPS 13 (9300) managed to squeeze in an extra microSD card reader over the new 13-inch MacBook Pro (M1).

Even so, you will have to live with just two USB Type C ports – one of which is not available when you recharge its battery. Fortunately, the XPS 13 (9300) comes with Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 wireless connectivity.

Thankfully, Dell threw in a free USB-C to USB-A dongle, so at least you have ready access to your USB Type A drives and devices out-of-the-box.

Security-conscious users will love the fingerprint sensor and IR camera, which allows for easy and secure logins. However, the webcam lacks a physical shutter, and the lid clearance is too tight to safely use a third-party shutter.

As far as battery life is concerned, the XPS 13 (9300) will last more than full day’s work without recharging. After a while, you will get used to leaving the office without the charger!

All-in-all, the Dell XPS 13 (9300) is an engineering marvel that must be experienced to truly understand. If you want the very best Windows 10 ultra-light laptop money can buy, this should be right at the top of the list.

That is why we wholeheartedly award it our Reviewer’s Choice Award!

 

Acknowledgement

We would like to thank Dell for sending us this review unit, and making us part of the #DellInsideCircle

 

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