At a glance
- Incredibly thin and compact design
- Beautiful and rigid machined aluminum chassis
- Comfortable keyboard and touchpad
- Lid is difficult to open
- Mediocre performance
- Grainy, 720p webcam
- Limited ports
The Dell XPS 13 9315 boasts a gorgeous, incredibly thin all-metal design, but its lackluster performance, subpar webcam, and hard-to-lift lid prevent a stronger recommendation.
The XPS 13 is a beauty. Among midrange laptops, it boasts the sleekest, most compact design, packing a 13.4-inch 16:10 display into an enclosure that looks hardly any larger than an 11-inch Chromebook. But this is no Chromebook. Made from machined aluminum in an alluring blue hue and only a half an inch thick, the XPS 13 has premium-grade looks. For regular trips and daily commutes, the XPS 13 is an easy travel mate.
Despite its luxurious looks, the XPS 13 is a midrange ultraportable. It starts at $749 with Dell’s current discount and our test system’s upgrades still keep the price at a reasonable $1,149. Our test system features the baseline CPU, a 12th-gen Core i5, that provides acceptable application performance but still trails that of other midrange laptops that dial back the design touches and put more of their budget toward more capable Core i7 parts. It also lacks an OLED panel and 1080p webcam, two features that are becoming more common on midrange laptops. And we found it annoyingly difficult to open the laptop’s lid, a seemingly small issue that became a great nuisance in quick order.
Dell XPS 13 9315 specifications
Our Dell XPS 13 test system is selling for $1,149 at its current discount from Dell and features the following specs:
- Display: 13.4 FHD+ (1920 x 1200) touch panel with 500-nit rating
- Processor: Intel Core i5-1230U
- Graphics: Iris Xe Graphics
- Memory: 16GB
- Storage: 512GB SSD
- Ports: 2 Thunderbolt 4 (3.5mm dongle and USB-A to USB-C dongle included)
- Camera: 720p with Windows Hello support
- Battery: 51 Whr
- Wireless: WiFi 6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.1
- Operating system: Windows 11 Home
- Dimensions: 11.63 x 7.85 x 0.55 inches
- Weight: 2.57 pounds
- Price: Starts at $749 / $1,149 as tested
The XPS 13 starts at $999, but Dell offers constantly revolving discounts on its site and the baseline model is currently discounted to $749. It features a Core i5-1230U, 8GB of RAM. a 512GB SSD, and a non-touch 13.4-inch display. While it’s good to see a 512GB SSD offered as the default storage option instead of an undersized 256GB unit, we wish Dell skipped past the meager 8GB of RAM and offered 16GB at minimum. Our test model features the 16GB memory upgrade, which adds a hefty $150 to the bill. Adding touch support to the display adds another $100, which feels steep since it doesn’t come with a bump in resolution or, better yet, an OLED panel.
Tough nut to crack
The XPS 13 is a vision in metallic blue. The subtle shade of blue allows it to stand out from the sea of brushed aluminum laptops in silver. The lid, bottom panel and keyboard deck are tinted aluminum in a blue hue that Dell calls “Sky.” There is also an “Umber” option that’s a purplish brown. The keyboard is made to match. The keys on our Sky test system are an icy blue and, appropriately enough, look really cool.
IDG / Matthew Elliott
Opening the lid to get to the keyboard, however, is a task more difficult than it ever should be. Most laptops have a notch on the front edge that gives you the needed space for your fingertip to find purchase to raise the lid. The XPS 13 is completely devoid of such helpful notching. The front edge of the lid is angled and overhangs from the keyboard deck, but it is not wide enough for you to lift the lid without also lifting the entire laptop. I found I needed to use my fingernail to pry open the lid. In short order, opening the XPS 13 felt like trying to get to the nut inside a pistachio shell that has only the smallest sliver of an opening.
IDG / Matthew Elliott
When the XPS 13 is closed it cuts a thin profile. It’s a hair over a half an inch thick and with thin bezels on all four sides of the display, it measures only 11.63 inches wide and 7.85 inches deep. It’s about as thin and compact as a 13.4-inch laptop gets. And it’s light, too, and roughly 2.5 pounds. It’s even lighter than the 2.71-pound XPS 13 Plus, Dell’s upscale 13.4-inch model.
As with the display, Dell wastes no space with the keyboard — it runs from edge to edge. The keyboard feels roomy and there are no shortened keys to get accustomed to. The keys offer shallow travel and snappy feedback for a pleasant and speedy typing experience. There’s two-level backlighting for working on a redeye or an otherwise dark environment. The power button resides in the upper-right corner of the keyboard and doubles as a fingerprint reader for easy, secure logins.
IDG / Matthew Elliott
The compact design doesn’t leave much room for the touchpad, but Dell made it about as large as can be given the limited space between the bottom of the keyboard and the bottom edge of the laptop. It offers smooth gliding and an accurate response, and the click mechanism is perfect with just the right amount of travel.
Disappointing webcam, sparse ports
The best two attributes of the XPS 13’s display are its brightness and tallness. It has a 16:10 aspect ratio and is rated for 500 nits. At 16:10, the display is taller than a 16:9 screen, and the added vertical space makes the display feel larger than its 13.4-inch size. The effect of having a taller aspect ratio grows in importance as the size of the panel shrinks. A larger, 15- or 16-inch screen feels roomy at 16:10 or 16:9, but a smaller 13-inch screen can feel cramped at 16:9 when you are constantly scrolling through web pages and documents. The XPS 13’s 13.4-inch screen certainly isn’t the easiest on which to multitask, but the added height the 16:10 ratio affords does allow you to see more on the screen with less scrolling required.
I measured the panel against its 500-nit rating and found it to hit roughly 425 nits at maximum brightness. While it’s disappointing the actual brightness wasn’t closer to its rating, the panel is plenty bright for every indoor setting we tried, from a sunny, south-facing breakfast nook to an office under ample artificial lighting.
IDG / Matthew Elliott
The display’s 1920×1200 resolution is more than sufficient for the size of the display. Dell set the display scaling to 150%, which resulted in large text and icons that remained crisp and clear. I found that setting the scaling to 125% provided a larger workspace while keeping text at a font size that was still large enough to be read easily without squinting.
While superior OLED panels are becoming more common in midrange laptops, the XPS 13 appears just out of reach of OLED-land. It features a basic LCD panel with decent contrast and colors but can’t match the quality of an OLED panel that we have seen on models that cost only a bit more than the XPS 9315. It’s a shame the touch panel option doesn’t also come with an OLED upgrade.
The laptop’s stereo speakers produce better sound than expected, although I will note I have low expectations for any laptop with only a pair of two-watt speakers. Especially on such a thin and compact system, the XPS 13’s audio output is fairly dynamic with even a hint of bass. It has enough muscle to fill a small room, although the clarity quickly declines when you push the volume past 70%.
The webcam is a disappointment. While 1080p webcams have quickly become the de facto option on all but the must budget of laptops, the XPS 9315 features a 720p webcam that suffers from a grainy image with over saturated colors. I would expect to see a 720p camera on a low-end model from Dell’s mainstream Inspiron line, but every XPS laptop should come equipped with a 1080p camera by now.
IDG / Matthew Elliott
IDG / Matthew Elliott
Dell offers a sparse port selection on the XPS 9315. The laptop features two Thunderbolt 4 ports — one on each side of the system. That’s it. There’s not even a headphone jack. To supplement the minimal ports, Dell includes two adapters in the box. There’s one USB-C to 3.5mm jack dongle for connecting headphones and another USB-C to USB-A dongle for your USB-A peripherals. You’re on your own for adapting to an HDMI connection.
Our Dell XPS 13 features the Intel Core i5-1230U CPU, 16GB of RAM, integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics, and a 512GB SSD. The Core i5-1230U is a chip from Intel’s 12th generation of Core processors with two performance cores and eight efficiency cores. It’s a member of the U-series of 9-watt chips that prioritizes efficiency over power.
To see how it stacks up to its ultrabook competition, we looked at its performance against that of the Acer Aspire 5 15 based on the 15-watt Core i5-1235U. You’ll also see the Acer Swift 5 and Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 in the charts; each features a Core i7-1260P, a chip from the P series that sits between Intel’s efficient U-series and high-powered H-series. We also included last year’s Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 9310 that features an 11th-gen Core i7 part. Rounding out the charts are two compact ultraportables with AMD Ryzen 7 5800U in the HP Pavilion Aero 13 and Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon.
In anecdotal testing, the XPS 13 felt peppy during general Windows use, including multitasking scenarios. Apps opened and closed quickly, and I was able to juggle multiple apps and windows without any lag. The laptop also operated in near silence, which is not always a given on a thin, compact system that can present thermal challenges.
Our first benchmark is PCMark 10, which measures performance on everyday computing work including office productivity tasks, web browsing, and video chats. With only two performance cores, the XPS 13 limped to a last place finish on PCMark 10, trialing the other system that featured more processing cores as well as the Acer Aspire 5 15, whose Core i5-1235U has the same number of performance (2) and efficiency (8) cores as the XPS 13’s Core i5-1230U. The Aspire 5 15’s CPU, however, is a 15-watt chip compared with only 9 watts for the XPS 13. That extra wattage results in greater PCMark performance.
IDG / Matthew Elliott
Our HandBrake benchmark tests how a laptop is able to handle crushing CPU loads over a lengthy period—in this case, transcoding a 30GB MKV file to a format suitable for Android tablets using HandBrake, the free video encoding utility. The XPS 13 managed to finish ahead of last year’s Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 but took much longer to complete the test than the other systems with 12th-gen Intel processors and AMD Ryzen 7 5000-series chips.
IDG / Matthew Elliott
Next up is Cinebench, another CPU-intensive test but one that renders a complex 2D scene over a short period of time. The XPS 13 finished dead last and well off the pace set by the laptops with CPUs that feature a greater number of processing cores.
IDG / Matthew Elliott
The XPS 13’s showing in labs testing did not improve with 3D graphics testing. On 3DMark’s Time Spy benchmark, it finished last among the group.
IDG / Matthew Elliott
To test a laptop’s battery life, we loop a 4K video using Windows 11’s Movies & TV app, with the laptop set to Airplane mode and earbuds plugged in. We set the screen brightness at a relatively bright 250 nits to 260 nits, which is a good brightness for watching a movie in an office with the lights on. We had hoped that with its efficient Core i5 U-series chip, the XPS 13 would flip the script and finish toward the top of the chart for battery life. Sadly, it did not. It failed to top the 10-hour mark on our battery drain test, a threshold most of the ultrabooks here were able to exceed.
At first blush, the Dell XPS 13 is an attractive ultraportable for its compact design, thin profile, and unique tinted aluminum material. As soon as you attempt to raise the lid, however, the bloom is off the rose. It’s frustratingly difficult to perform the simple act of opening the laptop. In addition, competing ultrabooks offer better performance and longer battery life than the XPS 13 and its 12th-gen Core i5 chip. Further, the 720p webcam is behind the times and, with only two ports, you are forced to keep track of two tiny adapters. For roughly the same price, the slightly larger but still highly portable HP Pavilion 14 Plus offers better performance along with an OLED display and 1080p webcam.
What is special about Dell XPS 13? ›
The Dell XPS 13 is the best Windows laptop you can buy, offering a stunning display, a great keyboard and long battery life within an attractive, slim design that's easy to take anywhere.Is an XPS 13 powerful enough? ›
Dell XPS 13: The Bottom Line
It's light enough to carry around and has a fast processor to work with. You'll have no problem doing a little bit of everything, like building presentations, streaming video, and playing simple games.
Various XPS 13 Plus owners on social media have reported everything from off-spec colors to touchscreen issues panel failures to, in an extremely dramatic instance, the panel simply falling off of the upper screen housing on a Best Buy display unit. Problems with the new design aren't limited to the screen.Does Dell XPS 13 have heating issues? ›
The Dell XPS 13 Plus makes a good machine for watching media in your downtime, thanks to its quad-speaker design. Despite these improvements, the XPS 13 Plus doesn't overheat. In fact, Dell says it has 55% more airflow than before, allowing greater levels of performance without the increase in heat that usually brings.How long will XPS 13 last? ›
|Dell XPS 13 Plus||Dell XPS 13|
|Battery life (rated)||Up to 13 hours||Up to 12 hours|
|Size and weight||11.63 x 7.84 x 0.6 inches, 2.71 pounds||11.63 x 7.86 x 0.55 inches, 2.59 pounds|
The last major upgrade in the XPS 13 Plus is something you can't even see. Under the hood, it's powered by Intel's 28-watt 12th-gen processors, whereas last year's XPS 13 had 15-watt 11th-gen chips. More power means more performance – this is the small XPS for someone who wants to do serious work.Which is better XPS or Mac? ›
The MacBook Pro 14 is faster, though, and it gets significantly better battery life. You can spend about the same money on both laptops but the MacBook has a higher ceiling. In the end, it's a better overall laptop for anyone who isn't looking for the tiniest machine around.Which HP laptop is comparable to Dell XPS 13? ›
Simply put, the HP Spectre x360 13.5 and Dell XPS 13 Plus are two of the best laptops you can buy at any price and any size. These flagships sit at the top of the heap in terms of premium designs and components. But choosing between the two isn't simple.What is the price of Dell XPS 13 2022? ›
Dell XPS 13 price in India starts from ₹ 83,990.What is wrong with Dell XPS 13 screen? ›
We discovered that some screens on the XPS 13 Plus OLED systems may become loose because of problems with the third-party adhesive used, and we quickly corrected the issue in our production process. Dell is proactively reaching out to customers who may be impacted to replace the screen, ideally before it becomes loose.
Is XPS the best Windows laptop? ›
The best Windows laptop we've tested is the Dell XPS 13 (2021), an ultraportable designed for general productivity like web browsing, text processing, and video playback. It's sleek, sturdy, and easy to carry around, with enough battery life to get you through a typical eight-hour day of light use.Why is my Dell XPS 13 always hot? ›
Your Dell computer can overheat because of insufficient air flow due to dust or debris blocking the air vents, exhaust ports, or a clogged fan. An overheating computer can intermittently restart, shutdown, or experience performance issues. Eventually excessive heat can damage the internal components.Does the XPS overheat? ›
If the air vents on the bottom of the Dell XPS are too dirty and/ or clogged, then the device may overheat.Does Dell XPS have good cooling? ›
Notably, the new XPS Desktop is up to 21% cooler under load (with a 125W cooling solution) or up to 18% cooler under load with liquid cooling (when compared to the new 125W thermal solution).Is 8GB enough for XPS 13? ›
Being a premium laptop, the Dell XPS 13 does come with a minimum of 8GB of RAM, and that's enough to get a solid experience overall. It'll be able to run most apps that way, and for casual use, it's fine.What is the lifespan of a Dell laptop? ›
Most experts estimate a laptop's lifespan to be three to five years. It may survive longer than that, but its utility will be limited as the components become less capable of running advanced applications.Why does XPS battery drain so fast? ›
Your laptop's software settings may be pulling too much power. Adjust these settings to be more energy conscious. Settings like screen brightness, sleep settings, and CPU usage are all things to tweak. There are general power plans available to pick from (Balanced, High performance, and Power saver).What is the difference between XPS 13 2022 and 2021? ›
The Framework Laptop (2022) and the Dell XPS 13 (2021) are both premium ultraportable Windows laptops. The Dell provides a slightly better user experience overall with a brighter display, a more comfortable keyboard, a larger touchpad, and better-sounding speakers. It's also more portable and has longer battery life.What is a good price for Dell XPS 13? ›
Starting at around $999 / £999 for the baseline Core i5 model, the 2022 Dell XPS 13 also comes in at around the same price at launch as previous models.What is the newest Dell XPS 13 model number? ›
The Dell XPS 13 9315 (the 2022 model) is no different, although things are a bit different this year. It comes with a complete redesign, which I am here for. Still made out of aluminum, it comes in colors like Sky and Umber, leaving behind the traditional XPS design that's frankly iconic.
Which is better Dell XPS 13 or MacBook? ›
In the base configuration, the MacBook Pro is a better option, but you can get an even better display from the Dell XPS 13 if you spend extra. To be fair, the Dell XPS 13 does start at a significantly lower price point, so the upgrade is a bit more warranted.Is MacBook Air or XPS 13 better? ›
The MacBook Air M2 is faster and thinner, has significantly better battery life, and sports a better keyboard and touchpad. It's a better laptop than Dell's latest XPS 13.Is MacBook air better than Dell XPS 13? ›
The Dell XPS 13 has more RAM than the MacBook Air but less storage. Aside from the processor, the Dell XPS 13 does have an advantage in terms of RAM capacity since it can be configured with up to 32GB, as opposed to the 24GB of the MacBook Air.Which computer is better Inspiron or XPS? ›
XPS is viewed as the premium lifestyle range, and so is therefore designed for those with a big budget looking for a powerful and stylish productivity laptop. Meanwhile, Dell Inspiron laptops are aimed at the lower-end of the market with more affordable price points.Which series Dell laptop is best? ›
XPS and Inspiron laptops are among the best devices in the industry, combining stylish form and exceptional functionality. XPS and Inspiron laptops are among Dell's best laptops this year with power, performance, and displays for every person.How powerful is Dell XPS 13? ›
Cosmetic changes aside, the XPS 13 is plenty powerful, with a 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, and boasts over 12 hours of battery life. That's why the Dell XPS 13 is one of the best laptops available. If you're looking for the latest model, check out our review of the 11th Gen Intel Tiger Lake Dell XPS 13.How old is Dell XPS 13? ›
XPS 13 (L321X, Early 2012)
The Dell XPS 13 was unveiled at CES 2012. It is the company's first Ultrabook, a term coined by Intel.
The XPS 15 is larger and more expensive than the XPS 13, but anyone who wants the extra screen real estate and boost to performance from Intel H-Series CPUs and dedicated GPU will undoubtedly opt for this choice. It's still not as powerful as the XPS 17, but it's more mobile and doesn't cost as much.What is the biggest problem with laptops? ›
Every computer generates lots of heat, but laptops are especially susceptible to overheating due to their small size and lack of ventilation. Excessive dust can clog air vents and deprive your system of cold air to cool off the CPU.Are Dell laptops a security risk? ›
A security research firm recently discovered a security vulnerability on Dell laptops that could give hackers access to the device. Dell has now rolled out a fix for it and this is what you need to do. A security research firm recently discovered a security issue that could give hackers access to your Dell laptops.
Is Dell XPS easy to repair? ›
Way back in 2020 we fell in love with the Dell XPS 15. The XPS 15 was a sleek and incredibly modular machine that scored a 9 out of 10 on our repairability scale.Can Dell XPS 13 be repaired? ›
We offer certified repair services for any DELL notebook or desktop. Our service includes logistics*, diagnostics, and repair.What does a defective laptop screen look like? ›
When a laptop screen breaks, you'll see various visual defects depending on precisely what broke. You may notice stuck, or incorrectly colored pixels, lines of color, bleeding colors, chunks of the screen appear black, or the screen may not turn on at all.Which is the No 1 laptop in world? ›
Dell is considered the best laptop brand in the world. Their devices are an excellent option for freelancers and students. You will get all the essential features on their laptops, along with outstanding performance, build and battery life.Which is the best laptop in the world? ›
The Apple MacBook Air M2 currently tops our list of the best laptops 2023 has to offer because it is a solid choice for most people. It offers a great combination of everything we look for when we're testing: reliable everyday performance, long battery life and a design that works for a broad range of users.Which laptop brand is best 2022? ›
The best laptop of 2022
The latest MacBook Air, powered by Apple's M2 processor, is the best laptop for most people.
Your Dell computer can overheat because of insufficient air flow due to dust or debris blocking the air vents, exhaust ports, or a clogged fan. An overheating computer can intermittently restart, shutdown, or experience performance issues. Eventually excessive heat can damage the internal components.Are Dell laptops known for overheating? ›
In order to provide you with a compact computer, Dell manufacturers design laptops with all the internal components placed closely together. Because of this crowding, Dell laptops have a tendency to overheat faster than desktop computers.What is so special about the Dell XPS? ›
The Dell XPS 13 is the best Windows laptop you can buy, offering a stunning display, a great keyboard and long battery life within an attractive, slim design that's easy to take anywhere.Can I leave my Dell XPS plugged in overnight? ›
A battery cannot be overcharged.
There's no danger of overcharging a battery if you leave it plugged in all the time, even 24/7. As soon as it hits 100 percent, it will cease charging and won't start again until the voltage falls below a certain level.
Is XPS noisy? ›
For the most part, the XPS 15 OLED runs virtually silent.Does Dell XPS 13 get hot? ›
The Dell XPS 13 Plus' beautiful looks and great display are held back by an uncomfortable design that runs hot.Does XPS 13 plus overheat? ›
Dell XPS 13: Performance
The Dell XPS 13 Plus overheats within a matter of minutes, which froze or shut down games or even benchmarks during our testing. This is especially worsened when the laptop is plugged in and is only abated once the 'Cool' mode in the My Dell app is activated.
Check and clean air vents
If you notice the computer fan running constantly and making an abnormal or loud noise, this might indicate that the computer is not running as efficiently as possible, and/or clogged air vents.
Dell XPS ("eXtreme Performance System") is a line of consumer-oriented high-end laptop and desktop computers manufactured by Dell. The XPS mainly competes against computers such as Acer's Aspire, HP's Pavilion and Envy, Lenovo's X1, Samsung's Sens, and Apple MacBook Pro.What is the difference between XPS and Latitude? ›
The XPS is FHD+ (1920 x 1200) which is a slightly higher resolution than the 1920 x 1080 FHD on the Latitude. The XPS also has a higher maximum brightness than the 9520 at 500 nits compared to 400.Which is better XPS 13 or XPS 15? ›
The XPS 15 offers a nice bump in connectivity over the 13-inch model, as you get one standard USB-C port, two Thunderbolt 4 ports (ideal for external 4K monitors and external storage drives) and a full-size SD card reader. By comparison, the XPS 13 has just two Thunderbolt 4 ports and a microSD card slot.Which is best laptop brand in 2022? ›
- Dell. If you are looking for a brand that develops laptops for all purposes, such as gaming, programming, day-to-day tasks, and many more, then you can look at Dell.
- Lenovo. ...
- MSI. ...
- Samsung. ...
- Apple. ...
- 2022 Apple MacBook Air Laptop with M2 Chip.
- HP. ...
Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 Laptop (12th Gen Core i7/ 16GB/ 1TB SSD/ Win11) price in India starts from ₹1,80,390. It is available at lowest price on Amazon in India as on Jan 22, 2023.Which Dell series is the best? ›
XPS and Inspiron laptops are among the best devices in the industry, combining stylish form and exceptional functionality. XPS and Inspiron laptops are among Dell's best laptops this year with power, performance, and displays for every person.
Is XPS or Inspiron better? ›
XPS is viewed as the premium lifestyle range, and so is therefore designed for those with a big budget looking for a powerful and stylish productivity laptop. Meanwhile, Dell Inspiron laptops are aimed at the lower-end of the market with more affordable price points.