The Dell XPS 13 (9380) is the company’s flagship notebook in the 13-inch segment, sporting the latest components and premium design. While not the best value on the market, this Dell laptop will certainly put a smile on your face.

Our pick

Dell XPS 13 (9370)

The best Dell laptop there is

It’s pretty well known by this point how much we love the Dell XPS line, and the updated XPS 13 9380 has the webcam back above the display (instead of being located near the keyboard, pointed up your nostrils), 8th Gen Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 processors, and the choice of some incredible displays.

Who should buy this notebook

When analyzing the notebook market, it’s easy to get confused about what will work best for you. Dell’s XPS 13 line of laptops are ideally suited to those who require super portable PCs that pack a punch where it counts.

Is it a good time to buy this notebook?

Dell regularly rolls out refreshes of its catalog of PCs. The 9380 has just been refreshed, and you shouldn’t expect to see a new model before Intel releases a new generation of processors. Even if Dell should introduce a successor, the current model is a great computing device.

Reasons to buy

  • Alpine-white and gold chassis is gorgeous
  • Strong performance and good battery life
  • IGZO 4K anti-glare display is best-in-class
  • Windows Hello support
  • Full Thunderbolt 3 USB C ports

Reasons not to buy

The best notebook Dell has to offer

The Dell XPS 13 9380 (see our Dell XPS 13 9370 review) is an all-around fantastic laptop, but the things that really set it apart from others are its body design and display. In order to fit a 13.3-inch touch display into the undersized chassis, Dell removed nearly all of the bezel — the screen practically stretches from edge to edge. It’s a beautiful display to look at, especially with the 4K configuration.

The XPS 13 is now available in gold and white colors, but you can still get the classic dark look with the carbon fiber and silver combination. The new keyboard has the same key travel and backlight as before, but it’s using a new mechanism beneath, no doubt to help to fit into the smaller body. You’re still looking at a quality Precision touchpad that’s sized in proportion to the body, and there’s an IR camera for Windows Hello located above the display — yes, Dell finally moved it back.

Exceptional design meets awesome performance.

All models come with either an 8th Gen Intel Core i3-8145U, i5-8265U, or Core i7-8565U CPU with up to four cores and a 15W thermal design point (TDP), offering extra power without sucking up more battery life. Although the battery is now smaller, improved thermals and efficient hardware should keep it running through a workday, even when opting for the 4K configuration. As expected, you can get up to 16GB of DDR3 RAM and a 1TB PCIe solid-state drive (SSD).

Configurations of the Dell XPS 13 9380 start at about $900. Don’t forget to have a look at our selection of the best Dell laptop deals available now.

Alternatives to the Dell XPS 13

Dell has a catalog of laptops on offer, including various sizes and prices. Depending on your requirements, you may require more screen real estate or considerably more powerful components. This is where our alternative picks come into play.

Gaming pick

Dell Alienware 15

Get your game on with Alienware.

Being able to configure a laptop with an NVIDIA GTX 1080 GPU most certainly requires magic, but the result is something truly special for anyone who enjoys playing some PC games. Not only do you get an amazing GPU, but also a 4K display, plenty of RAM and storage, and the latest and greatest from Intel.

When it comes to gaming laptops from Dell, you can’t look anywhere other than the Alienware brand, which Dell owns. Anything you play will look downright gorgeous on the Alienware 15’s 15.6-inch, 4K display, and the combination of up to an NVIDIA GTX 1080 GPU with 8GB of GDDR5 VRAM and up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM will be able to handle any game you throw at it easily.

Value pick

Dell Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1

Perfect for saving money

When the budget is at the forefront in your decision making, the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1 is a great option, sporting a capable AMD processor, plenty of RAM, and storage space. It won’t blow your mind but will allow you to work on the go.

The Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1 PC is a great little package despite the low price you’ll pay. It comes with up to an AMD A9-9420e CPU, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 500GB hard-disk drive (HDD). The display sits at 11.6 inches with a 166x 768 resolution, and it has full touch functionality to work with the convertible design — you can use the laptop in tent, stand, tablet, or standard notebook modes. For a bit of extra graphics power, there’s also an AMD Radeon R5 graphics chip (GPU).

Professional pick

Dell XPS 15

Get more done

The XPS 15 has everything you need to be productive on the go, sporting a larger display than the XPS 13 for more screen real estate.

Dell’s refreshed XPS 15 is still the laptop you love, albeit with updated hardware inside. Get up to an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H CPU, 32GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 1TB PCIe SSD, plus there’s now the option to include an NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti GPU with 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM. Coupled with a 15.6-inch 4K touch display, this laptop is ideal for anyone who regularly works with media. It also still has a wide selection of ports, making it easy to connect your peripherals.

Business pick

Dell Latitude 7390 2-in-1

Built for the mobile office

Dell’s Latitude 7390 offers 2-in-1 functionality with all the added security and business-orientated features you’d expect from a work laptop.

Dell has combined important security and business features ― like vPro CPU, LTE-A capability, fingerprint reader, and smart card reader ― to deliver one impressive 2-in-1 device. You can get up to an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8650U vPro CPU, 16GB of DDR3 RAM, and a 1TB PCIe SSD for ultimate performance. The 13.3-inch 1080p display is compatible with Dell’s Active Pen, and there are plenty of ports for seamless connectivity.

Convertible pick

Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

Flip and go

The XPS 15 2-in-1 is essentially the XPS 15 with a folding display, which can double up as a tablet. You get all the advantages of the great notebook with the additional functionality of a convertible.

Like the 2-in-1 model of the XPS 13 unveiled last year, there’s now a convertible version of the larger XPS 15. It still has the beautiful 15.6-inch touch display available with up to a 4K resolution, and it still has the excellent keyboard and touchpad. Get up to an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8705G CPU with a Radeon RX Vega M GL GPU with 4GB of HBM2 VRAM, and couple it with up to 16GB of DDR4 RAM and a 1TB PCIe SSD. Ports are a bit more future-proof, with two Thunderbolt 3 (4x lanes of PCIe each), two USB-C 3.1, and a 3.5mm audio jack.

Performance pick

Dell Precision 5530

Ultimate performance

If you need raw power, you’ll want to move up to the Precision range of notebooks from Dell. The company packs in the absolute best in mobile processing power from Intel for the ultimate portable workstation.

If the Precision 5530 and the XPS 15 were next to each other, you’d have a hard time telling them apart. The sleek chassis, the 4K touch display, the comfortable keyboard, and the Precision touchpad are all pretty much identical. But inside is where the difference can be found. Available with up to an Intel Core i9-8950HK with up to a 2.90GHz clock speed, 32GB of DDR4 RAM, and an NVIDIA Quadro P2000 GPU with 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM, it’s clear that this laptop performs.

Bottom line

The XPS 13 (9380) remains the top Dell laptop choice for most people, though there are plenty of other options when it comes to specialized interests.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Rich Edmonds is a staff reviewer at Windows Central, which means he tests out more software and hardware than he cares to remember. Joining Mobile Nations in 2010, you can usually find him inside a PC case tinkering around when not at a screen fighting with Grammarly to use British words. Hit him up on Twitter: @RichEdmonds.

Daniel Rubino is executive editor of Windows Central. He has been covering Microsoft since 2009 back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Surface, HoloLens, Xbox, and future computing visions. Follow him on Twitter: @daniel_rubino.

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