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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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