Although more evolution than revolution, the XPS 13 (9370) improves almost every aspect of the popular Ultrabook. This is where it stands out and where it falls short.
Dell did not significantly change the appearance or shape of the laptop, but it did make many notable and welcome changes. This is new.
- InfinityEdge screen: the 4mm edge is 23 percent thinner than the previous generation, resulting in a screen-to-body ratio of 80.7 percent.
- InfinityEdge screen: this is the next generation that can now have 400 nits of brightness (up to 350), a higher resolution of 4K (compared to QHD), 100% sRGB colour calibrated and a new anti-reflection coating.
- New ports: USB Type-C that includes two Thunderbolt 3 ports and a USB 3.1.
- microSD: Leaving the SD reader completely, the 9370 now uses a microSD reader.
Now in white and gold, Dell is introducing a new alpine white woven fibreglass interior, but the original carbon fibre version is also available with silver.
- New thermal: dual heat pipe and dual fan solution and the first to use GORE thermal insulation (silica aerogels).
Far-field capable of Cortana: the XPS 13 responds to your voice from a distance of up to 14 feet with four built-in microphones.
- Windows Hello: the HD webcam is now in the middle (although still below the screen) and supports IR face recognition, and a second optional fingerprint reader can be added to the power button.
The high white woven fibreglass is fantastic. Black carbon fibre soft to the touch is very prone to oil from hands and fingers, which requires frequent cleaning. The new white woven glass is much better in this regard. White woven fibreglass also feels more like a combination of linoleum and ceramic.
In addition to aesthetics, the new material is also good for heat dispersion; it never gets too hot with a large processor load.
The white high option, however, is not free; users must pay an extra $ 50.
Dell told me that it is monitoring elections and colour requests and that it can make adjustments in the future. That means that silver and white option could be possible. There are also some other minor changes, including a new 45-watt C-type USB charger.
The new XPS 13 looks a lot like the previous one, but in person, the changes are not trivial. The complete specifications reveal a typical Ultrabook, but still powerful, that fits very well with the rest of the offers of 2018
Dell 2018 XPS 13 (9370) Specs
- Intel 8th Gen Core i5-8250U processor
- Intel 8th Gen Core i7-8550U
- Screen size 13.3 inches
- UltraSharp 4K (3840×2160), 100 percent color gamut
- FHD touch screen (1920 x 1080), 72 percent colour gamut
- FHD non-touch screen (1920 x 1080), 72 percent colour gamut
- RAM LPDDR3 4GB-8GB at 1866MHz
- 16 GB at 2133 MHz
- Native Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 620
- Discrete graphics None
- Two Thunderbolt 3 ports with PowerShare
- A USB-C 3.1 with PowerShare
- microSD card reader
- headphone jack
- 128GB storage (SATA); 256 GB, 512 GB or 1 TB (PCIe)
- Wireless Killer 1435 802.11ac [2×2] + Bluetooth 4.1
- Intel 8265 802.11ac [2×2] wireless for vPro + Bluetooth 4.1
- Miracast capable
- 720p wide-screen biometric web camera with four digital microphones; Infrared camera compatible with Windows Hello; Far Field capable of Cortana
- Fingerprint reader compatible with Windows Hello optional on the power button
- Battery 52WHr
- Dimensions 7.8 mm to 11.6 mm x 302 mm x 199 mm (H x W x D)
- Weight Initial weight: 2.67 lbs (1.21 kg) so as not to touch
- From 2.68 lbs (1.21 kg) to play
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The killer screen of XPS 13 9370
Perhaps the most important change is the new IGZO 4K screen (3840 x 2160), which represents a step forward in resolution and quality of the previous QHD + (3200 x 1800) option. Putting a 4K screen in a 13.3-inch frame was considered at an extreme time, but now it’s common. The disadvantage – the reduced battery life – is not as severe as it used to be.
Dell is using a new generation of Sharp IGZO panels in the 9370. Brightness can now reach 400 nits compared to the previous limit of 350 nits. Previously, Dell would attack band problems in the brightest configurations, but that is no longer the case. That means that outdoor visibility is now an opportunity.
The most significant change for me, however, is the addition of an anti-glare coating to the bright screen. Dell used to offer a non-touch Full HD matte option and a brilliant QHD with touch, but now the company has combined the best of both worlds. The anti-glare coating keeps the screen bright and accurate colours, but significantly reduces the lights in the room, so they do not reflect.
Colour accuracy is also present in 99% of sRGB and 79% of AdobeRGB, which is excellent. There is no pen support, but the rest of this screen is much higher than average.
First level keyboard and trackpad
Dell slightly improved the keyboard on the XPS 13 9370 with a deeper key offset (1.3 mm versus 1.2 mm). For those who are upgraded from an earlier XPS 13, the keyboard design is familiar. However, HP still wins the best laptops for laptops, running close with Microsoft.
There are two levels of the backlit keyboard (in addition to just next to it), and it works very well. The white alpine chassis offers less contrast with the white backlit keys, which are brighter towards the function keys on the top but does the job well.
Others may not worry about the small arrow keys on the bottom right, which are also used in conjunction with the function key (Fn) to adjust the brightness of the screen.
Dell added a biometric reader built into the power button on the upper right platform of the keyboard. The power button of our review unit is not completely centred. The fingerprint reader is fine, but for higher speed, users will want to use the new dual infrared (IR) camera for facial recognition. You can configure both and use them when you log in to Windows 10.
The touchpad uses Microsoft Precision drivers. Dell has been excellent in supporting the effort of Microsoft’s touch panel, and that continues with this year’s model, which means it supports many gestures. The trackpad of the XPS 13 is almost perfect, with a soft but smooth feeling, a satisfying click and exceptional performance.
New speaker placement rocks
Dell finally moved its double speakers from the bottom edge to the sides of the XPS 13 (9370). Although it is still not as ideal as being on the upper platform, these new speakers and location are much better than I expected. The separation of audio, quality and richness are excellent.
The included MaxxAudio software is decent, but I rarely notice the changes with the equalizer and would have preferred some presets to make it easier to use.
XPS 13 9370 battery, heat and performance
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Featuring up to an Intel 8th Generation Core i7-8550U processor, Dell is not overcoming the limits with the XPS 13 (9370). For those with a tight budget, a Core i5-8250U is also available. A lower-level Core i3 model will be available later in 2018, but for now, those who want the lower-cost XPS 13 can still buy the XPS 13 (9360) model for the last quarter.
However, what Dell did well is to allow the XPS 13 (9370) to run unimpeded. The Core i7 does not accelerate so much after long durations compared to other Ultrabooks in this class. This capacity is due to the renewed thermal and cooling solution in the 9370, including the use of GORE thermal insulation (silica aerogels).
That does not mean that the XPS 13 (9370) stays cool or silent. The audible noise of the whistling fan is present when playing or doing something that requires a prolonged performance of the processor. The temperatures inside also become quite warm. Fortunately, the chassis, and the part that touches your leg is never more than a little hot.
Dell has a history of whistling in the coil, a high-pitched noise emanating from the keyboard platform due to the vibration of components and electricity. Unfortunately, the XPS 13 (9370) also suffers from this, and only appears when it is connected to an AC charger with the operating system configured as “Best performance.”
Dell isn’t alone here. Most Ultrabooks with an Intel 8th Gen quad-core processor also have this. It is more efficient today due to the extra cooling fans, which are used less frequently than years ago, and the super-thin chassis design, which used to help mask it.
For performance, the XPS 13 (9370) is excellent, with a score of 4,681 for single-core in Geekbench 4.0 and 14,816 in multi-core. Those numbers surpassed the new Razer Blade Stealth and even the Surface Book 2 for multi-core. The new HP Specter 13t skirts it in a single core but loses by a hair in multi-core.
In my review model, the Toshiba 512 GB solid state drive (SSD) (KXG50ZNV512G) performed well for reading speeds close to 3,000 Mbps. But the write times were below 1,000 for sequential, which It seems unusual. Users can replace the SSD by opening the bottom of the XPS 13 with a few hex screws.
Finally, battery life. Dell reduced the size of the 60WHr battery in the 9360 to 52WHr in the new 9370. However, the company says that due to the new design of the motherboard in the 9370 can get the same battery life as the previous version. Even with the new 4K panel, I was able to comfortably push almost eight hours of regular use, which, while not amazing, is still very good for a Core i7 model with a high-resolution screen. Those who opt for a Core i5 processor with a Full HD screen can add another two hours of runtime.
The weak camera persists.
The most noticeable drawback of the new XPS 13 is still its front camera. While it is still under the screen bezel, it is now centred. At least the company is launching a dual Windows Hello IR camera for facial recognition. If you use a webcam regularly, you will need something like the excellent Logitech BRIO compatible with 4K, or you will have to find another laptop.
The 720P webcam on the XPS 13 (9370) has excellent contrast and is not erased, but the resolution is quite low, and if you keep your hands close to the keyboard, it will look terrible. However, if you are like most people, the built-in webcam is a last minute idea and is rarely used.
Dell Mobile Connect is amazing.
Dell includes its new Mobile Connect software with all laptops sold after January 1, 2018. The free software, which is a universal Windows platform (UWP) application, is an important reason to consider this Dell if you use your phone a lot. Intelligent.
Dell Mobile Connect works with any phone with Android 5.0 or iOS 10 or higher. By linking the application to your smartphone, you can:
- Make and receive phone calls through XPS 13.
- Send and receive text messages
- View and edit contacts on your phone.
- Reflect your Android device.
- And it’s great. Dell uses a combination of Bluetooth to pair, but Wi-Fi Direct for data. The result is that you can use
- Dell Mobile Connect without being connected to a Wi-Fi network: nothing goes to “the cloud”, it’s all local. That’s great for performance and security.
When making or making calls on the XPS 13, you can leave your phone in your pocket. The same with SMS. But, the most interesting feature is the ability to duplicate your phone on the PC. When enabled, you can start applications, play games or simply use a software version of your phone while it is on the laptop.
Some of this is redundant with Windows 10, and other applications have done so in the past, but none has done so well.
XPS 13 (9370) is a true winner
There is hardly anything to dislike about the refreshed XPS 13 in addition to the camera. I like this laptop so much that I would not transmit it just for that unless I use a front camera constantly.
The screen, the keyboard and the touchpad are almost perfect. I think the softness of Dell in the space bar is a bit strange, but it’s something I can adjust to over time.
And that 4K screen is dazzling. With the even thinner bezels and now the anti-glare function, this Sharp IGZO is one of my favourites to date.
Performance is also great with the Core i7 processor and wireless Killer. The battery life is not at the magic mark of 10 hours that would be ideal, but considering the screen and the processor, anything that comes close to eight hours is fine for me.
For ports, Dell follows HP and others by omitting a traditional USB type-A port, replacing it with two USB Type C (both compatible with Thunderbolt 3, with full 40 Gbps data with 4x PCIe). A dongle is added to the box to help facilitate the transition, but many will lose that Type-A port. I also regret the loss of the full SD card slot. There is a microSD slot, which although it is not useful for my needs.
You can not open it with one hand; there is no pen support, non-replaceable RAM or no option for a 4G LTE modem, but those complaints are more specific.
Dell did not modify with a winning formula for the new XPS 13 (9370). The new model and white alpine screen have made me fall into this laptop, just as I did three years ago for the first version. Returning to my previous review for the 9360, Dell addressed most of my complaints. Dell may have been conservative with its design, but the reward is worth it. The price starts around $ 1,000.
- The white chassis and high gold are beautiful.
- Strong performance and good battery life.
- The new IGZO 4K anti-glare screen is the best in its class.
- New Windows Hello IR camera.
- Ports C Full Thunderbolt 3 USB.
- Without Core i3 model (yet).
- Clumsily placed web camera.
- Some battery moans when plugged in.
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