Dell XPS 13 9380 (2019) Review

by birtanpublished on April 9, 2021

This is Lisa from mobile tech review and it's that time of year again post CES the consumer electronics tradeshow it's time for a new XPS 13 from Dell this is the Dell XPS 13 9380 we reviewed every generation that they've released approximately once every year so this year what's new is this color which is some sort of silvery white or almost a pearlescent white I like it a lot actually and it has the white basket-weave interior that you can get with the rose gold version last year rose gold is still available so is the usual silver with the black carbon fiber interior

What else is new Intel eighth generation call it 8.5 whiskey Lake quad-core CPUs unless you off to the i3 the core i3 is still a dual core so that's the latest minor revision in the Intel eight generation CPU world 415 want ultrabook CPUs and cons are pretty powerful these days and lastly most importantly probably because it was the one thing that was sort of a fatal flaw for a lot of people was the chin cam that was at the bottom bezel has now been moved up to the top they came up with a 2.2 five millimeter micro HD 720p webcam that they can actually fit up top

So no more chin cam I used to wonder if the folks that Dell had their internal Skype chats and everything like that everybody was looking at everybody else's nostrils and Chin's right so I'm gone finally we're gonna look at it now so you'd be forgiven for not being able to tell the Dell XPS 13 9380 apart from the 9370 the 9370 herald in the design change that reduced legacy ports so you're still talking about two Thunderbolt three full four LAN ports one USB C port and a headphone jack and a micro SD card slot and that's it dongles are your life after that our USB

Seadogs our Thunderbolt 3 docks to get the idea the display options are the same we have the 4k model this time and that's a fork a touch screen there's still a full HD non-touch display glossy I believe and for our 4k model it's still a sharp display just a minor revision from the previous model number I suspect you know that happens in a year's time probably slightly improved in one way or another in terms of color gamut in terms of color accuracy actually comes calibrated from the factory which is nice to see and it was a pretty accurate calibration you can

Display metrics on screen they're quite good this is not a super wide gamut display like the XPS 15 4k uhd option offers but it's still a very good display and based on the previous year's models even the Full HD is a nicely done the spline this does get incredibly bright at 506 nits of brightness for our 4k panel and gone is what Dell did in some of the older generations of the XPS 13 where they had a BIOS based on a brightness that you could not control defeat overwrite so now if you want to sear your eyeballs and run it at 500 is in the dark you can go ahead and do that

Inside we have Intel whiskey Lake 8th gen 15 watt quad core cpus like I said and you can see the specs on-screen so we have a core i3 option always with the elements they go the whole gamut from super low-end configurations to you got it all on the top end of this so the core i3 is still a dual core in the whiskey like but for the core i5 and the core i7 just like other ultrabooks we've reviewed recently it's a quad core CPU and it's a very performant CPU with the Intel UHD 620 graphics something this small and light typically you're never gonna find dedicated graphics so if you

Want something like that there is the Razer Blade stealth with nvidia NX 150 dedicated graphics low-end dedicated graphics granted but that's an option there we still have low powered ddr3 RAM in side and it's still soldered on you can go anywhere from 4 gigs up to 16 gigs since it's soldered on you can't upgrade it after the fact you cannot do 32 gigs after the fact yourself for example we have fast PCIe nvme SSDs and m2 SSD so you could upgrade it if you want a bigger capacity later on starts out at 128 gigs on that base model goes all the way up to 2 terabytes if you

Want to pay for them you can well you can do that we have the 512 gig model and that's the fast samsung PM 9 81 SSD which is currently the fastest on the market and typically with the XPS 13 Dell does go with a top-of-the-line Samsung SSD inside just like last gen we have me killer Wi-Fi instead of Intel which is probably it's I don't hate it as much as Sony some you don't like killer at all but the Intel 95 60 AC would be standard normally for Intel whiskey like CPU platform so I would have liked to have that but it's still killer 1435 like the

Last generation the keyboard is actually the same I'm not gonna go into detail about that it's backlit one thing to keep in mind if you do order the one with the white interior is it is a white keyboard with white backlighting which means in middling lighting it might be a little hard to see the keys because the backlighting will keep turning on but if it's really dark it's fine if it's very bright it's fine it has 1.3 millimeter key travel it's decent it's not I don't adore it because it's pretty low travel keyboard and it feels a little hard as you're bottoming

Out on the keys but it's fine you can get used to it it's at least normal let's put that way there are some strange ones out there like Dells own maglev keyboard for their XPS 15 two and one and we'll obviously Apple's MacBook keyboards a little weird we have a Microsoft precision trackpad again just like last year and just like last year it's still an excellent trackpad that I like a lot a usual glass surface not too smooth so it's good you got enough traction kind of Goldilocks principle just right between slippery and not slippery for those of you who haven't

Had one of these late model XPS thirties and you're thinking about either the white or the rose gold one with that kind of white basket weave I would call it interior keyboard deck surface yeah we saw the 9370 from last year and honestly it still looks great it really is seems to be impervious to grease and dirt and all that stuff because you know palm rests you could be an NST so it's perfectly fine or you can go with carbon fiber which looks really cool but really does show fingerprints you can clean the mom but yeah so thanks to their removal of the chin cam there's no room for the

Windows hello IR camera anymore so you can get a fingerprint scanner if you want that's an option but there is no Windows hello IR camera option so smiling at your laptop is not gonna log you in any more speakers the same as last year their little 1 watt speakers – one watt speakers with wave max pro audio software and you know it's a tiny Ultrabook and there's not a lot of room for speakers so they sound pretty thin they're suitably allowed to fill a small room with sound but you probably gotta resort to the headphone jack for you want some really good audio experience

Going on when it comes to heat and noise and performance pretty much the same story as last year when we look at a PC Mark 10 and we see the how high the CPU stays pegged that turbo boost I see a little bit more see-sawing this time around probably because it runs just ever so slightly hotter than last year's Mahlon because it's about a hundred megahertz or so faster no big deal really it benchmarks very well as do its competitors actually with the same CPU inside so it's good performance there like I said it does run a little bit hot

You're not gonna burn yourself to the touch because it has a pretty thick bottom it has that cortex thing to keep the heat away from you and going on inside but the CPU core temperatures say even running something Geekbench four which is not that demanding a CPU test you can see the core is hitting near thermal max of 100 degrees centigrade a lot of very thin ultrabooks get pretty hot these days internally and they seem to be surviving just fine so it's not the end of the world but it's my job to make you aware of them speaking of that though the HP Spectre x-360 13-inch the

Latest gem cut edition that we recently reviewed you know the spectre x360 has always had a reputation for being a hot customer and you can see the comparison on screen between Geekbench for temperatures between our XPS 13 and that Spectre x-360 on the x360 actually maintains somewhat lower core temperatures I will say the x360 gets a little bit hotter on the bottom to touch those so it's dissipating the heat on the bottom so battery life well it's the same 52 watt hour battery as last generation and it's the same 45 watt charger no 65 watt charger for faster

Charging probably they want to keep thermals under control as my guess as to why they're doing that so battery life is not so different from last generation whiskey like is a little bit more power efficient though so that does help it's gonna depend as always with the XPS 13 whether you get the full HD or the 4k the 4k really is a big power hit so if you're getting the full HD and say you're going with the Core i5 and then you should be able to get 9 to 10 hours out of this which is pretty darn good if you go with the 4k option then expect 2 hours less or so in terms

Of runtimes which is also still pretty good for a 4k laptop now that's doing average productivity and some streaming video 115 it's a brightness for the spike obviously if you use more aggressive power management lower your brightness you can get even longer runtimes same story is opening up lasts last year's XPS 13 so you have 8 torques t-50 visible here and here they are they're super duper tiny they're painted white to match the finish of ours and then you work a guitar pick or a pry tool around back

Edge included wear it in sets by the fan and you pry it off which takes some effort the plastic clips are tenacious on this and we have sounds like metal one very heavy-duty piece of metal do the metal here is a little sharp so be careful watch yourself around the edges over here and here's our internals which again look just like last year's mouth this is pretty well so there's a little rigidity clip here that the the lid mat goes right into so that actually they had to make a hole in the battery there to accommodate that same as last year our 1

Watt stereo speakers right over here our m2 SSD nvme is under here so they've got a little heat shroud over it so you're gonna remove that unscrew it and then you can replace the SSD if you wish to too teeny tiny little fans our heat sink pipes 2 of them and the heatsink over the CPU right here this is where the fan exhausts from and there are little cutouts in the area behind here so the fan air can come out and the Wi-Fi card is soldered on board here which would be given that these are the antennas on this chip right over here so no swapping out that Wi-Fi card if you don't like

That killer 14:35 Ram is soldered on board as ever with the Dell XPS 13 so get it with the amount that you need because you can't upgrade it later on same 52 watt hour battery by the way that we saw in last year's model which is a decent capacity battery especially given how small this is so obviously there's competition out there for the XPS 13 it started the thin bezel craze it started the Super Micro tiny 13-inch laptop footprint and it's good to have choices of course you have the HP spectre x360 13 inches I just mentioned

For those even want to convertible and you want a pen option and you want a premium sort of chassis there's a razor blade stealth 20:19 Edition that we'll be reviewing soon with optional NVIDIA MX 150 graphics there's a lot of good choices there's a huawei mate book X Pro which is a 14 inch machine that has become surprisingly popular but I have to say there's a lot of brand trust for dell and in corporations obviously probably the big names like Dell HP and over what people are going to be looking at for those of you out there who do have choices but you're still looking

For conventional laptop than a dozen x360 new features like that you know it doesn't have dedicated graphics because you're never going to be doing much that's super graphically intensive it's still a pretty solid pick that XPS their team I'm a super mobile tech review be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more cool tech videos and thumbs up if you like this vid

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