This is Dell XPS 13 (Late 2020) review. Today, we’re looking at the XPS 13 9310, Dell’s best-in-class 13-inch ultraportable laptop. The Dell XPS 13 is an extremely luxurious device, with all-day battery life and solid performance – not to mention a design that’s something to die for. However, the lackluster audio and high price tag may turn some folks off.
Dell XPS 13 (Late 2020) review
Dell XPS 13 (2020) design
This is where the Dell XPS 13 (Late 2020) absolutely shines. With a chassis and lid cut from two separate blocks of aluminum, the XPS 13 is incredibly light – it only weighs about 2.8 pounds, gives or takes a couple of ounces depending on your configuration. That said, it’s also very sturdy – nothing feels cheap about this build.
At just 0.58 inches (14.8mm) at its thickest, the XPS 13 is incredibly thin and its 11.6-inch (296mm) width and 7.8-inch (199mm) height making it exceptionally portable, so it’s an ideal Ultrabook to toss in your bag when you’re on the go – something that might not be the most relevant feature at the moment, but it’ll be just as easy to carry around the house with you from room to room.
The speakers on this laptop are probably going to be pretty decent for watching a quick YouTube video or binging some Netflix in the middle of the night when you’re too stressed to actually sleep. But if you really want to enjoy your media, the speakers aren’t going to cut it.
Listening to Toxic by Britney Spears, the speakers on the XPS 13 almost completely stripped out the bottom end of the track. And that track without the booming bass – what’s even the point? Even less bass-dependent tracks like Cirice by Ghost sound like they’ve completely lost their teeth. Just imagine, you’re watching the latest Hollywood action movie and an explosion just sounds like a gust of wind.
The Dell XPS 13 (Late 2020) sports a 4-cell, 52WHr battery. Largely due to Intel Evo, it still manages to do somewhat better than its immediate predecessor in terms of battery life.
In our PCMark 10 battery test, it managed to squeeze 11 hours and 47 minutes out of a single charge, on average, which is nearly twice as long as the previous XPS 13 managed to last in the PCMark 8 battery test.
Those two tests are a somewhat apples-to-pears comparison though, so a better tell is the HD movie test, where the latest XPS 13 lasted 11 hours and one minute to the previous iterations nine hours and 40 minutes. That’s nearly the length of a standard rom-com, so squeezing one more viewing out of the battery is a noticeable improvement. If you’re looking for a laptop to take to the office with you, where you can chill and watch some Netflix on the train home, the Dell XPS 13 makes a pretty good case for itself.
Software and features
Because the Dell XPS 13 is a flagship, it’s not bogged down with a ton of needless bloatware. However, there are a few pieces of software that offer some good ease of life bonuses. Of course, you have update assistants and customer service apps, but one of the most unique pieces of software here is Dell Cinema Guide. This allows you to basically collect all your streaming services under one app, and search for movies or TV shows you want to watch through all the libraries at once. Not exactly the most vital piece of software in the world, but we have to admit it’s pretty cool.
Beyond that, the Dell XPS 13 features both versions of Windows Hello, with a fingerprint scanner above the backspace key that doubles as a power button, along with an IR-capable webcam that can scan your face to let you into the device.
Dell XPS 13 audio
This is a great case of big things and small packages. Despite having bottom-mounted speakers, the XPS 13 delivered loud, relatively clean audio. Megan Thee Stallion’s braggadocious flow on “Savage” easily filled my smallish living and dining rooms. The Waves MaxxAudio Pro software helped provide that pop of bass most laptops this size usually lack. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not going to replace a good pair of headphones or external speakers, but the XPS 13 is fine for watching movies or an impromptu dance party.
Keyboard and touchpad
No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you, the XPS 13’s edge-to-edge keyboard is sporting larger keycaps — 9% larger to be exact. Despite the bigger size, the keys are still well-spaced and none of them were downsized to make room.