Dell XPS 13 (9310) – 2021 Review: Still the benchmark in the 13-inch Ultrabook category

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Dell, as everyone knows, has been pushing the boundaries in the laptop computer area with its XPS lineup for a few years now. Virtually all the earlier notebooks in the XPS sequence have acquired raving critiques from us and different fans for fairly a while now. These laptops proceed to impress us with their stunning designs, gorgeous shows, strong efficiency, and extra. However yearly, we use and evaluate newer iterations of those XPS laptops to see how a lot have they improved. So, is the new Dell XPS 13 9310 the finest 13-inch Ultrabook on the market? Does it stand as the benchmark in this skinny & gentle category of laptops? Let’s discover out in our full evaluate.

Dell XPS 13 9310: Specs

By way of the specs, the Dell XPS 13 9310 brings rather a lot to the desk, regardless of its type issue. It is powered by the Intel Core i7-1185G7, an influence-environment friendly quad-core processor designed for Ultrabooks. The spotlight of the laptop computer, no less than by the seems to be of it, is the 13.40-inch 4K UDH+ panel with a 16:10 side ratio. This is a fast have a look at the specs earlier than we soar into the detailed evaluate of this laptop computer – 

Processor: Intel Core i7-1185G7 quad-core processor with a base clock of three.0Ghz and a turbo frequency of 4.8Ghz. 

Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics, 96EUs.

RAM: 16GB LPDDR4 2133Mhz

Storage: 1TB PCIe GEN3 x4 NVMe SSD.

Show: 13.40-inch UHD+ 16:10 show with touchscreen help. Dell SDC414F show with HDR and 60Hz help.

Dell XPS 13 9310: Efficiency 

The Dell XPS 13 9310, as talked about earlier, is powered by the eleventh Gen Intel Core i7-1185G7 CPU. It is a quad-core processor based mostly on the Tiger Lake-U technology (UP3). This one has 8 cores with Hyperthreading help which implies a number of threads can run on every core to permit the finest efficiency. The Core i7-1185G7 was the quickest mannequin of the lineup at the time of its announcement with a clock velocity of three.0Ghz and a turbo frequency of 4.8Ghz.

The Dell XPS 13 9310 additionally comes with an EVO badge which implies you may count on it to be tremendous snappy with regards to the day-to-day workloads together with its boot instances. So, how does the Dell XPS 13 9310 really performs?

Dell XPS 13 9310 PCMark 10 Test

I ran the regular set of benchmarks on this laptop computer to see the way it compares with different notebooks in this category. Beginning off with PCMark 10, the laptop computer managed to attain 4755 which is barely above the common rating of this CPU on different notebooks. Observe that the CPU is rated for a max TDP of 28 Watt, so it is not going to beat the ones on, say, a gaming laptop computer or different mainstream notebooks. Nevertheless, it really works very nicely on this laptop computer and delivers anticipated outcomes.

On Cinebench R20, the laptop computer managed to attain 1405 factors. Whereas working these CPU-centric assessments, I observed that the CPU clock speeds closely fluctuates. This might doubtlessly be because of Dell’s Dynamic Energy Coverage which basically addresses throttling points in newer laptops. It lets the CPU run near its throttling temps with out letting it really hit that quantity. Such a behaviour will solely be noticeable whereas keenly observing the numbers and I consider it should have no main efficiency hit in day-to-day utilization.

Dell XPS 13 9310 Cinebench R20 score

Whereas enjoying video games, as an illustration, you could discover the body charges fluctuating at instances. I would say it is sufficient to be recorded in assessments, however you will not essentially discover any main points. If something, the CPU will probably be allowed to hit its turbo frequency extra usually with out really throttling.

I managed to plot the Core Clock Speeds graph whereas working the Cinebench R20 check, and you’ll discover how the Dynamic Energy Coverage tries to maintain the core clocks up in direction of the finish of the check when the CPU began to point out indicators of throttling. That form of heavy clock velocity fluctuation is normally not seen on different laptops and even desktops as they have an inclination to decelerate fully after hitting the throttling temps.

Dell XPS 13 9310 Core Speeds graph

The end result? Nicely, it performs higher than the final 12 months’s Dell XPS 13 which was powered by the Intel Core i7-1065G7. We bought higher outcomes throughout the board on all benchmark assessments, that means the new eleventh Gen processor is enormously benefiting the laptop computer with its efficiency. The outcomes I bought from this laptop computer have been additionally corresponding to, say, a gaming laptop computer with an H-sequence processor. This is a fast Cinebench check comparability graph to provide you an concept of what the CPU efficiency seems to be like – 

Dell XPS 13 9310 Cinebench R20 comparison

Shifting on to the GPU, the laptop computer is fitted with the Intel Iris Xe graphics which is what you largely find yourself seeing in these tremendous-skinny machines. The shift from the older Iris Plus to the Iris Xe on the Tiger Lake platform has a big impression on the graphics efficiency when put next with the older machines.

In 3DMark’s suite of software assessments, the Dell XPS 13 with its Intel Iris Xe graphics ended up scoring massive numbers to outperform a few of the different skinny and laptops now we have examined right here at Digit. In 3DMark’s TimeSpy check, the Dell XPS 13 ended up scoring 1,444, whereas, on the Sky Diver check, I bought a rating of 10,274. It is higher than what the HP ProBook Aero G7 pocket book had scored with its Radeon RX Vega 6 GPU.

3DMark TimeSpy Test Comparison

Regardless of not having a discrete GPU, gaming is not fully out of the image right here. Nevertheless, I do not suggest enjoying intense AAA titles on this laptop computer since its petite chassis is not fitted with any refined cooling system, and you could find yourself seeing a serious efficiency drop. Enjoying lighter titles like Dota 2, CS:GO is unquestionably potential, however you would possibly need to persist with brief bursts of gaming periods as a substitute of going for lengthy periods, placing extra strain on the machine. It is best to maintain your expectations in test when to involves gaming on skinny and light-weight ultrabooks equivalent to the Dell XPS 13.

Dell XPS 13 9310: Thermal Efficiency

Thermals are all the time questionable on skinny and light-weight ultrabooks, particularly if you find yourself speaking a couple of excessive-efficiency CPU rated for a max TDP of 28 Watt. And it would not assist that there’s no sort of superior cooling system inside the chassis. Dell says that the XPS 13 is fitted with twin followers and a single warmth pipe with a single evaporator and twin condenser to make sure strong efficiency. However is that actually useful?

Nicely, the Dell XPS 13, identical to the older variations that we had examined, runs fairly sizzling. I would not say the thermal administration is poor however you’ll discover the backside panel getting sizzling as quickly as you boot the laptop computer and begin opening a few Google Chrome tabs. In reality, the whole chassis began to really feel heat to the contact whereas working the stress assessments.

Dell XPS 13 Temperature Graph

Switching the thermal setting to “Extremely Efficiency” will kick in the followers however they do not get tremendous loud. In reality, you will barely be capable to hear them, however they do a terrific job of retaining the temperatures in test. The CPU, with this setting turned on, will not throttle as a lot and you will not see any main efficiency points. The clock speeds are nicely-maintained and the temperatures do not usually exceed the acceptable limits.

The identical could be stated for the GPU as nicely since it is not a discrete chip. I would prefer to level out that thermal throttling is not uncommon in these skinny and light-weight laptops, particularly in the XPS lineup due to how skinny the chassis is. However the Dell Dynamic Energy Coverage that I talked about earlier will guarantee easy and dependable efficiency.

The laptop computer’s chassis will hit as excessive as 50°C and it’ll really feel heat to the touch when you maintain working some useful resource-intensive duties. That being stated, the laptop computer will carry out optimally until you’re working stress assessments for an prolonged time period. Day-to-workloads is not going to pester the CPU or GPU a lot. It is good to see the new Dell XPS 13 placing massive numbers on the efficiency board yearly to maintain the competitors excessive.

I additionally examined the 1TB PCIe GEN3 x4 NVMe SSD inside the Dell XPS 13 to see the way it performs. Dell makes use of storage models from varied suppliers starting from Intel, Samsung, KIOXIA, and so forth. The one inside my evaluate unit is a Western Digital SN730 unit with learn speeds as much as 3,400 MB/s. In the CrystalDiskMark check, I used to be capable of report 3396.91 MB/s learn and 3095.03 MB/s write velocity in the sequential learn-write check. This one appears to be quicker than a few different SSD models from Micron, Intel, and so forth.

Dell XPS 13 9310 SSD Speed test

Dell XPS 13 9310: Show

The unit which I bought for evaluate got here with a 13.4-inch 4K UDH+ panel (3840×2400). It is Dell’s InfinityEdge contact show with 500 nits brightness. This 16:10 panel, in line with Dell, could be very color correct and comes with an anti-reflective and anti-smudge coating.


Dell XPS 13 9310 Display

Earlier than leaping to any conclusions, I needed to do my very own testing with the SepctraCal C6 HDR2000 colourimeter. After working the customary set of assessments on the show, I used to be fairly shocked by its efficiency. The Dell XPS 13 undoubtedly has one among the finest shows I’ve ever seen on a laptop computer.

Dell XPS 13 9310 Colour Volume test

Dell XPS 13 9310 show examined on Calman Final

Color Quantity evaluation tells me that this show covers 100% of the sRGB and 81% of DCI-P3 color area. That is very a lot in line with what Dell’s claims about the show. The amount additional extends in direction of the crimson, yellow, and inexperienced areas, which is the form of behaviour you’d count on to see from a DCI-P3 compliant panel. I additionally ended up recording a mean color corrected temperature of 6987 which implies the colors are extra on the cooler facet with just a little blue bias. The show additionally has a distinction ratio of 1546:1 which is once more fairly good.


Dell XPS 13 9310 show examined on Calman Final

It is also a really color correct show with a peak luminance of 481 cd/m². The black luminance was recorded at 0.311 cd/m², which is amongst the lowest I’ve seen. For those who have a look at the ColorChecker evaluation report, you’ll discover that the show confirmed an avg DeltaE worth of simply 1.8 with the max DeltaE worth being 3.4. These are strong numbers and it goes to point out that just about all colors are fairly correct. From darkish shades to even the lighter ones together with all pores and skin tones look very correct.

Dell XPS 13 9310 ColourChecker

Dell XPS 13 9310 show examined on Calman Final

This mainly signifies that it is a terrific panel for consuming any sort of content material. It is also a extremely good show for content material creators, though the accompanying {hardware} would possibly maintain you from heavy photograph and video enhancing duties. Handbook color calibration shouldn’t be needed since these numbers have been recorded on the show out of the field. Fairly commendable, I would say.

The one factor I do not like about the show is that it is shiny, which implies it is going to appeal to fingerprints and it’ll most likely provide you with a tough time viewing it open air, particularly underneath direct daylight. The recorded peak luminance worth is not going to alter the undeniable fact that it is going to be very reflective open air, making it arduous to make use of.

Dell XPS 13 9310: Battery Life Take a look at

All the Dell XPS 13 9310 variants pack a 53WHr battery inside which is constructed into the chassis and isn’t consumer-replaceable. You get a 45W AC adapter to cost the laptop computer through both of the two USB Kind-C ports. The battery life, as regular, is totally dependant on the brightness ranges and the sort of job that you’re performing.

Dell XPS 13 9310 Battery Life

In PCMark 10’s Fashionable Workplace check, the Dell XPS 13 managed to final simply over 8 hours which is about 480 minutes. Decreasing the brightness additional will yield you extra hours and it could doubtlessly even hit upwards of 13 hours on the similar check. I’m certain the OLED model of the laptop computer, which is but to make its method to India, may have a considerably longer battery life, particularly with darker color schemes.

In actual-world utilization, you must be capable to get about 6-7 hours of utilization at about 75% brightness. I extremely suggest you decrease the brightness ranges at any time when potential and even change to 1080p decision if you’re actually making an attempt to crunch the numbers. The Dell XPS 13 9310 continues to stay infamous with regards to battery life and I do not assume leaving your charger behind at house is a good suggestion if you’re utilizing this machine. So, maintain that in thoughts.

Dell XPS 13 9310: Keyboard, Trackpad, & IO

Dell XPS 13 9310 Keyboard

Ever since Dell determined to modify to a brand new keyboard on the XPS machines, it has been a implausible expertise to make use of them for typing. The keyboard on this explicit laptop computer can be fairly good with keys which are straightforward to hit. They’ve ample journey and really feel good to the touch. It is a chicklet fashion keyboard with two-stage backlighting, in case you’re questioning.

The trackpad on the Dell XPS 13 9310 can be nice. There’s not numerous room to work with since the chassis simply would not permit that, however the expertise of utilizing it’s fairly satisfying. It is a easy glass floor on which your fingers will simply glide by way of simply. It additionally has Microsoft’s Precision drivers, so the monitoring and gestures work very nicely.

Dell XPS 13 Left Side Ports

Shifting on to the IO, you solely get 2 Thunderbolt 4 ports (one on both sides) that helps each DisplayPort and Energy Supply. There’s additionally a microSD card reader on this variant together with a 3.5mm headphone jack. The dearth of ports could trouble some, however truthfully, having fewer ports on a smaller chassis like this simply is not stunning anymore. In addition to that, Dell additionally provides you a Kind C to USB Kind-A adapter in the field, which is able to come in useful if you’re not used to having solely two ports to work with.

Dell XPS 13 9310 Right Ports

Dell XPS 13 9310: Design & Construct High quality

Dell XPS sequence has a few of the most stunning machines in this extremely-moveable laptop computer area, and the Dell XPS 13 9310 is not any exception. It is nonetheless fairly as an image, and the Frost White end seems to be very premium. Due to the bevelled edges, the laptop computer seems to be elegant from the sides even when it is closed. There is a shiny Dell emblem on the lid with no different branding wherever else on the chassis.

Dell XPS 13 9310 Design

As you open the lid, you may be greeted with that gorgeous show and the woven glass fibre keyboard deck. It feels very comfy to relaxation your palm on the woven glass fibre whereas typing, though the palm relaxation itself could be very small as most of the deck is taken up by the keyboard. This explicit variant with a touchscreen weighs 1.27Kgs, making it one among the lightest laptops you’ll ever use. It is a very compact machine that can simply slide into your backpack or a sleeve.

It is a hair thinner and barely lighter than the new MacBook Air M1, so that you already know what to anticipate right here. General, I would say that utilizing the Dell XPS 13 every single day will make you’re feeling like you’re looking at, and holding a pleasant laptop. A only a few Home windows laptops could make you’re feeling that means with their design and construct high quality and Dell’s XPS lineup continues to stay an exception.

Dell XPS 13 9310 Design

The Dell XPS 13 comes with twin 2.5W stereo audio system situated at the decrease edge. Regardless of the not-so-superb placement, they get fairly loud and output clear audio. You may additional tweak the audio high quality with Dell CinemaSound 2.0 and Waves MaxxAudio Professional software program that comes pre-loaded on the laptop computer. You additionally get far-subject microphones on the high fringe of the show and it makes for a passable output for Zoom calls and Google Meet calls.

Dell XPS 13 9310: Verdict

The Dell XPS 13 9310 continues to stay one among the finest 13-inch Ultrabook that cash should purchase. The newer variant additionally advantages enormously from the new eleventh Gen Core processor and it performs higher than final 12 months’s XPS 13 with tenth Gen one as seen above in the efficiency part. It is a discernable efficiency enchancment and provides extra worth to the already nice ultrabook. The battery life continues to be a hit and miss, however that is not a difficulty that’s unique to the XPS 13.

Sure, you may complain about the webcam high quality, the lack of port choices, and 4G LTE connectivity, however the professionals like having a spectacular show, spectacular construct high quality, good keyboard & trackpad, and so forth., all outweighs these cons. I additionally suggest trying out the Core i5 variant of this laptop computer to avoid wasting money and nonetheless get every thing else.

General, I would say the Dell XPS 13 9310 continues to stay the benchmark in the 13-inch Ultrabook category. Different laptops from Microsoft, HP, Lenovo, and so forth. can be found on the market, however I’ve talked about sufficient causes in this evaluate that makes this laptop computer a no-brainer.

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