The Dell XPS 13 9310 ultrabook could be another fine addition to the high-performance ultrabook ranges if not for a few flaws
In the past year-and-a-half, the most common question when buying laptops is ‘can you name one that does it all (gaming, productivity, streaming) in just under ₹50,000’? This question often floors gadget gurus, as they scour online categories and often find options are lacking. As newer tech gets released, older models will naturally seem sub par.
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That said, Dell XPS 13 series — which certainly is not one of those merely affordable devices — is just reputed not just for its savvy design but also the ride-or-die life cycle. This model is made of CNC aluminium which sees the device carrying quite lightly, ideal for those sick of work-from-home and want to take the meetings and deadlines to a café or a friend’s place.
Our review device was the Frost exterior that comes with an Arctic White glass fibre composite around the keyboard and trackpad, allowing for a comfortable grip and resting position for your palms.
The 13.4-inch display on the XPS 13 9310 is, as usual, eye-catching and not too high-contrast. Does it match up to the M1 MacBook’s displays? It comes pretty close, thanks to the Intel Iris Xe’s transformational GPU and integrated graphics that promise to support richer gaming experiences and greater speed for designers and creators.
- Chipset: 11th Generation Intel Core i5-1135G7 Processor
- Video card: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
- Display: 13.4” FHD+ (1920 x 1200) InfinityEdge, non-touch anti-glare 500-nit display
- Memory: 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive
Display size matters; the 500-nit (of brightness) screen’s 16:10 aspect ratio makes for comfortable viewing thanks to there being more vertical space; when laptop screen ratios seem off-balance, this can affect how the user takes in information. In fact, this 91.5% screen-to-body ratio is known as ‘a sweet spot’ given it is ideal for both streaming and productivity. Goodbye, annoying black bars and weird bezels!
One of the most under-discussed aspects of a display is backlight bleed, when the display’s light leaks around the edges of your screen, making it unevenly lit. This, too, can affect the viewing comfort and more laptop manufacturers are waking up to this as more users become more cognizant of this odd phenomena. Thankfully, the XPS 13 9310 does not have such noticeable backlight bleed, but you may catch a glimpse of it in low-light settings, so do not use this device in complete darkness.
The touchscreen is a handy add-on, transforming the laptop into a wholly interactive device. But at the start of use, the touchscreen was not too responsive for me, so I merely adjusted my reliance on this feature. The Gorilla Glass 6 gives off a reflective and glossy finish which can be a trial to keep fingerprint-free if you are like me and are constantly distracted by every little smudge.
The battery of the XPS 13 9310 is impressive; I was able to get 16 hours of productivity out of a single full charge while gaming got a good 10 hours. My first uses ended up causing quite a bit of overheating to the point of discomfort but there are some energy distribution settings one can calibrate to amend this. Dell has purposefully invested more in performance and display here, making it one of the best Windows 10 ultrabooks out there.
I have always appreciated Dell’s keyboard designs; in the case of the XPS 13 9310, the chiclet keyboard is quite comfortable and has smooth key travel as well as intuitive feedback. All these factors make for better productivity The trackpad is responsive and has a decent precision to it too.
An HD issue?
Unfortunately, Dell still has not listened to the mass cries of its consumer base around its grainy camera. There is only a slight improvement in the XPS 13 9310’s built-in webcam. However, in several different video calls, my webcam-captured self looked like variants of a Van Gogh painting. Given the webcam is located within the frame itself, it is easy to get your fingerprint smudge on there; before your video calls, give it a good wipe with a microfibre cloth.
Some users may have to dish out extra cash for a HD webcam as well as a small ring light to keep themselves video call-ready.
Setting buyers back by ₹1,50,990, the device better come with some decent support. Dell India has prompt servicing and you can look forward to pan-country help, wherever the glitches may happen. The Dell XPS 13 9310 is a great ultrabook but there are some great high-performance options in the market costing under one lakh, such as from Asus, Dell, HP and Apple.
If you are to opt for this Dell XPS 13 9310, do it with your all and be ready for all that comes your way, because this is one that will occupy your workspace for at least the next two to three years.