Dell XPS 13 (2019) laptop review: Made for everyone

Dell is a prominent name in the PC and laptop industry and it looks like the US tech firm is just not ready to lose its shine in the Indian market. Dell wants to achieve that by upgrading a bunch of premium, gaming and other mid-range laptops in the country routinely. One of them was the 2019 model of the Dell XPS 13, which was first seen by Gadgets Now at this year’s Computex 2019 conference in Taipei, Taiwan.

The XPS 13 is Dell’s one of the first attempts at bringing Intel 10th generation processor to the masses. And while the processor is touted for several features, the XPS 13 is probably one of the best laptop to showcase the company’s power and beauty in a single package. Dell has always maintained its XPS lineup as a premium one and hence the price is something that is not-so-appealing for the masses.

The unit we received was the Dell XPS 13 variant with 10th-gen Intel Core i7 processor which is listed for a rather hefty at Rs 1,46,690 on the website. There is a Core i5 model as well that is listed at Rs 99,890. We have been using Dell’s newest and the most ‘ultimate’ laptop of 2019 through since weeks and tested it through its paces to find out how it performs in real life. Here’s what we found out.


Dell has always played safe with the design and build for the XPS premium laptop lineup. You get a balanced blend of looks and power, and this time Dell has tried to raise the bar as before. But is this decision a successful one? We’d say partially. Dell XPS 13 (2019) simply nails it in the looks department as you get an aesthetically pleasing look of metal on the shell with a shining logo while on the inside there’s a carbon-fibre Black coloured coating running across the keyboard, touchpad and palm rest areas. There’s an ‘Arctic White’ version as well that has the same elements and looks but with a White coloured coating on the inside instead of Black.

The carbon-fibre coating, unlike what we’ve seen in rivals, is not smudge friendly and is easier to maintain in the long run. Even if you have sweaty palms, it won’t hinder the looks or will spoil the coating. The Arctic White variant, on the other hand, could be slightly difficult to maintain. The looks blend with the long hinge that is strong enough to not annoy you with screen wobble.

While this is on the positive front, what we didn’t feel quite up to the XPS ‘standards’ was the missing premium-esque feel on the inside. The plastic keys on the keyboard, dull coating and not-so-major design change bring the entire vibe down to ‘just another laptop’. Better use of the keyboard space and minor design changes could have made it more appealing.

However, it’s appreciable how Dell XPS 13 (2019) maintains the minimal footprint and hardly takes up space in your backpack. Being one of the most compact laptops by Dell, the XPS 13 is still 1.23kgs so don’t expect this compact-sized device to be impressively light-weight. When it goes inside your bag, you do feel the weight. Nonetheless, it is one of the most portable Windows laptops available in the market and should be a rather good proposition for those who are always on the go.

While users may like the side-firing speakers, they might not like the limited ports you get with XPS 13. The lineup has always boasted its slimness and portability, which means sacrificing certain ports. Here you get a microSD card reader, USB-C 3.1 with power delivery & DisplayPort, headphone jack and two Thunderbolt 3 with power delivery & DisplayPort.

If that disappoints you, the display might cheer you up.


Dell XPS 13 (2019) makes sure users get the best viewing experience in a laptop. Of course, you don’t have an OLED screen like what you get in Dell’s Alienware gaming laptop series, but you do get a good looking IPS screen that has balanced colours, impressive brightness and dimming levels and most importantly, an immersive screen with minimal bezels on three sides at least. However, it is because of the IPS screen that you get a less reflective panel that is easy to look at. But you do get noticeable shifts in colour tones when looking from sides, which might not be ideal when more than one person is looking at the screen.

Getting the specs out of the way, Dell XPS 13 (2019) brings you a 13.3-inch canvas with either FHD (1920x1080 pixels) or QHD (3840x2160 pixels) options. We got the latter one that also supports touch screen, unlike the FHD screen variant.

However, out of the two, we would suggest you go for the non-touch FHD version if you don’t have a use for touchscreen. Considering that XPS 13 is a regular laptop and not a convertible, having a touchscreen might not make sense for many. We did have an option to use the touch screen but the majority of the times we were fine working with the good old keyboard and touchpad combo

However, the screen shouldn’t be the only criteria for choosing the variants as both also differ in terms of processors and RAM capacities.

That said, what’s interesting in XPS 13 (2019) is that the firm has managed to pack the webcam on top of the screen this time instead of placing it at the bottom. This definitely looks more natural but it still leaves a massive bezel at the bottom with the ‘Dell’ branding, something we think could have been trimmed a bit to make it more compact. Also, this might not be a major issue for users, but after making several XPS premium laptops, you still can’t open the lid without moving the main body, something Apple MacBooks aced quite some time ago.


Dell XPS 13 (2019) is probably one of the firsts to bring Intel’s really powerful and efficient 10th-generation processors in India. While the FHD screen configuration uses 8GB LPDDR3 RAM and 10th-gen Core i5 processor, the QHD model includes 16GB LPDDR3 RAM with a more powerful Core i7 processor. This means no matter which variant you chose, you will probably be able to run pretty much everything on it without any hiccups. We tried everything on the XPS 13 ranging from day-to-day work with couple of Chrome browsers with multiple tabs running on each of them, video streaming for hours and even playing a couple of heavy titles including Battlefield 1 and NFS Payback although it is not the ideal gaming laptop. And as expected, everything was handled just fine.

Being a powerhouse, XPS 13 will often make you realise that it has fans inside to cool it down. We often heard the fan roaring while it handled multiple Chrome browsers and tabs. That’s something we don’t expect from a powerful processor but on the brighter side, it keeps the heat levels in check and at no point will you feel the heat on the keyboard area or anywhere around it. There’s no air intake and out on the sides but are interestingly hidden from the view. While the intake is from the grille that is placed right on the screen hinge, the air is thrown out from the underside.

On both sides, you do get speakers. What we specifically like about the XPS 13 is the side-firing speakers that they are surprisingly loud and clear. The placement itself is good and won’t block the audio in most scenarios. The 2 Watt stereo speakers are powered by Waves Maxx Audio Pro so watching videos and movies on this is a fairly good experience.

Adding to the list of features is the power button on the top right side beside the keyboard. Why do we mention it? That is because the power button also acts as a fingerprint sensor. It’s nothing new though but a really nifty feature preventing users from opening the lid and typing that long password to log in every time.

That said, the system wake up time is something that might not be well received by power users. We did notice that at times XPS 13 (2019) takes as much as 3-4 seconds to wake up once the lid is opened. Open the lid after a couple of hours and the laptop starts loading from the ‘Dell’ icon, taking around 15 seconds to unlock the device.


As far as the battery performance goes, the XPS 13 (2019) pretty much gets it bang on. We had absolutely zero complaints from the device when working without keeping it plugged-in. Powering the computing machine is a 4-cell 52Whr battery, which is not bad at all, at least on paper. For what’s worth, both the UHD touch screen and FHD non-touch screen variants of XPS 13 feature the same battery specs. Although we expected a tad bit more battery in the UHD version because of the more power-hungry Intel Core i7 processor and a panel that is pushing more number of pixels on the screen. But for the most part, it should be fine.

On our average use that included everything from browsing on the web with several RAM-consuming Chrome tabs, working on different simultaneously, rendering videos and even playing a few titles even though the device is not aimed for that purpose. But in the end, we were still able to stretch it to more than 8 hours consistently, which is far more impressive than what rivals offer for now. A large piece of the credit goes to Intel's processing power.

However, as an obvious disclaimer here, the battery life of the device varies on the nature of the app and other factors as well. While this was for the UHD touch-screen Core i7 variant, we expect the FHD non-touch screen Core i5 version to run for longer. Dell claims the FHD variant can run for up to 19 hours and 24 minutes, which is in ‘ideal’ conditions of course.

While Dell was focussed on certain aspects for its XPS laptops until last year, this year it seems to have aimed the device for a wider set of audience. With a good IPS display, sleek and premium design, top of the line processor, impressive battery life and some extra features such as good speakers, fingerprint-laden power button and more, the XPS 13 (2019) seems like a laptop that has something for everyone. It can be used by power users for media consumption and even for playing light games. However, the device seems most ideal for on-the-go users who like to get things done while travelling or commuting.

Dell ticks most of the boxes here. If you are someone who is hell bent using an Intel 10th-gen processor, we would recommend the FHD version of Dell XPS 13 (2019). One can even wait for other OEMs such as Lenovo which are also out with Intel 10th-gen laptops in India. However, at Rs 99,890 and Rs 1,46,690, the XPS models are worthy offerings from Dell.

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