Best answer: Dell’s XPS 13 (9300) has a bunch of set configurations available, with the ability to customize internal hardware to your liking. Those with general productivity in mind can get by with a lower-end configuration. At the same time, those with heavy multitasking and even a bit of editing will want something with heavier-hitting hardware. As always, multiple display options must be considered. Here’s what you need to know.
- Latest and greatest model: XPS 13 (9300) (From $1,000 at Dell)
What’s new with the XPS 13 (9300)?
The most significant difference in the latest XPS 13 (9300) compared to the previous XPS 13 (7390) is no doubt the 13.4-inch display. It has moved from a 16:9 aspect ratio to a 16:10 aspect ratio, effectively eliminating bezel on all four sides. There’s no more chin along the bottom, and the result is a genuinely eminent look with a 91.5% screen to body ratio. Despite the thin bezel, Dell has still managed to fit an IR camera for Windows Hello above the display.
The keyboard has now been spread out over the chassis, with keys reaching from edge to edge. There’s more space for keycaps that are 9% larger, meaning you’ll feel a lot less jammed up while typing. The Precision touchpad has also been blown up by 17% to make the best use possible of space below the keyboard.
Inside, Dell has moved to Intel’s 10th Gen 10nm “Ice Lake” processors (CPU) compared to the 10th Gen 14nm “Comet Lake” hardware. If you’re in search of higher-performance integrated graphics, Intel Iris Plus from the Core i7-1065G7 CPU should be what you’re looking for. And if you’re future-proofing, the XPS 13 (9300) offers Wi-Fi 6 connectivity just like we saw in the 7390 model. The XPS 13 is also part of Intel’s Project Athena, meaning it’s optimized for battery life, charging, and wake speed.
Which XPS 13 (9300) model is best for you?
Dell has a bunch of different configurations to choose from when it comes to the XPS 13 (9300). That means you should be able to mix and match the hardware to get precisely what you need without overspending. Because you get the same ports, keyboard and touchpad, speakers, battery, and display size no matter the configuration, the choice will mostly come down to CPU, RAM, solid-state drive (SSD), and display resolution.
The baseline configuration starting at about $1,000 includes an Intel Core i3-1005G1 CPU with two cores, 8GB of LPDDR4x RAM, a 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD, and a non-touch 1920×1200 (FHD+) display with about 500 nits brightness. This is a decent configuration for light work; if you hate the idea of any slow down with tens of browser tabs open and multiple apps running at once, you’ll want to start with the Core i5-1035G1 model around $1,050. And for best performance possible, the Core i7-1065G7 CPU will satisfy starting at around $1,250.
Storage and RAM are customizable on most models, though often to a certain extent. For example, the Core i3 config is capped at 8GB of RAM (which is soldered on all models) but can have storage up to 512GB. If you go with a Core i5 config, up to 16GB of RAM can be added, along with 1TB of storage (which can be upgraded after purchase). For a Core i7 config, up to 32GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD can be added. And no matter the configuration, both Platinum Silver with Black carbon fiber palm rest or Frost White with Alpine White woven glass palm rest color options are available.
Next, come the display options. The basic display is a non-touch FHD+ display with an anti-glare (matte) finish and raised plastic bezel. It has excellent color, it hits 500 nits brightness, and it will make working outdoors much easier. This is the cheapest display option available.
Next is an FHD+ touch display with an anti-reflective layer and edge-to-edge glass with no raised bezel. It looks just a bit more premium due to the glass, though it won’t combat glare as well as the matte version (though it does a great job in its own right). This display also has outstanding color and hits 500 nits brightness. Expect to pay about $100 more for this display compared to the basic non-touch option.
Finally, a 3840×2400 (UHD+) touch option is available for about $400 more than the basic non-touch display. It too has edge-to-edge glass and an anti-reflective layer, as well as 500 nits brightness. While the other displays offer Dolby Vision compatibility, the UHD+ display is VESA certified DisplayHDR 400.
The UHD+ display is absolutely stunning and delivers better color reproduction in the DCI-P3 color gamut, but at 13 inches, it’s not absolutely necessary. The FHD+ models — especially the touch option with edge-to-edge glass and 100% sRGB color — are still quality IGZO displays and will help prolong battery life. The $400 premium you pay for UHD+ is also quite steep, and no doubt, not worth it for many people.
Latest and Greatest
Dell XPS 13 (9300)
Lots of configurations available
Whether you need a simple but premium machine for office work, a mid-range performer for multitasking, or a high-end Ultrabook for some specialized profession, the XPS 13 (9300) has the right hardware for the job.