Dell’s focus has traditionally been in affordable laptops, but they are no strangers to fancier models now and then. Dell XPS 13 (XPS9343-6364SLV) is such a high-end laptop, with a 5th generation i5 processor, 8GB RAM and a solid-state drive. The 13.3″ display is what makes the notebook really stand out from the crowd – it has a 3200 x 1800 resolution. But I can’t help noticing the high price tag. So the obvious question is: does this Dell give great bang for your buck? We’ll try to answer that below…
A new Core i5-5200U processor (dual core @ 2.2 – 2.7GHz) is powering up the system. These new fifth generation CPUs are power efficient models (hence the “U” suffix), which is a trade-off between battery life and performance. Longer hours should be guaranteed, but performance is less than on many regular i5 processors from the previous generation. However, compared to i5-4200U, the i5-5200U is around 10% faster. In general, the whole i5 family is regarded as power user friendly choice.
There is 8GB RAM on Dell XPS 13 (XPS9343-6364SLV). It is on-board memory, meaning that you can’t upgrade it. For most this is not a problem, but if you’re user of most demanding applications, the non-upgradeable RAM might be a real limitation.
The storage is a modern 256GB solid-state drive. It’s obviously not huge in size, but does a good job starting the system and applications quickly. Windows 8.1 should boot up in around 10 seconds on such an SSD.
Display and graphics
The touch display of Dell XPS 13 (XPS9343-6364SLV) is interesting. It’s just 13.3″ in diagonal but features a 3200×1800 resolution – much more than the “regular” Full HD of 1920×1080. This should translate to an extremely crisp image, although the premium screen is also reflected in the price.
Despite being expensive, the laptop includes no dedicated graphics. It has the Intel HD 5500 graphics which means many games have to be played with reduced settings. On average, you should get ~30 frames per seconds with Battlefield 4 played on medium details and low resolution. Lighter games should be handled better, such as CS:Go that would run fine on high settings.
Dell XPS 13 (XPS9343-6364SLV) contains two USB 3.0 ports and miniDP output for external monitors. 3-in-1 media card reader is also present, although optical drive is not.
You can connect to Internet through the laptop’s excellent 802.11 A/C WiFi + Bluetooth 4.1 card. Ethernet port is not available, but an USB adapter can be used for that.
0.92MP webcam is fixed on top of the screen, chatting with your friends on Skype video is possible.
Anything else to keep in mind?
At 2.8 pounds, Dell XPS 13 (XPS9343-6364SLV) is a lightweight model. In comparison, typical 15″ laptops are 5lbs and more, so traveling with this Dell should be a walk in the park. The integrated 52WHr 4-cell battery is promised ~11 hours battery life.
The keyboard is backlit. Like all 13 inchers, it has no space for numpad on the right.
Dell XPS 13 (XPS9343-6364SLV) is a fast and compact notebook that some have even compared to MacBooks. Best things are the i5 processor, quick SSD and high quality 3200×1800 touch screen. The notebook is also very portable, on-the-go computing is breeze with it. The only “bad” thing is hefty price, and I don’t think everybody would pay this much for a laptop. But if it’s only premium you want, going for this Dell should be something to consider!