Dell XPS 13 (XPS9343-7273SLV) is a high-end touchscreen laptop hailing from Round Rock, Texas. It is powered by a 5th generation Intel processor, 8GB RAM and a solid-state drive. The display is small 13.3″ although it features excellent QHD (3200 x 1800) resolution. Price tag might surprise you – this Dell is an expensive model – so you might question its value for your money. Well, we’re here to tell you if this thing is worthy of buying at all…
The Intel Core i7-5500U is a low voltage processor running on two cores, 2.4GHz clock frequency and 3.0GHz turbo speed. Because its power efficient nature, the performance isn’t really on par with normal Core i7s. The low voltage model has only around half the performance its faster counterparts possess. Despite this fact, any i7 can be considered a power-user friendly chip. They’ll handle heavier software without lagging and contribute to better battery life thanks to their smart design.
Dell XPS 13 (XPS9343-7273SLV) contains 8GB DDR3L-RS 1600MHz memory. It’s installed on board, in other words you can’t remove it or add more. That’s one of the possibly worse things in this notebook, some users might benefit from bigger RAM. On the other hand, the majority of people should be good to go with the current 8GB.
For storage, the computer offers a 256GB solid-state drive. It will make Windows 8.1 (64-bit) boot up and programs load very, very fast. That said, 256GB (minus Windows installation files) isn’t a lot of space. To overcome this, somebody might want to replace this drive with a bigger SSD – and I say replace, there’s just one slot for storage drive in total. You can do such an upgrade if you have little technical knowledge.
Display and graphics
Dell XPS 13 (XPS9343-7273SLV) features a compact 13.3″ touch display with a fantastic 3200×1800 resolution. People praised the screen for sharpness and good overall quality. That is very logical, the laptop is quite expensive and one must expect good components for this price.
Unfortunate for gamers, there’s no dedicated graphics unit in this laptop. Instead, it relies on the processor-integrated Intel HD 5500. Many games are indeed playable, for example Battlefield 4 reaching 25-30FPS on medium details and 1366×768. Thief should get around 20 on low settings. The key here is keeping less than full eye candy on – if you want to enjoy maximum graphics, you can only do so on older or lighter titles like Dota 2, Fifa 14 or Trackmania.
Dell XPS 13 (XPS9343-7273SLV) has only two USB ports, although both are faster 3.0. HDMI output is missing, but there’s a dedicated mini DisplayPort out which you can use for many kinds of monitors – even the HDMI ones with an adapter.
The laptop seems to have no Ethernet port for wired Internet access. However, it features an excellent 802.11ac WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 card to get you connected.
Optical drive is not included, so your best bet is to use an external one or download your stuff from Internet. Some might benefit from the built-in SD card reader as well.
The notebook has a fixed webcam and microphone so you can video chat with your friends and other people in Skype.
Other noteworthy things
One of the strongest side of Dell XPS 13 (XPS9343-7273SLV) is its portability. It weighs very very little, only 2.8 pounds. Combined with the 13.3″ screen size this thing is a great companion for road warriors or travelers. The 4-cell 52Whr battery isn’t any worse either, you should get around 10 hours while surfing the web or doing other easy-on-the-battery tasks.
The keyboard is backlit on this unit. No dedicated numpad is installed on the right. There’s no space for that, but on the other hand trackpad and keyboard are centered which many people indeed prefer.
Dell XPS 13 (XPS9343-7273SLV) is a premium laptop. Its Core i7 and fast storage drive will make sure your files are served fast and programs, even the heavier ones, will keep running without lag. This thing can also be used for gaming, although with many titles settings and resolution must be turned low or medium due to the slowish integrated graphics unit. The screen with very high resolution should be crystal clear and also using Windows 8.1 is no problem with its touch support. The two USB 3.0 ports are useful although the lack of HDMI port is bit strange (thankfully, a mini DP is still included). All in all, if you have enough money and want a laptop that won’t slow down, going for this Dell would make perfect sense.