Dell XPS 13 XPS9350-5342GLD Ultrabook Review

March 2, 2016
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If you want a business-like ultrabook, prepare to pay a lot. Those things are not cheap. Dell XPS 13 XPS9350-5342GLD is one of them, sporting an “impressive” price tag even higher than the Macbook Air. But surely, the engine room is impressive as well: Core i7 processor, 256GB solid-state drive and ultra HD screen. So, read on and find out whether you should spend your money or stay away from this premium notebook!

Is it fast enough for all the software?

If we take a look under the hood of Dell XPS 13 XPS9350-5342GLD, we’ll see a set of modern, power-user proof components. For example, the processor comes from 2016, it’s a 6th generation Intel Core i7-6560U. Note the U in the end, meaning the unit is a low-voltage one: still, this dual-core processor offers a nice 3.2GHz turbo in addition to the 2.2GHz clock speed. In CPU Mark, you’ll find it gets ~4800 points, enough for light and heavy software alike.

The laptop features 8GB on-board low voltage memory. It’s a lot and not many people would realistically benefit from more. The specifications mention 16GB is the maximum, but you can’t really upgrade integrated memory, so it probably means you need to buy another model with 16GB RAM factory-installed if you want that.

The storage section is golden, offering you a 256GB PCIe solid-state drive. In this era of online streaming and cloud services, that quarter gigabyte should be enough for storage, and thanks to SSD speeds there should be no performance issues with this model.

Would gamers also like this kind of machine?

Dell XPS 13 XPS9350-5342GLD is a mediocre choice for gamers. Surely, it has one of the best integrated graphics engines (the Intel Iris 540), but still, it’s just an integrated one. In general, you will be able to fire up any game and play it, but the more demanding ones will require lower settings. For example, you can expect quite smooth 40FPS on GTA 5 with medium settings and 1366×768 resolution.

What devices can be plugged in?

Dell XPS 13 XPS9350-5342GLD is a premium laptop although it’s also darn small, so not very great selection of ports is available. There are three USB ports that are pretty much everything you get – two of those are USB 3.0 and one USB Type-C. The latter works with many standards, such as Thunderbolt 3, so in addition to common USB devices (like printers and external drives) you can also hook up some monitors to that USB port.

There is no HDMI-out on this system so connecting standard PC displays (and HDTV) won’t work out of the box, but you can use an adapter for that.

For audio there is the headphone & microphone combo port.

Don’t forget there is no built-in DVD drive, but indeed you can use an external one that plugs to USB port.

How’s the screen?

One of the best things of Dell XPS 13 XPS9350-5342GLD is the display. It’s the ultrabook-style 13.3″ screen with 3200×1800 maximum resolution. That offers a lot of screen estate, much more than Full HD, but of course in general use it’s not very practical – icons look small. Just change the resolution and the problem is solved. Touch is also supported, just remember the display won’t turn past 135 degrees (so this is not 2-in-1 model).

How else does the laptop benefit me?

There is a 4-cell 56Whr battery included, and like a true ultrabook unit it’s not replaceable type. You will get around 9 hours out of it under web surfing, it compares well to other models in this price range.

This model does not have RJ-45 port, it relies on wireless networking completely. But the WiFi card is of high quality, a 2×2 802.11ac dual-band unit with Bluetooth 4.1 support.

A media card reader is fitted on the side, it accepts SD cards and its variations SDHC and SDXC. You can slip in memory cards from cameras and upload photos, for example.

The webcam works with 1280×720 resolution, you can not shoot Full HD videos but good enough material for YouTube. And video chats work fine with that.

Summing it up

Surely Dell XPS 13 XPS9350-5342GLD is one of the more expensive notebooks but don’t let that let you down. Because you’re getting unmatched performance (Core i7, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) for any kind of programs you could ever think about. You’re also getting a beautiful 13.3 inches Ultra HD screen that is a good companion for photo and video editors. The laptop also looks professional, with the actual screen almost taking the whole upper part. Just remember gaming is best left for special gamer laptops. If you have the money and want one of the better ultrabooks in the market now, then I recommend choosing this Dell!

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