ASUS ExpertBook B9

This year, Dell made a few changes to the new XPS lineup of premium thin and light laptops. It’s magnificent.

But the performance…

This is a tough one, honestly. The Dell XPS 13 9300 that we have for review here is the highest end. It comes with this list of specs:

Acer Nitro 5
  • 13.4-inch InfinityEdge screen
    • 3840×2400 pixels in resolution
    • Touch screen
  • Intel Core i7-1065G7 (Ice Lake, 10nm)
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics
  • 16GB LPDDR4x @ 3733MHz (soldered)
  • 1TB NVMe SSD
  • 52Wh battery

And the one thing that I want to focus on is the chipset itself – that Intel chip. There are two branches of Intel’s 10th generation of chips, and it’s very confusing. Hardware Unboxed has a good two-part video explaining the differences between the two branches of 10th Gen Intel chips.

Dell XPS 13 9300
A tiny power brick for a low-powered system.

We have the Comet Lake chips that are based on the 14nm process which became Intel’s 10­­th Gen U-series of mobile chips, and there are Ice Lake chips that are based on the new 10nm process with a focus on bumping up its integrated graphics performance.

Now, the XPS 13 9300 is definitely not made for gaming and Dell never advertised it to be a gaming laptop – but we did try to run some lightweight titles in 1080p resolution – like Valorant – and it runs pretty okay most of the time. There are stutterings here and there but it’s overall, quite a playable experience at its lowest graphical settings.

And if you want to have a look at the benchmarks, here they are.

Battery life

The new Dell XPS 13 9300 comes with a relatively large 52Wh battery. It can last for about 6 hours in a single charge – and considering that it is using a screen with 4K resolution, it’s quite good.

Dell XPS 13 9300

However, a laptop that we reviewed recently is the ASUS ExpertBook B9450 which uses the Intel Core i7-10510U which is based on the 14nm Comet Lake. I presume that the laptop has a pretty conservative CPU governor, which is why its benchmark scores are lower than the Huawei MateBook X Pro which uses the same Intel chip. And it’s a smart move since laptops don’t require that much power to browse the web or do word processing anyway.

Dell XPS 13 9300 battery charging benchmark

As for the charging speed, the Dell XPS 13 9300 comes with a tiny 45W charger and it can charge to 100% in about 2 hours while idling.

A decent selection of ports

In terms of ports, Dell is pretty much going all out to embrace the USB-C standard. It only has two Thunderbolt 3 ports – one on each side, a headphone jack, and a microSD card reader. The last one is great to have, just rare to see on a laptop of this caliber.

Dell XPS 13 9300 Dell XPS 13 9300

I’m also glad that Dell stuck with the idea of having a single Thunderbolt 3 port on each side of the laptop, so I can charge the laptop by plugging it on either side.

And as for upgrades, Dell has pretty much soldered everything except for the single M.2 SSD, which is covered by a copper heatsink.

Dell XPS 13 9300

On a side note, the screws that Dell uses to secure the backplate is also covered in this silver color, just to match the overall aesthetics. Dell is really paying close attention to detail here.

Dell XPS 13 9300

Should you buy the Dell XPS 13 9300?

It’s a rather interesting question. For me, I’ll say yes – Dell paid a lot of attention and doubled down on how to make the user experience better. We do have the highest-spec variant of the XPS 13 9300 for review, but I think you should buy the other variants instead.

On Dell Malaysia’s there are a total of 5 different variants within the Dell XPS 13 9300 family. I’d say it’s pretty straightforward when it comes to making a choice since it comes down to how much RAM you want, and if you want a touchscreen or not.

Dell XPS 13 9300

However, I do wish to see a variant with a 1920×1200 resolution touchscreen particularly because of better battery life and a lower price tag.

While I also wish that Dell will go AMD for the upcoming XPS laptops, I’m not sure if they can do it because of Thunderbolt 3. Remember, Thunderbolt 3 is developed by Intel so we can only dream about it – for now.

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