Notebookcheck

Dell XPS 13 9350 (i7-6560U, QHD+) Ultrabook Review

Maxed out. Our latest XPS 13 is equipped to the brim with a 3200x1800 resolution touchscreen, Core i7-6560U CPU, Iris Graphics 540, and a 512 GB NVMe SSD. Is this higher cost SKU worth the extra horsepower?

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We've checked out a fair number of XPS 13 SKUs in the past year to provide a good sense of differences and similarities between each model. Our test unit today, however, will be our first with Iris Graphics 540.

We recommend checking out our previous reviews on the XPS 13 series for more information on the chassis and features as this review will focus more on performance and hardware measurements.

Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA (XPS 13 Series)
Processor
Graphics adapter
Memory
16384 MB 
, 930.8 MHz, 14-17-17-40, Dual-Channel
Display
13.3 inch 16:9, 3200x1800 pixel, Capacitive, IPS, Model ID: Sharp SHP144A, Name: Dell RXN49 LQ133Z1, glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel Skylake-U Premium PCH
Storage
Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB, 512 GB 
Soundcard
Intel Skylake-U/Y PCH - High Definition Audio
Connections
2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo, Card Reader: 3-in-1 SD reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC), Brightness Sensor
Networking
Dell Wireless 1820A 802.11ac (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 15 x 304 x 200 ( = 0.59 x 11.97 x 7.87 in)
Battery
56 Wh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p
Primary Camera: 1 MPix
Additional features
Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.325 kg ( = 46.74 oz / 2.92 pounds), Power Supply: 240 g ( = 8.47 oz / 0.53 pounds)
Price
1300 USD

 

Case

The previous Dell XPS 13 9333 design was already quite small in length and width, but the latest XPS 13 9350 refresh is even smaller and thinner without necessarily sacrificing rigidity. We can't stress enough how portable the notebook is for a 13-inch screen size as the super narrow bezel has made all the difference. Nonetheless, the XPS 13 is not the thinnest nor is it the lightest as the Lenovo Yoga 900 edges out the Dell by just a hair in both categories (14.9 mm vs 15.0 mm, 1.27 kg vs. 1.33 kg).

Note that the added glass panel over the touchscreen adds about a 100 g to the final weight compared to our previous test unit with the more standard matte FHD panel.

Connectivity

There are only a few available ports due to the size and design of the notebook. Owners will be pushed towards USB Type-C adapters for docks and other functionality. Dell offers the all-in-one DA200 USB Type-C adapter for added HDMI, VGA, USB, and RJ-45.

Charging port, Thunderbolt 3/USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 2, USB 3.0, combo audio, battery charge indicator
Charging port, Thunderbolt 3/USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 2, USB 3.0, combo audio, battery charge indicator
Card reader, USB 3.0, Kensington Lock
Card reader, USB 3.0, Kensington Lock

Display

The QHD+ touchscreen provides a dense PPI of 276 with contrast exceeding that of many of its competitors without sacrificing display backlight. Needless to say, texts and images are incredibly crisp with plenty of resolution space for multiple windows. Unlike on the QHD+ Zenbook UX303UB or Yoga 900, Dell has elected to not use a RGBW pixel array.

Backlight bleeding around the edges and corners are very minimal and essentially unnoticeable during everyday use or movie playback. Its SHP144A (LQ133Z1) panel can also be found on last year's XPS 13, albeit with a much brighter backlight for this latest iteration. Color reproduction is otherwise nearly identical between the XPS 13 9343 QHD+ and XPS 13 9350 QHD+ models.

Almost no backlight bleeding
Almost no backlight bleeding
Subpixel array
Subpixel array
302.2
cd/m²
286.5
cd/m²
281.4
cd/m²
304.7
cd/m²
307.5
cd/m²
299.9
cd/m²
295.5
cd/m²
304.5
cd/m²
292.9
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro Basic 2
Maximum: 307.5 cd/m² Average: 297.2 cd/m² Minimum: 13.5 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 92 %
Center on Battery: 307.5 cd/m²
Contrast: 1486:1 (Black: 0.207 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.18 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 4.94 | - Ø
92% sRGB (Argyll) 59% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.31
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
13.3, 3200x1800
HP ProBook 430 G3 P5T00ES
13.3, 1366x768
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T
13.3, 3200x1800
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
13.3, 1440x900
Lenovo Yoga 900-13ISK 80MK
13.3, 3200x1800
HP Spectre x360 13-4104ng
13.3, 2560x1440
Response Times
-9%
-5%
24%
45%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
50.8
54.4
-7%
44.4
13%
38.8
24%
24
53%
Response Time Black / White *
29.6
32.8
-11%
36
-22%
22.4
24%
19
36%
PWM Frequency
192
1389
1316
Screen
-100%
-62%
-23%
-37%
-11%
Brightness
297
205
-31%
270
-9%
310
4%
302
2%
324
9%
Brightness Distribution
92
90
-2%
84
-9%
82
-11%
88
-4%
90
-2%
Black Level *
0.207
0.71
-243%
0.954
-361%
0.405
-96%
0.835
-303%
0.34
-64%
Contrast
1486
299
-80%
305
-79%
812
-45%
383
-74%
953
-36%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.18
12.06
-189%
4.63
-11%
3.96
5%
2.68
36%
4.36
-4%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4.94
13.41
-171%
5.65
-14%
3.51
29%
2.35
52%
4.62
6%
Gamma
2.31 104%
2.41 100%
2.16 111%
3.83 63%
2.09 115%
2.18 110%
CCT
7645 85%
15382 42%
6320 103%
6711 97%
6975 93%
6857 95%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
59
34.3
-42%
55.2
-6%
38.4
-35%
57
-3%
60
2%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
92
54.2
-41%
85.2
-7%
59.8
-35%
88
-4%
93
1%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-55% / -82%
-34% / -51%
-23% / -23%
-7% / -25%
17% / 0%

* ... smaller is better

Color space is a measured 59 percent and 92 percent of AdobeRGB and sRGB standards, respectively. Gamut is wider than budget panels on less expensive Ultrabooks where sRGB coverage tend to hover in the 60 percent range, such as on the lower-end HP ProBook 430 G3 and Apple MacBook Air 13.

vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. Asus Zenbook UX303UB
vs. Asus Zenbook UX303UB
vs. Yoga 900 13ISK
vs. Yoga 900 13ISK

Grayscale and RGB Balance are average out-of-the-box. A calibration is recommended as it will reduce color temperature to noticeably warmer levels while improving color accuracy at lower saturation levels. Colors are relatively consistent throughout all saturation levels due to the high sRGB coverage.

Grayscale pre-calibration
Grayscale pre-calibration
Saturation Sweeps pre-calibration
Saturation Sweeps pre-calibration
ColorChecker pre-calibration
ColorChecker pre-calibration
Grayscale post calibration
Grayscale post calibration
Saturation Sweeps post calibration
Saturation Sweeps post calibration
ColorChecker post calibration
ColorChecker post calibration

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
29.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 6 ms rise
↘ 23.6 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 70 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (27.3 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
50.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 18.4 ms rise
↘ 32.4 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 250 (maximum) ms. » 81 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (42.9 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 60 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 456 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 10420) Hz was measured.

Outdoor visibility is very good under shade and only average under direct sunlight due to the insufficient backlight and glossy screen. In this case, the touchscreen loses its advantage against the less expensive matte options if outdoor usability is of utmost importance. Viewing angles are otherwise excellent from the IPS panel with very little contrast and color degradation at extreme angles.

Outdoors on a cloudy day
Outdoors on a cloudy day
Outdoors under direct sunlight
Outdoors under direct sunlight
Wide IPS viewing angles
Wide IPS viewing angles
Discussion

Performance

Turbo Boost up to 3.2 GHz
Turbo Boost up to 3.2 GHz

The latest XPS 13 SKU is equipped with a Core i7-6560U CPU and integrated Iris Graphics 540 GPU. Keen-eyed users will immediately notice that this is the same GPU configuration as the highest-end SKU of the Surface Pro 4, but with different ULV CPUs (i7-6560U vs. i7-6650U) rated at the same base clock rate (2.2 GHz) and slightly different maximum Turbo clock rates (3.2 GHz vs. 3.4 GHz). Processor speed on the XPS 13 can be as high as 3.2 GHz for single-threaded operations or as low as 500 MHz when on the Power Saver profile. Similarly, the GPU can operate up to 1050 MHz when under stress.

While the i7-6560U and i7-6650U are almost identical on paper, the CPU and GPU performance differences between them are measurable as shown in the following sections.

 

Processor

CPU benchmarks like CineBench, wPrime, and Super Pi all reveal that the CPU in our XPS 13 is only a few percentage points away from the lower-end Core i5-6300U. Multi-threaded performance is slower than the i7-6650U in the Surface Pro 4 while performance in single-threaded operations appears to be very similar. For example, the Microsoft tablet is roughly 10 percent faster than our Dell in all multi-threaded benchmarks due to its higher and more consistent TUrbo Boost.

See our dedicated CPU page on the Core i7-6560U for more technical details and benchmarks.

CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R15
CineBench R15
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
Iris Graphics 540, 6560U, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
132 Points ∼69%
Eurocom Shark 4
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO m.2 120GB
136 Points ∼72% +3%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Core i7
Iris Graphics 540, 6650U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
132 Points ∼69% 0%
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, CUK Cyclone SSD 1TB
127 Points ∼67% -4%
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
122 Points ∼64% -8%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH001FGE
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
113 Points ∼59% -14%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
Iris Graphics 540, 6560U, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
303 Points ∼18%
Eurocom Shark 4
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO m.2 120GB
596 Points ∼36% +97%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Core i7
Iris Graphics 540, 6650U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
342 Points ∼21% +13%
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, CUK Cyclone SSD 1TB
286 Points ∼17% -6%
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
305 Points ∼18% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH001FGE
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
290 Points ∼18% -4%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
Iris Graphics 540, 6560U, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
1.52 Points ∼19%
Eurocom Shark 4
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO m.2 120GB
1.59 Points ∼20% +5%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Core i7
Iris Graphics 540, 6650U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
1.51 Points ∼19% -1%
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, CUK Cyclone SSD 1TB
1.45 Points ∼18% -5%
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
1.41 Points ∼17% -7%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH001FGE
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
1.29 Points ∼16% -15%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
Iris Graphics 540, 6560U, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
3.45 Points ∼20%
Eurocom Shark 4
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO m.2 120GB
6.45 Points ∼37% +87%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Core i7
Iris Graphics 540, 6650U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
3.8 Points ∼22% +10%
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, CUK Cyclone SSD 1TB
3.17 Points ∼18% -8%
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
3.42 Points ∼19% -1%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH001FGE
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
3.23 Points ∼18% -6%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit (sort by value)
Eurocom Shark 4
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO m.2 120GB
6849 Points ∼76%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Core i7
Iris Graphics 540, 6650U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
6787 Points ∼75%
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
6065 Points ∼67%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH001FGE
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
5267 Points ∼58%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit (sort by value)
Eurocom Shark 4
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO m.2 120GB
23386 Points ∼57%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Core i7
Iris Graphics 540, 6650U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
14833 Points ∼36%
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
13656 Points ∼33%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH001FGE
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
12462 Points ∼31%
wPrime 2.0x - 1024m (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
Iris Graphics 540, 6560U, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
482.941 s * ∼6%
Eurocom Shark 4
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO m.2 120GB
246.964 s * ∼3% +49%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Core i7
Iris Graphics 540, 6650U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
445.593 s * ∼5% +8%
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, CUK Cyclone SSD 1TB
540.402 s * ∼6% -12%
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
491.395 s * ∼6% -2%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - --- (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
Iris Graphics 540, 6560U, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
618.425 Seconds * ∼3%
Eurocom Shark 4
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO m.2 120GB
545.423 Seconds * ∼2% +12%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Core i7
Iris Graphics 540, 6650U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
612.745 Seconds * ∼3% +1%
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, CUK Cyclone SSD 1TB
672.757 Seconds * ∼3% -9%
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
670.775 Seconds * ∼3% -8%
Lenovo ThinkPad T560-20FH001FGE
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
718.998 Seconds * ∼3% -16%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
9755
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
11205
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5054
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
41.07 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
3.45 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.52 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.8 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
46.99 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
303 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
132 Points
Help

System Performance

PCMark benchmarks rank our XPS 13 in the same ballpark as its closest competitors. Its NVMe SSD also puts it next to older gaming systems with discrete GPUs including the MSI GE62 2QE and Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G.

PCMark 7
PCMark 7
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
Iris Graphics 540, 6560U, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
5672 Points ∼70%
Lenovo Yoga 900-13ISK 80MK
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
5478 Points ∼68% -3%
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
HD Graphics 6000, 5650U, Apple SSD SD0256F
5205 Points ∼65% -8%
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, CUK Cyclone SSD 1TB
5135 Points ∼64% -9%
HP ProBook 430 G3 P5T00ES
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
2984 Points ∼37% -47%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
Iris Graphics 540, 6560U, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
3438 Points ∼53%
Lenovo Yoga 900-13ISK 80MK
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
3863 Points ∼59% +12%
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
HD Graphics 6000, 5650U, Apple SSD SD0256F
4367 Points ∼67% +27%
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, CUK Cyclone SSD 1TB
3862 Points ∼59% +12%
HP ProBook 430 G3 P5T00ES
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
4106 Points ∼63% +19%
Creative Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
Iris Graphics 540, 6560U, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
4470 Points ∼52%
Lenovo Yoga 900-13ISK 80MK
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
3709 Points ∼43% -17%
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
HD Graphics 6000, 5650U, Apple SSD SD0256F
4432 Points ∼52% -1%
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, CUK Cyclone SSD 1TB
3837 Points ∼45% -14%
HP ProBook 430 G3 P5T00ES
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
3390 Points ∼39% -24%
Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
Iris Graphics 540, 6560U, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
2928 Points ∼52%
Lenovo Yoga 900-13ISK 80MK
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
2837 Points ∼50% -3%
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
HD Graphics 6000, 5650U, Apple SSD SD0256F
3579 Points ∼63% +22%
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, CUK Cyclone SSD 1TB
2918 Points ∼51% 0%
HP ProBook 430 G3 P5T00ES
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
3043 Points ∼54% +4%
PCMark 7 Score
5672 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
2928 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4470 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
3438 points
Help

Storage Devices

The 512 GB NVMe Samsung PM951 SSD easily outperforms SATA III-based SSDs on older notebooks and even some newer ones that have yet to make the transition to the newer controller or have decided to cut back on the feature, such as on the Spectre x360 13. The system only supports a single internal M.2 SSD, so additional storage space can get pricey very quickly for space-conscious users.

See our growing table of SSDs and HDDs for more comparisons and benchmarks.

CDM
CDM
AS SSD
AS SSD
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 8 Storage
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
Iris Graphics 540, 6560U, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
HP ProBook 430 G2 L3Q21EA
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Samsung SSD PM851 128 GB MZ7TE128HMGR
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, CUK Cyclone SSD 1TB
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
HD Graphics 6000, 5650U, Apple SSD SD0256F
Lenovo Yoga 900-13ISK 80MK
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
Dell XPS 13-9333
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Liteonit LMT-128M6M
AS SSD
-74%
-63%
-68%
-42%
-63%
Copy Game MB/s
752.57
110.32
-85%
392.83
-48%
479.27
-36%
298.73
-60%
Copy Program MB/s
271.82
105.01
-61%
233.66
-14%
245.04
-10%
249.62
-8%
Copy ISO MB/s
1040.98
136.34
-87%
382.51
-63%
643.18
-38%
364.49
-65%
Score Total
3158
838
-73%
882
-72%
2383
-25%
1129
-64%
902
-71%
Score Write
664
218
-67%
373
-44%
463
-30%
429
-35%
337
-49%
Score Read
1679
415
-75%
333
-80%
1281
-24%
458
-73%
373
-78%
Access Time Write *
0.031
0.042
-35%
0.051
-65%
0.155
-400%
0.039
-26%
0.065
-110%
Access Time Read *
0.046
0.141
-207%
0.14
-204%
0.171
-272%
0.054
-17%
0.078
-70%
4K-64 Write
492.01
111.06
-77%
261.11
-47%
338.87
-31%
302.97
-38%
249.51
-49%
4K-64 Read
1496.74
342.59
-77%
256.89
-83%
1140.14
-24%
374.84
-75%
294.17
-80%
4K Write
116.49
93.53
-20%
71.32
-39%
23.73
-80%
80.56
-31%
57.58
-51%
4K Read
38.29
26.84
-30%
25.99
-32%
19.16
-50%
32.29
-16%
29.32
-23%
Seq Write
559.47
130.52
-77%
409.84
-27%
1001.38
79%
454.57
-19%
302.22
-46%
Seq Read
1442.49
459
-68%
504.52
-65%
1212.15
-16%
504.97
-65%
492.7
-66%

* ... smaller is better

Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
Transfer Rate Minimum: 714.7 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 945.1 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 888.9 MB/s
Access Time: 0 ms
Burst Rate: 189.3 MB/s
CPU Usage: 9.1 %

GPU Performance

3DMark benchmarks show the Iris Graphics 540 in our Dell to be even slower than the same GPU in the Surface Pro 4 tablet by roughly 20 percent in Cloud Gate, Fire Strike, and 3DMark 11 Graphics. Performance is still a step above the HD 5600, but the gap could have been much wider if the Dell system had more consistent Turbo Boost performance.

See our dedicated GPU page on the Iris Graphics 540 for more technical information and benchmarks.

3DMark 11
3DMark 11
Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
Ice Storm Unlimited
Ice Storm Unlimited
Fire Strike
Fire Strike
Fire Strike Extreme
Fire Strike Extreme
Fire Strike Ultra
Fire Strike Ultra
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
Iris Graphics 540, 6560U, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
1635 Points ∼13%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Core i7
Iris Graphics 540, 6650U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
2255 Points ∼18% +38%
MSI GT72
HD Graphics 5600, 5700HQ
1627 Points ∼13% 0%
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Liteon L8H-256V2G
1472 Points ∼12% -10%
HP Spectre x2 12-a003ng K3D42EA
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-256G-1006
1007 Points ∼8% -38%
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
HD Graphics 4600, 4210M, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
698 Points ∼6% -57%
1280x720 Performance GPU (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
Iris Graphics 540, 6560U, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
1898 Points ∼4%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Core i7
Iris Graphics 540, 6650U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
2450 Points ∼5% +29%
MSI GT72
HD Graphics 5600, 5700HQ
1431 Points ∼3% -25%
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Liteon L8H-256V2G
1361 Points ∼3% -28%
HP Spectre x2 12-a003ng K3D42EA
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-256G-1006
996 Points ∼2% -48%
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
HD Graphics 4600, 4210M, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
744 Points ∼1% -61%
1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
Iris Graphics 540, 6560U, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
2039 Points ∼8%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Core i7
Iris Graphics 540, 6650U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
2624 Points ∼10% +29%
MSI GT72
HD Graphics 5600, 5700HQ
1651 Points ∼7% -19%
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Liteon L8H-256V2G
1521 Points ∼6% -25%
HP Spectre x2 12-a003ng K3D42EA
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-256G-1006
1098 Points ∼4% -46%
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
HD Graphics 4600, 4210M, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
838 Points ∼3% -59%
3DMark
Fire Strike Extreme Combined (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
Iris Graphics 540, 6560U, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
190 Points ∼3%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Core i7
Iris Graphics 540, 6650U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
243 Points ∼4% +28%
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Liteon L8H-256V2G
147 Points ∼2% -23%
Fire Strike Extreme Graphics (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
Iris Graphics 540, 6560U, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
525 Points ∼4%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Core i7
Iris Graphics 540, 6650U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
610 Points ∼5% +16%
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Liteon L8H-256V2G
371 Points ∼3% -29%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
Iris Graphics 540, 6560U, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
1114 Points ∼5%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Core i7
Iris Graphics 540, 6650U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
1395 Points ∼6% +25%
MSI GT72
HD Graphics 5600, 5700HQ
944 Points ∼4% -15%
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Liteon L8H-256V2G
845 Points ∼4% -24%
HP Spectre x2 12-a003ng K3D42EA
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-256G-1006
660 Points ∼3% -41%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
Iris Graphics 540, 6560U, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
9392 Points ∼6%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Core i7
Iris Graphics 540, 6650U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
11650 Points ∼7% +24%
MSI GT72
HD Graphics 5600, 5700HQ
7757 Points ∼5% -17%
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Liteon L8H-256V2G
7298 Points ∼4% -22%
HP Spectre x2 12-a003ng K3D42EA
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-256G-1006
6298 Points ∼4% -33%
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
HD Graphics 4600, 4210M, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
4983 Points ∼3% -47%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
Iris Graphics 540, 6560U, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
6730 Points ∼18%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Core i7
Iris Graphics 540, 6650U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
7822 Points ∼21% +16%
MSI GT72
HD Graphics 5600, 5700HQ
7499 Points ∼20% +11%
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Liteon L8H-256V2G
5647 Points ∼15% -16%
HP Spectre x2 12-a003ng K3D42EA
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-256G-1006
4546 Points ∼12% -32%
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
HD Graphics 4600, 4210M, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
4396 Points ∼12% -35%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
Iris Graphics 540, 6560U, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
58948 Points ∼30%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Core i7
Iris Graphics 540, 6650U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
73990 Points ∼37% +26%
MSI GT72
HD Graphics 5600, 5700HQ
67197 Points ∼34% +14%
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Liteon L8H-256V2G
51579 Points ∼26% -13%
HP Spectre x2 12-a003ng K3D42EA
HD Graphics 515, 6Y75, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-256G-1006
42545 Points ∼22% -28%
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
HD Graphics 4600, 4210M, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
34337 Points ∼17% -42%
3DMark 11 Performance
2039 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
58948 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
6730 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
1114 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
503 points
Help

Gaming Performance

The Iris Graphics 540 in the XPS 13 is handily ahead of the HD Graphics 520, the older HD 4600, and even Nvidia's low-end GeForce 920M according to our Tomb Raider benchmarks. The discrete 940M is faster still and is available on select Ultrabooks of similar screen size. Modern 3D games are only barely playable on the lowest settings unless if League of Legends or Starcraft II are your primary titles. We tried to run Rise of the Tomb Raider and Batman: Arkham Knight as well, both of which crashed and were unable to launch.

Tomb Raider - 1366x768 Normal Preset AA:FX AF:4x (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
Iris Graphics 540, 6560U, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
49.2 fps ∼9%
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, CUK Cyclone SSD 1TB
60.3 fps ∼11% +23%
Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE
GeForce 920M, 5500U, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache
43.9 fps ∼8% -11%
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-FN121T
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
32 fps ∼6% -35%
Lenovo IdeaPad Miix 700
HD Graphics 515, 6Y54, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
23 fps ∼4% -53%
Lenovo ThinkPad L440 20AT004QGE
HD Graphics 4600, 4300M, Intel SSD 520 Series SSDSC2BW180A3L
20.1 fps ∼4% -59%
low med. high ultra
Tomb Raider (2013) 8549.233.3fps
Metro: Last Light (2013) 28.12315.8fps
Thief (2014) 23.315.713.7fps
Metal Gear Solid V (2015) 48.628.913.9fps

Stress Test

Our stress test confirms our suspicions from above: The XPS 13 SKU with the Core i7-6560U experiences slight throttling and high core temperatures. A Prime95 run will show the CPU running at its maximum multi-threaded 3.1 GHz Turbo Boost for just a few seconds before core temperatures reach over 90 C. At this point, the Turbo Boost drops to a constant 2.6 GHz in order to maintain a temperature of 80 C. FurMark stress will bring the GPU down to the 500 MHz range or roughly 200 MHz faster than its base clock rate. Running both Prime95 and FurMark simultaneously will drop both CPU and GPU clock rates to maintain an even lower core temperature.

The Dell system underperforms when subjected to Unigine Heaven stress. CPU and GPU clock rates eventually settle at just 1.2 GHz and 700 to 750 MHz, respectively, after just a minute or so into the test. In comparison, the i7-6650U and Iris Graphics 540 in the Surface Pro 4 settle at much higher frequencies of 2.5 to 3.2 GHz and 950 MHz, respectively.

Running on battery power will not significantly drop CPU or GPU performance. A 3DMark run on batteries returns Physics and Graphics scores of 4204 points and 1845 points, respectively, compared to 4399 points and 1898 points when connected to mains.

Prime95 stress
Prime95 stress
FurMark stress
FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Unigine Heaven stress
Unigine Heaven stress
Stable Clock Rates and Temperatures Under Stress
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average Core Temperature (C)
Prime95 Stress 2.6 -- 81
FurMark Stress -- 500 - 550 71
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 900 500 72
Unigine Heaven Stress 1.2 700 - 750 72

Emissions

System Noise

Fan noise (Gray: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: Unigine Heaven, Green: Prime95+FurMark)
Fan noise (Gray: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: Unigine Heaven, Green: Prime95+FurMark)

Fan behavior remains the same as on our XPS 13 FHD SKU. That is, there appears to be just an "off" mode and an "on" mode with almost nothing in between, which is not common on notebooks. The system is normally quiet under regular workloads and will activate the fan when subjected to higher processing stress such as Unigine Heaven. Heavy browsing may also initiate the fan, though only for a very short time frame before idling again. Fan noise remains very quiet overall even when under extreme stress.

Beyond the fan noise, there also appears to be electronic noise (coil whine) emanating from the notebook that wasn't detectable by our sound equipment at far range, but is noticeable by ear when up close to the keyboard. We noticed this on our previous XPS 13 QHD+ SKU as well, so the issue may be a common occurrence with specific configurations of the series.

Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
Iris Graphics 540, 6560U, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
HP ProBook 430 G3 P5T00ES
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, CUK Cyclone SSD 1TB
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
HD Graphics 6000, 5650U, Apple SSD SD0256F
Lenovo Yoga 900-13ISK 80MK
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
HP Spectre x360 13-4104ng
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
Noise
-7%
-11%
-15%
-6%
-10%
Idle Minimum *
29.2
29.8
-2%
29.8
-2%
29.2
-0%
29.7
-2%
29.6
-1%
Idle Average *
29.2
29.8
-2%
29.8
-2%
29.2
-0%
29.8
-2%
29.6
-1%
Idle Maximum *
29.2
30.9
-6%
29.8
-2%
29.2
-0%
30
-3%
34.6
-18%
Load Average *
31.4
33.3
-6%
37.4
-19%
40.2
-28%
32
-2%
34.7
-11%
Load Maximum *
31.4
37.4
-19%
40.3
-28%
46.3
-47%
38.5
-23%
37.9
-21%

* ... smaller is better

Noise Level

Idle
29.2 / 29.2 / 29.2 dB(A)
Load
31.4 / 31.4 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   BK Precision 732A (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 29.2 dB(A)

Temperature

Surface temperatures when idling are already quite warm at around 32 C on the warmest spot against a room temperature of 19 C. When subjected to unrealistic maximum loads (Prime95 + FurMark), the hot spots can reach just over 50 C. It's easy to see spots where the processor, heat pipes, and ventilation grilles are located based on the thermal images alone.

Compared to competing 13.3-inch notebooks, the XPS 13 is noticeably warmer than the Zenbook UX303UB, MacBook Air 13, Yoga 900, and HP Spectre x360 13 under similar processing conditions where the lower to mid 40 C range is more common.

Maximum load (Front)
Maximum load (Front)
Maximum load (Bottom)
Maximum load (Bottom)
Max. Load
 36.5 °C41.4 °C29.2 °C 
 30.5 °C30.1 °C26.7 °C 
 28.7 °C27.4 °C26.7 °C 
Maximum: 41.4 °C
Average: 30.8 °C
33 °C49.2 °C39 °C
32.2 °C31.5 °C35.4 °C
30.8 °C32.4 °C33.4 °C
Maximum: 49.2 °C
Average: 35.2 °C
Power Supply (max.)  53 °C | Room Temperature 19 °C | FLIR One

Speakers

(Gray: White noise, Pink: Pink noise)
(Gray: White noise, Pink: Pink noise)

The stereo speakers are good for a notebook this size. Its range is a bit narrow as the bass frequencies are almost undetectable compared to the middle and high ranges. Thus, sounds have a "tinny" quality to them that tablet and smartphone users should be quite familiar with. Playback at maximum volume introduces no static or increasing imbalances.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Our XPS 13 QHD+ configuration with the i7-6560U draws just slightly more power than our previous configuration with the i7-6500U when idling and under gaming loads. Maximum load, however, shows lower power demands from the i7-6560U SKU possibly due to the system's heavier throttling under such extreme conditions.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.25 / 0.4 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 7.2 / 9.3 / 11.6 Watt
Load midlight 31.9 / 29.9 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy

Battery Life

Runtimes are average if not disappointing. Our recorded WLAN runtime of just over five hours may be sufficient for most users, but competing notebooks offer far longer runtimes under the same conditions. We repeated the test a second time as our runtimes seem to be significantly shorter than our previous XPS 13 QHD+ test unit and returned with no improvement.

Maximum runtime (Reader's Test)
Maximum runtime (Reader's Test)
Minimum runtime (Classic Test)
Minimum runtime (Classic Test)
WLAN runtime
WLAN runtime
Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA
56 Wh
HP ProBook 430 G3 P5T00ES
44 Wh
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T
50 Wh
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
54 Wh
Lenovo Yoga 900-13ISK 80MK
66 Wh
HP Spectre x360 13-4104ng
56 Wh
Battery Runtime
-4%
-3%
78%
23%
61%
Reader / Idle
604
449
-26%
617
2%
1572
160%
844
40%
Load
128
118
-8%
103
-20%
97
-24%
128
0%
WiFi
WiFi v1.3
311
377
21%
341
10%
620
99%
403
30%
500
61%
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
10h 04min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
5h 11min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 08min

Pro

+ very portable; small footprint
+ high quality panel; bright backlight
+ high sRGB coverage (>90 percent)
+ no PWM; respectale response times
+ low fan noise
+ 512 GB NVMe SSD

Cons

- high core temperatures
- warm surface temperatures
- potential for CPU throttling
- poor bass reproduction
- unimpressive battery life
- keys with short travel and very light feedback

Verdict

In review: Dell XPS 13 9350 (i7-6560U, QHD+). Test model provided by Intel US.
In review: Dell XPS 13 9350 (i7-6560U, QHD+). Test model provided by Intel US.

Some of the best aspects of the XPS 13 other than its extraordinarily small footprint include its quiet fans and top tier display. The Core i7-6560U and integrated Iris Graphics 540 push the system even further without necessarily increasing fan noise, which is its own double-edged sword. While performance has improved, surface and core temperatures are much warmer to the point where the CPU will potentially throttle when under gaming loads. Battery life in particular takes a hit from the higher resolution QHD+ display and more demanding CPU. Overall performance is a step below the Core i7-6650U in the Surface Pro 4, especially in terms of graphics performance.

Users who have no need for the more powerful Iris Graphics 540 over the Graphics 520 may want to opt in for a less expensive SKU for longer runtimes. If GPU power is of higher importance, then it may be worth investing in the slightly larger Zenbook UX303 and its discrete Nvidia graphics for a better return in performance without sacrificing too much on the mobility front.

Dell XPS 13 9350 WQXGA - 02/26/2016 v5
Allen Ngo

Chassis
93 /  98 → 95%
Keyboard
89%
Pointing Device
94%
Connectivity
55 / 80 → 69%
Weight
71 / 78 → 84%
Battery
83%
Display
84%
Games Performance
60 / 68 → 88%
Application Performance
85 / 87 → 97%
Temperature
88 / 91 → 97%
Noise
96%
Audio
81 / 91 → 89%
Camera
71 / 85 → 83%
Average
81%
88%
Subnotebook - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Dell XPS 13 9350 (i7-6560U, QHD+) Ultrabook Review
Allen Ngo, 2016-02-23 (Update: 2016-02-23)