Notebookcheck

Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook Review

Sascha Mölck (translated by Bernie Pechlaner), 02/25/2015

No compromises - part 2. Compact, highly mobile, attractive - this is how one could sum up the Dell XPS 13. Thanks to its Core i7 processor, the notebook is quite powerful as well, although the battery life suffers as a result.

For the original German review, see here.

We reviewed Dell's slim and light Ultrabook XPS 13 just a couple of days ago and came away impressed, which is reflected in the notebook's "very good" (88 percent) rating. This time around, we take a look at the more powerful version of the XPS 13 with Core i7 processor. If the new model does as well as its sibling is the subject of our review.

The range of small and compact notebooks is more extensive than one might think at first. The XPS 13 faces quite a few competitors, among them the Asus ZenBook UX305, the Apple MacBook Air 13 MD761D/B and HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G1.

Since the construction of the two XPS 13 models is identical, we will omit the sections on the chassis, connectivity, input devices, and speakers. Please check the review of the Core i5-version of the XPS 13 for details.

Display

The XPS 13 is equipped with a glossy 13.3-inch display, which features a native resolution of 3200 x 1800 pixels. Interestingly enough, the display of the review candidate is substantially less bright at 231,1 cd/m²; the version of the Ultrabook with Core i5 CPU reached 371.9 cd/m². The contrast ratio of 9281:1 is decent, but still trails the Core i5 version significantly (2063:1).

250
cd/m²
255
cd/m²
247
cd/m²
223
cd/m²
232
cd/m²
230
cd/m²
209
cd/m²
218
cd/m²
216
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 255 cd/m² Average: 231.1 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 82 %
Center on Battery: 232 cd/m²
Contrast: 928:1 (Black: 0.25 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.63 | 1.01-23.34 Ø6.8
ΔE Greyscale 2.57 | 0.79-16.8 Ø7
58% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.17
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
IPS 3200x1800
Dell XPS 13-9343
IPS 3200x1800
Dell XPS 13-9333
IPS 1920x1080
Asus ZenBook UX305FA-FB003H
IPS 3200x1800
Apple MacBook Air 13 MD761D/B 2014-06
TN 1440x900
Lenovo ThinkPad X250-20CLS06D00
IPS 1920x1080
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H
IPS 1920x1080
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G1 (H5F62ET)
TN 1600x900
Screen
9%
-28%
-20%
8%
-12%
-25%
-93%
Brightness231372
61%
441
91%
309
34%
263
14%
357
55%
339
47%
259
12%
Brightness Distribution8277
-6%
92
12%
90
10%
84
2%
81
-1%
88
7%
86
5%
Black Level *0.250.178
29%
0.655
-162%
0.75
-200%
0.32
-28%
0.44
-76%
0.55
-120%
0.65
-160%
Contrast9282063
122%
687
-26%
413
-55%
875
-6%
902
-3%
625
-33%
434
-53%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *3.635.92
-63%
4.53
-25%
2.49
31%
1.91
47%
4.2
-16%
5.45
-50%
13.08
-260%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *2.574.79
-86%
5.32
-107%
1.89
26%
2
22%
3.1
-21%
4.53
-76%
14.4
-460%
Gamma *2.172.422.352.362.262.62.272.2
CCT64227013
9%
6224
-3%
6573
2%
6724
5%
6246
-3%
7458
16%
19526
204%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)5863
9%
55.66
-4%
54
-7%
42
-28%
64
10%
39.13
-33%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)96.483.165.597.4

* ... smaller is better

The notebook holds its own as far as the color reproduction is concerned. As shipped, the average DeltaE deviation is 3.63 and thus only slightly misses the ideal value of less than 3. The display is free of any bluish tint or hue.

CalMAN - Color Checker
CalMAN - Color Checker
CalMAN - Graylevels
CalMAN - Graylevels
CalMAN - Saturation
CalMAN - Saturation
The XPS 13 outdoors.
The XPS 13 outdoors.

The display panel features IPS technology and is therefore easy to read regardless of the angle, but the low maximum brightness and the reflective display surface make it almost impossible to use the Ultrabook outside.

Performance

Dell's XPS 13 is a compact and mobile 13.3-inch Ultrabook. The performance is more than sufficient to handle commonly encountered daily tasks. Our review model is listed for 1399 Euro (~$1590); the version with Core i5-5200U processor is available for 1349 Euro (~$1540).

Processor

The XPS 13 is equipped with an Intel Core i7-5500U dual-core CPU (Broadwell). The processor features a core speed of 2.4 GHz but the Turbo can overclock both cores to 2.9 GHz or a single core to 3 GHz. The Cinebench CPU benchmark tests show processor speeds of 2.7 - 2.8 GHz (multi-thread) and 2.9 - 3.0 GHz (single-thread) regardless of whether the notebook is plugged in or running on battery, so the Turbo is always active.

Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
9825
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
4497
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
4631
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
3.12 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.41 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
24.78 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
98 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
29.65 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
287 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
123 Points
Help
Cinebench R15
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
287 Points ∼19%
Asus ZenBook UX305FA-FB003H
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10, SanDisk SD7SN3Q256G1002
155 Points ∼10% -46%
Apple MacBook Air 13 MD761D/B 2014-06
HD Graphics 5000, 4260U, Apple SSD SD0256F
239 Points ∼15% -17%
Lenovo ThinkPad X250-20CLS06D00
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series SSDSC2BF360A5L
301 Points ∼19% +5%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H
GeForce 840M, 4510U, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
249 Points ∼16% -13%
Dell XPS 13-9343
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
217 Points ∼14% -24%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G1 (H5F62ET)
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Intel SSD Pro 1500 Series SSDSC2BF180A4H
229 Points ∼15% -20%
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
123 Points ∼68%
Asus ZenBook UX305FA-FB003H
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10, SanDisk SD7SN3Q256G1002
82 Points ∼45% -33%
Apple MacBook Air 13 MD761D/B 2014-06
HD Graphics 5000, 4260U, Apple SSD SD0256F
105 Points ∼58% -15%
Lenovo ThinkPad X250-20CLS06D00
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series SSDSC2BF360A5L
130 Points ∼71% +6%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H
GeForce 840M, 4510U, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
119 Points ∼65% -3%
Dell XPS 13-9343
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
88 Points ∼48% -28%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G1 (H5F62ET)
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Intel SSD Pro 1500 Series SSDSC2BF180A4H
83 Points ∼46% -33%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
3.12 Points ∼18%
Asus ZenBook UX305FA-FB003H
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10, SanDisk SD7SN3Q256G1002
1.74 Points ∼10% -44%
Apple MacBook Air 13 MD761D/B 2014-06
HD Graphics 5000, 4260U, Apple SSD SD0256F
2.63 Points ∼15% -16%
Lenovo ThinkPad X250-20CLS06D00
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series SSDSC2BF360A5L
3.29 Points ∼19% +5%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H
GeForce 840M, 4510U, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
3 Points ∼17% -4%
Dell XPS 13-9343
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
2.33 Points ∼13% -25%
Dell XPS 13-9333
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Liteonit LMT-128M6M
2.49 Points ∼14% -20%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G1 (H5F62ET)
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Intel SSD Pro 1500 Series SSDSC2BF180A4H
2.48 Points ∼14% -21%
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
1.41 Points ∼65%
Asus ZenBook UX305FA-FB003H
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10, SanDisk SD7SN3Q256G1002
0.95 Points ∼44% -33%
Apple MacBook Air 13 MD761D/B 2014-06
HD Graphics 5000, 4260U, Apple SSD SD0256F
1.2 Points ∼56% -15%
Lenovo ThinkPad X250-20CLS06D00
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series SSDSC2BF360A5L
1.51 Points ∼70% +7%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H
GeForce 840M, 4510U, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
1.37 Points ∼63% -3%
Dell XPS 13-9343
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
0.98 Points ∼45% -30%
Dell XPS 13-9333
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Liteonit LMT-128M6M
1.12 Points ∼52% -21%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G1 (H5F62ET)
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Intel SSD Pro 1500 Series SSDSC2BF180A4H
0.95 Points ∼44% -33%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
9825 Points ∼28%
Asus ZenBook UX305FA-FB003H
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10, SanDisk SD7SN3Q256G1002
5404 Points ∼16% -45%
Apple MacBook Air 13 MD761D/B 2014-06
HD Graphics 5000, 4260U, Apple SSD SD0256F
7913 Points ∼23% -19%
Lenovo ThinkPad X250-20CLS06D00
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series SSDSC2BF360A5L
10350 Points ∼30% +5%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H
GeForce 840M, 4510U, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
8931 Points ∼26% -9%
Dell XPS 13-9343
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
7208 Points ∼21% -27%
Dell XPS 13-9333
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Liteonit LMT-128M6M
7730 Points ∼22% -21%
Rendering Single 32Bit (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
4631 Points ∼66%
Asus ZenBook UX305FA-FB003H
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10, SanDisk SD7SN3Q256G1002
3100 Points ∼44% -33%
Apple MacBook Air 13 MD761D/B 2014-06
HD Graphics 5000, 4260U, Apple SSD SD0256F
3951 Points ∼56% -15%
Lenovo ThinkPad X250-20CLS06D00
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series SSDSC2BF360A5L
4943 Points ∼70% +7%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H
GeForce 840M, 4510U, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
4447 Points ∼63% -4%
Dell XPS 13-9343
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
2656 Points ∼38% -43%
Dell XPS 13-9333
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Liteonit LMT-128M6M
3779 Points ∼54% -18%
Geekbench 3
32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
2925 Points ∼63%
Lenovo ThinkPad X250-20CLS06D00
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series SSDSC2BF360A5L
2881 Points ∼62% -2%
32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
6078 Points ∼37%
Lenovo ThinkPad X250-20CLS06D00
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series SSDSC2BF360A5L
6002 Points ∼37% -1%
Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB (IE 11)
99.1 ms * ∼2%
Asus ZenBook UX305FA-FB003H
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10, SanDisk SD7SN3Q256G1002
157 ms * ∼4% -58%
Lenovo ThinkPad X250-20CLS06D00
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series SSDSC2BF360A5L (IE 11)
86.9 ms * ∼2% +12%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H
GeForce 840M, 4510U, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
102.7 ms * ∼3% -4%
Dell XPS 13-9343
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
115.4 ms * ∼3% -16%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB (IE 11)
2313.4 ms * ∼4%
Asus ZenBook UX305FA-FB003H
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10, SanDisk SD7SN3Q256G1002
3324 ms * ∼6% -44%
Lenovo ThinkPad X250-20CLS06D00
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series SSDSC2BF360A5L (IE 11)
2090.7 ms * ∼4% +10%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H
GeForce 840M, 4510U, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
2327 ms * ∼4% -1%
Dell XPS 13-9343
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
2604.2 ms * ∼4% -13%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB (IE 11)
13536 Points ∼30%
Asus ZenBook UX305FA-FB003H
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10, SanDisk SD7SN3Q256G1002
9344 Points ∼21% -31%
Lenovo ThinkPad X250-20CLS06D00
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series SSDSC2BF360A5L (IE 11)
15536 Points ∼34% +15%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H
GeForce 840M, 4510U, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
14609 Points ∼32% +8%
Peacekeeper - --- (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB (IE 11)
2630 Points ∼42%
Lenovo ThinkPad X250-20CLS06D00
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series SSDSC2BF360A5L (IE 11)
2860 Points ∼46% +9%

* ... smaller is better

System Performance

Thanks to a speedy Solid State Disk and the powerful processor, the XPS 13 works quickly and smoothly. Windows boots very fast and the system does well in the PC Mark Benchmark tests. As expected, the Core i7-version outperforms the model with Core i5-5200U CPU. A glance at our comparison table reveals that the Lenovo Thinkpad X250 outperforms the Dell significantly despite having a CPU which is only marginally faster. The reason is the higher pixel count of the display: when we lowered the resolution to Full-HD, the PC Mark 8 benchmark results were much closer together. The Zenbook UX305 trails the XPS 13 by a substantial margin, since Asus uses a Core M CPU with a maximum speed of 2 GHz. In addition, the Dell Ultrabook features a more powerful graphics card as well.

PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
2719 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
3537 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
3412 points
Help
PCMark 8 - Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
2719 Points ∼48%
Asus ZenBook UX305FA-FB003H
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10, SanDisk SD7SN3Q256G1002
2037 Points ∼36% -25%
Dell XPS 13-9343
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
2582 Points ∼46% -5%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H
GeForce 840M, 4510U, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
2927 Points ∼52% +8%
Lenovo ThinkPad X250-20CLS06D00
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series SSDSC2BF360A5L
3148 Points ∼56% +16%

Storage Devices

The XPS 13 comes equipped with a Samsung Solid State Disk. This particular model uses the M.2 format, so swapping out the drive should be possible. The raw capacity is 256 GB with 200 GB available to the user. The transfer rates are generally right around where we would expect them to be, although the write rates are trailing the competition a little.

Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
Sequential Read: 527 MB/s
Sequential Write: 237.2 MB/s
512K Read: 420.5 MB/s
512K Write: 241.6 MB/s
4K Read: 28.29 MB/s
4K Write: 103.7 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 352.4 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 239 MB/s
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
Samsung SSD PM851
Dell XPS 13-9343
Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
Dell XPS 13-9333
Liteonit LMT-128M6M
Asus ZenBook UX305FA-FB003H
SanDisk SD7SN3Q256G1002
Apple MacBook Air 13 MD761D/B 2014-06
Apple SSD SD0256F
Lenovo ThinkPad X250-20CLS06D00
Intel SSD Pro 2500
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H
SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G1 (H5F62ET)
Intel SSD Pro 1500
AS SSD
11%
-1%
2%
-51%
-111%
9%
-63%
Seq Read515.01484.72
-6%
492.7
-4%
454.46
-12%
641.76
25%
457.88
-11%
437.05
-15%
450.36
-13%
Seq Write233.35416.78
79%
302.22
30%
371.63
59%
515.77
121%
258.25
11%
427.69
83%
222.63
-5%
4K Read26.2830.89
18%
29.32
12%
28.11
7%
14.34
-45%
23.41
-11%
29.76
13%
21.23
-19%
4K Write91.6858.76
-36%
57.58
-37%
59.39
-35%
19.25
-79%
14.05
-85%
83.22
-9%
96.28
5%
4K-64 Read358.95345.49
-4%
294.17
-18%
337.27
-6%
463.64
29%
197.28
-45%
330.03
-8%
186.5
-48%
4K-64 Write180.99268.28
48%
249.51
38%
204.9
13%
201.44
11%
82.12
-55%
167.58
-7%
215.19
19%
Access Time Read *0.140.069
51%
0.078
44%
0.084
40%
0.237
-69%
0.075
46%
0.086
39%
0.101
28%
Access Time Write *0.0370.059
-59%
0.065
-76%
0.055
-49%
0.184
-397%
0.309
-735%
0.045
-22%
0.212
-473%

* ... smaller is better

GPU Performance

The graphics unit HD Graphics 5500 is courtesy of Intel. The GPU supports DirectX 11.2 and reaches speeds of up to 950 MHz. The HD Graphics 5500 has access to RAM operating in dual-channel mode, so the results of the 3D benchmark tests are better than those of other notebooks equipped with the same GPU. Our review notebook also outperforms the Core i5 version, even though that model is equipped with the same graphics card. The reason: the GPU in the Core i7 XPS 13 operates at a higher speed (950 MHz vs. 900 MHz).

3DMark 11 Performance
1252 points
3DMark (2013) Ice Storm Standard Score
50151 points
3DMark (2013) Cloud Gate Standard Score
5370 points
3DMark (2013) Fire Strike Standard Score
781 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
1252 Points ∼6%
Asus ZenBook UX305FA-FB003H
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10, SanDisk SD7SN3Q256G1002
686 Points ∼3% -45%
Apple MacBook Air 13 MD761D/B 2014-06
HD Graphics 5000, 4260U, Apple SSD SD0256F
1134 Points ∼5% -9%
Apple MacBook Air 13 MD761D/B 2014-06
HD Graphics 5000, 4260U, Apple SSD SD0256F
1134 Points ∼5% -9%
Lenovo ThinkPad X250-20CLS06D00
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series SSDSC2BF360A5L
1079 Points ∼5% -14%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H
GeForce 840M, 4510U, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
2378 Points ∼11% +90%
Dell XPS 13-9343
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
1109 Points ∼5% -11%
Dell XPS 13-9333
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Liteonit LMT-128M6M
897 Points ∼4% -28%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G1 (H5F62ET)
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Intel SSD Pro 1500 Series SSDSC2BF180A4H
814 Points ∼4% -35%
3DMark (2013)
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
50151 Points ∼27%
Asus ZenBook UX305FA-FB003H
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10, SanDisk SD7SN3Q256G1002
27325 Points ∼15% -46%
Lenovo ThinkPad X250-20CLS06D00
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series SSDSC2BF360A5L
40296 Points ∼22% -20%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H
GeForce 840M, 4510U, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
51903 Points ∼28% +3%
Dell XPS 13-9343
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
46293 Points ∼25% -8%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G1 (H5F62ET)
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Intel SSD Pro 1500 Series SSDSC2BF180A4H
36237 Points ∼20% -28%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
5370 Points ∼17%
Asus ZenBook UX305FA-FB003H
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10, SanDisk SD7SN3Q256G1002
2958 Points ∼9% -45%
Apple MacBook Air 13 MD761D/B 2014-06
HD Graphics 5000, 4260U, Apple SSD SD0256F
4894 Points ∼15% -9%
Lenovo ThinkPad X250-20CLS06D00
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series SSDSC2BF360A5L
4801 Points ∼15% -11%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H
GeForce 840M, 4510U, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
5919 Points ∼18% +10%
Dell XPS 13-9343
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
5025 Points ∼15% -6%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G1 (H5F62ET)
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Intel SSD Pro 1500 Series SSDSC2BF180A4H
4063 Points ∼12% -24%
1280x720 Sky Diver Score (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
2822 Points ∼8%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Standard Score (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
781 Points ∼3%
Asus ZenBook UX305FA-FB003H
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10, SanDisk SD7SN3Q256G1002
407 Points ∼2% -48%
Lenovo ThinkPad X250-20CLS06D00
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series SSDSC2BF360A5L
625 Points ∼3% -20%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H
GeForce 840M, 4510U, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
1317 Points ∼6% +69%
Dell XPS 13-9343
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
746 Points ∼3% -4%

Gaming Performance

The hardware makes it possible to play some games at a lower resolution and low to medium graphics settings without any lags or stutters. The fact that the RAM operates in dual-channel mode has a positive impact, as the XPS 13 is capable of higher frame rates (+ 20 %) than notebooks with the HD Graphics 5500 and single-channel RAM.

low med. high ultra
Tomb Raider (2013) 58.230.720.49.9fps

Emissions & Energy

System Noise

Just like the Core i5 model, the i7 version is nearly inaudible during idle, as the fan usually isn't spinning at all. Under load, the fan spools up rapidly, however. During the stress test (Prime95 and Furmark are running in parallel for at least one hour), we measured a constant 43.2 dB; with Prime95 was running on its own, we initially recorded 45 dB. Within a few seconds, the noise level dropped down to 36 dB, however.

Noise Level

Idle
29.6 / 29.6 / 33.2 dB(A)
Load
43.2 / 43.2 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)

Temperature

The XPS 13 during the stress test.
The XPS 13 during the stress test.

The XPS 13 handles the stress test (Prime95 and Furmark are running in parallel for at least one hour) in identical fashion no matter if its plugged in or running on battery. During the first five minutes, the processor cores fluctuate between 2.7 and 2.8 GHz and the GPU runs at full speed (950 Mhz). After that, the CPU cores drop to 1.6 to 1.7 GHz and the GPU to between 800 and 850 MHz. Heat is not a problem: during the stress test, only one area of the chassis near the fan exceeded 40 degrees C.

 25.5 °C25.9 °C23.7 °C 
 24.3 °C24.3 °C23.2 °C 
 23.4 °C23 °C23.3 °C 
Maximum: 25.9 °C
Average: 24.1 °C
23.8 °C24.8 °C24.6 °C
23.4 °C25.1 °C24.2 °C
23.1 °C23.8 °C23.3 °C
Maximum: 25.1 °C
Average: 24 °C
Power Supply (max.)  28.5 °C | Room Temperature 21.3 °C | Voltcraft IR-360

Power Consumption

The power consumption during idle is comparatively high at 6.6 to 11 watts. The Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H, which is equipped with a previous-generation Haswell Core i7 processor, is proof that a lower power consumption is possible. Under full load (stress test, Prime95 and Furmark running), the XPS 13 is only marginally more power-hungry than under medium load levels (3DMark 06 running), since both the CPU and the GPU are throttled.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.01 / 0.1 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 6.6 / 9.3 / 11 Watt
Load midlight 32.2 / 33.2 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Life

During the practically relevant WLAN test we use a script that loads a different website every 40 seconds. The power saver profile is active, and the display brightness is reduced to about 150 cd/m². Under these conditions, the XPS 13 shut down after 7 hours and 1 minute. While this is not a bad result, the Core i5 model we tested lasted 9 hours and 40 minutes - so significantly longer. We re-ran the test with power saver profile, the Dell profile and used Google Chrome as well, but the results did not change at all. Users who require longer run times on battery are better off with the Core i5 version of the notebook.

Battery Runtime
WiFi Surfing
7h 01min
Battery Runtime
WiFi (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
421 min ∼16%
Lenovo ThinkPad X250-20CLS06D00
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series SSDSC2BF360A5L
325 min ∼12%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G1 (H5F62ET)
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Intel SSD Pro 1500 Series SSDSC2BF180A4H
378 min ∼14%
Asus ZenBook UX305FA-FB003H
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10, SanDisk SD7SN3Q256G1002
408 min ∼15%
Dell XPS 13-9333
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Liteonit LMT-128M6M
465 min ∼17%
Apple MacBook Air 13 MD761D/B 2014-06
HD Graphics 5000, 4260U, Apple SSD SD0256F
515 min ∼19%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H
GeForce 840M, 4510U, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
580 min ∼21%
Dell XPS 13-9343
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
580 min ∼21%
WiFi v1.3 (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X250-20CLS06D00
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series SSDSC2BF360A5L
298 min ∼11%

Verdict

With the XPS 13, Dell introduced a very compelling mobile 13.3-inch Ultrabook - but of course at a price. The input devices are very good and the notebook with its fast SSD is capable of very good overall performance. In addition, the temperatures are well controlled and the XPS 13 is barely audible under normal circumstances. The high-end chassis made out of aluminum and carbon is also worth mentioning. Our review notebook is equipped with a Core i7 processor and therefore offers better performance than the Core i5 version we took a look at recently. The performance gain comes with a penalty, however: the battery life is not nearly as good. Users who don't need the additional processing power should probably stick with the Core i5 XPS 13. The display is disappointing, since the QHD+ panel is neither as bright nor offers the same contrast as the panel in the Core i5 model.

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In Review: Dell XPS 13 (9343). Test model courtesy of Dell.
In Review: Dell XPS 13 (9343). Test model courtesy of Dell.

Specifications

Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
Processor
Graphics adapter
Intel HD Graphics 5500, Core: 300-950 MHz, Dual-channel, 10.18.10.4013
Memory
8192 MB 
, DDR3, dual-channel (soldered onto the board)
Display
13.3 inch 16:9, 3200x1800 pixel, 10-point multitouch, Sharp LQ133Z1, IPS, glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel Broadwell-U PCH-LP (Premium)
Storage
Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB, 256 GB 
, 200 GB free
Soundcard
Intel Broadwell PCH-LP - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Audiokombo, Card Reader: SD, TPM 2.0
Networking
Broadcom 802.11ac (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 18.5 x 304 x 200 ( = 0.73 x 11.97 x 7.87 in)
Battery
52 Wh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8.1 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD webcam
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, McAfee LiveSafe-Internet Security (trial version), MS Office (trial version), 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.276 kg ( = 45.01 oz / 2.81 pounds), Power Supply: 254 g ( = 8.96 oz / 0.56 pounds)
Price
1600 Euro

 

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Asus Zenbook UX305LA (Core i7) Subnotebook Review
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Asus Zenbook UX303LA Subnotebook Review
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Links

  • Manufacturer's Information

Price Comparison

Pro

+IPS QHD+ touchscreen
+Thin bezel
+Good battery life
+Good performance
+Build quality is high
+Attractive and robust chassis
+Good input devices
+Stiff hinges
 

Cons

-Comparatively dark display
-Not very generous port selection

Shortcut

What we like

The Ultrabook's overall concept.

What we'd like to see

A brighter display.

What surprises us

The Core i7 processor decreases the batter life substantially.

The competition

Asus ZenBook UX305, Apple MacBook Air 13 MD761D/B, Lenovo Thinkpad X250, Asus Zenbook UX303LN, HP Elitebook Folio 1040 G1, Asus Transformer Book T300LA-C4006H, HP Spectre 13-h205eg x2, Sony Vaio Duo 13 SVD1321M2E, Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Rating

Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7 - 02/19/2015 v4(old)
Sascha Mölck

Chassis
92 /  98 → 94%
Keyboard
88%
Pointing Device
94%
Connectivity
59 / 81 → 73%
Weight
72 / 78 → 86%
Battery
90%
Display
84%
Games Performance
73 / 68 → 100%
Application Performance
83 / 87 → 95%
Temperature
91 / 91 → 100%
Noise
84%
Audio
75 / 91 → 82%
Camera
71 / 85 → 84%
Average
81%
87%
Subnotebook - Weighted Average
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook Review
Sascha Mölck, 2015-02-25 (Update: 2015-02-25)