Notebookcheck

Dell XPS 13 9360R (i5-8250U, QHD) Laptop Review

Sebastian Jentsch (translated by Bernie Pechlaner), 11/27/2017

A tad slower. The XPS 13 with Kaby Lake Refresh Core i5 trails the Core i7 in raw multi-core performance, but as far as overall system performance is concerned, the model with i7 is only marginally faster.

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Dell XPS 13 2017 with Core i5-8250U and 3200 x 1800 (touch-enabled) pixels
Dell XPS 13 2017 with Core i5-8250U and 3200 x 1800 (touch-enabled) pixels

For the original German review, please check here.

After our recent review of the XPS 13 with the new Intel Core i7-8550U, we are now taking a look at the more affordable model with i5-8250U. "More affordable" is relative of course, since our review notebook with a resolution of 3200 x 1800 pixels and touch display sells for a rather steep 1500 Euro (~$1790). The entry level Kaby Lake Refresh model with FHD non-touch display costs 1255 Euro (~$1500). That raises the question: is the Core i5 sufficient? Given that the thermal properties of the design affect the maximum performance, it's conceivable that the same SoC in different implementations ends up with different scores depending on the efficiency of the cooling system - especially when it comes to long-term performance.

Our review of the XPS 13 9360 (i7-8550U) revealed that the system never reaches its Turbo-maximum of 4.0 GHz and that the performance drops by 9 % when subjected to continuous loads (Cinebench R15 Multi - compared to performance after a cold start).

For our review update, we'll examine the performance of the Intel Core i5-8250U more thoroughly, while skipping certain sections like the ones dealing with the chassis, the connectivity, or the loudspeaker characteristics. For more details, please take a look at our review of the XPS 13 9360 (i7-8550U, QHD) as well.

Note: in the US, the new XPS 13 appears to only be available with the i7 CPU at the time of writing. A model with Core i7-8550U processor, 8 GB of RAM, 256 GB SSD and Full HD display costs $1200 from Dell directly; a version equipped with the same CPU, but 16 GB of RAM and QHD+ display sells for $1550.

Dell XPS 13 i5-8250U (XPS 13 Series)
Graphics adapter
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Core: 1097 MHz, Memory: 930 MHz, 22.20.16.4771
Memory
8192 MB 
, LPDDR3 1200 MHz, 14-17-17-40, Dual-Channel
Display
13.3 inch 16:9, 3200 x 1800 pixel 276 PPI, 10-point capacitive, ID: Sharp SHP144A, Name: LQ133Z1, IGZO IPS, Dell P/N: RXN49, glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel Kaby Lake-U Refresh IMC
Storage
Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G, 256 GB 
Soundcard
Intel Kaby Lake-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 headphone jack, Card Reader: SD, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: CABC
Networking
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter (b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 15 x 304 x 201 ( = 0.59 x 11.97 x 7.91 in)
Battery
60 Wh
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Dell Product Manager, Support Assist, Norton Anti-Virus, Waves MaxxAudio Pro, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
1.305 kg ( = 46.03 oz / 2.88 pounds), Power Supply: 242 g ( = 8.54 oz / 0.53 pounds)
Price
1275 Euro

 

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Dell XPS 13 i5-8250U
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
130.7 MB/s ∼100%
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
72 MB/s ∼55% -45%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Dell XPS 13 i5-8250U
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
194 MB/s ∼100%
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
80 MB/s ∼41% -59%
Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
657 MBit/s ∼100% +17%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i7 Iris
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
634 MBit/s ∼96% +13%
Dell XPS 13 i7-8550U
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
618 MBit/s ∼94% +10%
Dell XPS 13 i5-8250U
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
562 MBit/s ∼86%
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
547 MBit/s ∼83% -3%
Huawei MateBook X
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
520 MBit/s ∼79% -7%
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
485 MBit/s ∼74% -14%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
682 MBit/s ∼100% +18%
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
663 MBit/s ∼97% +14%
Huawei MateBook X
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
644 MBit/s ∼94% +11%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i7 Iris
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
589 MBit/s ∼86% +2%
Dell XPS 13 i5-8250U
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
580 MBit/s ∼85%
Dell XPS 13 i7-8550U
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
538 MBit/s ∼79% -7%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
503 MBit/s ∼74% -13%

Webcam

The webcam at the bottom edge takes pictures from a predominantly "nasal" perspective, which isn't exactly flattering during a video chat. Performance isn't any better than what any run-of-the-mill webcam can produce: even during daylight, there's a visible amount of noise, the colors are washed out, and the outlines and surfaces appear jagged.

The webcam outdoors: 1280 x 720 pixels with washed out colors...
The webcam outdoors: 1280 x 720 pixels with washed out colors...
...and jagged surface patterns
...and jagged surface patterns
Indoor performance at 1280 x 720: visible noise
Indoor performance at 1280 x 720: visible noise

Display

Subpixel array
Subpixel array

The display is once again the IGZO touchscreen panel sourced from Sharp (type SHP144A). Visually, the display looks very similar to that of the sibling with i7 QHD+ panel, but we decided to repeat our measurements regardless. The result: the coverage of the professional color spaces as well as the gamma and the response times are very similar.

The brightness results are a little different, however, as we recorded about 25 cd/m² less in the middle quadrant. We could certainly attribute this to panel variation, although Dell's CABC (Content Adaptive Brightness Control) might be at fault as well. This technology reduces the brightness of the LEDs in the darker/black areas to save energy. Most users won't notice this behavior at all, but a photospectrometer certainly does.

Be it as it may: the display certainly manages to hold its own when compared to current competitors like the MateBook X or the ZenBook Flip S. Dell uses PWM for all brightness levels (including maximum), although the frequency of 19690 Hz is certainly high enough to not be an issue. Dell confirmed that his is a design feature and not a problem with our review unit.

Subjectively, text and pictures are razor-sharp thanks to the rather unusual 1800p resolution. The panel doesn't look grainy at all and backlight bleeding also isn't much of an issue.

260
cd/m²
296
cd/m²
302
cd/m²
284
cd/m²
361
cd/m²
316
cd/m²
308
cd/m²
305
cd/m²
296
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 361 cd/m² Average: 303.1 cd/m² Minimum: 12 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 72 %
Center on Battery: 342 cd/m²
Contrast: 1094:1 (Black: 0.33 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.26 | 0.8-29.43 Ø6.4
ΔE Greyscale 5.69 | 0.64-98 Ø6.6
92% sRGB (Argyll) 59% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 1.63
Dell XPS 13 i5-8250U
ID: Sharp SHP144A, Name: LQ133Z1, , 3200x1800, 13.3
Dell XPS 13 i7-8550U
ID: Sharp SHP144A, Name: LQ133Z1, , 3200x1800, 13.3
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
CMN1374, , 1920x1080, 13.3
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017
APPA033, , 2560x1600, 13.3
Huawei MateBook X
Chi Mei CMN8201 / P130ZDZ-EF1, , 2160x1440, 13.3
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
BOE070E, , 1920x1080, 13.3
Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz
APPA027, , 2304x1440, 12
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i7 Iris
SHP1449, , 1920x1080, 13.3
Response Times
-4%
-35%
-22%
3%
-56%
-22%
-14%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
29 (19, 10)
35.6 (18.4, 17.2)
-23%
46 (26, 20)
-59%
42.8 (22.4, 20.4)
-48%
33 (15, 18)
-14%
48 (23, 25)
-66%
41.2 (15.6, 25.6)
-42%
41.2 (22.8, 18.4)
-42%
Response Time Black / White *
30 (18, 12)
27.2 (16, 11.2)
9%
33 (21, 12)
-10%
28.8 (14.8, 14)
4%
24 (12, 12)
20%
32 (17, 15)
-7%
30.4 (6.8, 23.6)
-1%
30 (17.6, 12.4)
-0%
PWM Frequency
19500 (100)
19690 (100)
1%
1000 (90)
-95%
19530 (80)
0%
Screen
7%
2%
39%
23%
-1%
17%
15%
Brightness middle
361
386.1
7%
404
12%
588
63%
408
13%
281
-22%
387
7%
461
28%
Brightness
303
357
18%
382
26%
561
85%
395
30%
264
-13%
358
18%
418
38%
Brightness Distribution
72
83
15%
91
26%
92
28%
88
22%
83
15%
88
22%
85
18%
Black Level *
0.33
0.33
-0%
0.35
-6%
0.45
-36%
0.45
-36%
0.23
30%
0.47
-42%
0.2
39%
Contrast
1094
1170
7%
1154
5%
1307
19%
907
-17%
1222
12%
823
-25%
2305
111%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.26
4.2
20%
5.37
-2%
1.7
68%
1.55
71%
4.83
8%
1.6
70%
5.4
-3%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
7.79
7.6
2%
9.46
-21%
3.5
55%
2.19
72%
8.89
-14%
4
49%
12.2
-57%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
5.69
5.7
-0%
6.44
-13%
1.9
67%
1.91
66%
6.63
-17%
1
82%
5.4
5%
Gamma
1.63 147%
2.28 105%
2.52 95%
2.33 103%
2.34 103%
1.85 130%
2.26 106%
2.15 112%
CCT
6499 100%
7336 89%
6738 96%
6738 96%
6491 100%
6794 96%
6680 97%
7258 90%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
59
59
0%
58
-2%
77.92
32%
61
3%
56
-5%
61.6
4%
48.6
-18%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
92
92.2
0%
89
-3%
99.94
9%
96
4%
86
-7%
82.2
-11%
76.9
-16%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
2% / 4%
-17% / -4%
9% / 29%
13% / 20%
-29% / -14%
-3% / 11%
1% / 8%

* ... smaller is better

Color space AdobeRGB 59%
Color space AdobeRGB 59%
Color space sRGB 92%
Color space sRGB 92%

Color space coverage is right around 92 % and 59 % for sRGB and AdobeRGB, respectively. The 4K IGZO panel of the XPS 15 offers even better color reproduction, so users desiring full sRGB coverage might want to consider the larger sibling instead.

Calman ColorChecker (before calibration)
Calman ColorChecker (before calibration)
Calman Grayscale (before calibration)
Calman Grayscale (before calibration)
Calman Saturation (before calibration)
Calman Saturation (before calibration)
Calman Saturation (after calibration)
Calman Saturation (after calibration)
Calman Grayscale (after calibration)
Calman Grayscale (after calibration)
Calman ColorChecker (after calibration)
Calman ColorChecker (after calibration)

Even after a calibration, our review notebook still suffers from comparatively high DeltaE-deviations for both grayscale and color, while the i7 QHD+ version of the XPS 13 with the same panel improved considerably. It's bewildering: not only does a calibration nothing to improve the accuracy, but the DeltaE values are actually slightly worse afterward. A pre-installed color profile can't be the culprit, since Dell doesn't supply one. 

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
30 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 18 ms rise
↘ 12 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 72 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (26.2 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
29 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 19 ms rise
↘ 10 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 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 12 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (41.9 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 detected 19500 Hz ≤ 100 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 19500 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 100 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 19500 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 54 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 10287 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 588200) Hz was measured.

Performance

In the near future, the brand-new Core i5-8250U (1.6 – 3.4 GHz) SoC likely will be one of the most frequently-used Windows laptop processors. The price-to-value ratio is excellent and in our opinion it's not worth spending 80 Euro (~$95) more for the i7 CPU.

Although the 8250U is the weakest U-series processor, it still offers four real CPU cores and heavily parallelized software should be able to take advantage of the eight total threads. The predecessor 7200U, which also had a TPU of 15 W, only had two cores and four threads. According to Intel, the Intel UHD Graphics 620 is identical to the Intel HD Graphics 620 integrated in the i5-7200U.

The SoC has a TDP rating of 15 W, but the notebook manufacturer can elect to vary the power draw from between 7.5 to 25 W depending on the capabilities of the cooling system.

Systeminfo: CPU-Z CPU
Systeminfo: CPU-Z Memory
Systeminfo: CPU-Z Mainboard
Systeminfo: CPU-Z Cache
Systeminfo: GPU-Z
Latency Mon
HWinfo Summary

Processor

We use the Cinebench R15 loop test to simulate constant load. After a cold start and an initial score of 564 points, the system drops to 503 points (-11 %) after the 3rd loop. The score averages over time is about 520 points (-8 %).

The reason: the SoC core frequency drops to 2.6 GHz in order to keep the temperature below 90 °C. The i7 version has a performance plus of about 9 %.

Cinebench R15 Loop @ 2.7 GHz at 88 °C
Cinebench R15 Loop @ 2.7 GHz at 88 °C
CPU R15 clock speed during the stress test
CPU R15 clock speed during the stress test
Core temperature R15 during the stress test
Core temperature R15 during the stress test
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Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit

During the stress test, which uses Prime95 and Furmark to utilize both the CPU as well as the GPU to their full potential, the frequency drops even more to 1.7 GHz at a constant SoC temperature of 82 °C. The maximum temperature briefly reaches 97 °C before the clock speeds are reduced rather significantly. Please take a look at the above screenshots for additional details.

At no time does real throttling occur, since the frequency never falls below the base clock speed of 1.6 GHz (R15 Loop 2.6 GHz; stress test 1.7 GHz). After a cold start, the benchmark scores improve and the Core i5-8250U now trails the 8550U (XPS i7) by only -6 %. The i7 XPS is also roughly 19 % faster during the single-threaded portion of the benchmark test.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Dell XPS 13 i7-8550U
Intel Core i7-8550U
167 Points ∼100% +19%
Razer Blade Stealth QHD i7-8550U
Intel Core i7-8550U
164 Points ∼98% +17%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017
Intel Core i5-7360U
145 Points ∼87% +4%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017
Intel Core i5-7360U
140 Points ∼84% 0%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-566U
Intel Core i5-8250U
145 Points ∼87% +4%
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
Intel Core i7-7500U
145 Points ∼87% +4%
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
Intel Core i7-7500U
140 Points ∼84% 0%
Dell XPS 13 i5-8250U
Intel Core i5-8250U
140 Points ∼84%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
Intel Core i7-5500U
123 Points ∼74% -12%
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i5
Intel Core i5-7200U
117 Points ∼70% -16%
Dell XPS 13-9350
Intel Core i5-6200U
116 Points ∼69% -17%
Huawei MateBook X
Intel Core i5-7200U
116 Points ∼69% -17%
Dell XPS 13-9343
Intel Core i5-5200U
88 Points ∼53% -37%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Dell XPS 13 i7-8550U
Intel Core i7-8550U
603 Points ∼100% +7%
Dell XPS 13 i5-8250U
Intel Core i5-8250U
564 (min: 559, max: 634) Points ∼94%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-566U
Intel Core i5-8250U
543 Points ∼90% -4%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-566U
Intel Core i5-8250U
538 (min: 467.61, max: 538.34) Points ∼89% -5%
Razer Blade Stealth QHD i7-8550U
Intel Core i7-8550U
521 Points ∼86% -8%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017
Intel Core i5-7360U
362 Points ∼60% -36%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017
Intel Core i5-7360U
346 Points ∼57% -39%
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
Intel Core i7-7500U
353 Points ∼59% -37%
Huawei MateBook X
Intel Core i5-7200U
322 Points ∼53% -43%
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
Intel Core i7-7500U
314 Points ∼52% -44%
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i5
Intel Core i5-7200U
300 Points ∼50% -47%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
Intel Core i7-5500U
287 Points ∼48% -49%
Dell XPS 13-9350
Intel Core i5-6200U
287 Points ∼48% -49%
Dell XPS 13-9343
Intel Core i5-5200U
217 Points ∼36% -62%
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
140 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
564 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
43.03 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.8 %
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System Performance

The single-core results of the i7 seem to impact the PCMark scores heavily, as our i5 review notebook trails the i7 model by about 7 to 8 %. Both notebooks are otherwise equipped identically and feature Toshiba NVMe SSDs as well as 8 GB of LPDDR3 dual-channel RAM.

In similar fashion to the i7 version, the PCMark 10 benchmark test crashed multiple times and never completed successfully. 

PCMark 8 Home
PCMark 8 Home
PCMark 8 Creative
PCMark 8 Creative
PCMark 8 Work
PCMark 8 Work
PCMark 10 - repeated error messages
PCMark 10 - repeated error messages
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
5053 Points ∼100% +23%
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
GeForce MX150, 7500U, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
4900 Points ∼97% +20%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i7 Iris
Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7560U, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
4890 Points ∼97% +20%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-566U
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
4669 Points ∼92% +14%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017
Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7360U, Apple SSD AP0128
4461 (min: 4448, max: 4484) Points ∼88% +9%
Dell XPS 13 i7-8550U
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
4436 Points ∼88% +8%
Huawei MateBook X
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, LITEON CB1-SD256
4276 Points ∼85% +4%
Razer Blade Stealth QHD i7-8550U
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
4184 Points ∼83% +2%
Dell XPS 13 i5-8250U
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
4092 Points ∼81%
Dell XPS 13-9350
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
4078 Points ∼81% 0%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
3412 Points ∼68% -17%
Dell XPS 13-9343
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
3225 Points ∼64% -21%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017
Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7360U, Apple SSD AP0128
4057 (min: 4055, max: 4059) Points ∼100% +27%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i7 Iris
Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7560U, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
3902 Points ∼96% +22%
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
3789 Points ∼93% +19%
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
GeForce MX150, 7500U, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
3773 Points ∼93% +18%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-566U
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
3665 Points ∼90% +15%
Huawei MateBook X
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, LITEON CB1-SD256
3507 Points ∼86% +10%
Dell XPS 13 i7-8550U
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
3432 Points ∼85% +8%
Razer Blade Stealth QHD i7-8550U
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
3268 Points ∼81% +3%
Dell XPS 13 i5-8250U
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
3186 Points ∼79%
Dell XPS 13-9350
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
2983 Points ∼74% -6%
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i5
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
2761 Points ∼68% -13%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
2719 Points ∼67% -15%
Dell XPS 13-9343
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
2582 Points ∼64% -19%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3186 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4501 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4092 points
Help
Dell XPS 13 i5-8250U
Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
Huawei MateBook X
LITEON CB1-SD256
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i7 Iris
Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
Dell XPS 13-9350
Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i5
Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
Dell XPS 13-9343
Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
2%
91%
-1%
54%
2%
29%
-17%
-1%
Write 4k QD32
345.8
257.5
-26%
416
20%
161.3
-53%
431.26
25%
151.5
-56%
325
-6%
239
-31%
326.3
-6%
Read 4k QD32
365.5
498.9
36%
497.1
36%
494.6
35%
425.13
16%
244.7
-33%
525
44%
352.4
-4%
354
-3%
Write 4k
115.6
68.14
-41%
140.2
21%
109.4
-5%
133.62
16%
113
-2%
132
14%
103.7
-10%
79.3
-31%
Read 4k
26.67
29.48
11%
57.47
115%
34.5
29%
37.31
40%
38.52
44%
33
24%
28.29
6%
34.76
30%
Write 512
265.7
310.3
17%
911.3
243%
172.3
-35%
502.12
89%
308.6
16%
307
16%
241.6
-9%
395.5
49%
Read 512
443.9
504.2
14%
753
70%
735
66%
1058.18
138%
683.8
54%
1015
129%
420.5
-5%
371.9
-16%
Write Seq
337.4
461.2
37%
1088
222%
195.4
-42%
617.2
83%
307.7
-9%
329
-2%
237.2
-30%
424.2
26%
Read Seq
1046
740.6
-29%
1090
4%
1019
-3%
1314.4
26%
1097
5%
1168
12%
527
-50%
489.6
-53%
Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
Sequential Read: 1046 MB/s
Sequential Write: 337.4 MB/s
512K Read: 443.9 MB/s
512K Write: 265.7 MB/s
4K Read: 26.67 MB/s
4K Write: 115.6 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 365.5 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 345.8 MB/s

GPU Performance & Gaming

The Intel UHD Graphics 620 is marginally faster than the identical HD Graphics 620. The performance advantage of 5 - 8 % is negligibly, although actual gaming performance of the Kaby Lake R SoC is about 15 to 25 % higher. The fps increase is a bit more pronounced and can - at least for some games - make the difference between barely playable and not playable at all. The overall frame rates are still quite low though and thus shouldn't be a determining factor for a purchase decision.

For more information and benchmarks, please take a look at our dedicated page for the UHD Graphics 620

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-7500U
3459 Points ∼100% +109%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, Intel Core i5-7360U
2379 (min: 2355, max: 2425) Points ∼69% +44%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i7 Iris
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, Intel Core i7-7560U
2124 Points ∼61% +28%
Razer Blade Stealth QHD i7-8550U
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-8550U
1675 Points ∼48% +1%
Dell XPS 13 i5-8250U
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
1657 Points ∼48%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-566U
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
1653 Points ∼48% 0%
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-7500U
1562 Points ∼45% -6%
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i5
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
1541 Points ∼45% -7%
Huawei MateBook X
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
1528 Points ∼44% -8%
3DMark - 1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-7500U
17750 Points ∼100% +92%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, Intel Core i5-7360U
11495 (min: 10969, max: 11750) Points ∼65% +24%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i7 Iris
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, Intel Core i7-7560U
11232 Points ∼63% +22%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-566U
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
9499 Points ∼54% +3%
Razer Blade Stealth QHD i7-8550U
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-8550U
9349 Points ∼53% +1%
Dell XPS 13 i5-8250U
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
9243 Points ∼52%
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-7500U
8104 Points ∼46% -12%
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i5
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
7684 Points ∼43% -17%
Huawei MateBook X
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
7542 Points ∼42% -18%
3DMark 11 Performance
1856 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
8773 points
Help
BioShock Infinite - 1366x768 Medium Preset
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
GeForce MX150, 7500U, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
94.01 fps ∼100% +169%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017
Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7360U, Apple SSD AP0128
45.1 fps ∼48% +29%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i7 Iris
Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7560U, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
40.2 fps ∼43% +15%
Dell XPS 13 i5-8250U
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
35 fps ∼37%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-566U
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
34.7 fps ∼37% -1%
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i5
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
30.3 fps ∼32% -13%
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
29.3 fps ∼31% -16%
Dell XPS 13-9343
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
23.39 fps ∼25% -33%
Rise of the Tomb Raider - 1024x768 Lowest Preset
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
GeForce MX150, 7500U, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
59.97 fps ∼100% +156%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017
Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7360U, Apple SSD AP0128
25.8 fps ∼43% +10%
Dell XPS 13 i5-8250U
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
23.4 fps ∼39%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-566U
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
21 (min: 17, max: 24) fps ∼35% -10%
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i5
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
17.4 (min: 16, max: 19) fps ∼29% -26%
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
15 fps ∼25% -36%
Farming Simulator 17 - 1280x720 Low Preset
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-566U
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
87 (min: 73, max: 116) fps ∼100% +358%
Huawei MateBook X
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, LITEON CB1-SD256
61.2 fps ∼70% +222%
Dell XPS 13 i5-8250U
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
19 fps ∼22%
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 7135319fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 23.4146.8fps
Farming Simulator 17 (2016) 198fps

Emissions

System Noise

Noise characteristics i5 8250U
Noise characteristics i5 8250U
Noise characteristics i5 8550U
Noise characteristics i5 8550U

As far as noise and fan characteristics are concerned, our previous XPS 13 i7 review notebook certainly wasn't a very noisy system. The i5 XPS is no different in this aspect: the fan doesn't spin up frequently in the first place and not at all during idle. When the fan is active, the noise increases to a maximum of 38 dB.

Because of the pronounced thermally-induced performance reduction, the average noise of 38.3 dB under load (we use 3DMark06) is actually louder than the maximum of 33.6 dB. During the Prime95 CPU stress test, the fan reaches a maximum of 36.6 dB.

While the i7 sibling produced noticeable coil whine, our review notebook is not affected at all. For all our performance tests we used the default settings (profile "optimized") of the Dell Power Manager. 

Noise Level

Idle
30.4 / 30.4 / 30.4 dB(A)
Load
38.3 / 33.6 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 30.4 dB(A)
Dell XPS 13 i5-8250U
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i7 Iris
Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7560U, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i5
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
Dell XPS 13-9343
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017
Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7360U, Apple SSD AP0128
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Emissions
Fan Noise
38.3
34.9
-9%
38.5
1%
39.3
3%
40
4%
Noise
2%
-1%
-6%
0%
-4%
off / environment *
30.4
29.9
2%
30.3
-0%
30.2
1%
30.4
-0%
Idle Minimum *
30.4
29.9
2%
30.6
-1%
30.2
1%
30.2
1%
30.4
-0%
Idle Average *
30.4
29.9
2%
30.6
-1%
30.3
-0%
30.2
1%
30.4
-0%
Idle Maximum *
30.4
30.3
-0%
32.2
-6%
30.4
-0%
30.2
1%
30.4
-0%
Load Average *
38.3
33.9
11%
32.2
16%
34.4
10%
32.9
14%
40
-4%
Load Maximum *
33.6
34.9
-4%
38.5
-15%
48
-43%
39.3
-17%
40
-19%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-4% / 1%
0% / -1%
-6% / -6%
2% / 1%
0% / -3%

* ... smaller is better

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2033.732.533.231.831.933.72531.73231.429.63131.73134.132.135.634.135.334.14032.734.931.43331.632.75029.62930.530.23729.66329.230.227.929.329.829.28027.526.227.527.425.627.510026.125.125.726.226.126.11252525.225.22524.22516023.624.623.824.223.823.620024.424.32323.52324.4250242322.321.621.32431525.62521.921.321.125.640023.422.921.420.820.423.450023.722.221.419.519.523.76302321.620.618.718.92380024.823.221.518.418.424.8100027.125.223.117.71827.1125025.624.221.617.917.925.6160026.224.522.317.717.626.220002926.623.717.417.329250030.430.224.117.817.730.4315028.724.821.217.817.728.7400026.32320.41817.826.3500021.7201918.118.121.7630020.71918.418.418.320.7800019.418.618.418.518.419.41000019.118.618.518.318.519.11250018.918.418.318.318.618.91600018.818.618.318.518.618.8SPL38.436.633.630.530.438.4N2.82.41.91.41.42.8median 24.4Dell XPS 13 i5-8250Umedian 23.2median 21.5median 18.4median 18.5median 24.4Delta2.2221.91.92.228.428.930.326.728.529.730.330.529.328.527.127.63026.926.927.226.626.125.125.725.223.526.525.524.525.723.624.823.924.525.223.425.823.623.523.622.1262222.622.121.622.121.120.721.221.32119.720.321.125.721.719.519.720.722.320.118.218.719.722.420.317.518.919.72623.817.21819.825.524.916.817.61925.223.51617.319.224.223.916.916.919.324.723.516.717.320.526.325.617.117.620.926.82717.918.122.128.928.618.318.721.829.228.518.518.82128.526.918.918.921.428.326.918.919.320.429.828.61919.319.328.427.519.11918.923.122.118.618.518.319.519.31818.317.818.718.517.617.917.317.617.417.217.332.539.338.430.230.51.73.12.91.31.4median 20.4Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017median 25.2median 23.8median 18.2median 18.712.92.90.90.934.535.132.535.234.533.531.832.438.433.538.938.137.638.538.930.930.931.932.130.931.128.228.229.331.129.327.327.526.629.327.227.427.225.727.229.726.426.226.429.725.925.324.526.125.923.824.52423.723.824.624.722.322.724.624.323.821.721.624.325.325.62120.825.324.425.520.32024.425.525.919.419.425.525.325.618.618.825.326.426.318.218.326.430.530.317.717.630.528.628.317.817.828.630.330.217.617.530.330.630.617.417.530.629.929.817.617.429.9303017.717.83027.527.518.617.927.526.326.518.118.126.322.922.918.318.322.921.220.918.718.421.219.419.318.418.419.418.818.618.418.318.818.518.418.718.318.540.140.130.430.440.13.33.31.41.43.3median 25.5HP Spectre 13-v131ngmedian 25.6median 18.6median 18.3median 25.52.62.21.81.92.632.328.230.926.632.332.93131.525.632.928.726.628.426.828.728.627.629.525.128.6262530.324.62625.523.524.62525.525.622.525.623.325.622.921.320.920.822.923.221.322.119.623.221.220.320.419.721.220.519.319.818.720.520.71820.118.220.721.718.221.317.221.720.617.218.916.120.621.317.221.316.121.320.816.919.715.420.820.516.519.816.220.529.417.526.716.229.422.217.921.216.922.222.518.6221722.524.219.123.317.424.224.218.424.418.124.222.11921.718.722.121.318.620.718.821.319.618.719.319.119.619.318.6191919.318.718.218.518.718.718.417.918.118.618.41817.417.6181817.316.91717.417.334.930.433.929.934.92.11.31.91.32.1median 21.2Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i7 Irismedian 18.2median 20.4median 18.1median 21.21.40.71.211.4hearing rangehide median Fan Noise

Temperature

The notebook doesn't really get any warmer than the competitors and all surface temperatures are kept in check at all times. Both the XPS 13 9360 FHD i7 Iris (46 C) and the HP Spectre 13-v131ng (54 C) run substantially hotter.

The i5 XPS 13 loses a lot of performance during the stress test. The SoC runs at 1.7 GHz; the UHD Graphics remains at 1097 MHz for a long period of time before dropping slightly to 1047 MHz.

At 82 C during the stress test, the temperatures always remain tolerable, however. When running Prime95 on its own, the SoC runs at 2.2 GHz at a temperature of 86 C. 

Stress test: throttling at 97 C; the CPU maintains 1.8 GHz at 82 C for a few minutes with the iGPU at 1096 MHz
Stress test: throttling at 97 C; the CPU maintains 1.8 GHz at 82 C for a few minutes with the iGPU at 1096 MHz
After 8 minutes: reduction to 1.7 GHz CPU; the iGPU still now runs at 1047 MHz
After 8 minutes: reduction to 1.7 GHz CPU; the iGPU still now runs at 1047 MHz
Max. Load
 41.3 °C35.6 °C35.7 °C 
 36.6 °C32 °C32.1 °C 
 30.2 °C29.4 °C28.7 °C 
Maximum: 41.3 °C
Average: 33.5 °C
37.1 °C46.5 °C41 °C
32.7 °C31.9 °C35.5 °C
30.7 °C32 °C32 °C
Maximum: 46.5 °C
Average: 35.5 °C
Power Supply (max.)  47 °C | Room Temperature 21.7 °C | FIRT 550-Pocket
Dell XPS 13 i5-8250U
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i7 Iris
Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7560U, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
Dell XPS 13-9343
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i5
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017
Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7360U, Apple SSD AP0128
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Emissions
Fan Noise
38.3
34.9
-9%
38.5
1%
39.3
3%
40
4%
Heat
-15%
-11%
-8%
-3%
-12%
Maximum Upper Side *
41.3
46.2
-12%
40.6
2%
40
3%
43.5
-5%
54.2
-31%
Maximum Bottom *
46.5
48.8
-5%
41.2
11%
42
10%
40.6
13%
37.7
19%
Idle Upper Side *
24.1
28.3
-17%
31.2
-29%
28
-16%
27
-12%
29
-20%
Idle Bottom *
23.9
29.7
-24%
30.6
-28%
31
-30%
26.1
-9%
27.6
-15%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-12% / -13%
-11% / -11%
-4% / -6%
0% / -2%
-4% / -9%

* ... smaller is better

Top XPS 13 9360 i5-8250U idle
Top XPS 13 9360 i5-8250U idle
Bottom XPS 13 9360 i5-8250U idle
Bottom XPS 13 9360 i5-8250U idle
Top XPS 13 9360 i5-8250U stress test
Top XPS 13 9360 i5-8250U stress test
Bottom XPS 13 9360 i5-8250U stress test
Bottom XPS 13 9360 i5-8250U stress test
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2036.431.936.42536.53136.53138.735.338.74035.531.635.55034.93734.96330.729.830.78035.425.635.410043.126.143.112546.224.246.216043.623.843.620039.82339.825050.721.350.73155521.15540058.920.458.950060.119.560.163058.418.958.480068.918.468.9100068.51868.5125068.417.968.4160069.717.669.7200071.917.371.9250070.717.770.7315067.517.767.5400066.317.866.3500066.618.166.663006618.366800072.218.472.21000063.318.563.31250056.418.656.41600048.418.648.4SPL80.530.480.5N47.91.447.9median 63.3Dell XPS 13 i5-8250Umedian 18.5median 63.3Delta8.51.98.531.635.231.633.138.433.144.138.544.136.632.136.629.129.329.129.126.629.127.425.727.425.926.425.92726.12733.923.733.933.322.733.339.321.639.34620.84653.52053.551.319.451.35018.85050.418.350.452.617.652.65817.8586117.56163.117.563.164.817.464.867.317.867.367.717.967.767.118.167.165.118.365.16418.46463.618.463.661.718.361.758.118.358.17630.476331.433median 58HP Spectre 13-v131ngmedian 18.3median 5810.61.910.6hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
Dell XPS 13 i5-8250U audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (72.18 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 16.9% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 5.5% higher than median
(+) | mids are linear (5.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 4.2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (6.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (19% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 57% of all tested devices in this class were better, 6% similar, 36% worse
» The best had a delta of 9%, average was 19%, worst was 47%
Compared to all devices tested
» 37% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 57% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

HP Spectre 13-v131ng audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (68 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 23.8% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 5.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 7.7% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (3.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (26.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 81% of all tested devices in this class were better, 6% similar, 13% worse
» The best had a delta of 9%, average was 19%, worst was 47%
Compared to all devices tested
» 77% of all tested devices were better, 5% similar, 18% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency comparison (Checkboxes selectable!)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The power consumption of the review notebook slightly exceeds that of its i7 sibling. CABC helps to at least partially explain the rather large difference for the idle maximums. The load values aren't really different: a few minutes into the stress test we measure 43 W (initially, the XPS 13 draws 49 W); at this point, performance throttling is already occurring. The very low idle minimum power draw results in a very long idle run time of 18 hours and 12 minutes.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.29 / 0.48 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 3.6 / 7.9 / 8.5 Watt
Load midlight 43 / 43 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Dell XPS 13 i5-8250U
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G, IGZO IPS, 3200x1800, 13.3
Dell XPS 13 i7-8550U
8550U, UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G, IGZO IPS, 3200x1800, 13.3
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i7 Iris
7560U, Iris Plus Graphics 640, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK), IPS, 1920x1080, 13.3
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-566U
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN, , 1920x1080, 13.3
Razer Blade Stealth QHD i7-8550U
8550U, UHD Graphics 620, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP, , 3200x1800, 13.3
Huawei MateBook X
7200U, HD Graphics 620, LITEON CB1-SD256, , 2160x1440, 13.3
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017
7360U, Iris Plus Graphics 640, Apple SSD AP0128, IPS, 2560x1600, 13.3
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
7500U, HD Graphics 620, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP, IPS UWVA, 1920x1080, 13.3
Power Consumption
9%
17%
4%
-2%
-16%
6%
10%
Idle Minimum *
3.6
4.1
-14%
3.32
8%
3.6
-0%
5.6
-56%
4.6
-28%
3.7
-3%
3.6
-0%
Idle Average *
7.9
5.8
27%
5.27
33%
9.5
-20%
7.5
5%
11
-39%
5.2
34%
6.4
19%
Idle Maximum *
8.5
6
29%
6.32
26%
9.5
-12%
8.4
1%
12
-41%
7.6
11%
9.2
-8%
Load Average *
43
42.5
1%
32
26%
32.9
23%
33.7
22%
39.5
8%
41.6
3%
34
21%
Load Maximum *
43
41.4
4%
45.9
-7%
31.4
27%
34.6
20%
34.6
20%
50.5
-17%
34.4
20%
Witcher 3 ultra *
30
31

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Our WLAN browsing test attempts to more accurately simulates real-world use. For this test, we set the brightness to level 5 - which corresponds to abut 150 cd/m² - and let a script open various websites with different content. The battery drains after a total of 11 hours and 29 in this scenario. 

The i7 Kaby Lake R sibling delivers run times that are about 15 % shorter. The reason isn't the i7 processor, but the rather peculiar fact that the system shut down with 20 % battery capacity remaining - and it did so repeatedly. Both notebooks contain the same 60 Wh battery and the idle and load run times aren't different at all.

Compared to the XPS 13 2015 (9343), run times have improved by about 1.5 hours, although we need to point out that we used a different WLAN test back then, so the results can't be compared directly. 

The table below shows that long run times aren't exclusive to Dell only: the Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 lasts almost exactly as long during the WLAN test. The thin HP Spectre can't keep up since it is only equipped with a 38 Wh battery. 

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
18h 12min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
11h 29min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 26min
Dell XPS 13 i5-8250U
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 60 Wh
Dell XPS 13 i7-8550U
8550U, UHD Graphics 620, 60 Wh
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i7 Iris
7560U, Iris Plus Graphics 640, 60 Wh
Dell XPS 13-9343
5200U, HD Graphics 5500, 52 Wh
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017
7360U, Iris Plus Graphics 640, 54.5 Wh
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
7500U, HD Graphics 620, 38 Wh
Battery Runtime
-5%
13%
-10%
-24%
-41%
Reader / Idle
1092
1108
1%
1521
39%
912
-16%
718
-34%
WiFi v1.3
689
589
-15%
655
-5%
681
-1%
394
-43%
Load
146
143
-2%
154
5%
140
-4%
78
-47%
77
-47%
H.264
899
683
367
WiFi
580

Verdict

Pros

+ good contrast; >90 % sRGB
+ good run times; large battery
+ sturdy aluminum chassis; great design
+ quiet system fan
+ good CPU performance
+ good bass
+ bright display
+ Killer 1535 is standard
+ easy to maintain

Cons

- chassis reverberates at high volume levels / bass
- PWM at all brightness levels (including maximum)
- Toshiba NVMe SSD features low transfer rates
- arrow keys are small and feel spongy
XPS 13 9360 i5, courtesy of Dell Germany
XPS 13 9360 i5, courtesy of Dell Germany

The Dell XPS 13 is still an excellent subnotebook and as such it definitely deserves the repeat appearances in our Top 10 list. A run time of 11.5 hours, a display with 90 % sRGB coverage and decent brightness, sturdy aluminum chassis, quiet fan system, decent sound given the size, lots of ports and ease of maintenance - all these attributes make for a very desirable 13-inch notebook.

The main question we asked ourselves at the beginning of this review: is the Kaby Lake R i5 CPU adequate or is the upgrade to the i7 worth the money?

In our opinion, the lower-end SoC is more than sufficient for most users - unless the intent is to mainly run parallelized applications. Both the i5 and the i7 processors throttle their speed when subjected to prolonged loads and performance drops by 8 and 9 %, respectively. At no time did during our tests did the cores reach their respective theoretical maximum Turbo speeds of 3.4 and 4.0 GHz. The CPU performance difference between the i5 and i7 versions of the XPS 13 is very small indeed and ranges from +19 % at its best to +7 % at its worst (single vs. multi-threaded tests). The i7 pulls ahead slightly when it comes to system performance (+ 8 %).

Both XPS 13 versions outperform other subnotebooks like the HP Envy 13-ad006ng or Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 on the strength of their CPUs - Kaby Lake R with 8 threads - alone. The i7, for example, has a performance plus of 70 % (R15 Multi, Kaby i7 vs Kaby R i7). The new quad-core i5 is up to 75 % faster than the older dual-core 7200U (R15 Multi).

Dell XPS 13 i5-8250U - 11/16/2017 v6
Sebastian Jentsch

Chassis
95 /  98 → 97%
Keyboard
85%
Pointing Device
87%
Connectivity
59 / 80 → 74%
Weight
71 / 35-78 → 84%
Battery
94%
Display
83%
Games Performance
59 / 68 → 87%
Application Performance
80 / 87 → 92%
Temperature
92 / 91 → 100%
Noise
92%
Audio
80 / 91 → 88%
Camera
44 / 85 → 52%
Average
79%
88%
Subnotebook - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Dell XPS 13 9360R (i5-8250U, QHD) Laptop Review
Sebastian Jentsch, 2017-11-27 (Update: 2017-11-27)
Bernhard Pechlaner
Bernhard Pechlaner - Review Editor
Ended up in the IT sector in the 90s more or less accidentally and have remained in the industry (as a sysadmin) ever since. Always been interested in laptops - first purchase was - if memory serves correctly - a Toshiba Satellite T2115CS with DX4-75 processor, 4 MB of RAM and 350 MB hard disk drive (and Windows 3.1). To this day, laptops appeal to me - much to the chagrin of my wife, who doesn’t seem understand why we need 5-10 of them at any given time ;-).