Notebookcheck

Dell XPS 13 9370 (i7-8550U, 4K UHD) Laptop Review

Fractionally..better? Compared to its i5-equipped sibling, the i7 version of the attractive XPS 13 9370 - this time with twice the hard drive space and double the amount of RAM - doesn't really offer significantly improved performance. Why that might be the case is one of the question we'll try to answer in our review.

Just a couple of months ago we took a look at the newest iteration of the highly-regarded Dell XPS 13, which spearheaded the now so popular "narrow-bezel" design. The XPS 13 9370 with i5-8250U processor and 4K UHD panel in essence continues where the 9360-series predecessors left off and thus still makes for a very compelling choice. For our review this time we'll take a look at a top-of-the-line XPS 13 with quad-core i7, 16 GB of RAM and a larger SSD. At the time of writing, Dell offers the XPS 13 9370 with 8th-generation Intel Core i5-8250U Processor or i7-8550U Processor, 4 - 16 GB of RAM and SSDs from 128 GB to 256 GB. Display choices for the i5 model are limited to the 1080p non-touch display, while the i7 version can also be equipped with the 4K UHD touchscreen panel.

Prices range from $1000 for the i5-equipped XPS 13 with 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB SSD to $1850 for the i7 model with 4K display, 16 GB of RAM and 256 GB SSD. Curiously enough, our review notebook - with i7 CPU, 16 GB of RAM, 512 GB of RAM - is not one of the available SKUs in Dell's online store, although we were able to find it elsewhere for about $2000.

Since our review notebook just differs in the hardware, we'll primarily focus our attention at the performance differences and try to answer the question if an upgrade to the faster CPU is worth the price. We recommend looking at our existing review page for the Dell XPS 13 9370 with i5-8250U for further details as far as the chassis, connectivity, input devices, and other features are concerned. Note that Dell also still sells the previous-generation XPS 13 9360, so we've included links to some of our older reviews as well.

Competitors in this segment are aplenty and include stalwarts like the HP Spectre 13, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018, or the Razer Blade Stealth. It's interesting that many of the other competing notebooks - like the Asus ZenBook 13,  Lenovo IdeaPad 320S or Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 - now feature dedicated GPUs in form of the GeForce MX150 instead of just integrated graphics. 

Please note: during the latter part of our review we encountered a few blue screens followed by a fatal system crash when the system failed to wake up from sleep mode. We were forced to completely restore our XPS 13 at this point. Since we hadn't yet completed all benchmarks, our evaluation consists of a mix of the results from before and after the crash.

May 11, 2018 update: XPS 13 9370 owners have been reporting keyboard skipping issues when typing. Of the three 9370 SKUs we've tested, one system exhibited this problem. While Dell has yet to release the promised hotfix, the (hopefully) temporary issue was not taken into account in our scoring.

Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD (XPS 13 Series)
Graphics adapter
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 22.20.16.4815
Memory
16384 MB 
, LPDDR3 1866MHz, Dual-Channel
Display
13.3 inch 16:9, 3840 x 2160 pixel 331 PPI, 10-finger, ID: Sharp SHP148B, Name: LQ133D1, Dell P/N: 8XDHY, IPS, glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel Kaby Lake-U iHDCP 2.2 Premium PCH
Storage
Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G, 512 GB 
Soundcard
Intel Kaby Lake-U/Y PCH - High Definition Audio
Connections
3 USB 3.1 Gen2, 2 Thunderbolt, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo audio, Card Reader: MicroSD reader, 1 Fingerprint Reader
Networking
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1435 Wireless Network Adapter (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 11.6 x 302 x 199 ( = 0.46 x 11.89 x 7.83 in)
Battery
52 Wh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p
Additional features
Speakers: 1 W x 2 stereo, Keyboard: chiclet, Quick Start guide, Warranty card, USB Type-C to Type-A adapter, McAfee Anti-virus, Dell Update, Intel RST, MaxxAudioPro, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.216 kg ( = 42.89 oz / 2.68 pounds), Power Supply: 227 g ( = 8.01 oz / 0.5 pounds)
Price
1850 Euro

 

SD Card Reader

Curiously enough, the MicroSD card reader (we use a Toshiba Exceria Pro UHS-II test card for our measurements) is about 30 MB/s slower during the jpeg copy test than the same card reader in the i5 model. Still, overall speeds are very good and easily surpass those of many competitors like the Lenovo IdeaPad 320S-13IKB or the Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN, which are limited to USB 3.0 speeds.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018-20KGS03900
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
191.2 MB/s ∼100% +22%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 64 GB UHS-II)
182 MB/s ∼95% +16%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro UHS-II)
156.4 MB/s ∼82%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320S-13IKB
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
78.1 MB/s ∼41% -50%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 microSDXC 64GB)
69.7 MB/s ∼36% -55%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (8 - 186, n=91)
62.9 MB/s ∼33% -60%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018-20KGS03900
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
223.9 MB/s ∼100% +8%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 64 GB UHS-II)
210.3 MB/s ∼94% +2%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro UHS-II)
207.16 MB/s ∼93%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320S-13IKB
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
84.9 MB/s ∼38% -59%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 microSDXC 64GB)
84.9 MB/s ∼38% -59%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (17.7 - 251, n=91)
83.9 MB/s ∼37% -59%

Communication

Transmit and receive rates 1 m away from our Linksys EA8500 test router are comparable to those of the i5-equipped sibling. The Killer 1435 wireless module functions flawlessly and we did not experience any issues like random disconnects or similar problems during the review period.

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Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1435 Wireless Network Adapter
665 MBit/s ∼100%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1435 Wireless Network Adapter
639 MBit/s ∼96% -4%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018-20KGS03900
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
633 MBit/s ∼95% -5%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (71 - 950, n=76)
535 MBit/s ∼80% -20%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
522 MBit/s ∼78% -22%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320S-13IKB
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
326 MBit/s ∼49% -51%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
655 MBit/s ∼100% +30%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (72 - 949, n=76)
522 MBit/s ∼80% +4%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018-20KGS03900
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
511 MBit/s ∼78% +1%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1435 Wireless Network Adapter
505 MBit/s ∼77% 0%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1435 Wireless Network Adapter
504 MBit/s ∼77%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320S-13IKB
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
295 MBit/s ∼45% -41%

Security

The power-button integrated fingerprint reader is easy to configure and provides near-instantaneous logins via Windows Hello even if the fingers are slightly moist.

Accessories

Dell only includes a quick start guide and a USB USB Type-C to Type-A dongle in the sleek white box. A protective sleeve for the notebook is unfortunately not included, but Dell offers one for $50. Other, not necessarily dedicated accessories include the Dell Business Thunderbolt Dock (TB16) with 240 W Adapter for $270, the Dell Universal Dock (D6000) for $150, or the USB-C to HDMI/VGA/Ethernet/USB 3.0 adapter (DA200) for $60.  

Warranty

In the US, Dell provides a standard 1 year mail-in service against manufacturing defects. 4 Years of Premium Support can be purchased for $250; 4 Years of Premium Support Plus service - which includes accidental damage protection as well - cost a hefty $490.

Input Devices

Please check our previous review for more details on the layout and functionality of the keyboard and the touchpad. One item of note: the Escape key in the function row of our review unit is slanted significantly - so much so, that the left edge of the key sits flush with the deck, while the right edge sits at normal height. While functionality isn't impeded and this flaw likely just affects our review sample, it's still a hard pill to swallow on a notebook costing this much. In difficult lighting conditions, the backlit keys are also much easier to identify on the gray model compared to the white edition. In completely dark environments, both versions are easy to work with, however.

The backlit keys are not always easy to see
The backlit keys are not always easy to see
The Esc-key is tilted
The Esc-key is tilted

Display

The Dell XPS 13 9370 with i7-8550U uses the very same 4K UHD display panel (Sharp SHP148B LQ133D1) as the model with i5 CPU. Note that the i5 model is also available with FHD display at the time of writing, whereas the i7 version is not. At about 470 nits average, the brightness measurements of our XPS 13 are very close to those of the i5 sibling; the fairly minor differences can be attributed to panel variation and measurement inaccuracy. The Dell panel is quite impressive here, although the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018 is visibly brighter still.

As before, we encountered Pulse-Width Modulation at brightness levels of 20 percent and lower, although the frequency is high enough (3760 Hz) to not affect most users.

Minimal light bleeding at the lower edge
Minimal light bleeding at the lower edge
RGB subpixel array (331 PPI)
RGB subpixel array (331 PPI)
449.8
cd/m²
480.9
cd/m²
486.3
cd/m²
469
cd/m²
478.5
cd/m²
496.2
cd/m²
427.2
cd/m²
445.4
cd/m²
459.4
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 496.2 cd/m² Average: 465.9 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 86 %
Center on Battery: 478.5 cd/m²
Contrast: 1113:1 (Black: 0.43 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.09 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.3, calibrated: 2.06
ΔE Greyscale 2.4 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
98.36% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 69.47% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.063
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
ID: Sharp SHP148B, Name: LQ133D1, Dell P/N: 8XDHY, IPS, 13.3, 3840x2160
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
ID: Sharp SHP148B, Name: LQ133D1, Dell P/N: 8XDHY, IPS, 13.3, 3840x2160
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
AU Optronics B133HAN04.9, IPS, 13.3, 1920x1080
Lenovo IdeaPad 320S-13IKB
InfoVision M133NWF4R0, IPS LED, 13.3, 1920x1080
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018-20KGS03900
B140QAN02.0, IPS, 14, 2560x1440
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
ID: BOE06E1, Name: NV133FHB-N31, IPS, 13.3, 1920x1080
Response Times
-8%
41%
-16%
19%
-10%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
69.6 (32.4, 37.2)
67.2 (31.6, 35.6)
3%
44 (22, 22)
37%
56.8 (27.6, 29.2)
18%
59.2 (28.4, 30.8)
15%
41.6 (22.8, 18.8)
40%
Response Time Black / White *
44 (24.4, 19.6)
41.6 (22.8, 18.8)
5%
24 (13, 11)
45%
31.6 (17.6, 14)
28%
34.4 (16.4, 18)
22%
34 (20, 14)
23%
PWM Frequency
3759 (20)
2500 (20)
-33%
198.4 (99)
-95%
210.1 (99)
-94%
Screen
-8%
-13%
5%
20%
-10%
Brightness middle
478.5
496.4
4%
329
-31%
330
-31%
578
21%
510.7
7%
Brightness
466
469
1%
306
-34%
304
-35%
533
14%
481
3%
Brightness Distribution
86
84
-2%
86
0%
88
2%
84
-2%
90
5%
Black Level *
0.43
0.5
-16%
0.3
30%
0.25
42%
0.38
12%
0.66
-53%
Contrast
1113
993
-11%
1097
-1%
1320
19%
1521
37%
774
-30%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.09
2.9
6%
4.07
-32%
1.8
42%
1.9
39%
2.4
22%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
5.94
5.26
11%
7.05
-19%
4.3
28%
3.8
36%
7.3
-23%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
2.06
0.8
61%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.4
3.9
-63%
2.76
-15%
2.5
-4%
3
-25%
2.4
-0%
Gamma
2.063 107%
2.066 106%
2.56 86%
2.11 104%
2.14 103%
2.23 99%
CCT
6883 94%
7169 91%
6915 94%
6588 99%
6377 102%
6747 96%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
69.47
63.9
-8%
56
-19%
61.8
-11%
88.8
28%
57
-18%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
98.36
98.2
0%
86
-13%
97.3
-1%
100
2%
88.1
-10%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-8% / -8%
14% / -4%
-6% / 0%
20% / 20%
-10% / -10%

* ... smaller is better

Color space rendering of the i7-equipped version is once again very good with 98 and 69 percent of the sRGB and AdobeRGB standards, respectively. Competitors like the Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN or the Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US reproduce less than 90 percent of the smaller sRGB color space, while the 14-inch Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018 with WQHD HDR display offers complete coverage. 

vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. HP Spectre 13
vs. HP Spectre 13

According to our measurements with the X-Rite spectrophotometer and analysis with the CalMAN software, grayscale and color are decent out of the box with average DeltaE values of 2.4  and 3, respectively, although the gamma is slightly too high. A quick calibration brings the color temperature and the gamma more in line with the sRGB standards; at higher saturation levels, the DeltaE-deviation remains a little high for the color blue (DeltaE just over 4). That said, the XPS 13 definitely benefits from a calibration, after which the notebook is certainly usable for semi-professional photo and video editing thanks to the good color space coverage and reasonably accurate colors.

ColorChecker before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
Grayscale before calibration
Grayscale before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
ColorChecker after calibration
ColorChecker after calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after 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
44 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 24.4 ms rise
↘ 19.6 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. » 98 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (25.7 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
69.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 32.4 ms rise
↘ 37.2 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 636 (maximum) ms. » 98 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (41.1 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 3759 Hz ≤ 20 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 3759 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 20 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 3759 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 53 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8872 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

With an average brightness of about 470 nits, the XPS 13 9370 is comparatively well-suited for outdoor use despite the touchscreen glass panel. Reflections are acceptable in the shade and occasionally under overcast skies as long as the panel is adjusted properly, but direct sunlight remains an issue for any glare-type panel and readability is severely impacted in such conditions. The panel is based on IPS technology, so the viewing angle stability is very good with minor darkening but no significant color changes at shallow angles.

Outdoor visibility - shade
Outdoor visibility - shade
Outdoor visibility - shade
Outdoor visibility - shade
Outdoor visibility - sunlight
Outdoor visibility - sunlight
Wide IPS viewing angles
Wide IPS viewing angles

Performance

Unlike the Dell XPS 13 9370 with Core i5-8250 processor, our review notebook is equipped with the Core i7-8550U just like the predecessor XPS 13 9360 from 2017. Our model with 512 GB SSD can't be purchased from Dell directly at this time, as the high-end configuration in Dell's online store tops out at 256 GB. According to the spec sheet, Dell actually plans to offer drives up to 1 TB in size. As mentioned before, the lowest configuration is equipped with only 4 GB of LPDDR3 RAM, while the more beefy configurations can contain up to 16 GB of dual-channel RAM. Note that the RAM is soldered on and cannot be upgraded by the user. Dedicated GPUs are not offered and all versions of the notebook thus rely on the integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 for graphics processing.

 
 

Processor

The 8th-generation Kaby Lake R quad-core Intel Core i7-8550U performs well enough for the most part, but doesn't necessarily best the i5-8250U by a significant margin: in our case, the XPS 13 with the "lesser" CPU returned a near-identical CineBench R15 Multi-score (636 vs. 639 points). We should mention here that the high performance power profile is not an option even after enabling alternate profiles in the registry, so we ran all of our tests and benchmarks using the standard balanced profile. Other system with the same i5 CPU don't fare quite as well, although the performance difference between the i5 and i7 processors generally doesn't exceed 20 percent. Systems with predecessor dual-core CPUs like the Razer Blade Stealth QHD with i7-7500U processor seem hopelessly outdated, as they are up to 50 % slower when all cores are working in parallel. Sustained performance is good: after an initial drop of about 8 percent, the subsequent scores stabilize around the 600 point mark. As shown by the comparison graphs below, the quad-core i7 in the XPS 13 9370 maintains higher scores (by 20 to 30 points) across the board than the same CPU in the predecessor XPS 13 9360.

Also interesting is the fact that while the scores of the XPS 13 9370 with i5-8250U fluctuate much more widely during the CineBench R15 loop test, the i7 model with its smoother graph certainly isn't leaps and bounds ahead as one might hope or expect.

For more information about the Intel Core i7-8550U and additional benchmarks, please visit our dedicated processor page

XPS 13 9370 i7-8550U

0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540550560570580590600610620630640Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit

XPS 13 9360 i7-8550U

0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540550560570580590600610620Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit

XPS 13 9370 i5-8250U

0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540550560570580590600610620630640650660Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018-20KGS03900
Intel Core i7-8550U
168 Points ∼81% +2%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
Intel Core i7-8550U
165 Points ∼80%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (108 - 172, n=57)
160 Points ∼77% -3%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Intel Core i7-8550U
150 Points ∼72% -9%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
Intel Core i5-8250U
142 Points ∼69% -14%
Razer Blade Stealth QHD i7-7500U
Intel Core i7-7500U
139 Points ∼67% -16%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320S-13IKB
Intel Core i5-8250U
132 Points ∼64% -20%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
Intel Core i5-7200U
123 Points ∼59% -25%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (20 - 169, n=226)
110 Points ∼53% -33%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018-20KGS03900
Intel Core i7-8550U
708 Points ∼23% +11%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018-20KGS03900
Intel Core i7-8550U
648 Points ∼21% +1%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
Intel Core i7-8550U
639 Points ∼21%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
Intel Core i5-8250U
636 Points ∼20% 0%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Intel Core i7-8550U
630 Points ∼20% -1%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (301 - 761, n=59)
571 Points ∼18% -11%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320S-13IKB
Intel Core i5-8250U
516 Points ∼17% -19%
Razer Blade Stealth QHD i7-7500U
Intel Core i7-7500U
348 Points ∼11% -46%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
Intel Core i5-7200U
328 Points ∼11% -49%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (32 - 721, n=233)
300 Points ∼10% -53%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (1.43 - 160, n=30)
7.1 Points ∼4% +274%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
Intel Core i7-8550U
1.9 Points ∼1%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (0.09 - 160, n=263)
1.742 Points ∼1% -8%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Intel Core i7-8550U
1.72 Points ∼1% -9%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
Intel Core i5-8250U
1.64 Points ∼1% -14%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
Intel Core i5-7200U
1.45 Points ∼1% -24%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
Intel Core i5-8250U
7.17 Points ∼26% +13%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
Intel Core i7-8550U
6.35 Points ∼23%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (4.38 - 8.56, n=30)
6.31 Points ∼23% -1%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Intel Core i7-8550U
6.29 Points ∼23% -1%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
Intel Core i5-7200U
3.67 Points ∼14% -42%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (0.33 - 7.17, n=402)
2.48 Points ∼9% -61%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Intel Core i7-8550U
6418 Points ∼59% +1%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
Intel Core i7-8550U
6345 Points ∼59%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (4202 - 8211, n=29)
6325 Points ∼58% 0%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
Intel Core i5-8250U
5523 Points ∼51% -13%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
Intel Core i5-7200U
4975 Points ∼46% -22%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (322 - 6418, n=444)
3071 Points ∼28% -52%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
Intel Core i5-8250U
20773 Points ∼42% +1%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
Intel Core i7-8550U
20666 Points ∼42%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Intel Core i7-8550U
19873 Points ∼40% -4%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (11694 - 24180, n=29)
17844 Points ∼36% -14%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
Intel Core i5-7200U
11373 Points ∼23% -45%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (661 - 20773, n=426)
6758 Points ∼14% -67%
wPrime 2.0x - 1024m
Average of class Subnotebook
  (243 - 4608, n=278)
1078 s * ∼13% -189%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
Intel Core i5-7200U
489.402 s * ∼6% -31%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
Intel Core i7-8550U
372.39 s * ∼4%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (258 - 435, n=11)
351 s * ∼4% +6%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
Intel Core i5-8250U
243.336 s * ∼3% +35%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - ---
Average of class Subnotebook
  (-1 - 94660, n=4008)
1751 Seconds * ∼8% -137%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (1.4 - 7795, n=81)
1208 Seconds * ∼5% -63%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
Intel Core i7-8550U
740.35 Seconds * ∼3%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
Intel Core i5-7200U
627.687 Seconds * ∼3% +15%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
Intel Core i5-8250U
608.275 Seconds * ∼3% +18%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
7817
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
20666
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
6345
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
49.82 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
6.35 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.9 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.8 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
54.88 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
639 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
165 Points
Help

System Performance

The system performance according to the PCMark benchmark tests is not class leading and in 3 out of 4 tests the XPS with Core i7-8550U actually trails the sibling with i5-8250U CPU. Granted, the difference amounts to just a few percentage points and is thus not significant during normal use, but users purchasing the supposedly higher-end i7 variant might be disappointed that there isn't better separation between the two. The stress test (see farther down below) might provide some insight as to why the i7-model can't outperform its i5 sibling.

We experienced frequent wake-from-sleep issues with a completely powered-off display panel on resume. In every case, the keyboard backlight comes on when pressing a key or when the touching the clickpad, but the screen remains dark. Driver updates did nothing to remedy the situation.

Please note that the PCMark 10 score improved slightly by about 5 percent after the restore. The higher score is reflected below.

PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 10 Standard
PCMark 10 Standard
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo IdeaPad 320S-13IKB
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
4826 Points ∼74% +17%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
4811 Points ∼74% +17%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung CM871a MZNTY256HDHP
4786 Points ∼73% +16%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018-20KGS03900
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4664 Points ∼72% +13%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (3518 - 5154, n=17)
4545 Points ∼70% +10%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
4140 Points ∼64% 0%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
4125 Points ∼63%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1283 - 5363, n=170)
3926 Points ∼60% -5%
Creative Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018-20KGS03900
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
5027 Points ∼53% +3%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
4933 Points ∼52% +1%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
4865 Points ∼51%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
4765 Points ∼50% -2%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (3381 - 5342, n=15)
4691 Points ∼49% -4%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung CM871a MZNTY256HDHP
4577 Points ∼48% -6%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1011 - 5544, n=135)
3543 Points ∼37% -27%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo IdeaPad 320S-13IKB
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
3796 Points ∼62% +13%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
3780 Points ∼62% +12%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018-20KGS03900
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
3752 Points ∼62% +11%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung CM871a MZNTY256HDHP
3728 Points ∼61% +11%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (3255 - 4017, n=20)
3630 Points ∼60% +8%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
3471 Points ∼57% +3%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
3371 Points ∼55%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1027 - 4182, n=194)
2978 Points ∼49% -12%
PCMark 10 - Score
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018-20KGS03900
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
3905 Points ∼50% +5%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
3728 Points ∼48%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
3678 Points ∼47% -1%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (2629 - 4012, n=17)
3519 Points ∼45% -6%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung CM871a MZNTY256HDHP
3449 Points ∼44% -7%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320S-13IKB
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
3191 Points ∼41% -14%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
3160 Points ∼41% -15%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1150 - 3860, n=44)
2879 Points ∼37% -23%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3371 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4865 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4125 points
Help

Storage Devices

With write speeds of below 500 MB/s according to the various hard drive benchmarks, the 512 GB Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G doesn't quite live up to expectations - at least when considering that this is a PCIe NVMe drive. The 256 GB variant of the XG5 in the i5 XPS 13 performed inconstantly, but the overall write performance was faster. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon features a 512 GB Samsung PM981 SSD with about 1800 MB/s sequential write speeds.

See our table of SSDs and HDDs for more benchmark comparisons. 

AS SSD
AS SSD
AS SSD - Copy
AS SSD - Copy
CrystalDiskMark 3
CrystalDiskMark 3
CrystalDiskMark 5
CrystalDiskMark 5
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 8 Storage
 
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018-20KGS03900
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
HP Spectre 13-af033ng
Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
AS SSD
16%
-71%
88%
-310%
Copy Game MB/s
503.34
291.41
-42%
154.1
-69%
1107.45
120%
381.23
-24%
Copy Program MB/s
570.18
206.97
-64%
129.74
-77%
460.17
-19%
337.82
-41%
Copy ISO MB/s
584.6
357.42
-39%
192.43
-67%
1246.8
113%
694.82
19%
Score Total
1911
2437
28%
991
-48%
3529
85%
1879
-2%
Score Write
596
1135
90%
323
-46%
1801
202%
105
-82%
Score Read
926
894
-3%
445
-52%
1168
26%
1201
30%
Access Time Write *
0.055
0.038
31%
0.23
-318%
0.027
51%
2.294
-4071%
Access Time Read *
0.059
0.063
-7%
0.09
-53%
0.029
51%
0.073
-24%
4K-64 Write
444.78
937.11
111%
233.14
-48%
1529.32
244%
69.68
-84%
4K-64 Read
678.32
656.76
-3%
368.36
-46%
876.34
29%
1020.29
50%
4K Write
107.45
107.22
0%
68.94
-36%
134.3
25%
1.07
-99%
4K Read
29.36
33.81
15%
27.98
-5%
52.4
78%
45.86
56%
Seq Write
435.82
907.16
108%
213.71
-51%
1376.19
216%
337.45
-23%
Seq Read
2204.54
2037.42
-8%
483.68
-78%
2395.87
9%
1350.57
-39%

* ... smaller is better

Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
Sequential Read: 1763 MB/s
Sequential Write: 460.5 MB/s

GPU Performance

While some competitors rely on dedicated graphics - namely Nvidia's entry-level Pascal-based offering GeForce MX150 - the Dell XPS 13 can only be purchased with the integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 and thus trails the Nvidia-competition by a significant margin when performing graphic-intensive tasks. Everyday workloads like browsing or video streaming pose no problem, but 3D applications push the integrated graphics card quite quickly to its limits. Depending on the benchmark, systems with the Nvidia MX150 are up to more than twice as fast.

For more technical information and additional benchmark comparisons please check our dedicated Intel UHD Graphics 620 GPU page.

Note that the overall 3DMark 11 score improved after the restore as well by roughly 5 percent (2117 vs. 2009 points) largely because of a better Physics Score (6359 vs 4927 points). It is the higher score which is reflected below.

Ice Storm
Ice Storm
Ice Storm Unlimited
Ice Storm Unlimited
Ice Storm Extreme
Ice Storm Extreme
Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
Fire Strike
Fire Strike
3DMark 11
3DMark 11
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8550U
3553 Points ∼20% +102%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320S-13IKB
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8250U
3236 Points ∼18% +84%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018-20KGS03900
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
1880 Points ∼11% +7%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
1755 Points ∼10%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
1743 Points ∼10% -1%
HP Spectre 13-af033ng
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
1604 Points ∼9% -9%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (959 - 1891, n=88)
1468 Points ∼8% -16%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (252 - 3851, n=315)
1077 Points ∼6% -39%
1280x720 Performance GPU
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8550U
3461 Points ∼7% +81%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320S-13IKB
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8250U
2796 Points ∼5% +46%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
1915 Points ∼4%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018-20KGS03900
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
1901 Points ∼4% -1%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
1806 Points ∼4% -6%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (1235 - 1915, n=88)
1657 Points ∼3% -13%
HP Spectre 13-af033ng
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
1587 Points ∼3% -17%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (230 - 4191, n=315)
1143 Points ∼2% -40%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8550U
2826 Points ∼7% +120%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320S-13IKB
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8250U
2324 Points ∼6% +81%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018-20KGS03900
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
1283 Points ∼3% 0%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
1283 Points ∼3%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
1200 Points ∼3% -6%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (557 - 1336, n=76)
1069 Points ∼3% -17%
HP Spectre 13-af033ng
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
1052 Points ∼3% -18%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (222 - 3389, n=202)
920 Points ∼2% -28%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8550U
18346 Points ∼10% +92%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320S-13IKB
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8250U
16227 Points ∼9% +70%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018-20KGS03900
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
10123 Points ∼5% +6%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
9533 Points ∼5%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
9349 Points ∼5% -2%
HP Spectre 13-af033ng
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
8787 Points ∼5% -8%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (6910 - 10493, n=80)
8721 Points ∼5% -9%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1484 - 18946, n=224)
6840 Points ∼4% -28%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8550U
179120 Points ∼38% +80%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
99561 Points ∼21%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
90132 Points ∼19% -9%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (19294 - 205860, n=63)
89872 Points ∼19% -10%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (67741 - 104630, n=42)
86400 Points ∼18% -13%
3DMark 11 Performance
2117 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
71022 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
8813 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
1182 points
Help
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 71.234.630.210fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 2212.2fps

Stress Test

As always, we subject the review notebook to unrealistically high loads with synthetic benchmarks to identify throttling and potential stability issues. When running Prime95, the CPU cores immediately drop to 2.5 - 2.6 GHz, since the temperature increases to 98 - 99 C within seconds. After about half an hour, the fans run at a steady speed while the CPU fluctuates between 2.0 - 2.7 GHz at temperatures ranging from 77 to 86 C. Note that the sibling with i5 processor reaches the same speeds and consequently offers very similar performance as well. 

Under Furmark load, the integrated GPU starts out at 1150 MHz at 50 C, but the temperature rises quickly and the frequency subsequently drops to between 900 - 1100 MHz at 70 - 86 C. Running both Prime95 and FurMark in parallel will throttle the CPU clock rate to between 1.2 - to 1.4 GHz; the GPU runs at 700 - 900 MHz with the temperatures in the 65 - 72 C range.

The results above show that the XPS 13 7360 with i5 processor actually maintains about the same clock speeds at different load levels, which again helps to explain the minimal differences in performance between the two processor versions.

According to 3DMark 11, the performance declines just about 1 percent on average with the notebook running on battery power.

Prime95 stress
Prime95 stress
FurMark stress
FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (°C)
Prime95 Stress 2.0-2.7 - 77-86
FurMark Stress - 900-1100 70-86
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 1.2-1.4 700-900 65-72

Emissions

System Noise

The dual fans remain completely silent when performing minor task like word processing or web browsing. At higher sustained loads, the fans reach up to 42 dB; moderate loads result in a noise floor of about 32 dB. In other words: the XPS 13 with Core i7-8550U is exactly as loud as its sibling with i5-8250U CPU. We appreciate Dell's effort here, as the XPS 13 is free from the pulsating fan behavior which can get annoying really quick and plagues many competitors.

As of late, many Dell systems have been affected by noticeable coil whine - and our XPS 13 is unfortunately no exception. The high-pitched electronic noise is easily audible from 2 feet away especially when running SSD benchmarks.  

Twin fans (~30 mm) with dual heat pipe design
Twin fans (~30 mm) with dual heat pipe design
Dell XPS 13 9370 (White: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: 3DMark06, Orange: Witcher 3, Green: Prime95+FurMark)
Dell XPS 13 9370 (White: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: 3DMark06, Orange: Witcher 3, Green: Prime95+FurMark)

Noise Level

Idle
28 / 28 / 28 dB(A)
Load
32.5 / 42.2 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 (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 28 dB(A)
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
Lenovo IdeaPad 320S-13IKB
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018-20KGS03900
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung CM871a MZNTY256HDHP
HP Spectre 13-af033ng
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Noise
-2%
-8%
-3%
-3%
2%
-1%
off / environment *
28
29
-4%
30.13
-8%
29.4
-5%
28.9
-3%
28.4
-1%
30.13
-8%
Idle Minimum *
28
29
-4%
30.13
-8%
30
-7%
28.9
-3%
28.4
-1%
30.13
-8%
Idle Average *
28
29
-4%
30.3
-8%
30
-7%
28.9
-3%
28.4
-1%
30.13
-8%
Idle Maximum *
28
29
-4%
30.3
-8%
30
-7%
32.5
-16%
28.4
-1%
30.13
-8%
Load Average *
32.5
32
2%
39.2
-21%
32.2
1%
35.1
-8%
33.2
-2%
31.5
3%
Load Maximum *
42.2
40.1
5%
41
3%
38.8
8%
35.1
17%
35.2
17%
33.5
21%
Witcher 3 ultra *
35.2

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

The XPS 13 is an extremely compact and consequently quite dense notebook, so it does get pretty warm despite the dual 30 mm fans Dell was able to incorporate into the chassis. While the palm rests stay quite cool - the left side does get a few degrees warmer than the right side - the middle of the keyboard can reach 45 C when the XPS 13 is subjected to heave loads (stress test - Prime95 and FurMark in parallel). The left bottom rear corner reaches 47 C, which means that the notebook isn't suitable for lap duty under extreme stress. The Spectre's hot spot of 45 C is more centered on the bottom towards the rear, so it's less noticeable. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018 gets hotter still and reaches up to 53 C. We should mention though that these high temperatures are unlikely occur during normal use and can be ignored for the most part when considering the merits of an Ultrabook.

System idle (top)
System idle (top)
System idle (bottom)
System idle (bottom)
Maximum load (top)
Maximum load (top)
Maximum load (bottom)
Maximum load (bottom)
Max. Load
 38.4 °C
101 F
43.5 °C
110 F
35 °C
95 F
 
 38.2 °C
101 F
45.2 °C
113 F
28.2 °C
83 F
 
 28 °C
82 F
26.6 °C
80 F
24.8 °C
77 F
 
Maximum: 45.2 °C = 113 F
Average: 34.2 °C = 94 F
32.4 °C
90 F
45.4 °C
114 F
47.4 °C
117 F
30 °C
86 F
34.6 °C
94 F
36.4 °C
98 F
28.8 °C
84 F
31.4 °C
89 F
32.8 °C
91 F
Maximum: 47.4 °C = 117 F
Average: 35.5 °C = 96 F
Power Supply (max.)  44 °C = 111 F | Room Temperature 20.4 °C = 69 F | Raytek Raynger ST

Speakers

The integrated stereo speakers on the left and right edges are just loud enough for a medium-sized room without distorting too much, although the chassis reverberates quite noticeably at maximum volume settings. Without the included Waves MaxxAudio Pro software, the sound is decidedly lackluster with non-existent bass, but tweaking the settings via the included equalizer helps out a little in that department. Still, for watching movies and especially when listening to music we recommend a pair of high-quality headphones. 

Waves MaxxAudio Pro with configurable equalizer
Waves MaxxAudio Pro with configurable equalizer
Steep drop-off at 250 Hz
Steep drop-off at 250 Hz
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2034.135.52534.534.6313431.84031.733.55030.9326329.533.48030.630.410029.33412529.438.216027.9502002655.225025.958.631525.958.340024.960.550024.862.6630246680023.569.8100023.371.5125022.971160022.769.3200022.868.4250022.767.4315022.565.7400022.364.3500022.764630022.668.4800022.672.61000022.665.11250022.753.91600022.854.6SPL35.280.3N2.449.7median 22.9Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHDmedian 64.3Delta1.46.435.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHzmedian 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (72.59 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 15.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.5% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (4.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.6% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (7.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (17.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 49% of all tested devices in this class were better, 7% similar, 45% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 19%, worst was 47%
Compared to all devices tested
» 28% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 66% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 2% of all tested devices in this class were better, 1% similar, 97% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 19%, worst was 47%
Compared to all devices tested
» 2% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Power consumption when idling ranges from 5 W to 8 W and matches the draw of the XPS 13 with i5 CPU almost exactly, although the minimum power consumptions is slightly higher. At medium load levels (3DMark06), the review notebook once again requires as much as its lower-powered sibling. During the stress test with Prime95 and FurMark we recorded a maximum power consumption of about 49 W - the model with i5 draws 1 W more. The power adapter is rated for only 45 W and will be pushed past the comfort zone at high loads.

Power consumption jumps to 50 W when Prime95 is initiated at the 10s mark
Power consumption jumps to 50 W when Prime95 is initiated at the 10s mark
Stable power consumption when running Prime95 and FurMark
Stable power consumption when running Prime95 and FurMark
Jump of 4 W when brightness is increased from 0 % to 100% at the 20s mark
Jump of 4 W when brightness is increased from 0 % to 100% at the 20s mark
Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.27 / 0.87 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 5 / 8.3 / 8.8 Watt
Load midlight 46.4 / 48.6 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
8550U, UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G, IPS, 3840x2160, 13.3
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G, IPS, 3840x2160, 13.3
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
8550U, GeForce MX150, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A, IPS, 1920x1080, 13.3
Lenovo IdeaPad 320S-13IKB
8250U, GeForce MX150, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP, IPS LED, 1920x1080, 13.3
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018-20KGS03900
8550U, UHD Graphics 620, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ, IPS, 2560x1440, 14
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
8250U, GeForce MX150, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, IPS, 1920x1080, 13.3
HP Spectre 13-af033ng
8550U, UHD Graphics 620, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP, IPS, 1920x1080, 13.3
Power Consumption
5%
26%
10%
-6%
9%
24%
Idle Minimum *
5
4.3
14%
2.2
56%
3.4
32%
3.8
24%
3.9
22%
2.8
44%
Idle Average *
8.3
8
4%
5
40%
6.1
27%
8.9
-7%
7
16%
6.2
25%
Idle Maximum *
8.8
8.1
8%
8
9%
7.7
12%
11.9
-35%
7.5
15%
9.4
-7%
Load Average *
46.4
46.6
-0%
33
29%
44.2
5%
47.5
-2%
44.4
4%
32.2
31%
Load Maximum *
48.6
49.8
-2%
49.4
-2%
60.3
-24%
52.5
-8%
55.1
-13%
36.6
25%
Witcher 3 ultra *
37.6
32.8

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Although the power consumption of the two notebooks is near-identical, the i7 model lasted a good hour longer than its i5-equipped sibling during our WLAN test (brightness of 150 nits, balanced profile setting, 30-second refresh loop using the Edge browser). Variances in WLAN and background activity/downloads could be responsible for the differences. The predecessor Dell XPS 13 9360 with the same i7 CPU lasted almost 10 hours thanks to its larger 60 Wh battery and lower power minimums.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
13h 39min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
7h 45min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 49min
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
8550U, UHD Graphics 620, 52 Wh
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 52 Wh
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
8550U, GeForce MX150, 50 Wh
Lenovo IdeaPad 320S-13IKB
8250U, GeForce MX150, 36 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018-20KGS03900
8550U, UHD Graphics 620, 57 Wh
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
7200U, HD Graphics 620, 30 Wh
HP Spectre 13-af033ng
8550U, UHD Graphics 620, 43 Wh
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 2018
8250U, GeForce MX150, 39 Wh
Battery Runtime
-3%
21%
-23%
24%
-33%
-15%
-18%
Reader / Idle
819
869
6%
1240
51%
736
-10%
1328
62%
695
-15%
779
-5%
WiFi v1.3
465
408
-12%
538
16%
344
-26%
519
12%
279
-40%
352
-24%
368
-21%
Load
109
106
-3%
105
-4%
73
-33%
106
-3%
60
-45%
104
-5%
77
-29%
Witcher 3 ultra
81

Pros

+ attractive design with extremely narrow bezels
+ small footprint
+ very bright UHD display
+ unobtrusive fan system
+ fingerprint reader
+ good ergonomics overall

Cons

- disappointing performance compared to the i5 version
- slow write rates of the the Toshiba SSD
- RAM is soldered onto the motherboard
- smaller battery and shorter battery life than the predecessor
- slow display response times
- noticeable coil whine
- glossy display

Verdict

In review: Dell XPS 13 9370 i7-8550U 4K UHD
In review: Dell XPS 13 9370 i7-8550U 4K UHD

So, is the the XPS 13 9370 with i7 processor a better choice than its less expensive sibling with i5 CPU? At this point in time, the answer can only be a resounding "no". Aside from the battery life - which surprisingly beats that of the i5 UHD model - the performance of our particular XPS 13 review unit is somewhat disappointing. That is not to say that the i7-8550U necessarily performs much worse in this particular implementation than in other notebooks, but the fact remains that the i7-based XPS 13 9370 can't really distance itself from our previous review model with i5 CPU, which costs hundreds less. It is possible that we ended up with a defective unit - the blue screens and the fatal system crash certainly make this a plausible explanation. Should we get the chance to review a replacement model at a later time, we will update this review accordingly.

That said, the XPS 13 9370 is certainly a pleasing every-day companion with a great display - slow response times notwithstanding - and good ergonomics all around. Especially the fan control is executed to perfection, as the surface temperatures under normal use and low to medium loads remain pleasant and the system noise is a lot more steady and less obtrusive than we've come to expect from a thin-and-light.

The XPS 13 9370 with i7-8550U is only a compelling choice if a larger SSD and the maximum amount of RAM are a top concern. An i5 model with 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB SSD would get our vote every time, but at this point in time Dell doesn't offer this particular configuration.  

Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD - 04/20/2018 v6
Bernie Pechlaner

Chassis
92 /  98 → 94%
Keyboard
89%
Pointing Device
87%
Connectivity
58 / 80 → 72%
Weight
72 / 35-78 → 87%
Battery
90%
Display
86%
Games Performance
60 / 68 → 88%
Application Performance
89 / 87 → 100%
Temperature
90 / 91 → 99%
Noise
94%
Audio
80 / 91 → 88%
Camera
44 / 85 → 52%
Add Points
-2%
Average
74%
87%
Subnotebook - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Dell XPS 13 9370 (i7-8550U, 4K UHD) Laptop Review
Bernie Pechlaner, 2018-04-23 (Update: 2018-05-11)
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 ;-).