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The XPS 13 9370 has some of the slowest display response times for an Ultrabook

If you want those super sexy thin bezels, then be prepared to make some sacrifices
If you want those super sexy thin bezels, then be prepared to make some sacrifices
The high contrast, high brightness, thin bezels, deep colors, and photogenic design lead to one major flaw no one talks about.

As manufacturers have told us time and time again, narrow display bezels require the use of special panels. The bezels of the XPS 13 9370 in particular are as narrow as they are partly because Dell was able to source compatible panels from Sharp for both its FHD and 4K UHD SKUs. Unfortunately for said panels, they suffer from an often overlooked characteristic when it comes to the Ultrabook form factor.

As our measurements and table below show, both the XPS 13 9370 FHD and 4K UHD displays have very slow response times for significantly more noticeable ghosting than your average notebook or desktop monitor. The black-to-white response time, for example, is about 23 ms on the new XPS 13 compared to 8 ms or faster on modern desktop monitors. Even competing Ultrabooks like the Asus Zenbook 13, Huawei Matebook X, Apple MacBook Pro 13, and older XPS 13 9360 have much faster black-to-white response times as low as 12 ms. Similarly, gray-to-gray response times are equally as slow on the new XPS 13 relative to other Ultrabooks in its size class.

XPS 13 9370 4K UHD (black-to-white)
XPS 13 9370 4K UHD (black-to-white)
XPS 13 9370 4K UHD (gray-to-gray)
XPS 13 9370 4K UHD (gray-to-gray)
Spectre x360 13 4K UHD for comparison (black-to-white)
Spectre x360 13 4K UHD for comparison (black-to-white)
Spectre x360 13 4K UHD for comparison (gray-to-gray)
Spectre x360 13 4K UHD for comparison (gray-to-gray)

The result is a display that looks gorgeous in still shots because of its ultra-narrow bezels, deep contrast, wide color gamut, and bright backlight. Once in motion, however, the ghosting trails of the mouse cursor and blurrier movements become very apparent. It's certainly no consequence that Dell is explicitly advertising its new XPS 13 9370 with nearly full sRGB coverage, higher resolution options, a brighter 500-nit backlight, and a 23 percent narrower bezel than the XPS 13 9360 without a single word about the plodding black-to-white and gray-to-gray response times.

Do the disappointing response times alone preclude the XPS 13 9370 from being a solid purchase? Certainly not since the notebook is targeted more towards word processing, browsing, and video streaming where ghosting is less likely to distract from the experience. Nonetheless, it's an important aspect of the display that is frequently ignored and it just so happens to be worse on this latest XPS iteration compared to the older XPS 13 9360.

Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
ID: Sharp SHP148B, Name: LQ133D1, Dell P/N: 8XDHY, IPS, 13.3, 3840x2160
Dell XPS 13 9370 FHD i5
SHP1484, IPS, 13.3, 1920x1080
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i7
Sharp SHP144A, IPS, 13.3, 3200x1800
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
B133HAN04.9, IPS LED, 13.3, 1920x1080
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017
APPA033, IPS, 13.3, 2560x1600
Huawei MateBook X
Chi Mei CMN8201 / P130ZDZ-EF1, , 13.3, 2160x1440
Response Times
-21%
33%
46%
34%
47%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
67.2 (31.6, 35.6)
62.4 (32.4, 30)
7%
43.6 (13.6, 30)
35%
22.4 (10.8, 11.6)
67%
42.8 (22.4, 20.4)
36%
33 (15, 18)
51%
Response Time Black / White *
41.6 (22.8, 18.8)
45.6 (24.4, 21.2)
-10%
29.2 (9.2, 20)
30%
31.2 (17.2, 14)
25%
28.8 (14.8, 14)
31%
24 (12, 12)
42%
PWM Frequency
2500 (20)
1008 (20)
-60%
Screen
1%
-5%
-11%
24%
12%
Brightness middle
496.4
428
-14%
396.2
-20%
338
-32%
588
18%
408
-18%
Brightness
469
405
-14%
357
-24%
321
-32%
561
20%
395
-16%
Brightness Distribution
84
87
4%
84
0%
90
7%
92
10%
88
5%
Black Level *
0.5
0.26
48%
0.266
47%
0.35
30%
0.45
10%
0.45
10%
Contrast
993
1646
66%
1489
50%
966
-3%
1307
32%
907
-9%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
2.9
3.8
-31%
3.9
-34%
4.2
-45%
1.7
41%
1.55
47%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
5.26
7.2
-37%
7.58
-44%
6.5
-24%
3.5
33%
2.19
58%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.9
4.4
-13%
4.16
-7%
3.9
-0%
1.9
51%
1.91
51%
Gamma
2.066 106%
2.21 100%
2.31 95%
2.43 91%
2.33 94%
2.34 94%
CCT
7169 91%
7067 92%
6514 100%
7144 91%
6738 96%
6491 100%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
63.9
62.8
-2%
57.5
-10%
60.4
-5%
77.92
22%
61
-5%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
98.2
96.4
-2%
88.7
-10%
93.1
-5%
99.94
2%
96
-2%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-10% / -4%
14% / 1%
18% / -1%
29% / 26%
30% / 18%

* ... smaller is better

Source(s)

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 01 > The XPS 13 9370 has some of the slowest display response times for an Ultrabook
Allen Ngo, 2018-01-31 (Update: 2018-01-31)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.