Intel Evo Spotlight - Dell XPS 13

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Intel Evo certification is a badge of honor in the mobile computer space, guaranteeing a laptop has been vetted by Intel to meet a number of important milestones for quality, performance, battery life, and responsiveness. Only Intel laptops can be Intel Evo laptops, but not all of them meet those strict specifications.

If you’re looking for a laptop that does everything well, features some of the latest hardware, and supports the latest technologies, then opting for an Intel Evo certified laptop can be a great way to guarantee you’re getting an excellent machine for your money. If you're looking for more about Intel Evo specifications, check out our breakdown over here.

Dell XPS 13 Series Breakdown

Dell’s XPS 13 laptops have been some of the best all-around laptops for years, and the current generation is no exception. The XPS 13 9310 2-in-1 is fully Intel Evo certified, meaning that it takes full advantage of Intel’s 11th-generation Tiger Lake processors with Xe graphics, supports Intel Wi-Fi 6 wireless networking, has Thunderbolt 4 ports for faster wired connectivity, and is designed to be instantly wakeable from sleep mode for fantastic responsiveness.

At its heart, the XPS 13 9310 2-in-1 features an Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor with four cores and support for eight simultaneous threads. It can hit a maximum turbo frequency of 4.7GHz, making it blisteringly fast in productivity tasks like photo and video editing, or even in some light gaming thanks to the Xe onboard graphics. This isn’t a laptop that’s going to handle the latest AAA games with ease, but if you play older games, indie titles, or esports games, it’ll have no problem hitting high frame rates and maintaining a smooth gaming experience.

Memory

The base model for this design starts with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of solid state storage – more than enough for everyday Windows use, web browsing, streaming your favorite TV shows and movies, and light work.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to do more intense work, enjoy web browsing with tens of tabs open at once, or want a machine that’s a little more future proof, there’s also an option with a more capable 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of SSD storage. That’s enough space for Windows, a handful of games, and plenty of added room for photos and videos.

The top-spec version of the Dell XPS 13 9310 2-in-1 has the same CPU and GPU as its siblings, but it ups the memory capacity to 32GB and increases storage to a full terabyte of SSD space. That kind of configuration is best suited to those doing heavier photo and video editing, or working with extremely large databases in Office documents.

Screens

All of the displays on the Dell XPS 13 9310 are gorgeous, no matter which configuration you opt for, but there are a couple of choices to make on that front. The base model comes with a 13.4-inch 1,920 x 1,080 touchscreen display. It features gorgeous colors and an incredibly bright panel, so it’s rich and vibrant whether you’re watching a movie, playing games, or just browsing the web.

However, the higher-end configurations upgrade the screen to something truly special. Those come fitted with a 3,840 x 2,400 touchscreen display – a super high resolution in such a compact screen size that delivers an exceptional picture. Combined with a high brightness of over 500 nits, and gorgeous coloring, and there are few laptops that look as good as the Dell XPS 13.

Taking it truly over the top are the ultra-thin bezels on this laptop. Where many 2-in-1 designs opt for chunkier bezels to provide more grip room when in tablet mode, Dell opted for a laptop-first design that really makes the screen look edgeless.

Battery Life

 While high-end displays have in the past been a bit of a drain on battery life, part of the Intel Evo certification is guaranteeing a lengthy battery life of at least nine hours of everyday use. That comes from hardware choices, clever optimizations of screen brightness, keyboard backlighting, and component throttling, to make sure that you get consistent performance and a great-looking screen, without sacrificing battery life. Intel Evo laptops like this are also designed to charge fast, so even if the battery starts to run low, or you need to power it up quickly before you run somewhere, you can get yourself a few hours’ worth of power with a short charge cycle.

Connections & Features

When it comes to connecting to local networks or your favorite accessories, the Dell XPS 13 9310 comes with full support for Wi-Fi 5 and 6, so you can enjoy the fastest internet connection and local network transfer speeds. There’s no RJ45 Ethernet port, but you can always plug in an adapter to one of the laptop’s two Thunderbolt 4/USB-C ports. Each of those offer the maximum 40Gbps of bandwidth, so whether you’re looking to use an Ethernet connection, run a high-end external display, plug in one or multiple super-fast external drives, you have plenty of throughputs to work with.

There are only two of them, however, alongside a headphone jack, and microSD card reader, so if you want to plug in a number of wired accessories, it may be worth considering a Thunderbolt dock. Those can take full advantage of the massive bandwidth offered by a single Thunderbolt connection to offer multiple USB-A and USB-C connections over the same port. It can also expand your XPS 13’s connectivity options with Ethernet and external display connections, like HDMI and DisplayPort.

Either of the Thunderbolt 4 ports can be used for charging too, so when it comes time to recharge the battery, you don’t necessarily have to unplug anything to get it juiced up again.

Audio isn’t the best feature of the XPS 13 9310, but it’s not bad either. Although you’ll get the best sound by plugging in a pair of your favorite headphones, it still sports a pair of stereo speakers that are mounted near to the edge of the laptop. That makes sure that even if you have it on your lap or resting flush against a desk, you’ll still get decent volume and clarity. There’s some surprising bass in there if you’re listening to the right music, and even if you crank the volume up, the build quality of this laptop ensures that it won’t ring or rattle when the action gets going.

Each of these laptops comes in Dell’s attractive platinum silver coloring, with a classic black outline for the bezels around the display, only enhancing their trim visage. The webcam, as has been the case for a few XPS 13 generations, is located back up to the top. It’s 720p, so you’ll get a great picture for conference calls and video chats with friends and family, and the dual-array microphones will ensure that everyone can hear you clearly.

Portability

As a modern ultrabook in every sense of the word, the Dell XPS 13 9310 tops off its combination of high performance, great battery life, and even better looks, with a highly portable design. It measures just 11.69-inches across and is only just over half an inch thick at its widest point. That makes it compatible with just about any laptop bag ever made, as well as making it easy to slip inside a backpack or messenger bag for ease of transportation.

To make sure it doesn’t weigh you down when carried around all day too, this laptop weighs in at just 2.9 pounds. That’s not the lightest of laptops, as there are some that dip below the two-pound mark for ultimate portability, but it is pretty exceptional for a 2-in-1 with a standard fixed keyboard. It’s certainly light enough to use in tablet mode without getting fatigued

Conclusion

Overall, the XPS 13 9310 is an excellent example of what a modern ultrabook can be, and with its Intel Evo certification, it has met and exceeded all of the most important considerations for what most look for in a laptop. Combine that with its excellent touchscreen capabilities and the sheer gorgeous, eye-catching nature of its display, and you’ll find few better all-around laptops at this kind of price.

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