First Impressions: Dell XPS 13 9310 (Late 2020) Is A Masterpiece

Dell XPS 13 9310

The Dell XPS Unit being tested for this hands-on review is the frost white Dell XPS 13 9310 that has Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, and a 512GB SSD. It was released in late 2020 and is selling at Best Buy for $1549 ($350 off the regular price).

You have to hand it to Dell. The XPS 13 line, which debuted in January of 2015, has become far more influential than anybody had ever thought. Ever since Dell reduced the bezels, companies such as Apple, HP, and even Microsoft have taken note. At first, because the bezels were so small, Dell had to put the webcam on the bottom. However, that’s not the case anymore.

I want to use the XPS 13 9310 for a couple more days before I write my full review. However,  here are some of my first impressions:

  • This screams “Premium!” in every aspect — the keyboard, the chassis, and — especially — the screen.
  • You have to mess with the screen settings in order for it to look perfect. You should also make sure you are updated to the latest drivers.
  • A 4K screen on a 13.4-inch laptop certainly is overkill, no matter how beautiful it is. A 3K screen would save battery life, and most eyes wouldn’t be able to tell a difference.
  • The speakers are still on the bottom, but they sound much better than previous versions of the XPS 13. The sound isn’t tinny anymore; it is rich and detailed. It’s definitely not the sound quality of the MacBook Pro 16, but it is surprisingly good for a 13.4-inch laptop.

The latest XPS 13 has a very thin but sturdy design.

  • The webcam is kind of grainy. In 2019 this would be okay, but webcams have become a lot more prevalent since the pandemic.
  • The battery life on the 4K version so far is meh. But when put in low-power mode (which is more than enough power unless you are doing video editing), you can get about five to six hours of use. It’s not great but not awful either.
  • This is the best keyboard I’ve ever used on a device. It’s even better than the Magic Keyboard on the newest MacBook Pro devices.
  • The trackpad is also fantastic — very buttery and responsive.
  • This isn’t a 2-in-1, but I wish the screen bended back slightly more.
Conclusion So Far
I test out a lot of laptops, and I can definitely say I’m in love. Will the honeymoon last? Find out more when a full review is published either at the end of this week or the beginning of the next. 

About Daryl

Daryl Deino has been a technology enthusiast since 1995 and has written for several newspapers and technology sites. Please reach him at [email protected]
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