When it comes to Windows laptops, one of my favourites each year is Dell’s XPS 13. For the past few years, Dell has continually improved upon each previous model and this year’s Model 9300 (aka 2020) is no exception.
Design & Hardware
One of the strongest aspects of the XPS 13 is the hardware. Dell seems to nail it every time, the body is made from a machined aluminum body that feels premium.
When I tested the XPS 13 (2019), I was surprised how Dell was able to make the bezels so thin and for the 2020 model, Dell has somehow made the bezels even smaller than it’s basically bezel-less. They even managed to put a webcam on the top with an IR camera for Windows Hello support.
The model I tested of the XPS 13 (2020) had a 13-inch Full HD touch display, which still looks great and has support for Dolby Vision. Having a Full HD screen does help a lot with making the battery last longer.
One thing to point out is that the hinge of the laptop doesn’t always stay close when holding the laptop sideways. This could be an issue as dust and debris could get in.
The keyboard on the laptop feels like the 2019 XPS 13 and much better than the MagLev Keyboard featured on the latest XPS 13 2-in-1. The keys have a good amount of travel and feel great to type on. The keyboard is also backlit with two lighting options.
In the upper right-hand corner of the keyboard is the power button which also has a fingerprint reader for Windows Hello login. In addition to fingerprint login, the XPS 13 also featured an IR camera for Windows Hello Face login.
On average, I was getting around 10-12 hours but Dell claims you can get up to 19 hours. Powering the XPS 13 (2020) is the 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. The laptop also comes with Intel Iris Plus graphics.
Performance on the XPS 13 (2020) was great, I had no issues with any slowdowns but there were a few occasions when the bottom of the laptop got slightly warm.
There’s also Killer Wi-Fi 6 support, Windows Hello login, 2 Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, microSD card reader, headphone jack and a USB-C to USB Type-A adapter is included.
If you’re in need of more ports, there’s a couple of options:
- Aukey 8-in-1 USB-C hub – $64.99 CAD
- It connects over USB-C and comes with 3 USB 3.0 Type-A ports, 100W USB-C PD pass-through port, SD & microSD card slots, Gigabit Ethernet and HDMI out (up to 4K at 30Hz).
- Anker Docking Station, PowerExpand Elite 13-in-1 Thunderbolt 3 Dock – $359 CAD
- Equipped with dual Thunderbolt 3 (85W and 15W) ports, 2 USB-C ports (18W PD), 4 USB-A ports, an HDMI port, an Ethernet port, SD/microSD card slots, and a 3.5 mm AUX port
- Anker Docking Station, PowerExpand 7-in-1 Thunderbolt 3 Mini Dock – $249 CAD
- Equipped with a Thunderbolt 3 USB-C port, USB-C and USB-A data ports, an HDMI port, Ethernet port, and SD card/microSD card slots
If you’re looking for more USB-C accessories for your XPS 13 (2020), check out our USB-C Accessories Guide.
Just like last year’s XPS 13, the XPS 13 (2020) charges over USB-C and one thing I didn’t like was that the charging cable had two white LED lights on it and the front of the laptop (near the trackpad) has a white LED. When the charger is plugged in, the LED indicators on the USB-C connector of the cable would light up.
Pricing and configurations are as follows:
- 10th Gen Intel Core i3 – 4GB RAM – 256GB SSD – Non-touch Display – $1,449 CAD
- 10th Gen Intel Core i5 – 8GB RAM – 256GB SSD – Non-touch Display – $1,899 CAD
- 10th Gen Intel Core i7 – 8GB RAM – 256GB SSD – Touch Display – $2,099 CAD
- 10th Gen Intel Core i7 – 16GB RAM – 512GB SSD – Touch Display – $2,299 CAD*
*The model I tested
The XPS 13 (2020) is available now from Dell’s website and comes in black and white colour options.
The XPS 13 (2020) comes with Windows 10. The laptop was able to handle most tasks with ease.
The laptop does come with a few Dell pre-installed apps including:
- Dell Customer Connect
- Dell Digital Delivery
- Dell Mobile Connect
- Dell Power Manager
- Dell Update
- My Dell
- Dell Cinema Guide
- Dell CinemaColor
The Dell Cinema Guide is powered by Reelgood and is basically a streaming service search engine. So if you’re trying to find out what service Top Gear is streaming on, the service can help you. When you create a Reelgood account, you’ll be asked which streaming services you’re subscribed to. You won’t have to provide your login for your respective streaming service subscriptions.
One thing to note is that Reelgood only works for US streaming services and US versions of Netflix, Prime Video etc. An alternative to Reelgood/Dell Cinema Guide is JustWatch, which does work with Canadian services such as Crave, Cineplex Store and more.
The rest of the pre-installed apps are from Microsoft and other ones from Intel, Killer and more.
If you’ve used Windows 10, then you’ll find mostly the same experience as any other Windows laptop these days.
The Dell XPS 13 (2020) is a great Windows laptop with powerful specs and brings new and improved refinements with each model.
- Great build quality and premium design
- Display that has even thinner bezels and looks good
- Great performance
- Windows Hello support via fingerprint sensor and IR camera
- Keyboard is comfortable to type on
- Good battery life
- USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 3 support
- Price keeps increasing with each new model
- Too many charging indicators
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