Dell XPS 13 Gold Edition (2016) Review – Worlds Best Ultra Puts MBA In Its Place

REPORT SUMMARY AND FINAL THOUGHTS

The day before the offer of this Dell XPS 13 availed itself, I had been very happy working away on my Macbook Air and thinking how well it has held up, considering such low expectations were originally cast for permanent ultrabook batteries.  Battery life remains to be around 10 hours and the hardware and build of the system is amazing.  But then there is the Apple….lifestyle?  It is the way we have to do things in OSX and IOS.  You conform.  As much as I got used to these things, it really was an unfair tradeoff.

Dell XPS 13 9350 Bezel

Admittedly, I never really considered how much I missed being able to have everything neatly organized on my laptop until I set aside the MBA and started personalizing this Dell XPS 13.  Only then did I recognize that I didn’t have to live with iTunes or my Apple ID and password whenever I wanted to add something.  In the end, it all came down to the hardware and this Dell XPS 13 is something that needs to be put in the center of the boardroom table at Apple and looked at very carefully.  It is really that good…world’s best in fact.

Dell XPS 13 9350 with XPS M1330

The truly amazing thing is everything that we are now in business, and as The SSD Review, started with the Dell XPS 1330 in this picture beside the newest XPS 13.  That original XPS 1330 contained the worlds first consumer SSD of which we published the worlds first SSD review back in 2007.  As much as they wouldn’t realize it, Dell was the driving force behind what has become The SSD Review and the full circle that has us reviewing this XPS 9 years after that first ultrabook.  By the way, it still works like a charm with that SSD in it.  Getting back to the newest Dell XPS 13 though…

Dell XPS 13 9350 Gold Face

The Dell XPS 13 displays the world’s top performance when examining SSD read and write transfer speeds, although optimized, but that isn’t close to telling the whole story.  Dell tied this performance in with Intel’s 6th Gen i7-6550U CPU, 8 or 16GB of 1866Mhz RAM, Intel Iris 540 HD Graphics, along with Dell’s 13.3″ QHD+ (3200×1800) Infinity Edge Touch Display.

If we could find any knocks at all with this notebook, the first would be the higher price point for the Gold Edition.   Quite frankly, every 2016 XPS 13 containing this configuration of hardware should be the Gold Edition. Next up…. battery life is just a bit lower than our MBA at just over 8 hours of continuous video play but there is no complaint there at all considering the touch screen on this XPS which I love!  Last but not least…I truly miss Dell XPS Next Day In-Home Repair as much as I would hope to never use.

Dell XPS 13 9350 Gorilla Glass

The Dell XPS 13 isn’t just the best ultrabook available today, it’s the best of everything.  It truly is and it is great to be back Dell!  Editor’s Choice!

Check out the Dell XPS 13 at Amazon Today!

Editors Choice-SSD copy Opt

Dell XPS 13 Review

Appearance
Product Build
Features
Overall Performance
Battery Life
Value and Warranty

World's Best UltraBook!

The Dell XPS 13 pulls ahead as the world's top performing ulktrabook available today. With a 6th Gen i7 CPU, 8/16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, INtel 540 Iris HD Gfx, and a 13.3" 3200x1800 Infinity Edge Touch Display in a 12" ultra footprint, others pale in comparison.

User Rating: 5 ( 1 votes)

20
Leave a Reply

avatar
7 Comment threads
13 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
10 Comment authors
Alpaca_DeanFriso GorterRLYammy_FanQuix Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
JosephAndrews
Guest
JosephAndrews

My decision to purchase the XPS 13 has not yet been finalized–I want a matte touch screen!

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

I don’t think we will ever see the matte screen with that Gorilla Glass. Personally, this was well worth the trade off in knowing that, short of a drop and break, there will not eventually be marks from the keyboard. This glass will likely look brand new for years to come.

Alpaca_Dean
Guest
Alpaca_Dean

Just a suggestion, but what about going with one of those matte-ish screen protector overlays? A couple of faculty have them on really reflective touch screen laptops at the University I work at and they really help a lot..

Quix
Guest
Quix

It’s a choice between the two and will likely remain that way. Unless you can come up with a way to make Gorilla Glass matte. I’d go touch screen on this because the matte screen option isn’t as good. I have the glossy-screen XPS 15 and it’s not a problem except in direct sunlight.

Babies r Gross
Guest
Babies r Gross

Bought one then returned it and bought an MBP. While on paper it looks nice, somehow the performance is not up to par with the MBP. Further, it had this issue where the screen would suddenly turn black and only a hard restart could fix this. Obviously, all work would be lost. This made the computer unusable, and after 12 hours and 4 sessions with Dell customer support I was done. This issue is a known issue and common enough that Reddit has a page on it.

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

Thanks for jumping in and sorry for your experience. I personally love this laptop and, of course, will adjust that view in the report should anything change that view in the future. I haven’t experience ANY BSOD or black screen issues, but then again, I always install my own fresh OS and choose not to rely on manufacturer configurations.

RL
Guest
RL

Les, I appreciate your work. I use OS X at home and Windows at work. I will say that that the OS X 8GB and Windows 16GB (Memory) are comparable. Otherwise, I am settling w/ Windows 8GB. If you are going to dispute this, I’ll label you a fanboy who has lost objectivity. I’m not a Windoze hater, just a knowelegeable user trying to get work done.

Felix
Guest
Felix

Very interesting article. “New owners of the XPS 13 do not have to switch off the SSD as we did; we just wanted 1TB of storage in this ultra.” Does this mean, that even the stock SSD would deliver similarly fast (or at least much faster) benchmark results if software settings would be been set as you did with with the Toshiba XG3? How would the stock SSD compare to the XG3 with the same optimized settings in the OS/bios? At the moment you can get the Samsung PM951 1tb version for less than half the price of the retail… Read more »

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

I apologize for the misrepresentation as what was written did not read as we intended. We have added this to that para: “There is not a person in the world that would be able to differentiate between the stock SSD or the Toshiba XG3 we are testing today, in typical everyday use.” We were able to push the stock SSD only slightly with a fresh install but not come anywhere near the others. The PM951 uses Samsung’s older 19nm TLC NAND flash memory which is slower than the other SSDs we are seeing today. We dug up this PM951 spec… Read more »

Grigore
Guest
Grigore

Les, if you ended up complaining about the “slow” Samsung 951 SSD in this ultrabook, then something’s really wrong. With you, not with the laptop or the SSD. This is an ultrabook, not a desktop replacement. I’d understand if you’d complain about SM951 being chosen instead of the new OCZ (or the SM961 that just went on sale) in a powerful machine that’s designed to take advantage of such fast storage. But this Dell, with its “U” processor, its soldered, slow and small RAM, its lame graphics and such, this is not a workstation but an average laptop in a… Read more »

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

My first impression reading this is that you have misunderstood what I wrote, but more importantly, failed to even gain an understanding of the hardware in this laptop. This ‘U” processor is the Intel 6650U which runs at a base frequency of 2.2GHz with a Turbo max of 3.4GHz. The memory attached to this is 8GB DDR3-1866MHz and, together, they are paired with Intel’s newest Iris 540 HD Graphics which most definityely can be used for gaming. Look around because there are very current examples. This is more power than many have in their desktop. Next up, I never complained… Read more »

Grigore
Guest
Grigore

“failed to even gain an understanding of the hardware in this laptop” – No, sorry, you failed to understand what this whole laptop is. It’s an ultrabook, not a desktop replacement. You are very picky about its storage not being the fastest ever but only the world’s 3rd or 4th. I know very well that this is an ultrabook, and a very fast one, but you expect workstation-like performance from it. As it doesn’t have workstation-like CPU, cooling, memory and anything else, of course it doesn’t have workstation-like storage. – “with a Turbo max of 3.4GHz” – a “U” proc… Read more »

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

I am going to guess you sit behind a workstation extensively as that is your comparable. The problem with that is you cannot fold up and throw that workstation into your bag when you travel. Comparing an ultra to a workstation doesn’t make much sense. As for editing all media and publishing it on the road, I see it all the time when people attend tech events and must get stuff up fast, and by companies much larger than our small website. They manipulate all types of media right then and there….and typically on their Mac. This was the comparison… Read more »

Grigore
Guest
Grigore

Well, my bad then. If editing an SLR-captured video (a single track) and uploading it to an FTP from an expo is what media professionals usually do, then sorry but I had a very wrong impression of that profession. Or maybe your impression is based on the people you see at tech events… A workstation can’t be folded, of course, but an ultrabook is not exactly the answer to an unfoldable workstation. No matter what, an ultrabook can’t hold a candle to a solid workstation. As you asked what portable I’m using… Yeah, it’s a workstation but not a very… Read more »

Yammy_Fan
Guest
Yammy_Fan

For the record, my XPS 13 (Gold edition) shipped with a Toshiba XG3 (THNSN5256GPU7 NV) from the factory. I received it on June 15th. Typical write speeds are over 1000 MB/s when benchmarked. The XPS is a fantastic machine!!

SSD QUICK SEARCH