Dell XPS 13 9380: reliable and very compact laptop for serious business

    Hello, Habr! Today we want to talk in detail about the new version of our flagship ultrabook XPS 13 9380 . The machine is interesting at once with several features. Firstly, it is one of the most compact and lightest 13-inch laptops on the market. Secondly, very good materials are used here - metal and carbon fiber. Thirdly, the gadget is equipped with wonderful Full HD or 4K displays suitable for professional graphics work, and in the first case it also has a long battery life. And these are far from all the benefits. Interesting? Then welcome to kat!

    Design and ergonomics

    If someone says that all laptops are the same, it is unlikely that the owner of any Dell XPS 13 - regardless of the generation of the laptop - will be able to agree with this statement. The design of the flagship ultrabook Dell is remembered for a long time and is easily recognizable even from afar. Of course, this also applies to the new model 9380. Compared to last year's XPS 13 9370, the laptop has not changed much, but just in case, we will briefly recall what the whole point is.

    First off, this computer is truly beautiful. Above and below - all-metal panels with a pleasant to the touch and not collecting fingerprints matte surface. Inside between them is a carbon fiber working panel. Here the handprints are already more noticeable, but they are easily removed, plus the texture in a small cell masks them well.

    Secondly, the Dell XPS 13 9380 is a rugged computer. The cover from pressing practically does not bend, the lower panel and the carbon working panel - even more so. Unless between the buttons, the material becomes thinner and when pressed, it still bends a little. This can be seen if you look closely at the process of typing, but tactilely absolutely not noticeable and, as a result, does not interfere with work at all. In a word, build quality and materials are on top.

    Thirdly, the laptop is very compact. The thickness does not exceed 15 mm, and the weight is 1.23 kg. This is one of the best indicators in the class, especially if you recall that we are talking about a 13-inch laptop, and not about an 11- or 12-inch laptop. And the area below is best described in the photo below. By the area of ​​the XPS 13 9380, it can be compared with a regular A4 sheet.

    On the global market, the Dell XPS 13 9380 is available in three colors, but only the classic version with a silver metallic case and a black carbon fiber panel is officially delivered to Russia. The other two options are Rose Gold (gold metal + white work panel) and Frost White (silver metal + white work panel).

    By the way, we cannot but pay attention to one important change. If in previous models, because of the extremely thin frames around the display, the webcam module was placed under the screen, which was not an ideal solution due to the inconvenient view for many users during a conference call, now it is where it should be - right above the display. Hurrah!

    The maximum opening angle of the cover has not changed, and the hinges still perfectly hold it in absolutely any position chosen by the user.

    Interfaces and Communications

    Choosing a thin-case laptop leads to the inevitable rejection of full-sized USB Type-A ports. The Dell XPS 13 9380 is no exception. On the left side of the computer are two USB Type-C with Thunderbolt 3 support.

    There is also a familiar indicator of the remaining battery charge. Press the small button and a certain number of LEDs light up. There are five of them, 20% charge per each. Before going to the meeting, you can quickly see the charge level and, if necessary, recharge the laptop during the fees.

    At the opposite end of the XPS 13 9380 is another USB Type-C with DisplayPort support, a card reader for microSD cards (average write and read speeds are 170-200 megabytes per second, which is a lot by class standards) and a combined audio jack for headphones or a headset.

    According to a good tradition, such a compact adapter from USB Type-C to USB Type-A is included in the package. So there will be no surprises - both flash drives and wired mice can be connected to the new XPS 13 without any problems immediately after purchase.

    For connecting to wireless networks, the Killer 1435 adapter supports Bluetooth 4.2, both Wi-Fi bands and even MU-MIMO 2x2. There are no problems with connection stability and data transfer speed. This is a fairly quick and reliable solution that will not disappoint either home or corporate users.

    Input Devices

    The Dell XPS 13 9380 has exactly the same keyboard installed as in the previous model - there are no changes at all. Accordingly, all the nuances and features are exactly the same: the buttons have a short (but not too) stroke, moderate resistance and a clearly noticeable pressure point.

    The keyboard is quiet and typing long texts on it is very convenient - your hands do not get tired. And the backlight did not disappear anywhere - there are two levels.

    You can find fault, as always, with smaller F-buttons and small arrows, combined with Page Up and Page Down. But here is the time to remember that the laptop is compact - space is worth its weight in gold. Plus, of course, to localization - some Russian letters do not look quite usual. Dear Habr users, they have already written to us about this more than once, but, alas, changes do not always happen quickly and they do not always depend only on the Russian office of the company. We continue to work in this direction.

    The fingerprint scanner is still integrated into the power button of the laptop.

    The touchpad is also already familiar to users of previous XPS: compact (10.5x6 cm) and with a perfectly smooth surface on which the finger glides just perfectly. The mouse on trips or even in the office replaces with a bang.


    The Dell XPS 13 9380 can be equipped with one of two different screens. In both cases, the diagonal is exactly 13 inches, but the resolution of the IPS-matrix can be either 1920x1080 or 3840x2160 pixels, while the second option is also touch-sensitive. The latter today will be discussed mainly in the main.

    You can immediately say that this laptop is suitable for designers and photographers, because the color gamut in the case of both matrices completely covers the sRGB range with an error of a maximum of a few percent, depending on specific samples. Flicker tests both panels pass without problems.

    Viewing angles are very wide, with strong color deviations do not "float", only the brightness decreases slightly. The contrast ratio is 1500: 1 and the maximum brightness is 400 nits. As a result, you can work on a laptop even on the street on a sunny day. The only caveat is that the protective glass of the display is glossy and catches glare from direct rays of light. If you choose a place in the shade, then there will be no discomfort. Well, for those who have a categorical dislike for gloss, we have good news: the FHD display in the XPS 13 9380, unlike the 4K screen, is matte.

    We can advise demanding users immediately after purchase to look in the BIOS and pay attention to some display control parameters. The first is maximum brightness. When running on battery power, it decreases slightly: if you suddenly have a little 350-360 nits and you always want 400, then the function can be turned off. The second is automatic brightness control depending on the ambient light. This function is active by default in order to save energy, but it can also be deactivated.

    Hardware and Performance

    Dell XPS 13 9380 can be equipped with three different processors. Among them, there is one very unusual - Intel Core i3-8145U. It is installed in the most budget laptop configuration, which also includes only 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB SSD. We start precisely from this because such a modification is not currently supplied to Russia.

    The next oldest configuration includes the Intel Core i5-8265U, and our test sample is one of the “top” ones, with the Intel Core i7-8565U inside. Both of these chips are updated versions of the already familiar i5-8250U and i7-8550U processors. The difference is only in the increased maximum frequencies (from 3.4 to 3.9 and from 4 to 4.6 GHz, respectively), which at the “short distance” gives the new products some advantage, but with a long load the performance level remains at the same level. The integrated graphics also did not change - this is again the Intel UHD 620 with a clock frequency of 300 to 1100 MHz in both cases. Here's what the results of XPS 13 9380 look like with the new i7 in the Cinebench R15 benchmark in comparison with other laptops previously tested on Habré:

    The noise level and performance level directly depends on the profile that the user selects in the Dell Power Manager program, which will be discussed in more detail later. With the Quiet profile, coolers will not bother you at all. In Balanced, they can sometimes make themselves felt if several programs are open, but colleagues sitting in the office nearby will not hear it. If you need the maximum return on “iron” with the profile “Maximum Performance”, then you should focus on noise at a level of 40 to 42-45 dB.

    In idle mode or working with documents and web surfing the laptop remains cold. But even at maximum load, you don’t have to complain about an excessively high temperature - it only exceeds the mark of 40 degrees in the place where the processor is located, i.e. in the middle upper part of the working panel, where the user's hands fall infrequently. And on your lap you can work with a computer - it will be a little warm, but not uncomfortable.

    RAM in XPS 13 9380 configurations with Intel Core i5 is always 8 GB, but laptop versions with i7 on board can be with either 8 or 16 GB of RAM. The latter is relevant for the two oldest modifications; in our test today we have just the “top-end” of them, which also includes a very fast PCIe NVMe SSD drive made by Samsung. Here's what the results look like in the overall PCMark 10 system performance test compared to the XPS 13 9380 and other Dell laptops. It can be seen from the table that the new model went a little ahead relatively old. In general, the results are good - not a single office or home task will put a laptop into a dead end, and with a resolution of 4K, the hardware successfully copes.

    And here are the results of measuring the speed of an SSD in Crystal Disk Mark. Please note that in the younger configurations, PCIe NVMe SSDs are also used, but somewhat slower.

    About gaming performance, as before, there is nothing special to tell. The integrated graphics remained the same, the test results, respectively, turn out to be about the same. It is best to forget about games on the XPS 13 9380 with a 4K display altogether, with the FHD display there are some very few options with launching online projects in the “native” resolution, but no more than at the minimum graphics settings.

    Upgrade Opportunities

    Surely you have already guessed that this part of the review will be the shortest. Like last year's XPS 13 9370, as well as the vast majority of ultra-compact ultrabooks, the XPS 13 9380 cannot be surprising in terms of upgrade options. Almost all of the key hardware components are soldered to the motherboard, including RAM - after purchase, its volume cannot be increased.

    The only thing that can be changed is the SSD drive in the M2.2280 form factor. In our specific test sample, by the way, Samsung PM981 is used.

    Well, since we have already removed the bottom metal panel from the laptop by unscrewing eight Torx screws, we can at the same time see how the hinges of the lid look.

    Autonomy and charging time

    You can charge the Dell XPS 13 9380 through any of the three USB Type-C connectors on the chassis. This is done using a very compact and lightweight adapter with a power of 45 watts. Together with all the wires, the power supply weighs less than 250 grams: perhaps it is more compact only with laptops with the Intel Y-series processors that are most economical in terms of energy consumption.

    Our specific test sample with a 4K touch screen in Full HD looped playback at maximum brightness was discharged in 3 hours. For such a display, the result is absolutely normal, especially since in the mode of web surfing 6.5-7 hours, this machine will definitely last with a slightly muffled brightness.

    If the XPS 13 9380 requires the longest possible work without recharging, then you need to choose, of course, the configuration not with 4K, but with FHD screens. In this case, the indicators of autonomy in operating modes that do not imply a serious load on the hardware will be significantly higher. In web surfing mode, for example, it is at least 10 hours. The

    battery is the same in versions with FHD and with 4K screens - with a capacity of 52 Wh * h. From the supplied adapter from 0 to 100%, it fully charges in 75-90 minutes. As before, there is a small LED on the charging plug to make it easier to find it in the dark.

    And here comes the time to talk a little bit about the Dell Power Manager program. It is definitely worth getting to know it: this is a very useful thing that allows you to extremely flexibly balance between the performance, power consumption and activity of laptop coolers.

    For example, for web surfing or evening movie watching, you can select the “Quiet” mode, and the fans will not bother you at all, and if it is time to load the processor properly, the “Maximum Performance” mode will help - it will be noisy, but the hardware component will try to give out maximum of their capabilities.


    The cost of Dell XPS 13 9380 in Russia starts at 100,000 rubles . This budget includes the youngest of the modifications on our market with a Full HD display, Intel Core i5-8265U, 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD. A similar configuration, but with a 4K display and i7-8565U will cost about 15,000 rubles more . Well, the “top-end” laptop with 4K, Intel Core i7-8565U, 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of SSD costs about 125-135 thousand rubles .

    As a result, we can say that the XPS 13 9380 is a good choice for those users who have enough capabilities of the Intel U-series processor and integrated graphics and who, at the same time, are looking for a compact and durable 13-inch laptop with a good display. And the use of two different matrices allows you to choose: either FHD and excellent autonomy, or 4K and razor sharpness of the image. Moreover, in both cases, the screens allow you to work with graphics at a professional level. As for the transition from the old XPS to 9380, it ’s too early for owners of last year’s 9370 to think about it: the performance gain is minimal. But the XPS 13 9360 owners can safely recommend such a maneuver.

    As always, you can purchase the Dell XPS 13 9380 from our many authorized distributors. Regarding corporate orders for this model or any other Dell and Dell EMC products, you can safely contact us in personal messages directly on Habré. Well, with technical support or questions on products in general, we are always happy to help in the personal messages of our official VK group . Thanks for attention!

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