The Dell XPS 13 OLED is the result of combining cutting-edge hardware with a top display. When the best laptop meets the latest display technology, something special happens — an ultra-portable machine that can handle most tasks while still providing a movie theater experience. Everything we like about previous XPS versions remains, including fast performance, beautiful design, and excellent touchpad performance.
However, there is an equal and opposite reaction to everything. Battery life takes a hit when a high-resolution OLED display is added to the mix. It’s not as bad as you’d expect; the Dell XPS 13 OLED has a battery life of more than 7.5 hours. If you can overlook the device’s below-average runtimes, there’s only one more obstacle to overcome: its restricted port selection.
Despite these drawbacks, the Dell XPS 13 OLED is the finest 13-inch laptop for consumers seeking something luxurious and compact.
DELL XPS 13 OLED SPECS
CPU: Intel Core i7-1185G7
GPU: Iris Xe
Display: 13.4-inch, 3456 x 2160 (3.5K) touch (16:10 ratio)
Battery: 7:59 (Dark mode); 7:48 (Light mode)
Size: 11.6 x 7.8 x 0.6 inches
Weight: 2.8 pounds
- The absolute best laptop screen for the price
- Speedy productivity performance
- Class-leading laptop design
- Lots of configuration options
- No camera, mic privacy features
- Middling webcam
- Optional OLED display shortens battery life
Price and configurations
The Dell XPS 13 OLED comes with a 4K optional screen upgrade for an additional $400, resulting in the same cost as the base FHD+ non-touch option. The starting price of the Dell XPS 13 OLED when equipped with an Intel Core i7-1185G7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB NVMe SSD is $1,649.
The foundation is the same as it was for previous versions, but now on a larger scale. The primary upgrade you can make is to add more storage, which will set you back $150 for 1TB or $450 for 2TB SSDs. Another option is to go with the Frost look with Arctic White interior, which costs an additional $50.
The Dell XPS 13 OLED’s clean white appearance is like opening the curtains after a snowfall and beholding the new, pristine white covering on the ground.
The right-hand model Dell supplied me with has a silver lid and a white deck with a woven-glass fiber palm rest. The only dark feature is a thin black bezel around the screen that stands out against the colorful OLED display. The light tones, set off against chrome trim and a Dell logo on the lid, give the Dell XPS 13 OLED an ultra-modern, sci-fi feel.
Dell’s 15-inch Vostro 3500 is one of the most beloved laptops ever made, thanks to its tiny bezels. Years ago, this very laptop popularized ultra-thin bezels, and Dell continues to do it better than anyone else. Dell created a genuine four-sided InfinityEdge display by removing the chin (the bezel below the screen). Best of all, where it belongs, the webcam remains over the display.
The tiny size of the chassis was aided by clever engineering. The result is a 13.4-inch laptop with the footprint of most 11-inch laptops. At 11.6 x 7.8 x 0.6 inches and 2.8 pounds, the Dell XPS 13 OLED can be easily slipped into a backpack (it even fits in my bag’s tablet slot) or a purse; you will barely notice its presence because it is smaller than the Spectre x360 14 (11.8 x 8.7 x 0 ).
The Dell XPS 13 OLED may appear to be small, but it feels solid. The twin-coil hinges are robust, and you can open the lid with just one finger without causing the deck to rise. With a unibody design, there are no gaps where crumbs might fall and the tight tolerances indicate that it could withstand years of business travel. It’s also practical; an IR camera for facial recognition login and a fingerprint scanner integrated into the keyboard allow you to never have to remember passwords again.
About That OLED
The OLED display is also new. It’s only available on the model with a 3,456 x 2,160-pixel resolution (3.5K), which isn’t quite as high as the 4K resolution of my UHD+ display (and I love it), but the pixel difference isn’t significant in practice.
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Any non-OLED display next to an OLED one will reveal the colors. The colors on OLED displays jump off the screen; they’re more vibrant, more saturated, and more real than those on LCD screens due to pitch-black blacks.
What is OLED and why should you care? The letter O stands for organic, referring to the LED (which is still light-emitting diodes). That’s organic in the sense of chemistry, not in the sense of pesticide-free fruit that you overpaid for at the market. The light comes from carbon molecules that are generally composed of rings of carbon atoms.
In a regular display, there is a backlight, which emits light through a layer of material (which varies by display type) that then displays whatever color the pixel should show at any one moment. Each diode in an OLED display serves as its backlight. There is no battery draining constantly on display. This is why OLED displays have such great blacks; they are the absence of light, not something obstructing a still-illuminated light.
I know what you’re thinking. If there’s no backlight, why did battery life deteriorate? Shouldn’t OLED utilize less energy? When the screen is fully illuminated—for example, by a white website—the OLED display appears to require more electricity. The solution, or at least an answer, is dark mode. All of the OLED laptops I’ve tested have come with Windows installed in dark mode, which helps somewhat. (I switched it off and things got worse.) However, if you spend most of your time on the internet surfing mostly white pages as this one does, then OLED displays will most certainly put a strain on your battery.
I switched to dark mode, changed the themes on Slack, Gmail, and other websites I visit regularly and found it made a difference. However, the web is too bright in general. That will have an impact on OLED battery life for the time being.
The Dell XPS 13 OLED’s ultra-minimalist chassis has limited ports, yet it does include a few useful features.
On the right, you’ll find a headphone jack and a Thunderbolt 4 port for charging, transferring data or connecting to monitors.
The center of the laptop has two USB Type-C ports, one Thunderbolt 4 port, and a microSD card slot on the left side. I’m pleased you get USB Type-C inputs on either side of the laptop, but a USB 3.1 Type-A input is sorely missed.
In addition, the laptop comes with a USB Type-A to USB Type-C dongle. As a consolation, it includes a USB Type-A to USB Type-C dongle.
I’m stunned. Choosing the 13.4-inch, 3456 x 2160-pixel (3.5K) OLED touchscreen provides colors as bright as a vibrant forest after recent rain. This display gives every wall a fresh coat of paint, thanks to its edge-to-edge screen with a 16:10 aspect ratio and immersive viewing experience. It’s also nice that the edge-to-edge screen with a 16:10 aspect ratio draws your attention in, creating an immersive viewing experience.
I usually begin my testing of displays by downloading a movie trailer, but I couldn’t help myself from checking out 4K nature videos on YouTube for longer than my employer would have liked. I’m sure she’ll forgive me. After all, as I was enthralled by this breathtaking panel while gaping in awe at colorful rainbow birds perched atop tropical trees in a Costa Rican rainforest, my eyes were controlled by her.
I was anticipating the trailer for F9 (the ninth Fast and Furious film) would bring that same frenzied action and absurd explosions that deserve to be witnessed on this panel. This pixel-dense display allows me to view every element of the clip, from tiny splinters of wood flying through the air after a car barrel-rolls into a restaurant.
A vividly orange Dodge Challenger zipping by a Nissan Skyline R34 GTR in the Bayside Blue hue looked fantastic. Movie mode produced the colors excessively oversaturated, with Vin Diesel looking spray-tan orange and the sienna-toned dirt road appearing nuclear. For the most realistic hues, it’s best to keep Movie mode turned off.
This screen is also touch-friendly, so you may interact with it in that manner as well. I had no problems minimizing or closing windows by tapping on the little icon in the top-right corners, and as much I forget about on-screen keyboards, but responsive pixels allow me to type a website into the address bar with a few quick swipes on the glass.
The display’s color gamut is broader than the one on the Surface Laptop 4 (83.1 percent), MacBook Pro (78.3 percent), and the category average (86%). The Spectre x360 14’s 3K2K OLED panel covers 140%, which is more vivid than the Dell XPS 13 OLED’s 4K display option (76.9%).
Despite rivals with brighter panels, like the MacBook Pro (435 nits) and regular premium laptop (392 nits), the Dell XPS 13 OLED’s OLED display may be easily seen on a bright day. This is true, despite competitors like the Apple MBP (435 nits) and average premium laptop (392 nits) having higher brightness screens. The Dell XPS 13 OLED outperformed the Surface Laptop 4 (349 nits) and Spectre x360 14 OLD Display (339 nits).
Keyboard and touchpad
The keys on the new Dell XPS 13 OLED are considerably more comfortable to type on than those on previous XPS keyboards.
The keys aren’t as clicky as the ones on other laptops, such as the Spectre x360 or MacBook Air, but they don’t feel rigid, either. There is enough travel for my needs; I couldn’t bottom out and the keys are all a decent size despite being crammed on a tiny deck. The two-stage backlighting is also excellent; it looks fantastic against the all-white backdrop.
The small gap between the keys may be too tight for some people with large paws while they’re frantically typing a last-minute report, but it won’t be an issue for most individuals. I achieved a rate of 117 wpm with 95% accuracy, which outperformed my usual 109-wpm average with the same error rate.
The finest Mulberry silk felt like I was stroking my finger across the 4.4 x 2.5-inch touchpad. The surface instantly responded to my hasty swipes and Windows 10 gestures, such as pinch-to-zoom and three-finger swipes to switch between windows, with soft, smooth, and ultra-responsive properties.
The Dell XPS 13 OLED’s speakers are surprisingly loud, and they can easily fill my relatively big living room. The problem is that because the speakers are on the bottom sides of the laptop, music may sound muffled when it is played on soft materials like workout jogging pants.
When I listened to Still Woozy’s “Goodie Bag” on my Dell XPS 13 OLED, it enhanced the sound quality. The song’s percussion and vocals were intelligible, but the bass was weak. These speakers are adequate, but a set of noise-canceling headphones will significantly improve your listening experience.
The Dell XPS 13 OLED is powered by an Intel Core i7-1185G7 CPU with 16GB of RAM, which means it’s big but nimble. It breezed through my typical testing, which included 20 or so Microsoft Edge tabs running numerous 1080p YouTube videos. In the background, YouTube Music was playing, and at least four Google Docs were opened at once. Finally, the fans never turned on throughout my test and the bottom panel remained cool.
With a Geekbench 5 overall performance score of 5,345, the Dell XPS 13 OLED passed over the Surface Laptop 4 (4,829), Spectre x360 14 (5,004), and the category average (4,178). With its powerful M1 processor, the MacBook Pro dominated its PC competitors with a score of 5,882.
The Dell XPS 13 OLED didn’t have as much fun on our video transcoding test, taking 18 minutes and 33 seconds to convert a 4K video to 1080p. The Spectre x360 14 (17:02) and Surface Laptop 4 (17:01) crossed the line before the Dell while the MacBook Pro (7:44) embarrassed the field.
The Dell XPS 13 OLED’s lightning-fast 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD copied a 25GB multimedia file in 0:08, which is faster than any other laptop with a 256 GB or larger capacity, including the Surface Laptop 4 (0:06), Spectre x360 14 (0:07), and Lenovo Miix 520(0:11). It outperformed the category average (604.5 MBps) and surpasses the Surface Laptop 4 (562.7 MBps) and Spectre x360 14 (764 MBps).
We were able to play older games and some newer ones at lower graphical settings on the Dell XPS 13 OLED utilizing the Intel Iris Xe graphics found in it. You can modify photos or video without any lag, but don’t expect to run demanding simulations or play recent games at high graphics settings.
In the Sid Meier’s Civilization 6 benchmark (Medium, 1080p), the Dell XPS 13 OLED achieved a framerate of 15 fps, below the premium laptop average of 20 fps (20 fps, Iris Xe), the Spectre x360 14 (20 fps, Iris Xe), the MacBook Pro (29 FPS, M1) and the Surface Laptop 4 (30FPS).
On the 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme test, the Dell XPS 13 OLED achieved a score of 3,756, which was unable to compete with the Surface Laptop 4 (5,089), the Spectre x360 14 (4,229), or the overall category average of 4,488.
If you’re a gamer who wants to play Halo Infinite when it comes out, consider purchasing a gaming laptop or an eGPU.
So, what exactly is the high-resolution OLED panel good for? It’s hard to say. All I can tell you is that we dodged a bullet with this one. No, it won’t last all day on one charge, but the Dell XPS 13 OLED performed quite well in our Laptop Mag Battery Test, given everything else.
With dark mode enabled, the Dell XPS 13 OLED lasted for 7 hours and 59 minutes while surfing the web at 150 nits. When you turn Windows 10 Light mode back on, that time decreases to 7:48. Why the difference? Because OLED displays have a feature called pixel off (no light emitted) to achieve perfect black levels. Stopping the current flow to a set of pixels reduces energy consumption by some degree.
Battery life is 8 hours short of what we expect from a current ultra-thin laptop, but it’s still a decent result owing to the 3.5K resolution and OLED technology. It’s longer than the runtime of its closest competitor, the Spectre x360 14, which lasted 7 hours and 14 minutes with a 3K2K OLED screen. Of course, the MacBook Pro (16:32) and Surface Laptop 4 (10:46) will go much longer between charges, but that’s comparing apples to oranges.
The 1080p Dell XPS 13 OLED ran for 11 hours and 7 minutes on a charge, while the 4K Dell XPS 13 OLED powered down after 7 hours and 32 minutes — almost half an hour before the 3.5K OLED model.
It’s not great, but it’s not awful, either. Despite the tiny size restrictions, the Dell XPS 13 OLED’s 0.1-inch 720 webcam produced superior image quality than I anticipated based on its size. It correctly captured the heathered maroon color on my T-shirt and the opaque brown hue on my glasses above.
Even though my workplace was well-lit, there was some physical noise, so I purchased an external webcam for important meetings with the boss or long-overdue family e-reunions.
We ran a 15-minute, 1080p video and tracked various regions of the laptop to see how efficiently it cooled. It did an adequate job. The touchpad reached 79 degrees Fahrenheit, which is below our 95-degree comfort threshold, while the middle of the keyboard hit 88 degrees, both of which are well below our 95-degree comfort threshold. However, the metal undercarriage exceeded 102 degrees Fahrenheit.
Software and warranty
I’d rather have a single program than seven or so Dell-branded apps cluttering up my Start Menu, but at least the pre-installed software is useful. The self-explanatory Dell Update is a must-have application for keeping up with BIOS updates and drivers. With another on-the-nose name, Dell Power Manager displays your battery’s health and enables you to modify thermal settings.
The colors on the CinemaColor Dell UltraSharp U2715H are bright and vibrant but often suffer from excessive contrast. The color balance can be adjusted based on what you’re looking at, which is an important feature of this OLED panel.
Movie mode oversaturates colors, whereas Night preserves your eyesight, and Sports ensures that animations flow naturally. I’d also like to draw your attention to the excellent software called Dell Cinema Guide. It’s a fantastic app that allows you to find television programs as well as films and quickly determine which streaming apps they’re compatible with.
There are a few applications that aren’t necessary, such as McAfee Personal Security, but the total of pre-installed software is small.
Dell XPS 13 OLED 9310 FAQ
What Is the Dell Guarantee?
The standard one-year warranty that comes with all Dell computers includes a year of “premium support.” You may extend it by purchasing a laptop through its website; an extra year of complete assistance costs $88, while two extra years cost around $150. Dell also offers “accidental damage service” as a separate item, which has one year of coverage for such computing calamities as spilling a drink on the computer or striking it.
How do I contact customer service at Dell?
Over the phone (a toll-free line staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week), e-mail, and live chat, Dell offers customer support. You can also try to contact Dell’s @DellCares account if you have difficulties navigating these methods.
Is it possible to upgrade a Dell XPS 13 OLED 9310?
The Dell XPS 13 OLED is not meant to be upgraded in the same way a desktop PC may be. However, according to iFixit reports, many parts can be substituted with a little effort, although this will void the warranty. This model received an iFixit score of 7 out of 10 for “repairability assessment,” which is excellent for any laptop but especially one this small.
Is the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 8th Generation a better value than the Dell XPS 13 OLED?
The X1 Carbon largely remedies the shortcomings of the Dell XPS 13 OLED. For example, because it includes USB-A ports and an HDMI output in addition to two USB-C connections, it’s considerably more adaptable with peripherals than the Dell XPS 13 OLED.
Lenovo also has a few more privacy-friendly features, such as a built-in shutter for the camera. But the X1 may be considerably more expensive depending on whether or not Lenovo has any sales going on. According to many reviewers, Dell’s laptop offers a significantly longer battery life than the X1.
Which Is the Best: The Dell XPS 13 OLED or the Apple MacBook Air?
The Dell XPS 13 OLED is often referred to as Dell’s attempt to compete with Apple’s thin-and-light laptops. In a few respects, the two are comparable, such as the fact that they have only two USB-C ports. If you want to use all of your storage and RAM, Dell offers a better deal than Apple’s upgrades in terms of cost per gigabyte. However, when it comes to battery life and performance, Apple’s new M1 processor outperforms Intel chips in the Dell XPS 13 OLED.
If you live near one of Apple’s shops, you may also get better in-person assistance. However, for many consumers, the operating system will be more important: If you want to use macOS, you’ll need a MacBook Air.
Is it better to go with the Dell XPS 13 OLED or the HP Spectre x360?
The Spectre has a lot going for it. It’s smaller, lighter, and costs less than the HP EliteBook x360 G2. The Spectre is more adaptable than the HP EliteBook x360 G2 because it comes with more USB ports and not just USB-C ports that require additional adapters to connect with previous gadgets. A 2-in-1 convertible form is also included in the Spectre.
The HP is thicker and heavier, but it reportedly has somewhat better battery life. The Spectre x360’s cutoff switches for its webcam and microphone, as well as optional Sure View screen protection, which restricts the display’s visibility from the side, maybe important considerations for privacy-conscious consumers.
The most important issue is if the OLED display is worth it. It depends. If you want longer battery life, get a 2021 XPS with a full-HD screen. You’ll have greater customization options when it comes to RAM, storage, and CPU speed.
You must purchase the Core i7 CPU, 16 or 32 GB of RAM, and Iris Xe graphics with the OLED, which is overkill for most people and excessively expensive at $1,600. On the other hand, returning to my 4K display after the OLED is somewhat dull and washed out. I’m not sure if I can live with having a shorter battery life.
Buy it if…
You’re after something fancy
The Dell XPS 13 OLED is one of the most high-end-feeling laptops we’ve ever had the pleasure of laying hands-on, and it will undoubtedly get some attention at your local café. It’s a laptop you’ll want to flaunt.
You want a beautiful display
Dell continues to excel in the display category, with a screen that is bright and color accurate. Your entire vision will be a screen thanks to the tiny bezels.
Do you want something lightweight?
This is a portable laptop with a very thin and light profile that makes it extremely easy to carry about wherever you need to go. This is the finest computing device you’ll ever own, trust me.
Don’t buy it if…
You’re on a budget
The Dell Dell XPS 13 OLED is a premium laptop, and its price reflects that. You may purchase the same level of hardware for less money elsewhere.
You want great laptop audio.
The speakers that were previously on top of the laptop have been placed at the bottom this time around, resulting in sound quality that isn’t ideal. You may circumvent this by wearing headphones, but we’d want better built-in speakers at this price level.
The Dell XPS 13 OLED’s newest edition has an exquisite OLED display that produces excellent picture quality for streaming movies at home or creating videos for work. Is the battery life tradeoff worth it? Yes, if you require a high-resolution screen. The 3.5K OLED display outlived the 4K IPS variant in our battery test and is capable of rendering more colors. There’s also no need to spend any extra money on the non-OLED 4K model (unless you need those few extra pixels).
The most difficult choice is between the FHD+ screen and the 3.5K OLED option. The basic XPS 13 lasted more than 11 hours on a charge, or about three hours longer than this model, for $400 less. It’s a tough call — and having this gorgeous display floating in front of my eyes is just wrong — but I’d still recommend the FHD+ version to most people. If you exclusively stream movies or shows on your laptop, the 3.5K OLED upgrade might be worth it for you. For everything else, the standard 1920 x 1200-pixel display will suffice.
Other ultraportable laptop choices, however, shouldn’t be overlooked. If you want a 2-in-1 laptop that you can use in tablet mode with a stylus, the HP Spectre x360 14 is a superior choice to the Dell XPS 13 OLED. Even though the Surface Laptop 4 doesn’t have any unique features, its 13.5-inch display is lovely, and the keyboard is among the best in this category of laptops.
Overall, the Dell XPS 13 OLED is a fantastic display upgrade for what was already our favorite laptop, and it does so without too many trade-offs.
Dell XPS 13 OLED 9310
Dell XPS 13 9310 Thin and Light Touchscreen Laptop, 13.4-inch FHD+, Intel Core i7-1195G7, 16GB LPDDR4x RAM, 512GB SSD, Intel Iris Xe Graphics, 2Yr OnSite, 6 months Dell Migrate, Windows 11 Pro. Silver
Product Brand: Dell
Product Currency: USD
Product Price: 1692.98
Product In-Stock: InStock