DELL XPS 13 College Review 2017

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Portability Battery Display Connectvity Performance
4.5 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 4.5 Stars
2.9 pounds 9 hours 13.3”
3200×1800
WireLess AC
Thunderbolt 3
i5 8GB RAM
256GB SSD
We Like We Don’t Like

  Great Display Options (Full HD or QHD)
 Long Battery Life
  Solid and Light Design
  Thunderbolt 3 USB-C Port

  Weird Camera Placement
 Needs adapters for External Displays

 

Summary: The current Dell XPS 13 is considered by many the best Windows Ultrabook today. It’s Infinity Edge Display fits in a much bigger display screen into a 13” inch laptop while the thunderbolt 3 connectivity allows you to connect to two external displays simultaneously. It’s made of aluminum on the top and bottom of its chasis giving it a solid and rigid feel while the inside has a carbon fibre finish giving you a comfortable typing experience. If you think you need a boost in performance, it’s highly configurable as well ranging from a i3 processor 4GB RAM 128GB SSD all the way to an i7 core 1TB SSD. The model presented here has a QHD (3200 x1800)touchScreen display for those interested in Media and Entertainment but it also has the option of a 1080p matte finish diplay giving all students a choice for their liking. All in all while still remaining quite portable with just 2.7 pounds and with a long battery life of 9 hours making one of the best options all college students have today.

 Engineering  

 Architecture  

 Science 

 Computer Science 

  Medical 

  Nursing 

 Business & Accounting 

 Graphics Design  

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Specs

Dell XPS9360-4841SLV 13.3″ Laptop

Screen 13.3″ QHD+ (3200 x 1800) infinityedge touch Display
Processor 7th generation Intel Core i7-7500u 3.5 GHz Processor
Video Intel HD Graphics 620
Memory 8GB DDR3 SDRAM
Storage 256GB SSD
Connectivity 802.11ac Gigabit Wifi (Miarcast enabled), Bluetooth 4.0
Ports 2 USB 3.0, USB Type-C port with Thunderbolt 3, SD card,  headphone jack
Baterry 9 Hours
OS Windows 10 Home
Size 7.9 x 12 x 0.6 inches
Weight 2.9 lbs
Extras Widescreen HD webcam, InfinityEdge display, USB Type-C port with Thunderbolt 3 support.

Review By Degree

 Engineering  

The Dell XPS 13 is definitely a top choice for those engineers wishing a machine with a greater performance than your average ultrabook while still remaining ultraportable. With the exception of 3D CAD/CAE software, the Dell XPS is more than enough to meet all the requirements you may encounter during your curriculum.
EE/CE: Electrical and computer engineers can benefit from the fact that it’s still a Windows Machine to rule out compatibility issues and it has a decent amount of ports for connectivity. The QHD resolution doesn’t really have an advantage on engineering applications but the fact that it’s highly configurable and with the configuration given here you’ll be pretty much be able to run complex circuit design (FPGA) and even intensive numerical analysis (ANSYS) or any other software or programming you throw at it. Investing on the Intel Iris Graphics card might not be a good option, since it’s still doesn’t allow you to run CAD/CAE software properly.
ME/CE: While CAD/CAE software are much more important in Mechanical (SolidWorks,CATIA)and Civil Engineering(Autocad, Revit) for your career, the DELL XPS 13 can blaze through any other software or task you may encounter during your degree, this includes ANSYS simulations as well. As long as you leave the CAD/CAE assignments to the computer labs, you should be fine with the DELL XPS 13. If you still wish to play around with CAD/CAE software consider buying the DELL XPS 15 which has the right graphics card for undergraduate CAD work or the DELL Inspiron, do note that they won’t be as portable as this one thouguh.

 

 Architecture  

Not recommended for Architecture students. Although highly configurable to increase performance up to i7 processor, 1TB SDD Storage and 16GB RAM, the display size is 13” in all its models and the Graphics card can’t be updated as well. If you are attracted by its portability, the Surface Book is good option. The Dell XPS 15 AND Inspiron are better dell options than this one. Otherwise, as a secondary laptop (for all other college tasks) provided you already have a desktop or a laptop capable of running Revit, AutoCad and other CAD software, it’s one of the best choices.

 Science 

Highly recommended for all science students in general. It’s got superb portability and an impressive battery life. The infinity edge display can make watching those chemistry, physics or biology lectures less boring and more enganging than usual. However, we advise you to go for the 1080p model to protect your eyes from staring at the same solution for hours on end should you be on a high reflective environment(the library) and the fact that it will improve battery lifetime as well. Try to go for this particular configuration. An i7 processor can be too much for science students in general while draining your battery life much more quicker.

 Computer Science 

Computer Scientists and programmers would find the Dells XPS 13 having many features over conventional laptops to consider as a purchase. For one, unlike most notebooks out there, it has a carbon finish on the inside to make long hours of coding a bit more comfortable. Both versions (1080p and QHD) more tha n enough resolution to make long lines of codes fit in much more easily for you to follow code logic without having to scroll down too much. The Thunderbolt 3 port can come in handy as well should you decide to attach TWO, not just one , TWO external displays back home for more comfortable programming with your code on one screen and a simulation and/or documentation on the other. We recommend you to go for the 1080p version shown here. Both models have the infinity display features, however the reason for the 1080p version being more useful is not only will you increase your battery lifetime but also protect your eyes from glare and intense reflections that you may encounter.

  Medical & Nursing  

Surely the XPS 13 has more than enough performance for heavy multitasking and the type of software medical students encounter in college. However, although it’s an ultraportable machine with enough battery life to go from clinicals to lectures on a single charge, it doesn’t have a CD-ROM drive like most laptops and the WebCam is oddly placed. While the latter issue can easily be solved by transferin all your TextBooks interactive CDs to a USB Drive as shown here, the former might present an issue for video conferencing which some schools do require from their students. Also, while a high resolution can make videos of procedures and histology images much more accurate and high quality. There’s not much need to go for as far as QHD unless you personally enjoy having such resolutions. Do keep in mind that the touchscreen model with the highest resolution setting (3200×1800) drain your battery life much faster. We recommend the 1080p non-touch screen resolution along with the matte display finish.

 Business & Accounting 

The Dell XPS 13 is a fine option for Business and Accounting Students as well. If you are attracted by its infinity Edge display but fear it’s design might not be strong enough to handle all the traveling between lectures to meetings and career events in college. You should know the Dell XPS 13 is made of aluminum on the exterior and only carbon fiber on the inside for comfortable typing. Not only it’s quite resistant but the battery life should be enough for an entire college day. We advise you not to too far on the configurations for performance, mainly the i7 option can not only be expensive but unnecessary and detrimental to battery life. Always stick to i5 processor whatever laptop you go for as Excel and risk analysis Simulation Software doesn’t require that much raw power. You might want to drop the QHD resolution display if you don’t plan on using it for entertainment in exchange of the matte 1080p resolution one for more battery life and better productivity when working on the outside as the QHD display can get quite reflective in a highly illuminated environment.

 Graphics Design  

The DELL XPS 13 covers most of the features needed for graphic designers in general: enough RAM (can be configured up to 16GB), a fast processor(i5-i7) and a high storage SSD(256GB-1TB) . All of them required to handle large files and image editing programs simultaneously. This particular model has more than enough resolution for highly detailed projects as well.
Unfortunately, it lacks a GPU option, so for those designers working on Animation (3D) and motion graphics, they should be looking at other options such as the Dell XPS 15 which also has a bigger screen size as a huge bonus.
Another downside for all graphic designers in general is the screen size. Should you not be satisfied with the 13”.3 screen size, it’s thunderbolt 3 port can give you the option to connect it to two external displays for more detailed work back at your place.
Note that , the Dells XPS comes in two options as far as displays goes: matte vs. glossy. If your work environment( either your library/room or the outside) is quite reflective on your screen, you might want to consider dropping the QHD resolution for the matte display. Although the touchscreen QHD(3200X1800) resolution can give you richer colors and much more details in your work, it’s glossy screen can get quite reflective in the wrong work environment which will distort the accuracy of your work rather than benefit it. The matte would be a better option in such cases.