Welcome, to the higher tier of the business notebook market. This is a place home to Apple MacBook Pros, Dell XPS, Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbons and more chosen premium level devices. This is a very delicate area of the market because when you are ready to give that large of a buck you have a lot to desire. So, we have to be extra harsh on today’s device – the Dell XPS 13 9380.
Actually, it is not a lot different from its predecessor – the XPS 13 9370, as externally it looks exactly the same. However, the change lays in the internals – newer CPUs (Intel Whiskey Lake) a more orthodox camera position. However, if you are not very familiar with what Dell XPS 13 9380 has to offer, feel free to roam around our in-depth review of this notebook.
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/dell-xps-13-9380/
Dell XPS 13 9380 technical specifications table
What’s in the box?
Of course, the XPS 13 9380 is boxed like a premium device – high-profile box inside a not so high-profile box. Its internals include a Dell XPS 13 9380, a 45W charging brick with the mandatory Type-C connection plus a Type-C to Type-A dongle.
Design and construction
As we mentioned, the XPS 13 9380 shares the same design features with the XPS 13 9370. It is built with a combination of aluminum and carbon composite materials, with the lid and the bottom plate being metal, while the base is made out of carbon. This results in a 1.27 kg weight and a profile of 11.6 mm.
Sadly, you won’t be able to open the lid with a single hand, however, the hinge proves to be sturdy enough that even if you are heavy on your fingers when typing you won’t be shaking the display at all. Thankfully, though, Dell has changed the position of the camera of this device – nose shots are no longer tolerated on an XPS laptop.
Further below we see a very satisfactory keyboard -, especially at this form factor. There are relatively long key travel and satisfactory feedback. Its arrow keys, however, are rather small and easy to miss. Additionally, the touchpad is very accurate and the fingerprint reader, which by the way is embedded into the power On/Off switch is incredibly fast.
If you’re wondering how does this laptop cool itself, well, it breathes cold air from underneath of the device and blows it away from in between the screen and the main body.
|Dell XPS 13 9380||302 mm (11.89″)||199 mm (7.83″)||11.6 mm (0.46″)||1.27 kg (2.8 lbs)|
|Lenovo Ideapad 730S||307 mm (12.1″)||210 mm (8.3″)||11.9 mm (0.5″) (+3%)||1.1 kg (2.43 lbs) (-13%)|
|ASUS ZenBook 13 UX333||302 mm (11.89″)||189 mm (7.44″)||16.9 mm (0.67″) (+46%)||1.09 kg (2.4 lbs) (-14%)|
|Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018||304 mm (11.97″)||212 mm (8.35″)||14.9 mm (0.61″) (+28%)||1.37 kg (2.8 lbs) (+8%)|
Expectedly from such a thin device, the I/O options are very limited. The left side houses two USB Type-C Thunderbolt 3 ports and a battery guage indicator, while on the right you’ll see a headphone jack, another USB Type-C connector but this time 3.1 (Gen. 1) without Thunderbolt support and a MicroSD card reader.
Disassembly, upgrade options and maintenance
Dell XPS 13 9380’s backplate is held in place by 8 Torx-head screws (T5). After you unscrew them be very careful with the unprying process since the material underneath it is pretty fragile.
We were baffled by the cooling system on this device. It comprises of two, rather thin heat pipes that lead to super tiny heatsinks. On top of that the fans, that should ensure the air circulation process are one of the smallest we’ve seen on a laptop. Good luck cooling the Core i7-8565U, guys.
Expectedly, you can’t upgrade the RAM, since it is soldered to the motherboard. Choose carefully before you buy! However, you are able to alter the SSD via a single M.2 PCIe slot.
After we’ve covered the upper half of the device, it’s time for the bottom one, comprising only the battery and the speakers. Dell has made sure you have decent battery life and they’ve equipped the XPS 13 9380 with a huge 52Wh battery pack. However, opposing the large footprint is the super-thin profile of the battery itself.
Dell XPS 13 9380 is equipped with a Full HD IPS panel, AUO B133HAN06VG6 (AUO5B2D). Its diagonal is 13.3-inch (33.78 cm), and the resolution – 1920 х 1080p. Additionally, the screen ratio is 16:9, the pixel density – 166 ppi, their pitch – 0.153 х 0.153 mm. The screen can be considered Retina when viewed from at least 53 cm (from this distance, the average human eye can’t see the individual pixels).
Viewing angles are excellent on this screen. We offer images at different angles to evaluate the quality.
The maximum measured brightness is 412 nits (cd/m2) (265 nits on battery) in the middle of the screen and 405 nits (cd/m2) average across the surface with a maximum deviation of just 5%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen and at maximum brightness is 6280K – slightly warmer the 6500K standard temperature for sRGB, which is certainly not bad. The average color temperature through the grey scale before profiling is 6320K.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from uniformity perspective. The illustration below shows how matters are for operational brightness levels (approximately 140 nits) – in this particular case at 75% Brightness (White level = 139 cd/m2, Black level = 0.092 cd/m2).
Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color sensitive work (a maximum tolerance of 2.0 ). The contrast ratio is excellent – 1540:1 (1320:1 after profiling).
To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction of the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.
Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people in HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.
Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.
The yellow dotted line shows Dell XPS 13 9380’s color gamut coverage.
Its display covers 94% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976 – prerequisite for a punchy image
Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma mode.
We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange, etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.
Below you can compare the scores of Dell XPS 13 9380 with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).
The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.
The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle, and the surrounding light conditions.
Response time (Gaming capabilities)
We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.
We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 30 ms – this panel is not among the fastest out there.
Health impact – PWM / Blue Light
PWM (Screen flickering)
Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.
Dell XPS 13 9380 doesn’t use PWM to adjust its screen brightness. This makes it suitable for extended periods of use, without being excessively harmful in this aspect.
Blue light emissions
Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.
You can see the levels of emitted blue light on the spectral power distribution (SPD) graph.
XPS 13 9380’s display has an IPS panel with a Full HD resolution, comfortable viewing angles and very high (400+ nits) maximum brightness. Additionally, it covers 94% of sRGB and is able to reproduce these colors with a dE of under 1.0 with the help of our Gaming and Web design profile.
Buy our profiles
Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for Dell XPS 13 9380 configurations with 13.3″ AUO B133HAN06VG6 (AUO5B2D) (FHD, 1920 × 1080) IPS panel.
*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]
Read more about the profiles HERE.
In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia's products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.
Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.
Design and Gaming
This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.
Health-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.
Dell XPS 13 9380’s sound quality is… not terrible. Its subjectively mediocre sound is backed by the deviations across the entire frequency range.
Dell has all of the drivers and utilities for the XPS 13 9380 available on their website: https://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/04/product-support/product/xps-13-9380-laptop/drivers
Usually, storage options and the hardware picked by the manufacturers depend on the region you live at. In our case, we got the SK Hynix PC401 NVMe SSD. It reaches 2.63 GB/s Read and 0.82 GB/s Write speeds.
|SSD model (240-256GB variants)||Max.Seq.Read (GB/s)||Max.Seq.Write (GB/s)||IOPS 4K Read||IOPS 4K Write||Latency Read (ms)||Latency Write (ms)|
|SK Hynix PC401 NVMe||2.63||0.82||9363||20733||0.037||0.050|
|Intel Pro 6000p Series||1.83||0.59||7792||28266||0.075||0.033|
Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. This device is equipped with a 52Wh battery pack – not bad for a tiny 13-incher.
This translates into 16 hours of web browsing and 14 hours and 30 minutes of video playback – enough for two entire work days solely on battery power.
In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.
For every test like this, we use the same video in HD.
We use F1 2017’s built-in benchmark on loop in order to simulate real-life gaming.
There are plenty of options in this department. First, there is the budget Core i3-8145U processor with two cores and four threads. However, if you want something with more punch, you should go for the quad-core/octa-thread options – the Core i5-8265U or the Core i7-8565U, which should offer similar performance, given the tight cooling package.
Results are from the Cinebench 20 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Fritz chess benchmark (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from our Photoshop benchmark test (the lower the score, the better)
Dell XPS 13 (9380) CPU variants
Here you can see an approximate comparison between the CPUs that can be found in the Dell XPS 13 (9380) models on the market. This way you can decide for yourself which Dell XPS 13 (9380) model is the best bang for your buck.
Note: The chart shows the cheapest different CPU configurations so you should check what the other specifications of these laptops are by clicking on the laptop’s name / CPU.
Results are from the Cinebench 20 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Fritz chess benchmark (the higher the score, the better)
No GPU options here – only the Intel UHD Graphics 620. Intel UHD Graphics 620 is a refresh of the HD Graphics 620 found as an integrated solution in many ULV Kaby Lake processors. UHD Graphics 620 is codenamed “Kaby Lake R U GT2” and it’s a part of the Gen 9.5 generation.
Intel UHD Graphics 620 has roughly the same performance as HD Graphics 620, depending on the other components in the system. UHD Graphics 620’s performance is similar to AMD Radeon R5 M420X and NVIDIA GeForce 910M/920M.
Results are from the 3DMark: Fire Strike (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 3.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Superposition benchmark (higher the score, the better)
|CS:GO||HD 1080p, Low (Check settings)||HD 1080p, Medium (Check settings)||HD 1080p, MAX (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||64 fps||38 fps||19 fps|
|DOTA 2||HD 1080p, Low (Check settings)||HD 1080p, Normal (Check settings)||HD 1080p, High (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||93 fps||42 fps||20 fps|
|Grand Theft Auto V (GTA 5)||HD 768p, Normal (Check settings)||HD 768p, High (Check settings)||HD 768p, Very High (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||37 fps||– fps||– fps|
Temperatures and comfort
Max CPU load
In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.
Average core temperature (base frequency + X); CPU temp.
|Intel Core i7-8565U (15W TDP)||0:02 – 0:10 sec||0:15 – 0:30 sec||10:00 – 15:00 min|
|Dell XPS 13 9380||2.87 GHz (B+59%) @ 95°C||2.40 GHz (B+33%) @ 95°C||2.10 GHz (B+17%) @ 79°C|
|ASUS ZenBook 14 UX433||2.69 GHz (B+49%) @ 65°C||2.64 GHz (B+47%) @ 77°C||1.87 GHz (B+4%) @ 76°C|
|Acer Swift 5 (SF515-51T)||1.98 GHz (B+10%)@ 61°C||1.98 GHz (B+10%)@ 71°C||1.68 GHz @ 77°C|
|ASUS ZenBook Pro 14 UX480||3.13 GHz (B+74%)@ 95°C||2.91 GHz (B+56%)@ 95°C||2.47 GHz (B+37%)@ 87°C|
Not that we weren’t ready for that, but the XPS 13 9380 is keeping the Core i7-8565U pretty sweaty throughout the entire test. However, this was especially to be seen in the beginning when the temperatures were solidified at 95C. Thankfully, this provides it with the opportunity of higher clock speeds and low fan noise, which is exactly what you need of a business device.
All of the aforesaid translates into a rather high maximum outer temperature of 52.6C. It will definitely get a little warm under the keys, although the palm-rest area remains cool enough.
As the market continues to saturate with good laptops at low prices, it becomes harder and harder for an XPS to shine. Yes, it is a brilliantly build device, which utilizes its hardware at its best and provides security features, unseen on cheap laptops, but is it worth it?
The answer is simple – if you are looking for a super accurate display (though with a little help by our profiles), almost full sRGB coverage and high maximum brightness (412 nits), this is clearly the laptop for you. It(AUO B133HAN06VG6 (AUO5B2D)) also lacks PWM for brightness adjustment, but we should note that the maximum brightness takes a serious hit once you unplug the power plug. It drops from above 400 nits down to 265 nits. Not that we want to be super picky but the higher brightness is usually usable in direct sunlight, which usually happens… outdoors. Perhaps there is an option in the settings that disables this nonsense, but we don’t surely know.
There is another feature that would the XPS 13 9380 a savory purchase for many – its battery life. It is able to go through 16 hours of web browsing and 14 hours and 30 minutes of video playback – something rarely seen.
Additionally, the device has a great input device (its keyboard has a backlight), charges with a Type-C connector and utilizes a blazing fast fingerprint scanner. However, one of the most annoying things about it is the lack of non-Type-C USB connectors, meaning you’ll need an adapter for sure. Either way, if you need a fresh and cheaper option to this laptop, check the ZenBook 13 UX333 or the Lenovo Ideapad 730S.
- Astonishing battery life
- Very thin profile
- Satisfactory input devices (the keyboard is backlit)
- Very high contrast, 94% sRGB coverage and accurate default settings (AUO B133HAN06VG6 (AUO5B2D))
- Doesn’t use PWM for brightness adjusment and reaches above 400 nits (AUO B133HAN06VG6 (AUO5B2D))
- Charges via Type-C
- Supports Thunderbolt
- Blazing fast performance
- Needs a dongle to expand the I/O
- Gets pretty hot
- Lowers its maximum brightness on battery power
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/laptop-specs/dell-xps-13-9380-26/