A few months after presenting its XPS 13 Plus (9320), Dell is back with a more traditional update to its flagship ultrabook, named Dell XPS 13 9315. On the program, no aesthetic renewal like its twin “Plus” but a change of color and a certain cultured minimalism in terms of design and configuration. Maybe a little too much, some would say. Let’s see if the brand’s flagship still appeals, even with lowered claims.
In any case, outside, the Dell XPS 13 always hits the mark. His small thin and light format (1.17 Kg / 295.4 x 199.4 x 13.99 mm) is what strikes first. In the hands, it is perfectly manageable but retains a pleasant density that exudes quality and its small size slips easily into a bag if necessary.
Our test unit featured the Sky design, a elegant gray blue which covers the entire frame. Exit, therefore, the carbon finish so dear to Dell and which still adorned the last XPS 13 9310. Here, aluminum takes back its rights for more sobriety, which clearly won us over. The finishes are impeccable even if its slightly too protruding edges can at times make it uncomfortable to hold. It’s also not easy to open the ultrabook with one hand, especially if you don’t have a fingernail to peel off the cover.
As on the 13 Plus, connectivity is reduced to its simplest expression, that is to say two USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4 ports and then that’s all. Dell still takes care to provide a USB-C to USB-A adapter and another for the jack (headphones). Again, it’s minimalist, but we know the versatility of this type of TB4 connector and the trend towards everything wireless. Still, when the PC is connected to the mains, there is only one free port to connect its peripherals. To see if this is unacceptable for you.
All blue too, the keyboard does not change from that of the Dell XPS 13 9310 from last year, and that’s a good thing. We particularly appreciated the full size keys (16 x 16 mm) which are organized over the entire space of the base. Good point, the spacing grows very slightly (3 mm against 2.6 mm on the 9310), enough to limit the risk of typos. Regarding the typing precisely, it is in line with what is expected of a modern premium ultrabook: a short stroke, a fairly low actuation and a muffled noise. In our opinion, it’s a combo that works very well even if some, used to old desktop keyboards in particular, could criticize it for being a bit too superficial in support.
The keys are of course backlit. (2 shades) and a fingerprint reader takes place at the power button, a most natural integration. You can also take advantage of authentication Windows Hello via webcam with facial recognition. A 720p webcam which is nothing exceptional: low definition and significant image noise, even in broad daylight.
A word about the touchpad which offers a comfortable surface (112 x 63 mm) for easy navigation. Fast, precise, stable, it has it all.
Let’s move on to the screen which does not benefit from the prerequisites of its predecessor. No OLED panel here but a “simple” IPS panel Full HD+ (1920 x 1200px) on a screen of 13.4 inches in 16:10 aspect ratio. Little more of our tested model, the tactile adds its share of everyday convenience, but it is also possible to choose it without touchscreen. A UHD+ option (3840 x 2400 px) is also available on the Dell site for an additional €200.
Here, we are dealing with a Sharp SHP1548 LQ134N1 panel of good quality. The sRGB color space is completely covered (DeltaE 2.5), the maximum brightness flirts with the 500nits and the contrast is excellent (1856:1). A light anti-reflective coating cancels the mirror effect often criticized for touch screens. Here, Dell has found the perfect balance for a perfectly visible display in all environments, provided you avoid large fingerprints of course.
Less performance but still more portability
While the XPS 13 Plus takes advantage of high-performance Intel Alder Lake-P processors, our XPS 13 9315 is content with very low-power Alder Lake-U. So the processor Intel Core i5-1230U (8 cores, 1 GHz) of our test model is configured with a TDP of 9Wtherefore not allowing him to claim more than office tasks.
The direction taken by Dell is clear concerning its ranges. This XPS 13 9315 is definitely intended for small nomadic and family use, for which it is particularly comfortable indeed. With the support of 16 GB RAM (welded) and a 512 GB SSD storage in the configuration tested, the system was quite quick to perform all our daily tasks (surfing the web, YouTube, Netflix, etc.), without a hitch. On the other hand, if you confront him with missions that are a little more resource-intensive, such as editing/video editing or photo processing, be prepared to wait.
Especially since by default, Dell does not preinstall Dell Power Manager app which allows you to force the processor boost to enjoy a little more performance from it. If you insist on it, you will first need to uninstall the My Dell application before installing Dell Power Manager. THE “Ultra Performance” profile will save you precious minutes on key tasks.
Our graphs reflect testing performed with Dell Power Manager’s “Ultra Performance” profile.
Question behavior, the Dell XPS 13 does not cause any nuisance. Even pushing the performance, temperatures do not exceed 80°C at the processor level (60°C max otherwise) and the ventilation never exceeds 40 dB. It’s still audible but not disturbing. Some might find him a breath if not strong, a little sharp, but that would be quibbling.
Both speakers provide very honest power and quality for a 13-inch ultrabook. The sound fills the room without problem and even if the bass is a little absent as often on this type of small PC, the rendering is not lacking in breadth. So you can put your headphones aside to watch a series or launch Spotify.
Let’s finish with autonomy, which is decisive in this type of nomadic laptop PC. Given the energy-efficient processor, we expected to see the Dell XPS 13 peak among the best in the segment. Well no, the 51 Whr battery just did it 10 hours of battery life in common use. It’s a comfortable total to last a full day away from a power outlet, but far from our expectations. We also regret the configuration of the USB-C charger in two parts. The charging block is not very big in itself (60 x 55 mm; 245g) but the whole thing remains cumbersome to transport.
Our opinion on the Dell XPS 13 9315: elegance in minimalism
By splitting its famous XPS 13 in two, with the Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 on one side and the Dell XPS 13 9315 on the other, Dell is trying to reach all audiences. Premium and lightness, both offer. But while one offers a unique and responsive design, the other focuses on portability.
In a completely elegant blue gray color, the “classic” Dell XPS 13 is discreet and goes everywhere but does not lack class. Its chassis is worthy of an XPS: all aluminum, robust and light with a thin and compact silhouette. The design is clearly one of its strengths. The keyboard and the touchpad follow, both so comfortable that it’s hard to believe that we are on a 13 inch. It can also count on modern (too?) connectivity based on 2 Thunderbolt 4 ports and powerful speakers.
The screen, touch here, is also satisfactory. We will not say so much about the webcam with a definition that is too rough for a premium ultrabook in 2022. The performances leave a little doubtful for their part. It is difficult to understand the bias taken by Dell with its processor configured in 9W… Especially since the autonomy, measured around 10 hours, does not reach peaks. In short, it is still good to know that you can circumvent the limits by installing the Power Manager application, but also to keep in mind that the vocation of this XPS 13 9315 is not in productivity.
There remains the thorny question of the price, exorbitant on this touch model at the start of November 2022: 1599€ at Dell. Fortunately, other configurations are offered elsewhere at more reasonable prices (approx. €1300), which does not prevent it from confronting some major competitors such as the Asus Zenbook S13 OLED or its long-standing rival, the Macbook Air M2.
The Dell XPS 13 9315 scores 4/5
- Strong points
- Impeccable design and finishes
Windows Hello dual sign-in
Speakers above the lot
- To review
- Limited performance by default
Compare the different available configurations of the Dell XPS 13 9315
Dell XPS 13 9315 Specifications
|Screen(s)||13.4″ Full HD+ Touch IPS InfinityEdge (1920×1200, glossy anti-reflective)|
|Processor||Intel Core i5-1230U Alder Lake (1.0 GHz, 8 cores, TDP 9W)|
|Installed RAM (max)||16 GB LPDDR5 5200 MHz (soldered)|
|Graphic card||Intel Iris Xe integrated into the processor|
|Storage||512GB M.2 SSD (NVMe PCIe)|
|connectors||2 USB 4 Type-C Thunderbolt 4|
|Network||Wi-Fi ax (2×2, Wi-Fi 6 Killer 1675), Bluetooth 5.2|
|Windows Hello||Yes, via webcam and fingerprint reader|
|Audio system||2 speakers (2 x 2W, Realtek ALC1319D) Waves MaxxAudio|
|Operating system||Windows 11 Pro 64 bit|
|Announced autonomy / Battery||12 hours / Li-Ion 3 cells 51Whr|
|Weight / Dimensions (mm)||1.17 Kg / 295.4 x 199.4 x 13.99|