It’s difficult to overstate how important the XPS 13 is to Dell’s lineup, and to the industry as a whole. This is the device that reshaped the entire market with the advent of the InfinityEdge display back in 2015 which transformed the laptop landscape in an instant, rendering all other devices as dull and out of date. But other manufacturers are relentless, and Dell’s early design lead was never going to last forever. Other laptops have arguably caught, and even surpassed the XPS 13 over the last couple of generations. But Dell’s latest model of their flagship 13-inch laptop hopes to take the reins back.

Dell has made some serious updates to the 7390 model, which we're checking out today on the 2-in-1 version of the laptop. The biggest update is a shot in the arm that all manufacturers have been anxiously awaiting: Intel’s Ice Lake platform, dubbed the 10th generation Core, and based on the long-delayed 10 nm Intel process. Over the previous generation Intel has seen some serious competition from their x86 neighbor, and AMD’s Zen core has brought AMD back from the brink, offering competitive performance, and in laptop guise. All of which comes coupled with a potent Vega GPU which has run circles around Intel’s UHD 620 found in all of the 8th generation U-Series processors powering so many laptops.

Intel is looking to change that with Ice Lake, offering not only improved CPU performance thanks to the Sunny Cove CPU architecture, but a much-improved GPU as well, with the Gen 11 graphics. The vast majority of previous generation U-Series processors offered just 24 Execution Units (EUs), with some premium devices offering Intel Iris Graphics which had 48 EUs in the 15-Watt range, but Ice Lake improves on that significantly with 64 EUs on the G7-suffix processors, 48 EUs on the G4 range, and 32 EUs on the lowest-tier G1 lineup. Our Dell XPS 13 7390 features the top of the line offering in the 15-Watt envelope with the Core i7-1065G7, meaning it also sports the 64 EU GPU.

But an improved processor can’t be the only defining change, as all manufacturers will be offering Ice Lake in one form or another. Dell has also taken their InfinityEdge display to the next level, bumping the overall screen size from 13.3 to 13.4 inches, and moving to a 1920x1200 16:10 aspect ratio, which dramatically reduces the bezel on the bottom of the display. In addition, Dell is offering a 3840x2400 panel which hits 90% of the P3-D65 gamut, and is HDR 400 and Dolby Vision certified. If you need it, the displays also offer touch and pen support as well.

Dell XPS 13 7390 2-in-1
  As Reviewed: Core i7-1065G7 / 16GB / 512 GB / $1749.99
CPU Intel Core i3-1005G1
2C / 4T 1.2 GHz - 3.4 GHz
Intel UHD Graphics 32 EUs 300 MHz - 900 MHz

Intel Core i5-1035G1
4C / 8T 1.00 GHz - 3.6 GHz
Intel UHD Graphics 32 EUs 300 Mhz - 1.05 GHz

Intel Core i7-1065G7
4C / 8T 1.3 GHz - 3.9 GHz
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 64 EUs 300 MHz - 1.1 GHz
Memory 4 / 8 / 16 / 32 GB LPDDR4X-3733
Display 13.4-inch 1920x1200 IPS
100% sRGB 500-nit
Touch and Pen support

Optional 13.4-inch 3840x2400 IPS
90% P3-D65 500-nit HDR 400 Certified
Touch and Pen support
Storage 256GB / 512GB / 1TB PCIe x4 NVMe
Wireless Killer AX1650 2x2:2 Wi-Fi6
Bluetooth 5.0
I/O 2 x Thunderbolt 3 (DP / Power Delivery / 4-lanes PCIe)
Micro SD
3.5mm headset jack
Webcam 720P
Battery 51 Wh Li-Ion
45 W Type-C AC Adapter
Dimensions 297 x 207 x 7-13 mm
11.69 x 8.15 x 0.28-0.51 inches
Weight 1.32 Kg / 2.9 lbs
MSRP (USD) i3 / 4GB / 256GB - $999.99+
i5 / 8GB / 256GB - $1299.99+
i7 / 16GB / 256GB - $1469.99+
i7 / 16GB / 512GB - $1699.99+

The changes don’t stop there. Despite the almost 85% screen-to-body ratio, Dell is still offering the webcam at the top of the display, unlike the original InfinityEdge design, and the latest XPS 13 2-in-1 is 8% thinner than before.

As a modern, premium laptop, the XPS 13 also offers two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports, although there’s no legacy USB-A port which may hinder some people. Dell does ship the laptop with an adapter, but having a dongle on-hand when you need it is one thing to be prepared for.

There’s also WiFi 6, based on Intel’s wireless card but with the Killer software as well. The latest XPS 13 offers an instant-wake feature, and an integrated fingerprint reader in the power button for Windows Hello support.

Dell is offering a lot in the XPS 13 2-in-1. They revolutionized the laptop back in 2015, but the competition has fought back. Let’s dig into the latest model and see how the XPS 13 7390 stacks up.

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  • abufrejoval - Friday, November 15, 2019 - link

    First impression: This sure doesn't disappoint!

    1900x1200 makes a ton of sense (4k at 13" much less to my eyes), real CPU performance is better than Whiskey without draining the bottle, GPU performance is where I expected from a Skylake Iris 550 notebook I own, physical design sounds great... Perhaps I'd wait for a Lenovo variant, because I do type a lot.

    With the higher-resolution, touch screen and a pen I'm not sure I'd ever be able to get it back from my daughter who can paint for hours even on a 6" mobile phone.

    The most welcome surprise seemed the price: $1500 for 16GB and an i7 seems downright reasonable for what is most likely the current high-end.

    Alas, when I went into the local (EU) configurator and added 32GB RAM, that added €1000 for what is essentially a €50 item (16 GB SO-DIMM). Sure it also added a 1TB NVME (€100 total or another €50 for the delta) and a 4k display I don't care about, but at that point I can't but call it the usual rip-off: I like my 4k at 42" and storage to be replacable.

    So I'll hold back and onto my Lenovo S730 (16GB RAM, 1TB Samsung, AX200) for €1200 in May a little longer. That one also has an additional USB-C port in addition to the two Thunderbolts and that turns out to be really useful day-to-day, especially if your (mini) TB dock doesn't supply power, too.

    But I note with satisfaction that at least in the mobile space Intel is still able to execute and I wish them well, while I won't remotely consider any Intel while there is Rome in the datacentre.
  • MASSAMKULABOX - Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - link

    I think these are priced for the Business Market .. and its "car" pricing .. the base model is surprisingly cheap, but when you addd satnav,better wheels, heated sunroof, upgraded stereo , you've added 50% to the price. But 1000 bux for RAM is a trick learned from Apple.
    And where does this leave NVidia going forwrd? All their BAse(models) belong to us.
  • IntelUser2000 - Friday, November 15, 2019 - link

    I'm suspicious of Anandtech's battery life tests for laptops.

    This is the only review where it doesn't regress and does significantly better than the Whiskey Lake generation.

    Icelake does really well on idle but on actual usage like web browsing it plummets. Perhaps its time for them to update their tests.
  • yeeeeman - Saturday, November 16, 2019 - link

    Phoronix review of the same laptops gets to the conclusion that ice lake is more power efficient than 14nm parts in both idle and heavy use.
  • timecop1818 - Saturday, November 16, 2019 - link

    Soldered in Killer Wireless garbage again. Not buying another Dell ever until they switch that shit out. I don't care if its made by Intel these days as long as they keep promoting that retarded branding shit in their non-gamer laptops, they will not have my money.
  • Reflex - Saturday, November 16, 2019 - link

    Literally just install the Intel AX200 drivers. Took me 5 mins and works great.
  • timecop1818 - Saturday, November 16, 2019 - link

    PCI IDs are different, no?
  • Reflex - Sunday, November 17, 2019 - link

    Doesn't seem to be. It will tell you its the incorrect driver but once you force it it will install, and future driver updates via Intel's updater will pick them up and install without a question.
  • timecop1818 - Sunday, November 17, 2019 - link

    Yeah, that means it's a different PCI ID. Because if they were included in the intel driver inf that would install without forcing. Intel would prolly be PCI\VEN_8086*DEV_xxxx and killer stuff probably uses their own vendor ID. Anyway, I'm happy with my current gemcut spectre x360 which has better screen and keyboard than XPS 13 anyway.
  • Reflex - Sunday, November 17, 2019 - link

    I hear its a good laptop, it was on my list until I noticed it didn't have a 32GB of RAM option. They both appeal to slightly different requirements IMO and I'd recommend either depending on the user and what they need.

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