We live in a world where we can work while traveling once we have a laptop. But if you want to work and travel, while actually enjoying yourself, you need a good laptop. There’s just no way around it. You either get a good laptop or you will work for too long to enjoy your travel. You know, phones are great, but once you start typing, that’s half of the screen gone. There are some great products coming out that will perhaps help with that soon, but for now, good laptops matter, and Dell XPS 13 is one that’s always talked about for being the best. But see, most people that review laptops don’t talk about them from the point of view of travel and work. And that’s what this Dell XPS 13 (2018) 9370 review will be about. Is it the best laptop for travel and work? Is it a device that I can carry in a briefcase while I explore the planet?
Now, firstly, the version I’m reviewing, it comes with 16GB of ram, a 512GB SSD drive, an i7 8th gen processor and a 4K screen. All that fancy stuff that you would expect from a flagship but that doesn’t actually really matter when it comes to travel. But more on that later.
When it comes to travel and work, I without a doubt think that before the performance or any of that, the most important feature is the size. You need a laptop that fits. I’ve traveled enough to know how much of a difference half an inch can make in your luggage.
XPS 13 2018 9370 is the best laptop for travel and work if you were to consider just the size. There’s no competition at all for it. The bezels are incredibly thin. Dell was doing what smartphone manufacturers are doing now, for years. I’ve talked about the 2017 version of the XPS 13 last year. I said that “Once you try it, you will never be able to go back.” And I was referring to the bezels in that statement.
They make a massive difference when it comes to travel. But on the XPS 12 2018 9370 version, the bezels are even smaller than last year. And that is just incredible. If you are always low on space, this is the best laptop for travel and work for you without you knowing anything else about it.
And yes, the typical applies. At 13.3″ plus just about no bezels, of course, this device is light and thin overall while at the same time feeling premium and not like it’s about to break which is the case with most laptops at a lower price range even though they are much thicker.
The Work Experience
I can work on a laggy device, but I can’t work on a bad keyboard. A bad keyboard is what really slows you down. A laggy computer might have a delay on what you type, but that will still appear. A touchpad, it might not matter as much as a keyboard, but it matters too. How do these look on the XPS 13?
To give some context, I’ve been using the most premium keyboards possible for the last few years. I’m a writer. I need the best of the best. Is the Dell XPS 13 2018 9370 keyboards the best? Not the best. I mean, of course, it can’t beat a proper keyboard, but as far as laptop keyboards go, it’s better than what you are probably used to if you used a laptop for under €800 before.
It reminds me slightly of the Logitech Craft keyboard that is my favorite keyboard right now with the feedback you get when you press the keys.
Of course, it’s not a mechanical keyboard. If you want a thin laptop, that’s not possible, plus personally, for travel, non-mechanical is a must. You don’t want to be that annoying person that makes the biggest noise ever with their typing.
The keyboard, of course, has lights around it and also on the letters which provide a great experience at night, although, I would not really call that a feature in 2018. An essential if you are looking for the best laptop for travel and work though.
The keys are flat but not too flat. And the overall keyboard is spaced out pretty nicely. Nicely enough that I could type on it with closed eyes without having to get used to it.
I would still use a keyboard, with Logitech Craft being my recommendation of course, but if you can’t get a keyboard, the XPS one will still provide an amazing experience.
It’s just that the Craft is so good that nothing quite compares.
It’s the best touchpad on a Windows device that I ever used.
Apple is doing an out of this planet job on touchpads though. Nothing compares.
The gestures exist with it. They just aren’t used to the potential.
And that’s a shame because the device could be so much better for productivity then.
My honest opinion though? Get a mouse.
And not because this touchpad sucks as it’s the best I’ve used thus far on Windows but merely because a mouse is just so much better for work. It always has and will be.
Adding of Several Features
This is where the debates will start. If you are looking for the best laptop for travel and work, are you looking for the best size or for the most features? If the bezels from last years model can satisfy you, then this model is worth the choice, but there have been sacrifices made on this.
Dell made a mistake. Now, I’m all for USB-C. But 3 USB-C ports and no one single typical USB port that we are used to is not good enough if you want to travel and work.
I want to go to a Starbucks knowing that I don’t need to charge my laptop and thus don’t need any accessories. I won’t need to charge my laptop, but I will need to bring my dongles as even though I love the idea of USB-C, right now it’s more so a USB-C to something kind of situation. It ain’t a USB-C to USB-C situation. Until producers start to provide USB-C to USB-C, I think was a mistake. But yet, that’s how you push technology, you push people to change.
Dell also added on the screen in this one. It finally comes with a 4K screen. The first time ever on the XPS 13. Although apart from watching some Netflix movies, you can’t benefit from it that much, the specs inside are just not powerful enough. And since we are on the screen which we won’t mention that much in this review, the 4K version comes with a touchscreen, and once you try it, it will be a part of your productivity daily. Be aware of the dirty screen though. And yes, it does get bright enough for you to use in the sun.
This is one of those things that will differ depending on the configuration you choose. The model I’m reviewing is pretty much the top specs when it comes to this. And it does consist of pretty high specs. But, do not expect editing 4K videos smoothly here.
And I think that this is one of the problems with this laptop or rather people buying it. They expect it to do that. That’s the XPS 15. XPS 13 is just too small for that.
Don’t get me wrong though. This is the perfect laptop for work and travel. But this Dell XPS 13 2018 9370 version is just not designed for top-notch work. It will get your work done. Without much trouble. But this laptop is great for work but not for too intense work. Full HD is no problem. 4K is also no problem. But if you are just looking for smooth playback while editing, it’s not going to happen.
This is a laptop for work but not for too much work. That’s the best way to put it. If you are doing heavy work and require the best, this is not the best laptop for work and travel for you.
I’d look at it like the Sony cameras. The A6000, A6300, and A6500 are loved by many people. And they are fantastic. But they do not compare to the other Alpha’s that Sony has out. They are great, but they do not do everything. And that’s okay. This is not a €10,000 computer. It’s a €1,600 laptop.
My recommendation is that you get the Full-HD display though. Don’t get me wrong, I like the screen and the 4K but do you need it? It will costs you €400 more. And it won’t make your work any better. And you ain’t gonna stream 4K on Wi-Fi in most hotel rooms. Not to mention those extra resources that are being used.
You Won’t Play Games with This
You either want games, or you want great size? This laptop does not have the right cooling for games and does not actually have a GPU. And that, that’s not a great combination for games. If you are on this page though, you probably aren’t looking to play games, and if you are, get the Nintendo Switch.
Last year when I was drinking my cup of coffee while chatting with the guys from Dell before they were showing me their products exclusively, I asked them about the battery, and the guy told me the truest thing ever.
“That number that we give does not matter. A laptop battery is either great or it’s bad but you cannot give numbers because there are so many different factors that influence the battery life. What you are doing. How many things you are doing. Your screen brightness. The settings you are using. It’s just too hard to say because there’s a lot of factors. ” – Dell guy. Although that’s not exactly how he said it.
When it comes to working? It will absolutely last you. Unless you are doing some intense stuff all day, you will be able to use this all day. I have no doubt. The great thing about the processor in this machine is that it’s great at saving energy.
What About Business Calls?
THis is where this laptop sucks at the most. I mean, it’s better than with the last years model, but gosh. Oh gosh. It’s one of the worst cameras for business calls that you could ever use. Not that any laptop ever had a great camera in the first place though but if there was a list, the XPS 13 series would be the worst for cameras.
Okay, I get that you have no space on the bezels. I get it. Last year the camera was on the left-bottom, this year it’s in the center-bottom. Better than last year, for sure, but gosh.
And if you want to look somewhat okay, you need to move the screen to a certain angle. And then you see the keyboard. And have to get low so that you fit in.
Apart from that angle situation, I certainly think that there could be a better camera in here. If you are paying so much, there’s no reason to have a better camera. And do not forget, a better camera would be around the same size anyway. And it doesn’t cost a lot to put one in. What Dell provides is absolute trash in that aspect. If you are looking for the best laptop for travel and work and are an influencer, interview people, have business calls, or you just want to chat with your friends, this camera is not great for that. It really is not. Use your phone. Or invest in an attachable camera.
Is the XPS 13 2018 9370 the Best Laptop for Travel and Work?
Yes and no. The best laptop for travel and work for me might not be enough for you. I write every day. I have millions of tabs open. I do some photo editing. I also do video editing. XPS 13 does great at all of these. Great but not too great. I never had a problem. It’s just small little noticeable things that for some matter when they spend that much, and because of that, this might not be the best laptop for travel and work for a lot.
If you are going for the full-HD option, I would say that this is more than likely the best laptop for travel and work for you. If you are going for the 4K version, it might be worth looking at something with a GPU. €1600 is not bad at all. The 4K screen does cost too much though and is more of a gimmick than a feature when it comes to travel.