Dell Chromebook 13 Review


Admittedly, when it comes to chromebooks, the Chromebook Pixel from Google remains the number one Chromebook. It is without doubt, the most capable, powerful and beautiful Chromebook in the world. But its $999 price-tag makes it impractical. Even for people with cash to burn, deciding to spend that amount of money on a chromebook that was designed to be used almost exclusively as an internet browser is really a difficult choice to make. Well, i have good news: many Chromebook makers are now offering chromebooks of equal quality like the pixel, but for much more less money.

At $429, the Chromebook 13 from Dell is the greatest example till date of this. Its style, finish and fitting makes it look like a laptop with a much higher price-tag. Also, it performs wonderfully and has a battery that can truly last for a long while. I somehow have the conviction that the Chromebook 13 will become the standard by which many other chromebooks will be rated. And as it is starting to look, Google’s Pixel may be starting to lose its standing as the favourite Chromebook.

The Chromebook 13 will first impress you with its exterior design. Here, Dell wrapped its lid in a carbon fiber weave that just feels great to touch. The frame, like so many good Dell laptops, is made of a Magnesium alloy that although it adds more weight to the laptop, gives you rest of mind in case of unexpected falls or bumps. The Chromebook 13 is also completely dark, featuring just black and gray colours. It can therefore fit in well both at the office or outside or in a coffee shop. It weighs about 3.23 pounds (1.46 kg) and is not exactly very thin, but it easily outranks many other chromebooks that i have tested. There are no creaks or flexing when opening or closing the lid, this laptop is simply solid and comes with premium looks.

One little annoyance with the quality of its lid is that it is difficult to open the laptop with just one hand, but once opened, the screen stays exactly where you left it, no slight movements whatsoever. This is a good demonstration of the hinge’s strength. The 1080p display of the one that i tested had a matte-finish, but Dell also offers glossy Gorilla-glass covered screens in more premium models. I prefer the matte option anyway, since its better to avoid reflections, especially when you are busy working. It has a bright, colourful display that is quite sharp. Though not quite as sharp as Google’s Pixel, but for most online activities, it definitely is good enough.

The Chromebook 13 has a beautiful backlit Keyboard, with its key spacing not much different from that of my 15-inch MacBook Pro laptop, which enabled me to type away feverishly. And the trackpad is Dell’s glass trackpad from its XPS laptop line. It makes the Chromebook 13 really have that premium feel. The trackpad reacts very quickly and swiping is effortless. I’m sure you would love it.

On the left side of the Chromebook, you will find its headphone jack, a USB 3.0 port, power input, HDMI port, and also a microSD slot. Though i personally think a standard SD slot would have been much more convenient here than a microSD, most people will not even bother with the external storage, since the Chromebook 13 comes with 16GigaBytes of flash memory and 4GigaBytes of RAM. And if you want, you can pay more for 32GB of storage and 8GB RAM, but this base model offers in my opinion, enough memory for most things you would want to do with a Chromebook.

This base model comes with Intel’s Celeron 3205U processor, and i also really don’t think there’s any need to pay more money for the optional Core i3 or Core i5 processors. I kept opening tabs and tabs, and it kept working just fine without any performance dips. YouTube, Netflix, Spotify, Hulu e.t.c, the Chromebook 13 worked just fine. When it comes to browsing the web, it does it well and does it for a long time. Having charged it the night before, i could not even exhaust the Chromebook 13s battery in one single day. And even better to know, is that it takes roughly 90 minutes for a full charge.

Dell has really manged to create a wonderful product with the chromebook 13. Although chromebooks cannot edit video and there is hardly any reason to turn them on when there is no internet connection, i will still gladly take the Chromebook 13 over most $500 windows laptops without a second thought. And while Google’s Pixel may still beat the Chromebook 13 technically, the Chromebook 13s price makes a strong case for it, both against the Pixel, and all other chromebooks.

Dell Chromebook 13 Pros

  • Very nice craftsmanship
  • Beautiful keyboard and trackpad
  • A very, very long battery life.

Dell Chromebook 13 Cons

  • Heavier and thicker than other chromebooks
  • A heavy and rather inconvenient charger.
  • The white balance of its display is a bit on the warm side.