CPU and Storage Performance
For our performance comparison, we are looking at the Inspiron 13 compared to two machines with similar Intel 8th generation mobile quad-core processors (i7-8550U), one with the previous 7th generation dual-core part (i5-7300U), as well as a higher power draw 7th generation quad-core CPU (i7-7300HQ).
In our first CPU benchmark, Cinebench R15, the Inspiron 13 7373 shows similar performance to the 8th generation processor equipped ASUS ZenBook 3 Deluxe. It's interesting to note that all of the 8th generation Intel U-series quad-core processors manage to outperform the H-series i5-7300HQ in the Inspiron 15 7000 gaming which sucks down significantly more power.
Interestingly enough, The Inspiron 13 7373 comes in on top in H.264 encoding with Handbrake compared to even the HP Spectre x360 which is a much larger machine. We would normally expect larger notebooks with the same processor to provide better cooling and in turn, better performance through higher sustained clock speeds. This is a testamate to the thermal design and tuning of the Inspiron 13 7373 2-in-1.
PCMark 8 is a benchmarking suite that aims to emulate several different usage scenarios ranging from basic productivity to mixed workloads with light gaming and to applications for creative professionals like photo and video editing. While the "conventional" tests are running applications as you'd expect, the "accelerated" versions add OpenCL acceleration and use the available GPU devices for some operations.
PCMark 8, being a more holistic benchmark made to test total system performance, shows some different results than the earlier synthetic CPU benchmarks. While the Inspiron is competitive with both the HP Spectre and ASUS ZenBook, ultimately it falls short of both. This is likely due to the use of PCIe storage in both of those devices, as opposed to the SATA SSD in the Inspiron.
For a quick look at the storage performance of the SATA SSD inside of the Inspiron 13 7373, we ran ATTO.
As far as modern SATA SSDs go, this performance is indicative of what we expected. However, the write speeds seem to suffer a bit at larger transfer sizes compared to the current top-end SATA 6Gbps drives like the Samsung 850 Evo.
Our particular Inspiron 13 came with a Sandisk X400 SSD, but your mileage may vary here since Dell makes no claim at the time of purchase what exact SSD your notebook will contain, but rather the general performance levels.