Undoubtedly, Dell’s XPS 13 9370 is the laptop that has proved to be a reliable companion. However, recently, an unexpected challenger has come up, i.e. Star Labs. It should not to be confused with the fictional research facility that created Metahumans, as it is a UK based PC Company specializing in Linux laptops. It has recently rolled out the Star LabTop Mk III.
We don’t say that latest LabTop Mk III is a much better laptop in comparison to XPS 13 but surely giving a strong challenge, especially in terms of price. Star Labs proclaim on its product page,’ to all outsiders the Star LabTop Mk III is not an ordinary Linux laptop but is one of the fastest ultrabooks accessible.
Specifications of Lab Top Mk III and its comparison to XPS 13:
- 8GB of 2400MHz LPDDR4 memory in contrast to this XPS 13 9370 contains 8GB of 1866MHz memory or 16GB of 2133MHz memory.
- Intel Core i7-8550U 1.8GHz or 4.0 GHz Turbo Boost quad-cores CPU. However, it is the same processor in the XPS 13 9370.
- It is 13-inch IPS display, i.e. 1080p, furthermore in terms of style it can’t compete with Dell’s InfinityEdge display.
- 400GB Over-Provisioned PCIe SSD along with 1x HDMI Out
- 1x USB Type C 3.0 (Power delivery only) and 2x USB 3.0
- Chassis: Type II Black anodized aluminum and OS: Ubuntu 19.04, Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS or Linux Minte 19.1.
- 1x Micro SD card reader
- Weight: 2.65 pounds, on the other hand, Dell’s XPS 13 9370 is 2.67 pounds.
- Also has an actual Super key
Some important differences for you are the inclusion of full-size HDMI out along with standard USB 3.0 ports. The best part is that no adapters are requires with the Star Lab Top. It also comprises faster memory although it is capped at 8GB. Sadly it is not as sleek as XPS 13, and there is also no touch screen option too. On the other hand, resolution for the IGZO display is 1920*1080. One more limitation is there that however Star Labs ships worldwide but they only offer a UK keyboard layout.
Star LabTop contains one configuration available for £847.00, or about $1085. On the other hand, to purchase a comparable XPS 13 with equal 8GB of RAM, CPU, 256GB of SSD storage, and 1080p non touch screen, you have to buy it for $1284.
Some test were done to judge the overall performance of Star Labs Mk III
Also to test the Laptop performance, a dell battery of benchmarks using the Phoronix Test Suite along with an updated version of Ubuntu 19.04 installed. With its CPU temperature and CPU frequency have also been switched on. After that, we found that StarLabs hypes up the storage solution in this machine, and found out to be over-provisioned, which means the inclusion of additional capacity reserved by SSD controller to manage to write and read tasks. The main objective was to increase performance and IOPS. In the end, the conclusion was that Star LabTop won the benchmark and succeeded.
In terms of startup time and intensive disk usage, there are no doubt that Star Lab’s storage solution rocks. Also, GNOME Disk’s built tool was used to measure read speeds at the time of accessing about thousand files of 100 MB each. In it, star Labs Mk III crossed the finish line at 2.8 GB per second and on the other hand Dell XPS 13 9370 crossed it at 2.7 GB per second.
Star LabTop also succeeded and won all three CPU tests. Also, listening to both the laptops under load made it clear that Star labs have executed much more antagonistic fan curve and observing the CPU temps it confirmed. It more often spins up and down to fluctuating degrees, and on the other hand, XPS 13 has less intrusive operating noise. Also, it was getting much hotter and was not performing well too.