The new Dell XPS 13 has been out in stores since April of 2016. The laptop boasts an impressive array of ports and features that are sure to wow even its most ardent fans. However, some people may not be aware of how many ways there are to add extra memory to your system. If you’re looking to increase your computer’s internal storage without buying another external hard drive or jumpdrive, then it might just come down to picking up one of these awesome microSD cards.
What is a Micro SD?
First things first, let’s talk about exactly what a “Micro SD” means. A microSD can refer to both a type of flash media as well as a specific size (or class) of storage device. While they all share similar characteristics, each microSD comes with different capabilities depending on their physical design. Some provide more space while others offer faster transfer speeds than others. In general though, if you see the word “micro,” it refers to smaller capacity sizes ranging from 4GB-32 GB. Even so, most users won’t need anything larger than 64GB unless you plan on storing massive amounts of data on your laptop. And unlike regular SD cards which require special adaptors to work in computers, microSDs simply fit right into any available port. You’ll also find them everywhere from phones to cameras because of their small footprint and low price point.
Does Dell XPS 13 have SD card slot?
Most modern laptops come equipped with at least one standard sized SD card reader built directly onto the body. But does Dell XPS 13 follow suit? Well… sorta. While Dell doesn’t include a dedicated SD card slot like other systems do, it still offers two types of slots. One is a full-size SDHC slot, which accepts 2/3-inch microSDs, but only supports up to 32GB of additional storage. Meanwhile, the second option is a half-sized SDXC slot that works great for bigger capacities. Simply put, don’t worry if you own an older model of Dell XPS, as long as your machine came preinstalled with a compatible SD card adapter, you should be good to go!
As far as I know, the newer models of the Dell XPS line were released after 2015 when the company began including SD card compatibility. So keep that in mind before making any purchases today.
Does Dell XPS 13 have expandable storage?
Yes, yes it does. Unlike traditional desktop PCs where adding memory requires opening up the case, upgrading your Dell XPS 13’s internal storage is fairly easy thanks to its slim dimensions. To open up either SD card slot, remove the side panel by pulling off the rubber guard. Once separated, you can slide out the actual expansion tray holding your current SSD or HDD. Afterward, pop in your desired microSD card and plug back in. Then select Storage Device Manager under System Preferences & Software Update & About This Mac & Unmount EFI Boot Partition. From here, click Apply Changes & Continue. Now restart your computer and boot normally. Your custom microSD should now show up automatically during startup. That’s pretty sweet, isn’t it? It really couldn’t get much easier than that.
That said, using an SD card for expanding your storage limit could prove problematic. As mentioned earlier, microSDs aren’t designed to work inside of PC cases and tend to take longer to access due to slower read times. For example, if you use a 16GB card to store photos, transferring those images over to local memory would likely take way too long given the relatively slow speed of traditional SD cards. Thankfully, Apple includes a feature called TRIM support to help alleviate such issues. Essentially, your operating system uses TRIM technology to optimize file transfers based on how often files are accessed. Without it, however, your microSD card could end up acting kind of laggy. Therefore, make sure to check out our guide detailing everything you need to know about TRIM support in macOS Sierra.
Overall, choosing between various microSD options depends largely upon your needs. If you want something super fast, look towards UHS-I Class 10 microSDs. They’re capable of reading and writing data at 100 MB per second, which makes them ideal for high performance tasks like gaming or video editing. Alternatively, if you’d rather opt for lower cost microSDs, stick with the cheaper UHS-II Class 6 variety. These slightly slower microSDs offer adequate write speeds while being considerably less expensive.
With that in mind, hopefully, this short overview provided enough information to help you pick the perfect microSD for your next purchase whether you’re building a brand new Dell XPS 13 or planning on upgrading your existing hardware.
John has been a gamer since the early age of 7, playing a huge variety of single-player games, and MMOs, and even participating in LAN Tournaments for FPS games such as Counter-Strike Global Offensive. Ever since he found his passion in gaming & in technology in general, he has continuously increased his knowledge in software, programming & hardware and is now working at TechReviewTeam helping readers, answering questions, writing articles & reviews for the team.