This certainly didn’t take long; Dell has officially revealed the new XPS 13 – it’s not a revision, but rather an option. The XPS 13 was one of the best laptops of 2016, loved for its bezel-less edge-to-edge display and a sleek body.
The new XPS 13 has everything yesteryear’s XPS 13 was loved for – but it adds more to it. The XPS 13 now mimics Lenovo’s Yoga series; in that, it can now fold backward and be used as a laptop, or a tablet, or anything in between.
Yesterday’s leak showed us that of course, but today it’s official.
The new XPS 13 reserves the same InfinityEdge display design of the old, but the panel is different; there are now two variations – a 1080p screen, or a QHD+ (3200 x 1800) one.
Of course, since the display design is the same, the size remains the same as well; the Dell XPS 13 has a 13.3-inch display crammed into an 11-inch laptop. It’s bigger on the inside, yes.
It weighs 2.7 pounds, and is 13.3mm thick; Dell claims that the new XPS 13 is world’s “smallest 13-inch 2-in-1” and is 16% smaller, 40% thinner, and 20% lighter than Microsoft’s Surface Book. That might sound impressive, but considering that the XPS 13 isn’t quite as powerful as the Surface Book is, it’s not that impressive.
Dell also moved the webcam; it’s still below the screen, so it remains at an odd place – but it’s not as strange as it used to be; the new webcam is not Windows Hello compliant, so that’s a bummer. However, there is a Windows Hello compliant fingerprint sensor.
Dell is also using a precision touchpad – not that they had a choice – and offers an optional ‘Active Pen’ for stylus input on the touchscreen display.
This is where things get a bit interesting; Dell is using Intel’s latest 7th generation Core i5 and i7 processors – specifically, the i5-7Y54 or i7-7Y75. You obviously can choose the one you like.
This might sound impressive, but that would be Intel’s fault; in August of 2016, Intel switched the Core m5 and m7 brandings to i5 and i7, causing confusion among the masses. The ‘Core m’ series, of course, is a less-powerful version of the Core architecture processors.
The “i5” and “i7” processors that Dell is using for the new XPS 13 were, in fact, Core m; therefore, the new XPS 13 is slower than its predecessor in terms of raw performance.
The use of Core m processors does mean that this laptop doesn’t require active cooling – it’s fanless – but the reduced performance might bother many.
For the graphics, Dell is simply using the integrated Intel GPU – that’s an HD Graphics 615.
There’s a bunch of options for storage – a 128 GB SATA SSD, 256 GB PCIe SSD, or a 1 TB PCIe SSD with Intel’s Rapid Storage Technology. There’s also the options for 4 GB, 8 GB or 16 GB of LPDDR3 SDRAM to choose from, all running at 1866 Mhz.
Dell promises 15 hours of battery life with its non-removable 46 WHr battery for the 1080p model; no numbers for the QHD+ model just yet, but that will obviously be lower.
Finally, the ports: Dell is exclusively using USB-C in the new XPS 13. There are two of them; one supports Thunderbolt 3, while the other is standard USB-C 10 Gbps.
The USB-C port is also used for charging the laptop. Additionally, there’s a microSD card slot; the SD Card reader present in last year’s XPS 13 is gone.
Dell will be bundling a USB-C to USB-A adapter with every laptop, so people can still use their older USB devices if they want; though, it’s probably the time to move on to USB-C.
Pricing & Availability
Dell expects to start selling the new XPS 13 starting from 5th of January for the price of $1000; that’s $100 more expensive than the XPS 13 we have come to love.
Though for a one-hundred more dollars, you are getting a thinner, lighter, and smaller convertible rather than just a laptop. It’s certainly not a bad deal, and certainly some good competition for Lenovo’s Yoga series.