Just before the launch of CES 2018, Dell unveils the redesigned XPS 13.
The device gets more compact and lighter but gets more power with Kaby Lake Refresh with four cores with hyperthreading. New is the option of the color rose gold / white including glass elements. USB Type A falls away, microSD replaces SD.
Change to USB Type C and microSD
The new XPS 13 is 11.6 millimeters high, 30.2 centimeters wide and 19.9 centimeters deep at its highest point. The weight is 1.21 kilograms. Compared to its predecessor with dimensions of 15 × 304 × 200 mm (H × W × D), the lower overall height is striking. The weight is lower, the predecessor brought even 1.29 kilograms on the scales. The smaller dimensions are made possible by the absence of USB Type A and the SD card reader – the new model is based on three times USB Type C and reads only Micro-SD cards.
Three displays from Full HD to UHD to choose from
Furthermore, Dell installed a 13.3-inch display with an even narrower frame, the webcam is housed as usual on the lower edge of the display. A total of three different screens are available. The smallest option is a matte Full HD panel without a touchscreen. According to Dell, this variant offers a contrast ratio of 1,500: 1, 178-degree viewing angle and 72 percent color space coverage.
Most likely, sRGB is the name of the game, because Dell explicitly mentions this color space in the top configuration of the XPS 13. As a medium option, there is also a screen with Full HD and an additional touchscreen. The upper end marks a UHD display with touchscreen and according to the manufacturer 100 percent sRGB coverage.
Kaby Lake Refresh with long running time
Under the hood is Intel Kaby Lake Refresh (test), to choose from one processor each of the Core i5 and Core i7 series. The smaller CPU is a Core i5-8250U with four cores, eight threads and a base clock of 1.6 GHz. By Turbo is possible in phases up to 3.4 GHz. The larger counterpart is the Intel Core i7-8550U, which also relies on four cores and Hyper-Threading. Base and turbo clocks are 1.8 and 4.0 GHz, respectively, but higher than the i5.
Four, eight or 16 GB of LPDDR3 RAM are available. The two smaller memory devices clock at 1,866 MHz, the largest at 2,133 MHz. The equipment is always executed in dual-channel. As a mass storage, Dell again sets completely on SSDs, starting with SATA-bound 128 GB and optional 256, 512 and 1,024 GB via PCIe. Thanks to thermal insulation, which Dell describes as ” GORE Thermal Insulation “, the notebook should be able to transport heat out of the housing in a particularly effective way, thus delivering consistently high performance without throttling.
Dell also waives USB Type A
In the connectors Dell follows with the new XPS 13 of a similar policy as Apple and relies entirely on USB Type C. A total of three such ports are available, two of them with Thunderbolt 3. All three are suitable for charging and connecting external monitors via DisplayPort. The predecessor still relied on a single Thunderbolt-3 connector and two USB-A ports and a proprietary charging port. There is also a memory card reader that shrinks from SD to microSD, and ports for headphones and a security lock.
The keyboard of the new XPS 13 offers a keystroke of 1.3 millimeters, optionally there is a Windows Hello compatible fingerprint sensor in the power switch. Below the keyboard is the glass trackpad consisting of a button. The black version of the XPS 13 uses a wrist rest made of carbon fibers, while the white version uses woven glass fibers.
For wireless connections via WLAN and Bluetooth are either a Killer 1435 or an Intel 8265 to choose from, both modules offer wireless ac ac standard with MIMO (2 × 2) and Bluetooth 4.1, Intel’s solution also supports vPro. The operating system can be chosen between Windows 10 Home, Pro or Ubuntu 16.04.
Battery should last for almost 20 hours
Dell also devotes some attention to the 52 Wh battery, according to the manufacturer, the XPS 13 offers the longest battery life of all 13-inch notebooks. In MobileMark 2014, the new model will run just under 20 hours, providing enough battery life for the entire working day. Despite this information, the predecessor with Full HD ran according to Dell with about 22 hours longer than the new model – this still offered a battery with 60 Wh.
Prices and availability
The new XPS 13 wants to bring Dell immediately on the market, prices start at $999 US. You can choose between a black interior with a gray casing or a white interior with an exterior in rose gold.