Dell is releasing a few new items at CES 2018 starting with its brand new XPS 13 laptop today. Dell labels the XPS 13 as 'the smallest 13-inch on the planet making it ideal for people on the go'. Along with claiming to be the smallest, Dell is also calling it the most powerful laptop in its class, upgrading to use Intel’s 8th Generation Quad Core processors. Size and performance aside, Dell also tweaked the appearance of the device by shrinking the bezel around the screen allowing for a smaller frame around the screen, known as their InfinityEdge display technology. The XPS 13 debuts an alpine white woven glass palm rest designed specifically for Dell, a departure from the black used previously.

The new 8th Generation Intel Quad Core i5-8250U or i7-8550U processors replace the outgoing 7th generation CPUs. The i5-8250U quad core has a base frequency of 1.6 GHz and a maximum turbo of 3.4 GHz while the optional i7-8550U uses four cores and 8 threads with a base clock of 1.8 GHz boosting to a maximum of 4 GHz. Both processors are designed to fit into a 15W TDP. To help keep things cool with the increased power used by the 8550U, the shell is built with GORE Thermal Insulation which is said to have better than air heat conductivity levels in a more flexible format. The insulation will direct heat out of the device, lowering the temperature. Dell mentioned cooling capacity increased to 27W, up from 15W in its predecessors allowing for more performance headroom from the latest processors.

Also new to the device is a 13.3” UltraSharp 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) InfinityEdge touch display. The monitor displays 100% sRGB and due to the size has a high pixel density. Other options include two FHD (1920 x 1080) panels. One is a touch panel and the other is not. The smaller the bezel with the same size screen, the smaller the device can be. 

 

The dimensions are marginally smaller than the 7th Gen version, and it also comes in slightly lighter starting at 2.67/2.78lbs for non-touch/touch systems versus 2.7 and 2.9 pounds on the outgoing models. It isn’t a big difference but is indeed still smaller. Dell added a new color combination with the rose gold color offering the Alpine white crystalline woven fiber internals. The material, Dell says, has a texture to it, and uses an anti-smudge and anti-stain coating. The entire interior is available in this new material including the keyboard, bezel, and touchpad setting it apart from the plain black we are used to seeing in such devices.

We can expect to see these available globally today, January 4th, with a base price of $999. 

Dell XPS 13 (Early 2018)
Warranty Period 1 Year Warranty
Product Page N/A
Price ($US) $999+
Type Ultrabook
Processor Family 8th Generation Intel Core i5/i7
Processors i5-8520U / i7-8550U
Memory Up to 16GB DDR4 2133 MHz
Network Connectivity Wireless Only
Killer 1435 802.11ac (2T2R)
Intel 8265 802.11ac (2T2R for vPro)
Internal Storage Up to 1TB SSD (NVMe PCIe)
Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 620
Display 13.3" 3840x2160 touchscreen
13.3" 1920x1080 touchscreen
13.3" 1920x1080 non-touchscreen
Camera 720p and IR Camera
Battery 52Wh
Speakers 2 x 1W
Ports and Connectors 2 x Thunderbolt 3
1 x USB Type-C
1 x microSD card reader
1 x Headset jack
1 x Noble lock slot
Dimensions / Weight 302(W) x 199(D) x 7.8-11.6mm(H)
From 2.67lbs (non-touch) to 2.68lbs w/touchscreen

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  • Alistair - Thursday, January 04, 2018 - link

    Wish they'd make a Ryzen APU version :) Reply
  • ET - Thursday, January 04, 2018 - link

    Certainly the thing I really want improved in my current XPS 13 (9350) is gaming. Other than this I don't see much need in upgrading to a new model.

    That said, I'm waiting to see how Ryzen Mobile really turns out in this form factor. The HP ENVY x360 laptop is pretty power hungry, with the Ryzen configured to boost to use more power than 15W, so isn't an indication of either power draw or performance.
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Thursday, January 04, 2018 - link

    Based on comparing the x360 Ryzen to the Intel variant of the same model (the only sensible comparison currently available), we can infer both that the Ryzen's power characteristics are not significantly worse than the equivalent Intel chip and also that HP's Envy x360 series is seriously deficient with regards to power efficiency.

    Intel's current 8th gen U series use up to 30W under some conditions - the throttling of the older XPS 13 15W design and increase to 27W cooling capability in this model both demonstrate that very well.

    So basically all indications are that this system with Ryzen would be very, very neat for people wanting a do-it-all ultra-lightweight system. Odds on us getting what we want from Dell are near zero though.
    Reply
  • BPB - Thursday, January 04, 2018 - link

    If you want to game with them it'll be eGPU's for these type of systems for a while. No mobile chip will come close, but at least the eGPU case prices are going down. I'm pretty sure there are some decent ones for $200 now. Still a lot, but not $400 like the early ones. Reply
  • HStewart - Thursday, January 04, 2018 - link

    Just get the 15in model with NVidia GPU - only thing I wish they would do enhanced to later generation CPU - probably waiting for 6 core mobile Coffee Lake version or such. Reply
  • careyd - Thursday, January 04, 2018 - link

    Great machines but for one deal-killing fault carried over from last gen: camera placement still at the bottom by the hinge?? Pass. Nobody enjoys seeing your nosehairs. Reply
  • stephenbrooks - Thursday, January 04, 2018 - link

    That's a very weird design choice. I'd kind of prefer they put a USB port at the top of the screen and have the camera as a detachable module (no-one can hack into your camera if it's not there). Reply
  • Tams80 - Friday, January 05, 2018 - link

    They really don't want to ruin the 'infinity' 'bezel-less' design. Pretty much every reviewer has complained about the webcam placement for years (although praising the thin bezels has likely negated this in the eyes of Dell). Functionality be damned. Reply
  • deepblue08 - Friday, January 05, 2018 - link

    I love the bezel-less design though, the overall size of the laptop decreases while the screen doesn't. Plus it looks sexy as hell. Reply
  • jrs77 - Thursday, January 04, 2018 - link

    Small battery, no SSD-options for the i5-model, only USB-C, etc....

    Why would I want to buy this, when I can get the MacBookPro?
    Reply

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