Companies may be producing more premium convertibles than regular laptops, but Dell is giving its less-flexible XPS 13 some love ahead of this year's Consumer Electronics Show. The company announced an updated version of the XPS 13 laptop which features a new white-and-gold finish, a slimmer frame, 8th-generation Intel CPUs, and other upgrades. Dell released the XPS 13 2-in-1 last year, but this is the most significant update the XPS 13 laptop has seen in some time.
The new laptop comes in a black and silver configuration, but the white and rose gold model is totally new for Dell. Over the past year or two, we've seen PC OEMs embrace the lighter side of hardware design with cream and soft gold accents, but Dell has been a holdout until now. The new white and rose gold model features a woven glass palm rest that has a slight texture to it, differentiating it from the black model's smooth palm rest. It's finished with a titanium oxide coating for shine, and the anti-stain coating should protect the palm rest from turning yellow.
We only got a few minutes with the new XPS 13 so we can't say if the anti-stain coating truly works over a long period of time. However, it's a nice touch to add to the area of a laptop that has to deal with the touch of human skin most often (aside from the keyboard).
In addition to adding the white and rose gold color option, Dell took off as much excess size and weight as it could from the XPS 13. It was already a thin-and-light laptop, but the company managed to shave off a few millimeters from its height and a few grams from its starting weight without changing much of the internal architecture. It'll be available with an FHD non-touch or 4K touch display and inside are the aforementioned 8th-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 CPUs, Intel UHD Graphics 620, support for up to 16GB of RAM, and up to 1TB PCIe SSD. It also sports a 52WHr battery that Dell claims will last over 19 hours on a single charge.
Dell also included a new thermal solution inside the new XPS 13, which features two heat pipes, two fans, and a new shield between the heat spreader and the keyboard that should prevent overheating. It also uses GORE Thermal Insulation, which directs heat out of the laptop to further avoid overheating and increase the laptop's overall performance.
New thermal solutions are always welcomed, as most laptops get warm during hard use. But another, arguably more practical new feature is the Windows Hello-ready fingerprint sensor embedded into the XPS 13's power button. Since the XPS 13 still has Dell's awkwardly placed webcam, which sits at the bottom of the display, the fingerprint sensor remains the only Windows Hello hardware on the device. While the fingerprint reader doesn't come standard, it is a new option that users can get if they want a biometric security solution.
The new Dell XPS 13 laptop is available today starting at $999. Dell also has an Ubuntu-based developer version of the XPS 13 with Linux preloaded available today starting at $949.
Listing image by Valentina Palladino