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Dell's new hybrid XPS 11 and 12 flip the script (and their screens) on hybrid tablets (hands-on)

Dell's new XPS 11 2-in-1 flips more than just the script on hybrid laptop/tablets.

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Eric Franklin Xiomara Blanco
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Eric Franklin Editorial Director

Eric Franklin leads the CNET Tech team as Editorial Director. A 20-plus-year industry veteran, Eric began his tech journey testing computers in the CNET Labs. When not at work he can usually be found at the gym, chauffeuring his kids around town, or absorbing every motivational book he can get his hands on.

Expertise Graphics and display technology. Credentials Once wrote 50 articles in one month.
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Xiomara Blanco Associate Editor / Reviews - Tablets and monitors

Xiomara Blanco is an associate editor for CNET Reviews. She's a Bay Area native with a knack for tech that makes life easier and more enjoyable. So, don't expect her to review printers anytime soon.

2 min read

Dell leans into Windows convertible tablet/laptops with its XPS 11 and 12, two convertible tablets that take quite unique approaches at implementing their special feature.

Dell claims its new XPS 11 is the thinnest "2-in-1" yet. A 2-in-1 is the name given to laptops that enjoy masquerading as tablets on the weekends, or even weekdays, if you so desire. At 2.5 pounds, with a 0.6-inch thickness, the hybrid probably won't have trouble living up to that claim.

Thinnest ultrabook ever? The Dell XPS 11 is one skinny 2-in-1 (pictures)

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The tablet features a very Lenovo Yoga-like design. It can be used as a laptop, or fold the screen back 270 degrees and it's a tablet. Or fold it back about only 200 degrees to place it in a "downward facing dog" position, and it's in a pretty great movie-watching position.

The display measures 11.6 inches diagonally and features a sharp 2,560x1,440-pixel-resolution touch screen. Dell places its brightness at 400 candelas per square meter with a 72 percent color gamut and a 160-degree viewing angle.

The XPS 11's flat keys are short on feedback, big on looking slick. James Martin/CNET

There are dual USB 3.0 ports on the sides, HDMI, and a full-size SD card slot. Dual-band wireless and Bluetooth 4.0 are also in the mix.

The keys are slightly raised, but don't depress when struck. I didn't have much time to perform many typing tests, but they felt comfortable enough on my fingertips.

Thin, but still enough room to fit a few ports in its body. James Martin/CNET

The device looks slick and I especially loved how the matte-gray keys contrast with the glossy black trim in between them.

Dell has yet to announce pricing and availability on the XPS 11, so check back to CNET for updates.

The 12
The XPS 12 was released back in August, but it's worth highlighting again because the form factor differs from that of the 11. The 12-incher eschews yoga poses in favor of a swivel-enabling hinge on either side of the display that allows the screen to flip back 180 degrees. Then, the screen can be folded down to create a functional but rather girthy tablet.

Dell XPS 12 flip flops between tablet and laptop (pictures)

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It features a full tactile keyboard and a lower 1,920x1,080-pixel-resolution screen. There are dual USB ports and a Mini DisplayPort.

Read the CNET review of the Dell XPS 12

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