LAS VEGAS--Every laptop at CES 2013 has a touch screen. Well, almost.
Bucking the trend, Dell's newly unveiled XPS 13 is a streamlined update to thethat caught our eye exactly one year ago, upgrading to newer third-gen Intel Core processors and a brighter, full-HD 1080p 13-inch display.
The new XPS 13 is as impressively compact as the previous one, but it omits touch technology completely. It's odd, especially since the new Dell Inspirons, meant to be budget systems, all have touch options.
In addition to a 350-nit, 1,920x1,080-pixel-resolution display option, the new small-business-targeted XPS 13 has Core i5 or i7 processor configurations and up to 8GB RAM/256GB solid-state drive (SSD). The backlit chiclet-style keyboard still feels good, although not quite as impressive as the keyboards in some other recent ultrabooks. It's not the thinnest or lightest around -- 2.99 pounds, and 0.71 inch at its thickest -- and it still lacks an SD card slot or Ethernet jack, with only two USB 3.0 ports and Mini DisplayPort.
A specific price and release date haven't been revealed, but the new XPS 13 looks like it'll bring a decent set of upgrades for business travelers -- provided the battery life is improved. If it only had touch.