Dell's Redesigned XPS 13 Laptop Is Its Thinnest, Lightest Ever, Still Starts at $999
The 2.6-pound ultraportable is joined by the all-new XPS 13 2-in-1, a 13-inch tablet with optional 5G -- a first for the XPS line.
Joshua GoldmanManaging Editor / Advice
Managing Editor Josh Goldman is a laptop expert and has been writing about and reviewing them since built-in Wi-Fi was an optional feature. He also covers almost anything connected to a PC, including keyboards, mice, USB-C docks and PC gaming accessories. In addition, he writes about cameras, including action cams and drones. And while he doesn't consider himself a gamer, he spends entirely too much time playing them.
ExpertiseLaptops, desktops and computer and PC gaming accessories including keyboards, mice and controllers, cameras, action cameras and dronesCredentials
More than two decades experience writing about PCs and accessories, and 15 years writing about cameras of all kinds.
Dell announced the latest version of its popular, premium XPS 13 laptop on Thursday. The PC-maker reengineered the 13.4-inch laptop, taking inspiration from mobile components, and miniaturized the motherboard -- the smallest ever made for a Dell. This made it possible to get the laptop down to only 14 millimeters thick with a starting weight of only 2.6 pounds (1.2 kilograms).
The new XPS 13 follows the release of Dell's XPS 13 Plus with an even more premium, future-looking design featuring a seamless glass haptic touchpad and a backlit capacitive-touch function row. The XPS 13 is the standard version of the laptop and year after year has been one of CNET's top picks, especially for those looking for a Windows equivalent to Apple's MacBook Air.
Along with cutting down on size and weight, the smaller motherboard gave Dell room to improve the laptop's speaker design for louder sound and deeper bass. However, miniaturization also means components including memory and storage, as well as the battery, are not user-replaceable. Display options will vary by region, but the main display offered in the US is a 13.4-inch, 1,920x1,200-pixel touchscreen, with 500-nit brightness and 100% sRGB color gamut.
Configuration options include:
12th-gen Intel Core i5-1230U or Core i7-1250U processors
8GB, 16GB or 32GB 8GB, LPDDR5, 5,200MHz, POP dual-channel memory
256GB, 512GB or 1TB PCIe 4x2 solid-state storage
Other features include a 720p webcam, an IR camera and a fingerprint reader in the power button for Windows Hello sign-in, two Thunderbolt 4 ports and Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6E with Bluetooth 5.2.
It's been a good week for fans of ultraportable laptops. On Monday, Apple announced its latest MacBook Air with a 13.6-inch Liquid Retina display and the company's new M2 chip. Microsoft followed on Tuesday by shipping its Surface Laptop Go 2, a lightweight 12.4-inch clamshell starting at $600. While the new Air comes with a new, higher price of $1,200, Dell'sXPS 13 stays at its customary $999 price. All three arrive just in time for prime back-to-school shopping. Pricing wasn't immediately available for the UK and Australia, but the US price converts to roughly £800 or AU$1,400.
Along with the updated Dell XPS 13, the company also announced the upcoming XPS 13 2-in-1. The Windows 11 tablet will have a 13-inch, 3:2 touchscreen with a 3K resolution (2,880x1,920 pixels), 500-nit brightness and 100% sRGB color gamut. It will run on the same choice of Core i5 or i7 processors in the XPS 13 laptop backed by up to 16GB of 4,266MHz LPDDR4x memory and up to a 1TB PCIe 4x4 SSD for storage.
The two-in-one has a front-facing 1080p webcam as well as a 4K rear camera. Also, the XPS 13 2-in-1 will have two wireless options, standard Wi-Fi 6E or 5G with Wi-Fi 6E. The optional 5G is a first for the XPS line.