CNET First Look
Dell's high-end XPS 13 adds new Intel chips and an edge-to-edge screenTaking a hint from TV-makers, the bezel narrows to nearly nothing, while performance gets a small Broadwell boost.
It's the first big laptop of 2015 and it breaks some long-standing design rules. I'm Dan Ackerman and this is the Dell XPS 13. Now that's a name Dell has used for several systems in the past. This is actually a lot different from them. On the outside it sort of looks the same silver aluminum design. We, we called a previous version the Dellbook Air because it was so Macbook Airlike but here you can see the screen goes nearly to the very edge of the lid. It's almost a borderless design. Not quite. Dell calls it an infinity display. And it's a 13.3-inch screen, and what's essentially an 11 or 12-inch body. Certainly a lot smaller than a lot of the 13-inch laptops, including the 13-inch MacBook. Eh, which you're probably most likely to compare this to. The other big thing about the new XPS 13 is, is the first. PC that we've seen with a Core-i5 version of Intel's new Broadwell generation of chips. That's the fifth generation of Core-i series chips. Previously we've only seen one or two systems with the Broadwell, they call the" Core-m," which is designed for super-slim, super-lightweight sort of tablets and hybrids. Like the Yoga 3 Pro you could have conceivably put one of those in here, but I'm please to see that you've actually got the full power, Core i5 or for the entry level model this be, Core i3. And even though it's got this cool screen design, it actually starts at $799 which is super reasonable but for that you get. That Core i3 and 128 gig SSD, and just get a standard 1920 by 1080 display, and not a touch display which does seem like a bit of a misstep if you've ever tried to, you know, use Windows 8. You've got to trade up and pay a little bit more to get the Core i5, which I would recommend, and get the touch display which also bumps up the resolution to 3200 by 1800. It's somewhere between full HD and, and 4k so it works well on a 13 inch screen like this. By way of comparison here's, the 11 inch MacBook Air. Next to it I've got the 13 inch Dell XPS 13, almost the same size. And over here the much larger 13 inch MacBook Air. Now testing that new Broadwell Core i5 CPU, it performed a little bit better than the previous generation, certainly not a huge step and not a huge step in battery life. We got about seven hours out of this guy. So if you're looking to invest in an XPS 13, you're doing it because it's, it's a smaller body with a bigger screen and it's got this really cool, almost borderless edge to edge look. I'm Dan Ackerman, and that is the Dell XPS 13. [MUSIC]