Dell is back with a brand new XPS 13 this year at the Consumer Electronics Show, and it looks like the best one yet. After gradually improving the screen with a new model last year, 2015’s XPS 13 will ship with an even better and truly beautiful 13.3-inch “infinity” display. It has an incredibly tiny 5.2mm bezel on the top and sides. While previous models of the XPS 13 have always had an impressively small bezel, the latest feels truly edge-to-edge, and it’s dazzling to look at. Dell hasn’t just stopped at thin bezels, though, and the 2015 model now has an optional 3200 x 1800 high-resolution touchscreen display. That’s a massive improvement over the 1366 x 768 resolution we disliked on the original.
Elsewhere, the construction is almost identical to previous versions, with machined aluminum and carbon fiber helping to keep the weight to 2.6 pounds or 2.8 pounds on the touchscreen versions. Dell is also using the latest fifth generation Intel Core i processors, starting at the Core i3 for the base model with options up to a Core i7 version. Memory options include only 4GB or 8GB, so that may disappoint some who are looking to use this as a daily workstation replacement thanks to the mini DisplayPort.
Dell is claiming the new XPS 13 is the “smallest 13-inch laptop on the planet,” thanks primarily to the 13.3-inch borderless display that’s squeezed into an 11-inch size laptop. That doesn’t affect the keyboard though, you’re still getting a full size backlit chiclet keyboard. Alongside that, Dell has vastly improved the trackpad. I usually hate most Windows laptop trackpads, but I was very surprised with the new XPS 13. It’s using a glass button and a precision trackpad, which is something Microsoft has been encouraging OEMs to implement. Precision trackpads allow Windows 8.1 to directly control the pointer, multi-touch, and gesture support in trackpads, making them feel more like a mini touch-screen with smoother scrolling and better zooming and panning support. Gliding around with the Dell XPS 13 felt very smooth, although we’ll need to review it fully to test exactly how good it is. Either way, you’ll want a precision trackpad on your next laptop.
DELL CLAIMS YOU’LL GET 15 HOURS OF BATTERY LIFEThe original XPS 13 had disappointing battery life, but that might not be the case with the 2015 edition. Dell is promising a massive 15 hours of battery life if you pick the 1920 x 1080 display option and a Core i5. That’s a huge claim we’ll have to test fully, but some of those gains are likely related to Intel’s Broadwell processor and the use of a power saving Sharp IGZO display. Dell is planning to release the new XPS 13 today in the US starting at $799 for the Core i3 model, all the way up to $1,899 for the Core i7 version with a QHD+ panel, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD.
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