5 Things To Know About Dell's Redesigned New XPS 13

The Next Generation

Dell's design for the XPS 13 has held up pretty well since early 2015, when the laptop began featuring its 13-inch display on a chassis that's similar in size to an 11-inch laptop. That highly portable, minimal-bezel design carried the XPS 13 all the way through the end of 2017. But the time has come for the next chapter of the popular clamshell laptop. Dell is introducing a fully redesigned XPS 13 for 2018, with a new chassis that's smaller all-around than the previous XPS 13 -- without compromising on speed or display quality. The starting price for the XPS 13 is $1,000, and the laptop is available now.

What follows are five key things to know about Dell's new XPS 13.


While the XPS 13 has distinguished itself as a highly portable laptop option in recent years, Dell is now going even further in shrinking the form factor (while keeping the 13.3-inch display size, of course). The XPS 13 remains "the smallest 13-inch on the planet," according to Dell, but it's now 24-percent smaller in overall volume. That savings on size comes from the thinner profile of the new XPS 13 -- 0.46 of an inch thick, compared to the previous 0.6 of an inch thick -- as well as a slightly trimmed width and depth. Notably, Dell has also reduced the weight of the touch screen XPS 13 to 2.68 pounds, from 2.9 pounds previously. The non-touch version is similar in weight -- 2.67 pounds vs 2.7 pounds previously.


The XPS 13 uses the latest processors from Intel -- the eighth-generation chips, aka Kaby Lake R. Significantly, even the Core i5 processors in the latest generation are quad-core for boosted performance. The new XPS 13 comes with options for the Core i5-8250U (up to 3.4GHz) and Core i7-8550U (up to 4.0GHz). The XPS 13 is also the first laptop featuring GORE Thermal Insulation, which works to remove heat more effectively in order to support improved performance.


On top of improving the speed and portability of the new XPS 13, Dell has also added a higher-res option for its 13.3-inch display. The XPS 13 will now be offered with a 4K/UHD (3,840 x 2,160) touch display -- an increase on pixels from the most recent version of the XPS 13, which topped out at QHD+ (3,200 x 1,800) resolution. The new XPS 13 will also offer FHD (1,920 x 1,080) touch and non-touch models. Additionally, the laptop's display will feature high brightness (400 nits), Corning Gorilla Glass 4 for durability, and one of the signature XPS 13 features -- the minimal bezel around the screen. Meanwhile, the laptop also works with Dell Cinema, a set of technologies for improved color and streaming quality.

Battery Life

To help enable the thinner and lighter form factor of the new XPS 13, Dell has shrunk the size of the laptop's battery, down to 52WHr from 60WHr previously. That will affect battery life estimates just a bit, but energy efficiency from the eighth-gen Intel processors, along with Dell's Power Manager technology, go a long way to helping offset the smaller battery size. Ultimately, Dell estimates that the new XPS 13 will still get a ton of battery life -- up to 19 hours and 46 minutes on a charge -- compared to the previous estimate of up to 22 hours and 21 minutes. (Estimates are for the FHD non-touch model.)


Maybe the most-noticeable difference on the new XPS 13 is on the interior color scheme. For the rose gold model, there is now an "alpine white" design for the palm rest, keyboard, and display bezel. The palm rest is made from woven glass fiber, which was specially developed for the laptop so that it's UV-resistant and stain resistant. The palm rest, in fact, will be cleanable; a demo showed that even a Sharpie smudge can be easily cleaned off. The new XPS 13 will also be offered in silver with a black carbon fiber palm rest.