Dell is releasing a few new items at CES 2018 starting with its brand new XPS 13 laptop today. Dell labels the XPS 13 as 'the smallest 13-inch on the planet making it ideal for people on the go'. Along with claiming to be the smallest, Dell is also calling it the most powerful laptop in its class, upgrading to use Intel’s 8th Generation Quad Core processors. Size and performance aside, Dell also tweaked the appearance of the device by shrinking the bezel around the screen allowing for a smaller frame around the screen, known as their InfinityEdge display technology. The XPS 13 debuts an alpine white woven glass palm rest designed specifically for Dell, a departure from the black used previously.

The new 8th Generation Intel Quad Core i5-8250U or i7-8550U processors replace the outgoing 7th generation CPUs. The i5-8250U quad core has a base frequency of 1.6 GHz and a maximum turbo of 3.4 GHz while the optional i7-8550U uses four cores and 8 threads with a base clock of 1.8 GHz boosting to a maximum of 4 GHz. Both processors are designed to fit into a 15W TDP. To help keep things cool with the increased power used by the 8550U, the shell is built with GORE Thermal Insulation which is said to have better than air heat conductivity levels in a more flexible format. The insulation will direct heat out of the device, lowering the temperature. Dell mentioned cooling capacity increased to 27W, up from 15W in its predecessors allowing for more performance headroom from the latest processors.

Also new to the device is a 13.3” UltraSharp 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) InfinityEdge touch display. The monitor displays 100% sRGB and due to the size has a high pixel density. Other options include two FHD (1920 x 1080) panels. One is a touch panel and the other is not. The smaller the bezel with the same size screen, the smaller the device can be. 


The dimensions are marginally smaller than the 7th Gen version, and it also comes in slightly lighter starting at 2.67/2.78lbs for non-touch/touch systems versus 2.7 and 2.9 pounds on the outgoing models. It isn’t a big difference but is indeed still smaller. Dell added a new color combination with the rose gold color offering the Alpine white crystalline woven fiber internals. The material, Dell says, has a texture to it, and uses an anti-smudge and anti-stain coating. The entire interior is available in this new material including the keyboard, bezel, and touchpad setting it apart from the plain black we are used to seeing in such devices.

We can expect to see these available globally today, January 4th, with a base price of $999. 

Dell XPS 13 (Early 2018)
Warranty Period 1 Year Warranty
Product Page N/A
Price ($US) $999+
Type Ultrabook
Processor Family 8th Generation Intel Core i5/i7
Processors i5-8520U / i7-8550U
Memory Up to 16GB DDR4 2133 MHz
Network Connectivity Wireless Only
Killer 1435 802.11ac (2T2R)
Intel 8265 802.11ac (2T2R for vPro)
Internal Storage Up to 1TB SSD (NVMe PCIe)
Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 620
Display 13.3" 3840x2160 touchscreen
13.3" 1920x1080 touchscreen
13.3" 1920x1080 non-touchscreen
Camera 720p and IR Camera
Battery 52Wh
Speakers 2 x 1W
Ports and Connectors 2 x Thunderbolt 3
1 x USB Type-C
1 x microSD card reader
1 x Headset jack
1 x Noble lock slot
Dimensions / Weight 302(W) x 199(D) x 7.8-11.6mm(H)
From 2.67lbs (non-touch) to 2.68lbs w/touchscreen

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  • jordanclock - Thursday, January 4, 2018 - link

    Well, there are SSD options. They are just tied to base options for the 999/1199 levels, for some weird reason. In fact, there are a lot of customizable options but they aren't fully interchangeable. Like, if you select the $999 model, you can up to memory to 8GB but cannot change the SSD or display. If you select the $1199 model, you can change the SSD and display, but not the memory. The $1449 model allows just changing the display and the $2049 allows you to upgrade to the 1TB SSD.

    What the hell. I don't get why I can't select the $999 model, change the RAM to 16GB and upgrade the display? Dell is weird.
  • ZeDestructor - Thursday, January 4, 2018 - link

    That's an SSD-only laptop, jrs77.. It's been that way since the Sandy Bridge XPS13 at least.

    Most of the limited customizability comes to Dell finding it cheaper to just cut down on the number of possible SKUs, and that's made especially worse with them offering 3 screen options. IMO they should just have shipped the 4K touchscreen as the only option, but that's just my opinion on it.
  • jrs77 - Thursday, January 4, 2018 - link

    It makes no f*ing sense to not be able and select a bigger SSD for the i5-model, as SSD/HDD space is the most important aspect.
  • HStewart - Thursday, January 4, 2018 - link

    " I don't get why I can't select the $999 model, change the RAM to 16GB and upgrade the display?"

    Dell's website does not show 4K display for XPS 13 - but QHD+ is available for $999 and higher version but not for i3 $799. It would be insane to have i3 processor with 4K screen.

    When I purchase my Dell XPS 13 2in1, I had no trouble on phone changing options. I opted not to go for QHD

    You might be able do upgrades on model - it just might mean that will take longer to do get the model.
  • ZeDestructor - Thursday, January 4, 2018 - link

    This new model isn't up for sale yet. Give it a few weeks.
  • HStewart - Thursday, January 4, 2018 - link

    "Small battery, no SSD-options for the i5-model, only USB-C, etc....

    Why would I want to buy this, when I can get the MacBookPro?"

    All Dell XPS 13 have SSD, the battery is about same side as new MacBook Pro - probably because Dell has 8th generation and not 7th generation CPU's that used less power. But 52watt vs Apples 54watt is not much difference. But Apple and Dell have USB-C that are also Thunderbolt 3. Dell also has USB 3 ports
  • jrs77 - Thursday, January 4, 2018 - link

    Exactly. This is a copy of the MacBookPro, so why not buy the original?
  • James5mith - Thursday, January 4, 2018 - link

    Seriously? We're back to laptop images with no fingerprint reader included?
  • ZeDestructor - Thursday, January 4, 2018 - link

    Yet another reason I'm liking the Yoga 920 and Yoga 720 machines the better ones of the bunch :/

    (I got my dad a KBL-U Yoga 720 recently, and it is an excellent machine)
  • HStewart - Thursday, January 4, 2018 - link

    My Dell XPS 13 2in1 has a finger print reader - this model was on Dell website in late 2017, they are probably waiting for 10nm later this year to upgrade other XPS models.

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