Dell’s Next-Gen XPS 13 Design Revealed With a Thinner Profile and Improved Performance

Posted on January 4, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in Hardware with 20 Comments

Just ahead of CES, Dell is today revealing the next-gen design for its flagship XPS 13 notebook. Dell’s XPS 13 and 15 devices have featured the same design ever since its initial launch, and the company didn’t change much in terms of the design of the device since the first XPS 13.

With the brand new XPS 13, Dell claims it is introducing the next-gen design for the device, but the design is still more of the same. The main difference? The new color. This year’s XPS 13 comes in a white and rose gold finish. Dell has swapped out the traditional carbon fiber material from the old XPS 13 designs with a new authentic alpine white woven glass material. The new material is bound to get dirty since it is white — but Dell says the material is made to be cleaned easily. The new design is also apparently 30% thinner, making it the smallest 13-inch laptop in the world.

Personally, I am not a huge fan of the new white finish, especially because of the rose gold combination which makes it look like a cheap product.

Design aside, there is are a couple of other radical changes packed in the new XPS 13. The bezels around the InfinityEdge display are now thinner, although the webcam continues to hold its awkward position in the display’s bottom bezel. Second, it now packs Intel’s latest 8th gen Core processors just like almost every other new laptop that will be coming out at CES.

Dell is upgrading the display of the XPS 13 to 4K UHD from QHD+, and it’s introducing support for its Cinema Suite tech which is supposed to enhance your viewing experience, especially when enjoying content in services like Netflix.

The latest XPS 13 does get rid of some important things — the USB Type A port. Yes, Dell is completely ditching all the Type A ports on the device in favor of the new Type-C ports, but you will likely be able to purchase dongles that bring back the Type-A ports. Two of the Type-C ports do come with Thunderbolt 3 support, so you don’t really have to worry much about the Type A port as long as you are set for the Type-C future already.

Dell is starting the sale of the new XPS 13 from today for $949, although the entry-level variant comes with the 1080p display and only 4GB of RAM. For the new 4K display and more performance, you will have to spend a lot more.

Tagged with , ,

Join the discussion!


Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Comments (20)

20 responses to “Dell’s Next-Gen XPS 13 Design Revealed With a Thinner Profile and Improved Performance”

  1. brettscoast

    Hi Mehedi

    Thanks for your post i have been wondering when Dell was going to release a new version of the XPS13 and from what i see here many consumers are going to be gravely disappointed and disillusioned. The glaring omission is they haven't fixed the web cam placement (as pointed out in your article) which seems ludicrous given how much feedback they have received on this from tech pro's, why they couldn't have a slightly wider bezel at the top of the screen and place it where it should be seems silly. Having 4GB ram on any entry level premium laptop these days seems completely inadequate, the start point should be 256GB fast SSD & 8GB RAM minimum. The addition of the newer 8th gen core CPU's is welcome as is the USB C ports. I have used the dell XPS13 7th gen core i5 for the past 18 months and i do like working on a premium laptop but for me this new release is a let down at the prices they will be charging.

    • Mehedi Hassan

      In reply to brettscoast:

      We can't really complain about the 4GB RAM unless Microsoft themselves start putting 8 gigs on their own laptops. Guess we'll see with the 2nd gen Surface Laptop when and if that comes out.

    • Jeffery Commaroto

      In reply to brettscoast:

      I don’t like this movement that says “premium” means form over function. 4GB of RAM in 2018 is not cool. From the site it looked like that isn’t upgradeable either. Anyone know if it is soldered in?

    • shameermulji

      In reply to brettscoast:

      " the start point should be 256GB fast SSD & 8GB RAM minimum."

      Agreed! 4GB RAM entry-level is a joke in today's time. Given how long many users keep their laptops, I would go as far as to day 16GB RAM / 256GB SSD should be minimum.

      As far as the design of these laptops go, I think they're gorgeous.

      • brettscoast

        In reply to shameermulji:

        thanks for your reply and i agree with your point on the system memory and given the amount of work and time we put into these laptops the 16GB RAM option is a way of future proofing your expensive purchase to last for the long term I didn't purchase this system to change it 12 months later i was looking for a light portable daily driver laptop to last me 3+ years. I admit I was impressed with the design also with the exception being the awkward silly placement of the webcam on the bottom bezel with the consequence that whenever you used the webcam came the realization that during a skype video call people were asking is your chair too high. This still bothers me and Dell should have simply as Brad Sams pointed out correctly above attributed half of the bottom bezel to the top of the screen to fix this once and for all. His valid point about the dark carbon fibre is also spot on as I have to clean this laptop every day to keep the oil and grime of the keyboard and surrounding palm rests.

  2. dontbe evil

    any news about a xps 2in1 refresh? hopefully with 8th gen U and not Y CPU

  3. Rcandelori

    Frankly, I'm annoyed they removed the USB Type-A ports. USB Type-C is the future, but we live in the here and now where thumb drives and most peripherals still connect via Type-A ports. It's disappointing as the XPS 13 was one of the few ultrabooks that still had Type-A ports. Welcome to dongle hell.

  4. ChristopherCollins

    For a ton of users, that webcam is never used. I see it often brought up as a weakness, but let's remember everyone does not have the same work cycle and uses. For a lot of us, the lightness and that screen is worth that. I know my coworkers that carry them around all day certainly appreciate it's size and performance and could care less if it even had a webcam.

    This is a very solid machine and the new cooling solution and wattage overhead means much less throttling than many other 13 inch machines. Just my .02...

  5. Chris Payne


    "Design aside, there is are a couple of other..."

  6. digiguy

    You forgot to mention an important point. To make it thinner Dell reduced the battery from 60 to 52wh... And you know what happens when you reduce the battery and increase the resolution? Bye bye epic battery life of the XPS 13... And this while Samsung increases the battery to 75wh with more ports, 200gr lighter and webcam where it should be....

  7. jwpear

    While I'm not fan of the white and rose color either, I do think those colors may make the laptop more appealing to some.

    I got my wife an XPS 13 and a Surface laptop for Christmas with intent of letting her decide which she wanted to keep. XPS color was the tried and true black carbon fiber. Surface color was burgundy.

    She has had an XPS 12 convertible for past five years, so she is familiar with and likes the XPS line. The Surface Laptop was something new for her. I have a Surface Pro 3 and we've talked about how nice it would be to have the Surface Studio. She understands they're designed to be premium devices, but so is the XPS.

    I told her that the specs of both were roughly the same. Battery life is about the same. Roughly same size and weight. Same processor and same amount of RAM. The Surface has a larger SSD at 256 GB compared to the 128 GB in the XPS. But we could easily upgrade the XPS SSD, if needed, since the drive is serviceable. I opted for the 1080p screen on the XPS. I didn't mention that the Surface had a slightly bigger and slightly higher res screen. I wanted to see what she'd say about it.

    She ultimately decided to keep the Surface Laptop. She said she liked the bigger 3:2 screen and she also liked the burgundy color. She said the black XPS looked too much like her work Dell Lattitude laptop. In her words: "The Surface just looks more fun."

    We sent the XPS back to the Microsoft store.

  8. Brad Sams

    Dell should have taken 50% of the bottom bezel and put it up top and moved the webcam up there; they still have the dark carbon fiber which is awful as it shows every oil from your hand.

    • brettscoast

      In reply to brad-sams:

      Strongly agree with both your points, that is why I am disappointed to see that both these issues haven't been addressed and fixed with this system refresh when they so easily could have been. I am all for more colour choices on these devices and appreciate them coming with new and improved 8th gen core CPU's and USB C is a big one also. A missed opportunity in some ways. I will be looking closely at what Dell does with a new release of the XPS15 in terms of desktop replacement connected to high res 4K external monitor

    • Polycrastinator

      In reply to brad-sams:

      There's some sort of plastic coating over the carbon fiber which I think is the issue there: we tried laser etching it a while ago and you melt that off (the carbon fiber of course doesn't care if you try to burn it). I wonder if they'd be better off just losing the coating completely, but I have to assume it's there for a reason.

    • SilentHero117

      In reply to brad-sams:

      Strongly agree with you on the webcam placement. I use Skype heavily so proper webcam placement is important for me.

  9. red.radar

    I wonder if they will offer AMD processors. After all they don't seem to have security flaws ;)

Leave a Reply