Dell adds 1080p to XPS 13, touch to Inspiron R line, and more for 2013

Check out our review of the Dell XPS 13 ultrabook. 

Dell didn’t release any game changers at CES 2013, but it did announce a few new entry-level products and a refresh of the XPS 13. Neil Hand, Dell’s VP of End User Computing, gave us a brief tour of what’s new.

We were most impressed by the XPS 13’s new optional 1080p panel. It’s far from the first system to offer this resolution in a 13-inch display, but Dell has made sure that the quality is as high as the pixel account. The new panel offers excellent viewing angles, an extremely bright backlight, and good subjective quality. All of this is made better by a thin bezel. The 1080p model will be available later this month, starting at $1,299 (with a processor upgrade thrown in to sweeten the deal).

Also interesting was Dell’s Latitude 10 Essentials tablet. It’s a refresh of the standard Latitude 10 built to bring full Windows 8 to a $499 price point. To do that, the system offers a relatively slow Intel Atom processor and just 32GB of storage. There is also a $579 version, which upgrades storage capacity to 64GB.

The tablet’s specifications and design did not wow us, but we’re glad to see Windows 8 tablets rapidly falling in price. We also liked the optional dock that Dell had on display. Users who own it can extend the tablet to an external display in seconds. Consumers can buy the 64GB Latitude Essentials now, or pick up the 32GB model within the next few months.

Dell ended by showing us its refreshed Inspiron R 14, 15 and 17. These entry-level consumer laptops have been reduced to a thickness of about one inch, a touch panel is now optional on the 14- and 15-inch models. Consumers can choose from a wide variety of hardware including Intel Celeron or Core processors and either Nvidia or AMD Radeon discrete graphics.

Though lacking any big announcement for this year’s show, Dell’s lineup shouldn’t be under-estimated. The XPS 13 was an excellent Ultrabook in desperate need of a better screen, which is now has, while the Latitude Essentials and Inspiron R offer good bang-for-the-buck.

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