Dell’s new XPS 13 moves the webcam back up top, right where it belongs

CES 2019 is officially underway, and Dell has revealed a revamped XPS 13 laptop. The device comes with a fixed webcam in the top bezel, new Intel Whiskey Lake CPUs on the inside, and other subtle improvements that could make it one of the best laptops of the new year.

The biggest of the changes for the 2019 Dell XPS 13 is a switch to Intel Whiskey Lake CPUs — options include the eighth-generation Intel quad-core  i5-8265U or Core i7-8565U processors. Along with an enhanced battery life of up to 21 hours, the new CPUs should provide significant performance and multitasking improvements. For consumers seeking a less-powerful dual-core model, there is also an option for the Intel Core i3-8145U processor.

Dell has also moved the webcam from the bottom back up to the top bezel in the display of the XPS 13. Using a 4-element lens and active alignment technology, it is the smallest webcam ever, coming in at 2.25 mm in size. The company worked for two years to bring it to market and managed to shrink the overall size of the webcam housing down from 7 mm in previous generations. Special temporal noise reduction software is also powering the webcam, promising for better video quality in dim lighting conditions.

On the outside of the new XPS 13, there are now options for a new frost exterior and improved arctic white palm rest. The material brings more color choice, and the new arctic white woven glass fiber palm rest appears brighter, whiter, and stronger than ever.

Other changes on the XPS 13 include a suite of next-generation Dell Cinema technologies, including Dolby Vision, which on supported content on Netflix can deliver brighter highlights and blacks that are up to 10 times darker.

Finally, Dell re-engineered the hinge system on the XPS 13. The new model features a “variable torque hinge” that makes opening the device easier. Dell promises that the change in torque is now smooth, so you can open it with just one hand.

The new Dell XPS 13 will be available later in January for prices starting at $900.

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