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Dell’s new XPS 13 2-in-1 rivals the Surface Pro, minus the headphone jack

Dell is giving its XPS 13 2-in-1 a fresh redesign. The new 2022 model, coming this summer, blends the iPad Pro and Surface Pro 8, with a detachable keyboard and a beautiful new squared-off look and feel.

XPS 13 2-in-1 Sizzle Reel

This new all-aluminum XPS 13 2-in-1 model ditches the old convertible laptop-like look, for a new tablet 2-in-1 form factor. Dell mentions that it is “designed to blur the line between work and learning and life.” It also “puts entertainment and productivity first” and is the first XPS model with optional 5G connectivity (in the “Slate” colored model only.)

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The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 open on a table.

The newest XPS features a magnetically attachable folio keyboard, which also can fold back into a stand to turn the device into a laptop (but it will be sold separately). That keyboard has a microfiber lining to protect the device during travel. The folio keyboard sets it apart from the Surface Pro, which has its own built-in kickstand.

That folio keyboard is also what can angle the screen to 100, 112.5, or 125 degrees. As for the touchpad, it’s fairly sized, matching up with an edge-to-edge zero-lattice backlit keyboard with large keycaps and 1mm of travel, reminiscent of the one on the XPS 13 Plus.

The display, meanwhile, should be plenty expansive and immersive. Dell uses a 13-inch 3:2 aspect ratio 3K resolution panel with 2880 x 1920 resolution, rated for a peak brightness of 500 nits. It is very different from the 16:10 you see on the XPS 13 Plus (and the standard XPS model), with 3:2 being better for multimedia consumption.

At the top of the display is a 5-megapixel webcam, a huge plus at a time when most laptops are still stuck at 720p webcams. You’ll also find an 11-megapixel 4K webcam on the rear for capturing documents and other world-facing objects.

The display even supports a new Dell XPS Stylus, which magnetically attaches to the top of the tablet for recharging with up to 50 days of battery life. Yet unlike the Surface Pen and other stylus options, this one has a reversible design for both lefties and righties. It comes with 4,096 points of pressure sensitivity and has tilt functionality, but it will be sold separately.

Someone using the touch screen of the XPS 13 2-in-1.

Powering the XPS 13 2-in-1 is Intel’s 12th generation U-series CPUs. That includes configurations with either the Core i5-1230U or the Core i7-1250U. Memory options are for either 8GB or 16GB, and storage options include 256GB, 512GB, or a 1TB SSD.

Ports onboard are limited to two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports. Dell includes a USB-C to USB-A adapter in the box, as well as a headset adapter since there is no headphone jack included.

Dell did not share pricing details on the new XPS 13 2-in-1. It is set for the summer 2022 release, and Dell promises a price will be confirmed nearer to the availability date.

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