The refreshed Dell XPS 13 laptop is a pretty and speedy way to get things done

In addition to conjuring up a huge new load of Inspiron 7000 2-in-1s and clamshell laptops, Dell also snuck in a refreshed XPS 13 laptop just prior to the opening of IFA in Berlin. Arriving in Silver and Rose Gold flavors, the device is based on a handful of seventh-generation Core i3/i5/i7 “U” processors, and two of the latest eighth-generation i5/i7 “U” chips. The XPS 13 also includes a battery promising up to 22 hours of run-time when the screen is set to a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution.

This is what is on the new Dell XPS 13 menu:

Screen size: 13.3 inches
Screen resolution: 3,200 x 1,800 with optional Touch
1,920 x 1,080 no Touch
Screen brightness: 400 nits
Screen contrast ratio: 1,000:1
Processor (7th Gen): Intel Core i7-7560U
Intel Core i5-7200U
Intel Core i3-7100U
Processor (7th Gen with vPro): Intel Core i7-7660U
Intel Core i5-7300U
Processor (8th Gen): Intel Core i7-8550U
Intel Core i5-8250U
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640
Intel UHD Graphics 620
Memory: 4GB / 8GB / 16GB LPDDR3 @ 1,866MHz
Storage: 128GB SATA SSD
256GB PCI Express SSD
512GB PCI Express SSD
1TB PCI Express SSD
Audio: Waves MaxxAudio Pro
2x one-watt stereo speakers
Dual array digital microphones
Connectivity: Killer 1535 Wireless AC (up to 867Mbps)
Bluetooth 4.1
Ports: 2x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A (one charges)
1x SD card reader
1x Headphone jack
1x Thunderbolt 3 Type-C
Camera: 720p webcam
Battery: 60WHr, not replaceable
Keyboard backlighting? Yes
Precision touchpad? Yes
Dimensions (in inches): 7.88 (D) x 11.98 (W) x 0.33 to 0.60 (H)
Starting weight: 2.7 pounds non-Touch
2.9 pounds with Touch
Operating system: Windows 10
Ubuntu Linux
Chassis: CNC machined aluminum
Carbon fiber composite palm rest with soft touch paint
Availability: September 12
Starting price: $800

Fundamentally, this is the same Dell XPS 13 that we’ve consistently called the best laptop you can buy. Now, though, it offers a quad-core processor instead of a dual-core chip — though, to be clear, base models will continue to ship with the 7th gen Intel Core dual-core. If you do upgrade to the quad-core ship, you should see a big boost in multi-core performance.

Aside from the processor, the Dell impresses with strong hardware across the board. It offers up to a terabyte of fast PCI Express hard drive space, up to 16GB of RAM, and a screen resolution of up to 3,200 x 1,800. While the small XPS 13 is still more about portability than speed, it can become quick in high-end configurations.

The look and feel of the design hasn’t been touched. “The top cover and base are precision cut from a single block of aluminum,” Dell says. “The carbon fiber palm rest is strong like aluminum, and thin, but feels cooler to the touch. Machined aluminum provides strength and durability.” Frankly, Dell still doesn’t need to overhaul the system. It remains one of the thinnest, lightest, most attractive laptops sold today.

Given that the screen bezels are so narrow, Dell shoved the built-in webcam to the bottom left of the screen’s lower bezel. Thin, horizontal speakers are mounted on each side of the laptop, but there’s no sign of a dedicated microphone jack.

Dell’s new XPS 13 laptop will land on September 12 for a starting price of just $800.


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