New Dell XPS 13 and 15 now available with fingerprint scanner, Windows Hello

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CES 2017 brought a number of new and updated notebooks, with Intel’s seventh-generation CPUs and Nvidia’s Pascal graphics architecture making their way into the mainstream. One of the most anticipated machines is the update to Dell’s XPS 15 workstation, which was officially announced after a brief unintentional outing on Dell’s website.

The new Dell XPS 15 features up to Intel’s quad-core Core i7-7700HQ CPU, Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1050 GPU, and up to 32GB RAM, making it a powerful mobile workstation. There’s been some confusion, however, as to whether Dell was jumping on the Windows Hello password-less login bandwagon, and that’s now been clarified, as Windows Central reports.

Many new notebooks feature Windows Hello, which allows users to securely log into their Windows 10 PCs with one form of biometric sensor or another. One of the more popular options is facial-recognition scanners, which use infrared scanners to make sure the person who’s looking at the screen is an authorized user. Another is the time-tested fingerprint scanner, which allows a user to swipe a finger and log in via Windows Hello.

When news of Dell’s updated XPS 15 first broke, it appeared that it would include a fingerprint scanner supporting Windows Hello. Looking at the initial product listings on Dell’s website, however, which showed models shipping in early February 2017, a fingerprint scanner couldn’t be found anywhere.

Apparently, the reason is relatively simple: A fingerprint scanner option was coming but wasn’t made available on the earliest configurable systems. According to Dell, “Folks should see configurations for XPS 15 on Dell.com get updated to include the fingerprint reader option during the first week of February.”

As Windows Central reports, the fingerprint scanner option is now available for the new XPS 15 at Dell.com. There’s even more good news: the newest XPS 13 notebook also now offers the same fingerprint option, which for all applicable models is selectable as the “Backlit keyboard, with fingerprint scanner” option for the reasonable additional cost of $24.50.

If you want an XPS 13 or 15 with Windows Hello support, then you’ll want to make sure to select the appropriate configuration. If you’ve already pre-ordered a new XPS 15 without the fingerprint scanner, then you’ll want to contact Dell and switch out your order.

Story originally published in January 2017. Updated on 2-2-2017 by Mark Coppock: Added information that the fingerprint scanner option is now available for purchase.

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