The Dell XPS 13 is thinner, and talks to your phone. Here’s how it happened.

Dell went big at CES 2018, announcing a new version of its XPS 13, as well as its first XPS 15 2-in-1. Both are shaping up to be excellent laptops, and they achieve the goal of combining performance with portability through use of advanced design and materials, including Gore fabric. We spoke with Dell’s Justin Lyles, vice president of consumer design, who guided us through the company’s decision-making process. That includes the release of a white chassis that is not only a different color, but also built from different materials than the black, carbon-fiber model.

New hardware was definitely the focus for Dell at this year’s show, but it wasn’t the company’s only new product or feature. It also wants to improve how your computer works alongside your phone. To do that, it introduced Dell Mobile Connect, an application that can display contacts and apps from your Android or iOS device. It can even receive text messages or phone calls from your device, routing them through the laptop’s microphone.

It’s a new level of integration for a Windows PC, one that came as a surprise. Oren Inditzky, Dell’s director of product management for software innovation, walked us through how the feature works, and explained the company’s thought process when putting it together.

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