A new Dell XPS 13 (9315) laptop and folio PC has been announced, as well as a 2-in-1 XPS 13 (9315). It is the most compact XPS 13 yet, with a motherboard that is 1.8x smaller than last year's model. Intel 12th Gen U-series processors are used in both laptops, and the 2-in-1 offers optional 5G connectivity.
A new XPS 13 notebook, which starts at $999, will be released later this summer, at an undetermined price. Dell had a few other laptops up its sleeve to cater to those looking for a more conservative yet modern design while also being more affordable. The XPS 13 Plus has received all the attention.
New XPS 13 and XPS 13 2-in-1 models, with model numbers 9315, complete that lineup, offering a clean, minimalist laptop for everyone. XPS 13 (9315) is up first. With its CNC machined aluminum and glass chassis but a newer processor and some new colors, it's easy to dismiss it as just another refresh; however, that is severely underestimating Dell's internal work.
In terms of weight and thickness, this is the lightest, this test is XPS 13. In case you want a deeper dive, we've got a complete spec comparison between the new XPS 13 (9315) and last year's XPS 13 (9310).
Using Intel's 12th Gen U-series (Core i5-1230U or i7-1250U) processor, Dell's new laptop runs at 9 watts (versus 15 watts last year) and 29 watts at maximum turbo.
The XPS 13 (9315) is more powerful than the 2020 XPS 13 (9310), but it will not carry the same power as the more-expensive XPS 13 Plus, which runs 28-watt P-series chips, which is part of what makes it more expensive.
Aside from human presence detection, Dell has added Wi-Fi 6E, new colors (Sky, Umber), Bluetooth 5.2, faster RAM (LPDDR5-5200), and faster storage (PCIe 4.0) while coming in just a hair lighter and smaller than the model from last year.
In addition to the excellent 16:10 13.4-inch display with Dolby Vision, there is the option of a 1920x1200 (FHD+) touch screen or a non-touchscreen with anti-glare or 3840x2400 (3840x3200) touch screen with anti-reflective coating.
Dell is utilizing cell phone PCB (Printed Circuit Board) technology when designing the motherboard to achieve all of that, as well as improve thermals (there is just one fan instead of two).
As a result, the board was 1.8x smaller than it was before. Dell kept the battery nearly the same size (51 watts vs. 52 watts) and put it in a larger speaker box with 4 watts of output to produce “deeper bass, louder sound, and better overall audio”.
As a major change, Dell is now using a 13% smaller and 13% faster NVMe BGA SSD than the previous RAM soldered to the motherboard (it is now integrated into the motherboard).
Additionally, LPDDR5 x64 RAM is now also sold packaged on a package, which is a fancy term for stacking components - this is something that is not commonly found in laptops, which use JEDEC memory standards.
In addition to the reduced amount of ports, Dell eliminated the microSD slot and, more controversially, the 3.5 audio jack (there is an optional dongle for headphones). Besides Windows 11 Home and Windows 11 Pro, users can also configure the XPS 13 with Ubuntu 20.04. Pricing for the new XPS 13 starts at $999 (versus $1,249 for the XPS 13 Plus).
The XPS 13 2-in-1 (7390) we praised highly before is barely recognizable from the previous model. Before, the XPS 13 2-in-1 (7390) was a more traditional laptop with a 360-degree hinge. With a detachable keyboard, it's more like the Surface Pro - a tablet with a folio design. It's much more like a tablet than a traditional laptop.
Dell's new computer features a 13-inch 3K screen with HDR400, a 9-watt Core i5-1230U or Core i7-1250U processor, and a thin screen border. The XPS 13 2-in-1 looks nearly all-display with Dell's super thin screen border.
In comparison to the old model, the folio design certainly opens up more possibilities for notetaking and drawing due to the Gorilla Glass 7 and active pen support. Dell's XPS 13 2-in-1 is the company's first consumer PC with optional global 5G (and eSIM). For those without mobile data needs, the device falls back to Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2.
In addition, the XPS 13 2-in-1 now has two cameras: the front is 5MP full HD with IR for Windows Hello, and the power button has a fingerprint reader. A powerful 11MP rear camera records up to 4K video.
Just two Type-C Thunderbolt 4 ports are present, and there is no 3.5mm headphone jack like on the XPS 13 and XPS 13 Plus. Apart from the lack of a headphone jack, another controversial decision is that the XPS Stylus and XPS Folio are sold separately.
The keyboard on this device does not have a built-in kickstand, so it forms a tent-like structure. It is not as comfortable as the Surface Pro's angled design and built-in kickstand. It works well on a desk but isn't nearly as comfortable.
The new XPS 13 2-in-1 at least stands out from the competition, which works in Dell's favor. However, it remains to be seen whether this radical new design will catch consumers' attention and if it will be among Dell's best laptops. The new XPS 13 2-in-1 (9315) will be available to the public later this summer, though pricing has yet to be announced.
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