The new-for-2022 spinoff of Dell’s flagship ultraportable laptop is a real head-turner.
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– Hi, I’m Matthew Buzzi here With a re-imagining of the Dell XPS 13, Which is one of Dell’s flagship laptops. And one of our favorites. From the back here, it probably looks A lot like the XPS 13. A slim ultra portable
that you’ve come to know, But by modern standards, A pretty standard design. The XPS 13 Plus maybe won’t reinvent laptops, But it does look a bit
like it’s the laptop of the future. Between the capacitive Touch buttons up here, Instead of a function
row, which kind of mimics The Apple touch bar but is just Touch buttons instead. And this sort of edge to edge keyboard, As well as this invisible sort of seamless Haptic touch pad design. This all sort of comes together In a really futuristic, Modern looking laptop
that kind of instantly Makes you want it. And as nice as the XPS 13 is, And as much as we like it, It makes it look dated
kind of immediately, Once you see it next to this thing. So this is the XPS 13 Plus, The edge to edge keyboard, As you can see really nice, big key caps. It does still feel good to type on. There’s a lot of travel.
They’ve done, of course, A lot of engineering work to enable this, To make it possible.
And the big sort of upswing Of what’s going on inside, Is that it’s a 28 watt processor inside, Which is boosted significantly From what the normal XPS 13 uses. So you’re getting big performance gains. Obviously we’ll have to test those Ourselves when we get
these units in for review. But that’s sort of an exciting appeal Because you think a redesign, It makes it look modern, it’s slim. Maybe it doesn’t mean power. It’s kind of putting style over substance, But actually the power is increased. The CPU is higher wattage. It should be better performance. We’ll let you know exactly how much better When we test it ourselves. So you’re getting that
edge to edge touch pad. You’re getting these cool touch buttons, Which do work. I mean, they look futuristic Just because they’re lit. I mean, I think everything On this white background And it does come in a
darker color as well, Sort of looks futuristic
against against the backdrop. Any LED buttons you can touch
kind of just feels modern, And like you’re in a sci-fi movie. I think the most futuristic aspect of all Is the seamless haptic touch pad. I didn’t even notice when I first sat down With it that I wasn’t using a touch pad. That’s instinctively where your hand goes.
That’s obviously where the touch pad Is going to be. Even if you can’t see it, There are no lines, No demarcations or anything. It runs roughly about here. Dell will ship it with sort
of a paper instruction That’ll line it up So when you first open the laptop, You’ll see where it roughly is, And then you’ll know from then on. But really it took no getting used to. As I said, I started using the touch pad And then only then realized After the fact that there’s nothing I can actually see to mark where it is. You still get feedback. There’s a click haptic feedback. And yeah, I mean, it’s really cool. It sort of adds to this effect Of between the lights And this edge to edge flush keyboard With no lattice, no spaces in between. Nice and roomy and this one flat surface. Again, the laptop of the future. I think it’s pretty clear. Maybe not everyone loves
it as much as I do. And that pretty much was the reaction Among everybody I was with. We all felt the same thing. So I think I’d probably Call that a success from Dell’s design standpoint. Now one design decision that might
Not be as popular is the Lack of a headphone jack, I know. On a laptop, it’s unheard of. Everyone had to get used
to it on their iPhones And most flagship smartphones eventually. No headphone jack, wireless earbuds, Or wireless headphones are in. The older XPS 13 does have A headphone jack right here, And that’s sort of the thickest part Where they fit one in. But it might not seem like a lot That small amount of extra space Needed for that port
does make a difference In the internal layout of the laptop. So it’s a big factor in getting The 28 watt processor in the system. It’s a big factor in how They design the internals. So I know you might miss it. I do still at my desktop at least Use wired headphones. So I’m little iffy on losing it. But on a laptop, I’m more likely to use Wireless earbuds. On my phone, I certainly do. And people may not end up missing it, Especially I think the XPS customer. Probably a more tech savvy kind of higher, Maybe using the professional purposes. You probably have ear buds for commuting Or for using on your laptop already. So it is a bit of a miss And it probably will prove controversial,
But that’s sort of probably The biggest con of the new design. And Dell is introducing
new XPS 13 models as well, Not the Plus that also
dropped the headphone jack. So that is kind of just
the uniform sort of design Philosophy now going into the XPS line. So, a lot to like, a lot to talk about. Looks maybe like an XPS 13 on the surface, But the XPS 13 Plus – a lot going on. The main visuals are all here, There’s three different parts You could probably talk a lot about. This function row, By the way, when you hold it, Does give you a normal a function row. And when you are off it, It’s the media keys and mute and Volume and screen brightness
and all that stuff. So that’s built in to the design, They thought about all that stuff. And I will say initial impressions. It does look really cool, It does feel really cool, it does work. I think the headphone jack aside. The greater performance
that it promises as well, Something that’s really exciting ’cause we like the XPS 13, So a more powerful, sleeker, More futuristic version Sounds very appealing. Of course, we’ll let you know Our final verdict when we Get a unit in for review. Tune back into PCMag.com to read
That when we have it And check out the rest
of our CES coverage. Thank you for watching.