The Dell XPS 13 is our favorite laptop for a long time. Thin bezel, with an attractive design and high performance under the hood, is the reference standard in the information technology world.
Okay, we’ve long called the XPS 13 the perfect laptop, but at CES 2020 Dell is back with a better XPS 13. 2020. The near-perfect laptop is now more complete and here’s a look at what’s newer than the previous version.
The new Dell XPS 13 2020 features an extraordinary new design, which Dell calls a new “4-way InfinityEdge display”. This display takes the thin bezels of all the previous XPS 13 models to a whole new level.
With this new display, Dell has been able to hook up to a 13.4-inch screen in the form of an 11-inch laptop. The display is now 0.1 inches larger (or 6.8% larger) than last year’s model. That means the XPS 13 2020 now shows a 91.5% screen-to-body ratio. As a result, the new XPS 13’s ugly lower bezel was also shrunk from the previous models and reduced the size from 19.5mm to a smaller 4.6mm.
Apparently, that means the frame below it – and all the other bezels – are rarely present and the XPS 13 is full screen. In addition, with this slim lower bezel, Dell has also been able to launch a new 16:10 format to help maximize screen space. Just like the MacBook range, this aspect ratio should now mean that you have more screen space for content when surfing the web.
The screen resolution of the XPS 13 has increased accordingly, now up to 1,920 x 1,200 for the FHD model and 3,840 x 2,400 for the 4K model. Dell calls this FHD + and 4K + for added ratios, but it should be noted that the touch is still not an alkali feature and standard.
But for all these design changes, Dell has also been able to enhance other areas of the device. The keyboard is now edge-to-edge and the trackpad is now 19% larger, much like the XPS 13 2-in-1. The keyboard keys are 9% larger and the fingerprint reader (integrated on the power button) is now removed from being part of the keyboard layout.
The stroke of the pressed keys is now only 1.8mm, which is a bit higher than the previous XPS 5, though the keyboard looks like the XPS 2-in-1, it doesn’t use the same ultra-short travel keyboard “maglev”.
Dell has even improved the webcam, which is still at the top of the screen, but now has IR support for Windows Hello Facial Access, a feature removed from last year’s model.
The elements of the other designs that are on the XPS 13 2020 are always the same. It rests on carbon fiber glass wrist rest and retains design material known as brushed metallic exterior made of CNC-cut aluminum. On the side, more aluminum is now used, which is higher on the edges and offers more durability.
You will also get support for Dell Cinema Color, Dolby Vision and Cinema Sound to improve audio and display functionality.
Under the hood, the XPS 13 2020 is getting another boost. Now it sports the latest tenth generation Intel Ice Lake processor. With the Comet Lake Series Intel Core i3-8145U, i5-8265U or Core i7-8565U processor, the new XPS 13 promises a performance jump for 2020 light games. Comet Lake has proposed an alternative to a six-core Core i7, which will no longer be available.
As we found in our practical reviews about other laptops with Ice Lake’s processor, games should have a slight incentive for the new Intel Core i7-1065 G7 Intel’s Iris Plus graphics at 2020 XPS 13. There is also an alternative to the Intel Core i3-1005G1, which is not a quad-core but a cheaper alternative to the one found in the introductory model. Another option is the Intel Core i5-1035 G1, which does not take advantage of the Iris Plus, and instead has the last-generation Intel UHD graphics.
The memory options and SSD configuration remain the same. These are 4.8, 16 or 32GB of RAM and SSD sizes range from 256GB to 2TB. At the time of writing, Dell did not clarify how much each specific configuration would cost, but we know prices will start at $ 1000. This will jump from last year, where the initial configurations, including Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD, were $ 900.
Portability and doors
Finally, portability has to be resolved. Here’s something a little different than the previous generation. First, there is the battery life. Compared to last year’s XPS ?, Dell has promised that the new XPS will run for about 19 hours on a single charge, with the FHD + display on the model. Dell promised up to 21 hours on last year’s XPS 13, so that’s a difference and we need to test it a bit more.
After that, there is the connection. The new Dell XPS 13 has two Thunderbolts 3 ports, a microSD card reader and a 3.5mm headphone jack. This is a change from last year, when the XPS 13 sports an additional USB-C3.1 Gen 1 port.
Wireless with integrated killer AX 1650 on Intel Wi-Fi 6 chipset. Bluetooth also switches to Bluetooth 5 ??? This is an improvement over last year’s killer 1435 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity. Dell promised that the WiFi on the new XPS 13 could be three times faster than the previous generation.
Lastly, we will touch on the overall weight of the device. This year’s new XPS 13 is significantly smaller than previous versions. It now reaches 2.64 pounds on the non-touch model and 2.8 pounds on the touch model. Its overall dimensions are 0.58 inches x 11.6 inches x 7.82 inches. Dell tells us that this makes it about 6% thinner and 2% smaller than the previous generation.