Dell XPS 13 Plus With Intel 12th Gen Alder Lake Gets A Striking Redesign, Big Performance Gains
We have long admired the build quality and performance of Dell's premium XPS 13 laptops, which blend gorgeous edge-to-edge displays and thin construction with capable hardware (see our Dell XPS 13 2020 review for our most recent hands-on evaluation). The design has not changed too drastically over the years, which has been a good thing. Breaking cover at CES, however, is a retooled XPS 13 Plus laptop that aims to kick "collaboration and visual experiences up a notch."
Dell said it redesigned the XPS 13 Plus from the ground up, though fear not if you're a fan of the general look of past iterations—it still is very much a premium laptop, inside and out, now with a bit more modern and stylish flair.
"Performance, design and packaging; from top to bottom, we’ve stripped away the unnecessary and streamlined features to deliver a complete, seamless experience. Simplified interiors make your creative experience the focus, with best-in-class edge-to-edge displays that bring your visions to life," Dell explains.
The ultra-slim profile has always been a draw of the XPS 13 lineup, and that continues with the XPS 13 Plus. It has a skinny waistline of just 0.60 inches (15.28mm) and is feather-light (in the laptop space) at only 2.73 pounds (1.24 kilograms). Like its predecessors, the XPS 13 Plus continues to be crafted from CNC machined aluminum and glass, this time in a choice of light (Platinum) or dark (Graphite, as shone above) with matching tone-on-tone interiors.
Despite maintaining an incredibly thin and light profile, the XPS 13 Plus is the first to be designed to a 28W specification. It is obviously the most powerful XPS 13 to date, as you would expect from a generational update, but it checks in at around the same size as previous iterations. There's also a environmental consciousness at play, with Dell saying it employed aluminum processed with hydro-power in the chassis to reduce the carbon footprint of the aluminum. It also ships in new packaging made from 100 percent recycled or renewable materials.
In designing the XPS 13 Plus, Dell took aim at a minimalist design, which is evident when flipping open the lid and spying the interior layout. A large portion of that effort manifests in the zero-lattice keyboard. Those larger keycaps are intended to level up the comfort and smooth typing experience of past models. Dell also added a top row of capacitive touch controls for switching between Function and media keys.
Keeping with the minimalist approach, Dell replaced the traditional trackpad of past models with a seamless glass touchpad with haptic feedback on the XPS 13 Plus. This "clean, harmonious surface" on the interior lends itself to a sleeker appearance overall.
Dell is again utilizing a 13.4-inch InfinityEdge display. There are different screen options, including FHD+ (1920x1200) IPS with or without touch support (both offer 500 nits brightness and 100 percent coverage of the sRGB color space); a 3.5K (3456x2160) OLED screen with touch support, DisplayHDR 500 certification, 500 nits brightness, and 100 percent coverage of the DCI-P3 color space; and a 4K (3840x2400) OLED screen with touch support, DisplayHDR 400 certification, 500 nits brightness, and 90 percent coverage of the DCI-P3 color space.
The XPS 13 Plus is powered by Intel's 12th Gen Core-P processors based on Alder Lake. Options include the Core i7-1280P, Core i7-1270P, Core i7-1260P, and Core i5-1240P. These can be paired with between 8GB to 32GB of LPDDR5-5200 memory in dual channel form, and up to 2TB of PCIe 4 SSD storage.
Other features include Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 for wireless connectivity, and two Thunderbolt 4 (USB Type-C) ports with DisplayPort and power delivery for wired connections. Dell also includes a USB Type-C to USB Type-A adapter in the box.
The XPS Plus will be available this spring with Dell targeting a $1,199.99 starting price.