By going with Kaby Lake-R, the XPS 13 ditches the dual-core processors of its predecessor and instead adopts quad-core, eight-thread Core i5 and Core i7 processors (i5-8250U, i7-8550U). Dell is promising up to a 44 percent increase in performance compared to the previous seventh-generation Kaby Lake processors. You’ll also find Intel UHD Graphics 620 onboard, rather than discrete options from AMD or NVIDIA (which can sap battery life).
Although Dell has upgraded the “brains” of the operation, everything else that we loved about the XPS 13 still remains. That means you’ll find a 13.3-inch Infinity Edge display that is available with up to a 3,200 x 1,800 (QHD+) resolution. The chassis is still constructed of CNC-machined aluminum, and features a carbon fiber keyboard deck. Up to 16GB of LPDDR-1866 memory is supports, and you can configure up to a 1TB PCIe SSD.
Dell also doesn’t skimp on ports, giving you two USB 3.1 Type-C, one Thunderbolt 3, an SD card reader, a headphone jack and a dedicated power connector. A 60 WHr battery is included which provides up to 22 hours of battery life (according to MobileMark). Springing for the QHD+ model will drop that runtime down to a still impressive 13 hours.
Dell claims that the XPS 13 is still the world’s most portable 13-inch-class notebook, cramming its 13.3-inch display into an 11-inch frame. We won’t argue with that assessment or its sub 3-pound weight.
The XPS 13 with available Kaby Lake-R processors will be available beginning September 12th in the United States.