Big update for one of our favorite ultraportables. Dell is taking advantage of CES 2022 to announce the XPS 13 Plus, a new version of its flagship laptop. What strikes above all is its extremely sleek design. The brand’s designers have resumed their drawing board, and it is noticeable!
The machine obviously retains the edge-to-edge screen that made its reputation and its tapered lines. But we also immediately notice several size changes: the trackpad, which has disappeared (rest assured, it has simply become invisible) and the keyboard, which has changed. Its keys have been widened and tightened, in the same movement, and the function bar replaced by a tactile surface which is reminiscent, in the spirit, of the late Apple Touch Bar.
The whole, all in aluminum, is successful, resolutely modern, classy. However, it is questionable whether the removal of the physical function keys is a good thing. Apple is back, and before permanently killing the Touch Bar in its latest MacBook Pro, had at least made the effort to give a real key “escape”. Not sure that the choice of radical minimalism satisfies all XPS fans. We will see this during the test.
New Intel chips inside
From the point of view of space, the machine has not changed. Its dimensions are substantially identical to the last model we tested, as is its weight (1.24 kg). And yet, inside, there are some big changes. Because the XPS 13 Plus has an Intel processor of 12th generation (Alder Lake).
What is attractive is that the chassis has been designed to exploit the maximum performance of the chip, which is 28 W. This is rare, with computer manufacturers tending to tend to to limit the thermal envelope, therefore the risk of heating… but also the power.
To achieve these 28 W, Dell says it has greatly enlarged and optimized the fans. A way to maintain a high level of performance without the machine starting to blow noisily, and without a rise in temperature. Here again, our tests will tell if the couple formed by an Alder Lake processor and this new ventilation system hold up.
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As a reminder, the twelfth generation Intel processors inaugurate a brand new architecture, unprecedented in the x86 world, which includes two different types of cores: high power units (the P, for Performance Cores) coupled with less efficient cores (the E, for Efficient Cores), but more energy efficient.
From a graphics point of view, the XPS 13 Plus obviously does not embed a dedicated GPU, but the Intel Iris X integrated circuite. Four different processors will be offered for purchase, from the Core i5-1240p to the Core i7-1280. Here is a summary of the proposed configurations.
Always a wide choice of screens
Dell offers no less than four different screens for its machine, all 13.4 inches diagonally, obviously: Full HD + touchscreen or not, 3.5K OLED and 4K UHD +. RAM and storage will also depend on the configuration selected: from 8 GB and 256 GB of SSD for the entry level, up to 32 GB and 1 TB of SSD, if you spend without counting!
The Dell XPS 13 Plus will be available on March 22. We have not yet heard of a first price in euros, but it will take $ 1,199 (around 1,061 euros) to afford the entry-level machine.