Dell XPS 13 2-in-1: One of Windows' Best Laptops Converts—With Compromises

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Dell is unveiling a convertible version of its XPS 13 laptop at CES in Las Vegas this week.

If you haven’t heard of the XPS 13, now is a good time to get acquainted. The laptop line has garnished widespread praise, finally giving Windows users a reliable place to look for hardware that can compete with the likes of Apple’s MacBooks. But there has always been one feature missing for those who want to take full advantage of the computer’s optional touchscreen: the ability to transform into a tablet.

Dell

This latest update will bring 2-in-1 functionality to the XPS, but with a few compromises.

The new XPS 13 2-in-1 will retain the nearly borderless 5.2mm InfinityEdge display, the laptop’s defining feature unveiled at CES 2015. Its compact screen-to-size ratio will also remain. Dell claims it is the smallest 13-inch display model in the world, fitting all of its components into a frame the size of an 11-inch laptop.

But, as we’ve too often seen, there are compromises to making things smaller and lighter. For the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1, it means slower processors in the form of Intel’s seventh-generation Intel Core i5-7Y54 or Core i7-7Y75 processor, lighter versions of the more powerful Kaby Lake–based Core i3, i5, and i7 offered in the traditional XPS 13. The new computer will also come with a micro SD card slot instead of the full-size one you get on the Kaby Lake–powered model.

These compromises will be offset by a new foldable hinge that will let the full HD or quad HD display fold flat for tablet use. Dell says those hinges will survive 20,000 openings. Despite its size, Dell claims the ultrabook will get 15 hours of battery life on the full HD model; just don’t expect as much on the brilliant quad HD display version.

While these few differences will give the XPS 13 a unique feel, it will be very similar to its slightly more powerful, less flexible twin. The XPS 2-in-1 will have carbon fiber palm rests and a machined aluminum shell. The new design will also feature USB Type-C ports (Dell will include USB type-A adapters for folks who haven’t made the switch).

The XPS 13 2-in-1 will ship later this month, and it starts at $999 in the U.S.

If you need something more powerful, Dell’s XPS 15 will be getting a refresh soon, with Intel’s latest high-end processors and Nvidia’s new entry-level graphics chip.



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