The XPS 13 is still the best Windows ultrabook on the market, even after carrying the same design for three generations. And when Dell announced the new upgrade at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), I was excited and hoping for a radical change.
The all-new XPS 13 2018 carries the same DNA but includes some fine changes that make it a worthy successor, and yes it is now available in India.
The reason why the XPS 13 was popular in the first place was because of its tiny chassis. The new model is a bit thinner and lighter. The notebook still gets a brushed metal finish on the outside, and there is a new Rose Gold with Alpine White color option.
The keyboard and the area around is all white. Dell has taken a step ahead this time and replaced the carbon fiber finish around on the keyboard deck with a glass material that has white color woven into it. This essentially means that you can wipe off almost anything and it will never stain.
The InfinityEdge display has been a forte of the XPS 13, and this time Dell has added an optional 4K Ultra-HD (3840×2160) resolution with an IGZO touchscreen. The company says that it is brighter and offers better anti-reflective properties than before. The panel also comes with 1500:1 contrast ratio and 100% sRGB color profile which sounds impressive. The display also supports HDR which means higher contrast in colors and deeper blacks. For those who don’t care much about such details, there is a regular 1080p resolution option as well.
The QHD touchscreen variant that I have been using, is just brilliant. Not only is it bright, sharp and great with colors, almost every person that walks pass leaves a positive comment about how neat it looks. While a further bump in resolution, brightness and color accuracy wasn’t needed for the XPS 13, I am definitely looking forward to it.
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The finer details
Other prominent changes include the webcam placement, which is now in the centre below the display, where it should be. It also brings support for Windows Hello for quickly logging into Windows, something which misses on the 2015 model. The camera is also backed up with four microphones so you can call out to Cortana from a distance.
Then there are the ports. The previous XPS 13 offered a USB-C port with Thunderbolt support. The 2018 model now gets three of them, where two of them support Thunderbolt 3.0 with 4-lane PCIe, an upgrade from the 2-lane offered on the previous models. So instead of the 20Gbps bandwidth, you now get 40Gbps.
The only issue here is, no regular USB ports, and you know what that means. Thankfully there will be a USB-C to regular Type-A adapter bundled with the laptop. Oh, and the SD Card reader has been replaced with a microSD one.
Another upgrade that the 2018 model is to bring is the improvement to battery life.The older model gave around 6.5 to 7 hours of battery life running on full HD resolution instead of the native 3200×1800. This time, Dell has cut down the 60 Whr battery to a 52 Whr, but is still promises around 19 hours if you pick up the 1080p display variant. Of course, that is just what the company claims and real-life results would vary.
As for core hardware, you get the latest Intel 8th-generation quad-core Core i5-8250 processor, coupled with 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD. Alternatively, you can choose the Core i7-8550 processor option coupled with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD. While both the variants come with a 1080p resolution panel, the latter is available with the Ultra HD display as well.
As for the pricing, the new XPS 13 9370 starts at Rs 94,790 for the Core i5 variant for the base variant, Rs 1,41,490 for the Core i7 variant and Rs 1,59,790 for the Core i7 variant with Ultra HD display. In comparison, the outgoing 2017 XPS 13 9360 is still available at a starting price of Rs 86,990.
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