Getting started with the Dell XPS 13 Plus: the PC that revolutionized the XPS range

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Dell unveiled a new XPS 13 Plus at CES in Las Vegas 2022, a PC with a completely redesigned design. We were able to get our hands on it before release, enough to get a little overview of the machine.

At CES in Las Vegas in January 2022, Dell showed a new breed of XPS series laptops. This XPS 13 Plus breaks the codes of the XPS that we are used to and the entire aesthetic of the case has been redesigned. The result is resolutely modern, almost futuristic, but frankly successful. The anodized aluminum, the ultra-thin bezels of the screen and its 16:10 aspect ratio also contribute to its “premium” aspect that is so dear to the XPS series.

New design for the XPS 13.

A hidden trackpad

At first glance, if you find something wrong, it’s normal. The PC has no trackpad! In reality, it is hidden under a glass plate embedded in the palm rest. Some people were skeptical – especially because of the lack of a real click – the haptic feedback proves to be quite successful, and we finally find the area covered by the “touchpad” very natural.

The touchpad is really invisible.

The touchpad is really invisible.

The keyboard with flat keys that don’t protrude a millimeter from the case could also be creepy in terms of efficiency and typing quality. In fact, the keys are very responsive and pleasant, but since the distance between the keys has been reduced to a minimum, we can expect regular typos by spilling over to the key next to it. These have been enlarged compared to those of the predecessor XPS 13; This can potentially compensate for the issue, but we’ll verify that during our multi-day test.

The keys do not protrude from the case.

The keys do not protrude from the case.

The function and multimedia keys above the keyboard are now tactile, nothing a priori embarrassing for these shortcuts we only use every now and then. The up and down arrow keys are also quite small, which could annoy some users of Office suites or developers, for example.

The function and multimedia keys are now tactile.

The function and multimedia keys are now tactile.

A limited connection

On the component side, the PC here had an Intel Core i7-1280 P, but there will also be a Core i5 configuration, as well as 8 to 32 GB of DDR5 RAM and up to 2 TB of SSD. Unfortunately there is a connection that is limited to 2 USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports and no more! Luckily, a USB-C/mini-jack adapter will be present in the box. For the rest (USB-A, HDMI, etc.) you’ll probably have to get a hub yourself.

The connection is very limited...

The connection is very limited…

In terms of screens, Dell very rarely disappoints, but of course we’ll have to await our full review to learn more about these different aspects and more specifically the performance of the 12th Gen Intel processors. We don’t know the release date or price of the Dell XPS 13 Plus just yet, but the PC shouldn’t be out for long.

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