Go for design

We were invited by Dell France to take on the Dell XPS 13 Plus, a new ultraportable unveiled at CES 2022 earlier this year.

Source: Frandroid

The Dell XPS 13 occupies a special place in the ultraportable market. Several technical innovations were born through this flagship. Notably, it’s the first technology product to have benefited from an edge-to-edge screen, long before smartphones. The manufacturer renews its flagship at a fast pace every 6 to 8 months, often with significant changes. However, the firm decided to fully revise its copy in 2022 and for the occasion slightly changed the name of the device. The company presented its Dell XPS 13 Plus with a brand new design at CES 2022. We could get our hands on it.

delicacy and finishes

Well, Dell still hasn’t reinvented the wheel, we’re still faced with a classic 13-inch ultraportable in its outlines: it’s impossible to turn it into a tablet, for example, or to fold it. But the company wanted to take the design to its peak and clean whatever might still be in the product’s lines.

Getting started with the Dell XPS 13 Plus: Go for the design
Source: Frandroid

We’re dealing with a 13.4-inch screen in 16:10 format, which more or less occupies most of the space. Dell hasn’t forgotten the 720p camera above the screen, which is even compatible with Windows Hello thanks to the infrared sensor. The user can also be identified using a fingerprint reader on the keyboard.

But let’s briefly return to the screen, of which Dell offers several configurations. The cheapest gives you basic Full HD with 1920 x 1200 pixels and a 100% sRGB certified panel. In the upper price range you have the choice between a 3.5K OLED panel (3456 x 2160 pixels) 100% DCI-P3 and DisplayHDR500 or a 4K UHD+ LCD panel (3840 x 2400 pixels) 90% DCI-P3 and DisplayHDR 400.

The almost borderless absence of the screen is definitely astounding when you put your eyes on it. We’re beginning to wonder how manufacturers can push those boundaries even further.

Getting started with the Dell XPS 13 Plus: Go for the design
Source: Frandroid

The other major novelty in terms of design is found in the lower part of the machine. For the first time in a long time, Dell has completely redesigned its keyboard, which now occupies the full width of the device in order to maximize typing comfort. The function keys above the keyboard have been replaced by a touch bar to further streamline the design.

And underneath nothing is physically visible anymore, but Dell integrates a touchpad with haptic feedback. This is a new breed of touchpad that we expect to see in more and more laptops, and similar to Apple’s Force Touch, it needs to offer very believable physical feedback.

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to test the keyboard or the touchpad during this quick start. The prototype on display, the only example available, had a small problem at this level. These are the whims of presentations prior to the release of a product. We will therefore await the test to form an opinion on this integration. In particular, it will be necessary to check whether it is easy to find the touchpad when there is no longer any physical demarcation below the keyboard.

The emphasis on design requires Dell to settle for the bare minimum for connectivity on a high-end device: a USB-C Thunderbolt 4 port on each side of the device, and that’s it. Even the 3.5mm jack didn’t stand up to the Dell teams’ work to simplify the design. However, the brand states that a USB-C to USB-A adapter will be included in the box. Wirelessly, the Dell XPS 13 Plus will pass Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 to ensure connectivity.

Getting started with the Dell XPS 13 Plus: Go for the design
Source: Frandroid

It remains for us to remember the characteristics of the Dell XPS 13 Plus. Under the hood we find the latest generation of 12th generation Intel processors: Intel Core i5-1240P, Intel Core i7-1260P, Intel Core i7-1270P or Intel Core i7-1280P, in all cases with a TDP of 28W. The processor is paired with 8 to 32 GB of DDR5 5200 MHz RAM, an integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics chip and 256 to 2 TB of PCIe 4.0 SSD storage.

The 55Wh battery can be charged with the included 60W USB-C power adapter.

Release date uncertain

In the various press releases from Dell we could read here and there a publication on March 22, 2022 or more generally in the spring. The brand, like other manufacturers, struggles with component shortages and each product launch is complex. We saw it again recently with the launch of the excellent Alienware QD-Oled AW3423DW, which is out of stock until the end of the summer.

Asked about the release of the Dell XPS 13 Plus in France, Dell informed us that the launch would be “soon” without further details. After this press processing session, we can still hope for a start in the summer, i.e. in the coming weeks.

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