Dell has doubled down on its profitable XPS laptop computer lineup this yr, utilizing CES 2018 to launch not solely a revamped model of the ever-popular XPS 13, but additionally a brand-new XPS 15 2-in-1.
There’s much more to the brand new convertible than only a bigger display measurement although. It additionally boasts an impressively slim profile, a brand new ‘maglev’ keyboard design, and is without doubt one of the first laptops to market boasting the brand new Intel Core processor with built-in Radeon graphics.
We went hands-on with the XPS 15 2-in-1 at CES, and right here’s what we thought.
Value and launch date
As with nearly every little thing introduced at CES, we don’t have completely agency launch date and pricing data for the brand new 15in convertible, however Dell has introduced some particulars of the US launch a minimum of.
The XPS 15 2-in-1 will go in sale within the US in April, with costs ranging from $1,299.99 – although we don’t know but simply how a lot it should price to purchase a prime spec mannequin. We additionally don’t know if the UK can anticipate an April launch too, however we’ll replace this when we’ve got a greater thought.
Design and construct
The very first thing you discover in regards to the XPS 15 2-in-1 is that it’s impressively mild and slim for its measurement. Dell claims it’s the smallest and thinnest 15.6-inch 2-in-1 round, and whereas we haven’t personally measured all of them to test, we are able to consider it (not least as a result of there aren’t all that many 2-in-1s at this measurement, however there you go).
Nonetheless, make no mistake, this isn’t an ultraportable machine. It’s mild for its measurement, however nonetheless weighs a great chunk greater than than its smaller XPS 13 2-in-1 sibling, and this isn’t the kind of machine you’d wish to carry round with you all over the place you go.
A part of the diminished kind issue is all the way down to the bezel-less InfinityEdge touchscreen show, which leaves as little wasted house as attainable (besides a piece on the backside), however the greatest modifications are to the principle chassis, the place Dell has saved house because of a mix of the Intel-AMD chip, and a brand new ‘maglev’ keyboard design.
The mechanism makes use of opposing magnets beneath the keys, moderately than switches or membranes, with the intention of constructing the keys really feel deeper than their zero.7mm journey actually suggests.
It’s a design destined to show divisive, feeling not too dissimilar to Apple’s butterfly keyboard. It’s removed from the worst keyboard round, but it surely’s not the most effective both – it suffers from a direct comparability to the keys on the brand new XPS 13, which boasts one of many higher keyboards round, leaving us questioning if the fractional discount in weight and depth actually justifies the maglev mechanism.
Lastly, ports – as you’d anticipate with a slimmed down design in 2018, that is USB Kind-C solely, however you get 4 of them (together with two with Thunderbolt three help), together with a headphone jack and microSD card slot.
The mannequin we examined boasted a silver aluminium casing with a black carbon fibre inside, and Dell hasn’t introduced plans for another color choices. Nonetheless, the one accessible end seems to be slick and fashionable, and can really feel acquainted to anybody who’s used any latest XPS laptop computer.
Specs and options
If the maglev keyboard is one half of the XPS 15 2-in-1’s compact physique, the opposite is the brand-new Intel Core Kaby Lake chip with a built-in Radeon Vega GPU.
The chip – the primary partnership between Intel and AMD in a long time – guarantees the kind of efficiency you’d usually anticipate from a discrete graphics card with out having to take up all that house. Meaning thinner, lighter laptops that also have the mandatory energy for gaming or, extra doubtless within the case, demanding artistic work.
The chips are simply 1.7mm skinny, leaving much more house within the chassis, and likewise embody 4GB of HBM2 RAM and energy optimisations – although Dell hasn’t introduced any estimates for the XPS 15 2-in-1’s battery life.
We didn’t get the prospect to place the chip by means of its paces on the present ground, however we’re anticipating good issues, and can take a look at it totally after we get a tool in for a full evaluate.
Configuration choices embody a Core i5 or i7, 8GB or 16GB RAM, 128GB to 1TB SSD storage, and the choice of both a 1080p or 4K show.
The mannequin we examined included the 4K possibility, which appeared crisp and brilliant, with a terrific vary of color copy – even coping fairly properly below the garish lights of CES.
There’s additionally help for Dell’s Lively Pen stylus (although that’s offered individually) cementing that this can be a machine that has skilled creatives in thoughts, who may profit most from the mixture of processing energy, convertible kind issue and (comparatively) transportable design.