Dell’s XPS 13 has been one of our PC favorites for a few years now, and now Dell comes along with a new and improved version called the XPS 13 Plus.
The most obvious difference: the touchpad is gone, as it now merges with the actual palm rest of the PC. This also means that you no longer have to physically press on the disk to click, but instead get what is called haptic feedback, which is supposed to feel like you are pressing on the disk – not unlike what Apple has been doing with its MacBook computers for a few years now.
This means that there is a small motor underneath the touchpad that gives you feedback when you press on it, rather than the surface physically moving when you apply pressure.
Dell has also switched to a new type of keyboard with no spaces between keys, which provides a larger area for each key, according to Dell. We will get to whether the keyboard is more comfortable to use in a later review in a moment. In the name of minimalism, Dell has also ditched the row of function keys at the top and replaced them with a row of backlit touch “keys.” This way, you can at least easily switch between media and function keys.
The Infinity Edge screen we saw on last year’s model is still there, and the device is available with either an LCD or OLED panel in resolutions up to 4K (and 16:10 aspect ratio), both with and without touch. One drawback is that Dell had to remove two of the four ports that the 2021 model was equipped with.
Both the headphone jack and the memory card reader have disappeared, and there are now only two simple USB-C ports – one of which often has to be used for charging. Perhaps a bit interesting that Apple seems to have learned from past mistakes and has started to equip its professional devices with a wider range of ports again.
Inside you’ll find 12th generation Intel processors (up to Core i7-1280P) that can consume up to 28 watts. That’s more than the 25 watts in the model we tested last spring. Dell points out that the fans have gotten bigger and extend to the edges of the device, so cooling is better than before. They claim that airflow is 55 percent better than before and say that this paves the way for more powerful hardware in a device the same size as before. However, the weight has increased slightly compared to the previous generation – from 1.16 to 1.24 kilograms, and the battery has also grown slightly – from 52 to 55 watt-hours.
You can equip it with up to 32 GB RAM and 2 TB SSD of storage, and the computer ships with Windows 11 or Ubuntu 20.04. In the U.S., pricing starts at $1,200, which is slightly more than the previous XPS 13 variant, which starts at $949.
Personally, I really like the look of this new computer, it appealed to me as soon as I saw it. The touch bar and touchpad design are the icing on the cake. What I do not like is the lack of the headphone jack, because I really do not like using Bluetooth headphones when I use my computer.