Dell CES 2019: New XPS, Inspiron and Latitude laptops

Jack Baker 9 January 2019 NEWS

Better battery life and a key camera annoyance fixed.

Dell's CES announcements were jam-packed with improvements and upgrades, with a new XPS 13, the "most powerful 13-inch laptop in its class", a revised Inspiron 7000 series and a new laptop for business users.

Retaining its stand-out features, the XPS 13's 13.3-inch InfinityEdge display, backlit keyboard, glass trackpad and the premium aluminium shell are present, along with processor options ranging from the Intel Core i3-8145U (up to 3.9GHz) to the Intel Quad Core i7-8565U (up to 4.6GHz). There is one welcome exterior change, though.

In the past, one of the biggest gripes people have had with the XPS was the poorly-positioned, you-can-see-into-my-nostrils webcam at the bottom of the screen. But a newer, smaller camera allowed Dell to reposition it into a more typical position above the display.

Like the last generation, the XPS 13 forgoes any USB-A ports which could mean you would have to lug around a few adaptors if you wanted to connect peripherals like a mouse or keyboard, or share files with colleagues and peers on a USB. To make up for the lack of USB-A ports, the device has two Thunderbolt 3 ports (4 PCI Express Gen 3 lanes), and a standard USB-C 3.1 port. There's also a MicroSD card slot on the device to soften the blow of losing the full-size SD card slot offered on earlier models.

Users will also be able to choose from between 4GB to 16GB of LPDDR3 memory, 128GB to 2TB of storage and an FHD display with or without touch, as well as a 4K option with touch. The starting weight for the device is 1.23 kilos and comes in at just 2 centimetres thick.

Dell claims that the device, with its 52WHr battery, can last up to 21 hours on a single charge, but higher-resolution and more powerful models will chew through more.

Starting at US$899, the XPS 13 9380's lowest-spec price point is US$110 cheaper than last generation, though last generation's base model packs a Core i5 rather than an i3.

Refreshing the Inspiron 7000 series, Dell took it up a notch by refining the exterior of the device. The device's new keyboard is the location for the fingerprint reader and power button, and the hinge is now home to a pen slot.

The laptop includes nifty thermal technology designed with comfort in mind, with it working to run less warm when it's being used to watch something like a film on a lap, and ramps up when it's on a desk.

The company also announced the Latitude 7400, a machine catered towards the business world with new proximity technology that locks the system when it recognises the user has left its side. Dell is touting the machine as the "world's smallest commercial 14" 2-in-1".

Dell also says that it will launch HDR-compatible OLEDs with 100% coverage of the DCI-P3 colour gamut on the XPS 15, G7 15 and Alienware m15 from March 2019.

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