Ahead of CES 2017, Dell has announced a new 2-in-1 version of its hit laptop, the XPS 13. It doesn’t seem to be a replacement of the traditional laptop, but instead more of a variant. The XPS 13 has been one of our favorite laptop lines for the past few years, most noticeably because of its incredible nearly bezel-less display, affordable price point, and impressive performance.
On the surface, the new 2-in-1 looks almost identical to the normal model. However, there are some important changes to know about the XPS 13 2-in-1.
The convertible hinge is the big show here with this product and the most noticeable change from the traditional laptop model. You can put it in tent mode for easy watching videos, or flip it all around for a chunky tablet mode. That means, of course, that the product comes with a touchscreen in both the HD and non-HD configurations.
The XPS 13 2-in-1 doesn’t have quite the specs of the 2016 XPS 13. It gets a bit into the weeds, but the new version comes with what is essentially the Intel Core M series. However, Dell is claiming that the listed “7th Generation Intel Core i5” is just as fast as what as in the 2016 XPS 13.
We’ll have to see if that proves to be true, but there’s certainly a chance that this variant doesn’t have quite the performance power that the XPS 13 had.
If you’ve got a laptop that you’re meant to hold in your hands as a tablet once in a while, you’re going to want it to be a bit lighter than your traditional laptop. The 2-in-1 weighs in just a hair lighter than the XPS 13, which happens to be lighter even than the new MacBook Pro. It’s also a bit thinner than the XPS 13 and even slightly thinner than that new MacBook Pro.
Another plus is that the 2-in-1 is now fanless, which means it’s cooler and quieter. With all that being said, it also comes with a smaller battery, which could (but doesn’t necessarily) mean that the overall battery life experience is down.
As is true with a lot of these 2-in-1 products, the 2-in-1 XPS 13 can be used with Dell’s new stylus, the Dell Active Pen. It’ll cost you an extra $50, but if you’re looking to match that full Surface Pro/iPad Pro experience you’ll want to pick that up. As with most styluses, it’s usually best to go with the device’s proprietary option, as you’ll get the best software/hardware interaction.
The cheapest version of the XPS 13 comes in at $799, while the 2-in-1 version starts at $999. However, the cheapest touch-enabled XPS 13 actually starts at $1299, making it the more affordable version. So while the $799 XPS 13 is by far still the best deal, the new 2-in-1 is fairly affordable for what you’re getting.