What you need to know
- The Dell XPS 13 Plus has been revamped to be known simply as the Dell XPS 13.
- Dell introduced the XPS 13 Plus with a radical redesign in 2022, including a haptic trackpad, zero-lattice keyboard, and capacitive function keys.
- This year's Dell XPS 13 runs on up to an Intel Core Ultra 7 processor, has up to a 3K display, and has several smaller improvements such as a better webcam.
- The Dell XPS 13 will start at $1,299 and launch "soon."
Dell just announced its new XPS 13, though it looks a bit different than the XPS 13 that you may be used to. The PC maker has dropped the "Plus" from the Dell XPS 13 Plus that first launched in 2023, revamping the XPS 13 to include the radical redesign that rolled out last year.
In other words, the XPS 13 Plus is now simply known as the XPS 13. The classic version of the XPS 13 is out, and it's been replaced by the futuristic XPS 13 featuring a zero-lattice keyboard, haptic trackpad, capacitive function keys, and edge-to-edge display.
CPU: Up to Intel Core Ultra 7
GPU: Intel Arc
Display: Up to 3K+ touch
RAM: Up to 64GB LPDDR5x
Storage: Up to 2TB (4TB version will launch later)
Ports: 2x Thunderbolt 4 Type C
While there are other improvements, which I cover below, the biggest change between the previous XPS 13 Plus and the new XPS 13 is the processor inside. The XPS 13 runs on an Intel Core Ultra processor, ranging all the way up to the Intel Core Ultra 7.
The new XPS 13 also has three display options: FHD+, QHD+ touch, and 3K OLED touch.
The XPS 13 will launch "soon," though Dell hasn't shared a specific date. The laptop will start at $1,299.99 in the US, though pricing can creep up quickly if you opt for a version with the highest specs.
NPU/Intel Core Ultra
Get used to hearing about NPUs (Neural Processing Units). They're going to be in a ton of laptops in 2024. Both Intel Core Ultra processors and the upcoming Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite processor feature NPUs. Those processors are specially built to handle AI tasks. They're more efficient at performing AI tasks than a CPU or GPU, and they also free up the other processors on a PC to do what they do best.
NPUs specialize in the repetitive tasks that power AI, such as blurring the background of a video feed, muting background audio, or processing images. The Dell XPS 13 having an NPU will provide business benefits and help professional users who are often on video calls.
Fixing little things
Today's Dell XPS 13 announcement isn't just about dropping the "Plus" from the laptop's name. The biggest change is the inclusion of Intel Core Ultra processors, including the NPUs that come in certain configurations. But Dell also fixed some smaller gripes and issues from the XPS 13 Plus.
While the camera of the XPS 13 Plus was never bad, it was only 720p. That's no longer the case, as new XPS 13 models will ship with a 1080p webcam. New keyboard backlights improve contrast when using the white model of the XPS 13 as well. Another welcome light-related change is that the laptop's LED lights can turn off after a while.
One of the most notable negatives of the original XPS 13 Plus was its battery life. While the new XPS 13 has the same size battery as its predecessor (55Whr), Dell promises better battery life from the new laptop. Those improvements come thanks to AI features enabled by Intel Core Ultra processors. Dell went as far to say that if the efficiency improvements seem too good to be true, to check out a blog post on the topic.
What about the old XPS 13?
With the Dell XPS 13 Plus becoming simply the "Dell XPS 13," it seems Dell has moved on from the classic design of its 13-inch laptop. For a while, you could purchase the XPS 13 or the XPS 13 Plus new from Dell, but it seems the XPS 13 Plus has won over users. Presumably, Dell has to numbers the justify the decision, or it would just continue to keep the XPS 13 and XPS 13 Plus lineups separate.
When the Dell XPS 13 Plus came out, many, including myself, referred to the redesign as radical. The edge-to-edge display was welcomed by all, but other design choices like the haptic trackpad and new style of function keys drew mixed opinions.
In our Dell XPS 13 Plus review, our Editor-in-Chief Daniel Rubino said "Dell's new XPS 13 Plus laptop looks like something from 2025." Rubino wasn't far off, as Dell kicked off 2024 by making what was once called the XPS 13 Plus the standard 13-inch XPS laptop by the company.
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at firstname.lastname@example.org.