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Dell’s new XPS 13 is even smaller and goes all-in on USB-C

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Dell’s XPS 13 is arguably the best traditional Windows laptop around, but it’s gotten a bit aesthetically stale in recent years as the design has hardly changed since 2015. While 2018’s model doesn’t radically change the formula, a new white-and-rose-gold colorway and even smaller frame is welcome change of pace.

While you can still get the laptop in a traditional black-and-silver, the color is the star of the show. White laptops have a tendency to stain, but Dell says its special coating should ensure its resistant to most things you throw on it – including your grubby skin oils. The white model also has a bit of woven texture that felt nice during my brief hands-on, and the optional fingerprint reader is now integrated into the power button. (Side-note: pardon the lack of hands-on photos; my SD card died on me).

The laptop is 30 percent thinner than the previous model and starts at 2.7 pounds, once again making it “the smallest 13-inch on the planet.” The already-tiny bezels are even smaller, and you can now configure it with a 4K screen with 100 percent sRGB coverage. The webcam is still on the chunky bottom bezel though, and I kind of wish Dell would use a taller aspect ratio like 16:10 or 3:2, but it’s still one of the best screen-to-body ratios you’ll find.

One change that might divide some users is that Dell is going all in on USB-C ports and abandoning USB-A (though there’s an adapter in a box). The laptop comes with three USB-C ports, two of them Thunderbolt 3 ports, and one USB 3.1. Another neat bonus: this time those Thunderbolt 3 ports come with a full four PCI-E lanes, which should let you add external graphics without a hitch.

Meanwhile the refresh comes with a bigger battery to both provide “up to 19 hours” of battery with the FHD display, and improved thermals should help get more out of the 8th-gen Intel chips under load.

The new laptop goes on sale today on Dell.com and Microsoft.com, starting at $999. You can read more about the new laptop on Dell’s website.

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