Archive for the ‘xps-13’ Category

XPS 13 2019 review: One small move made Dell’s best laptop even better

February 25th, 2019
Laptop displays Ars Technica homepage.

Enlarge (credit: Valentina Palladino)

Dell gave its XPS laptop an overhaul last year, but 2019 is all about refinement. Announced at CES, this year's XPS 13 laptop looks largely the same as the 2018 model, but it has a few new and improved features that attempt to right some of the wrongs of the previous generation.

The "wrong" that we've harped on the most since the XPS line arrived was its up-nose webcam. That strange webcam placement became a mainstay on the XPS 13 for years—even when other Dell laptops didn't have it. Finally, Dell has done away with that and managed to stick a custom-made, minuscule webcam inside the top, thread-thin bezel of the XPS 13's display.

Those who don't use laptop webcams may roll their eyes at this change, but it's an important one to call out especially when discussing Dell's newest edition of its flagship laptop. With that change and others, Dell is hoping it has created a near-perfect Ultrabook. But how close has the company actually gotten to achieving that goal?

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Dell finally nixes the up-nose webcam in the new Dell XPS 13

January 8th, 2019

Valentina Palladino

No, your eyes do not deceive you. Dell unveiled the newest version of its XPS 13 laptop at CES today, and it fixes arguably the most frustrating problem with the Ultrabook: that pesky up-nose webcam. Dell removed it and instead put its smallest camera yet on top of the device's display, in addition to other new improvements that update the laptop for 2019.

The new webcam measures just 2.25mm, allowing Dell to embed it in the Infinity Edge bezel on top of the touchscreen. For years, the lower-bezel placement of the webcam marred the XPS 13. While some may not use the webcam on their laptop often, others need it for conferencing and video chats. The old webcam placement made doing those things difficult, as users were always shown at an unflattering angle.

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Now Dell has a mixed reality headset, and the XPS 13 has 8th-gen Intel CPUs

August 28th, 2017

Enlarge (credit: Valentina Palladino)

Dell has a wide array of products under its name and brands, including Alienware, but the company has never had its own mixed reality headset until now. Dell announced the Dell Visor ahead of this year’s IFA conference, along with a number of updates to its XPS and Inspiron systems. Most notably, all of Dell’s updated laptops and convertibles will have 8th-generation Intel processors, making them some of the first devices to launch with the new CPUs later this year.

Dell jumps into mixed reality

Dell has made a number of VR-ready desktops and laptops, but now it has its own VR headset to go along with them. The company’s first mixed reality headset looks most like HP’s or Acer’s headset, with an oval-shaped ring that fits around your head with an attached, goggle-like viewfinder. The head-wrapping ring adjusts easily using a thumbwheel that expands and contracts the sides, similar to adjusting the length of a pair of over-ear headphones. With the ring opened just wide enough for your head, you can tilt the viewfinder up to put the device on, then snap it down into place when you’re ready to enter a mixed reality experience.

Overall, the Visor feels less cumbersome on your face than an Oculus Rift. With no external sensors needed, it’s also easier to set up than an HTC Vive. Users will still need to draw a five-by-seven-foot boundary for their mixed reality situations to live in, but that’s done by simply hovering the headset over your boundary lines. The Visor connects to a compatible PC through a single USB Type-C connector, and you only have to manage that one cord, so it creates less of a mess around your PC. Similarly to HP’s and Acer’s headsets, it has 1440×1440 panels for each eye.

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