Dell upgrades XPS 13 laptops with Intel's new Tiger Lake processors

In addition to the notebooks gaining the latest 11th-generation Core processors and Xe integrated graphics, the Developer Edition will be the first Tiger Lake laptop to ship with Linux Ubuntu 20.04TLS pre-loaded.
Written by Sean Portnoy, Contributor

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1

With Intel launching its latest batch of mobile processors -- the 11th-generation Tiger Lake family -- system makers are starting to announce new and updated laptops (even Chromebooks) that will take advantage to the performance boost and improved Iris Xe integrated graphics. Today Dell joins the roll-out with a refresh of one of the most popular Windows notebook lineups with Tiger Lake now inside.

The XPS 13 and its variants -- the XPS 13 2-in-1 and the Linux-equipped XPS 13 Developer Edition -- are just the type of thin-and-light systems (all under 3 pounds) for which Tiger Lake was designed. Using updated LPDDR4 RAM (8GB to 32GB in the case of the XPS), the Iris Xe receives a substantial boost over previous Intel integrated GPU, while the 10-nanometer CPUs unlock more performance from each core without cutting into battery life. New XPS configurations will be equipped with either the Core i3-1115G4, i5-1135G7, or i7-1165G7, that latter being quad-core chips.

Dell has taken the opportunity to tweak the design of the XPS line with the addition of new components. The display has been upgraded to reduce the size of the bezel, improving the screen-to-body ratio to 91.5 percent, while the keyboard and touchpad have increased in size. The 13.4-inch screen is available in either 1080p HD or 4K resolutions, with the XPS 13 2-in-1 obviously possessing touchscreen functionality standard though it's available as an option for XPS 13 clamshell models. 

Tiger Lake brings a new emphasis on supporting Thunderbolt 4 and the new XPS models include a pair of those ports, which can power external devices and provide DisplayPort capabilities with 40Gb/s throughput. Dell offers high-performance Killer Wi-Fi 6 connectivity as a networking option. Storage options are based around PCIe solid-state drives with capacities ranging from 256GB to 1TB. Dell claims nearly 19 hours of battery life from the XPS 13 and the Developer Edition, while it only mentions "long battery life" for the new XPS 2-in 1.

Dell has long backed the Linux open-source cause via the XPS Developer Editions among others, and with its latest refresh, it's updated the XPS 13 Developer Edition to be the first Tiger Lake laptop to have Ubuntu 20.04 LTS pre-installed. Even if you purchase an XPS 13 that isn't a Developer Edition, Dell has worked to make it easy to add Linux to run alongside Windows or replace it altogether.

The new XPS configurations will be available in North America starting on September 30, with the XPS 13 starting at $999 and the XPS 13 2-in-1 priced from $1,249. As of this writing, pricing for the Developer Edition is still to be determined. While the XPS 13 and XPS 2-in-1 will come in silver or white color choices, the white option will only be available for the 2-in-1 model on September 30, with the clamshell version becoming available at an unspecified later date.

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