Two years ago, Dell told us that the XPS 13 Plus was a precursor to the “next generation of XPS design.” This statement has certainly come to fruition. Dell’s new XPS 13, XPS 14, and XPS 15 laptops use a flush “touch area” in place of a traditional trackpad and function row. They also have larger screens than their predecessors and run on Intel Core Ultra processors.
It’s a bold change of pace for the Dell XPS lineup. Nobody can deny that the XPS 13 Plus is an attractive device, and it scored well in our review. But those who prefer a conventional, traditional, “normal” laptop may be spooked by such futuristic design. Thankfully, the 2024 XPS lineup includes several hardware improvements, and it retains the ultra-portable quality that made XPS famous in the first place.
Let’s start with the big guy. Dell’s new XPS 16 makes the move to a 16.3-inch display, up from 16 inches in the previous model. It can sustain 80 watts of performance and may be configured with an RTX 4070 GPU, so it’s the best option in this lineup for video editing, AI testing, and other demanding tasks. Customers with deep pockets can also select an Intel Core Ultra 9 CPU, 64GB of LPDDR5x RAM, and 4TB of PCIe 4 SSD storage.
Dell’s XPS 16 also has an excellent port selection—three Thunderbolt 4 ports, an integrated microSDXC card reader, and a headphone jack. And, unlike the XPS 13 Plus, the XPS 16 doesn’t hide its audio system under its keyboard. Its speaker grills are prominent, proud, and backed by a 10-watt quad-speaker array.
Interestingly, the new XPS 14 makes a leap to a 14.5-inch screen, and it has the same port selection as the XPS 16. But its specs are a bit toned down. Customers can configure this laptop with an Intel Core Ultra 7 CPU, an RTX 4050 GPU, up to 64GB of LPDDR5x RAM, and 4TB of PCIe 4 SSD storage. The speaker array is limited to an 8-watt output, but it isn’t hidden beneath the keyboard.
The ultra-compact XPS 13 uses a 13.4-inch display, and it can be configured with an Intel Core Ultra 7 processor. Customers can also select 64GB of LPDDR5x RAM. But there’s no option for a discreet GPU, and the maximum storage option is 2TB at launch (a 4TB configuration is planned for later this year). Dell still refuses to include a headphone jack in the XPS 13, which is a shame, and the 8-watt speakers are hidden beneath the keyboard to save space.
All three laptops are crafted with CNC aluminum and Gorilla Glass 3. They use Dell’s InfinityEdge technology for a nearly bezel-free screen, their batteries can reach an 80% charge within an hour, and they offer cutting-edge connectivity with Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.4. Customers can choose between an IPS display (non-touch) and OLED touchscreen display in each model.
Of course, artificial intelligence is part of the conversation. The Intel Core Ultra platform is optimized for AI technologies, meaning that webcam video enhancement, Windows 11 Copilot, and other AI tools that run locally should consume less power. This is something that we hope to test as Intel Core Ultra appears in more PCs.
The 2024 XPS lineup “will be available soon” according to Dell, presumably at the company’s online store and other retailers. Pricing for the XPS 13 starts at $1,299, though the XPS 14 and XPS 16 start at $1,699 and $1,899, respectively. The XPS 14 and XPS 16 laptops do not include a discreet GPU in their base configuration, so if you want GeForce RTX graphics, be prepared to pay several hundred dollars more than the “starting” price.