Dell slaps eighth-gen Core CPUs in its XPS 13 and Inspiron laptops


— 1:30 PM on August 28, 2017

Dell hit the show floor at IFA in Berlin with a flurry of portable machines packing Intel's just-announced eighth-generation Core processors. The PC maker has freshened laptops and convertibles in sizes ranging from a tidy 13" all the way up to what it says is the world's largest convertible laptop at 17". Let's take a look at the new gear.

Buyers looking for a blend of power and great battery life in a small package can do far worse than Dell's XPS 13. The nearly bezel-less machine will arrive with Intel CPU selections ranging from the Core i3-7100U up to the freshly-announced Core i5-8250U or Core i7-8550U processors packing four cores and eight threads. Dell says the new high-end CPU options are up to 44% faster than the chips in last year's Kaby Lake model.

The battery life is listed at a very impressive 22 hours for the model equipped with the 1920x1080 screen (and, we figure, an eighth-gen Core CPU). The runtime should be somewhat shorter with the optional 3200x1800 touch panel. The revised XPS 13 is scheduled to start shipping on September 12 starting at $799. All XPS 13 laptops come with SSDs and Intel IGP graphics to go with up to 16 GB of soldered-in memory.

The new Inspiron 7000 laptops offer 13.3" or 15.6" screens that can rotate 180°. The base screen on the 13.3" and 15.6" models has a resolution of 1920x1080, while the 15.6" model can be had with an optional 3840x2160 panel. Dell says the battery life is just shy of nine hours. These machines have numerous configurations, but highlights include Core i5-8520U and Core i7-8550U CPUs, Nvidia GeForce 940MX graphics cards with 2 GB or 4 GB of dedicated memory, ten storage setups with anything from old-school platter drives to NVMe devices, and up to 16 GB of DDR4 memory in a pair of SODIMM slots.

Both laptop sizes pack a full array of connectors, including USB 3.0 Type-A and Type-C ports, a card reader, and wired networking. Klutzes and people with children will appreciate the backlit, spill-resistant keyboard.

The PC maker offers even more choices in its Inspiron 7000 2-in-1 range, which includes 13.3", 15.6", and goliath 17.3" members. Dell says the 17" model is the largest 2-in-1 on the market. All three variants can pack the forementioned Intel eighth-generation Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs. The 13" model has a 1920x1080-pixel screen powered by an Intel IGP, and 8 GB or 16 GB of memory soldered onto the motherboard. Meanwhile, the Inspiron 15 7000's standard screen has the same resolution, though there are options for a 3840x2160 panel and a Nvidia GeForce 940MX graphics card. Finally, the 17.3" display in the Inspiron 17 7000 2-in-1 comes only in a 1920x1080 resolution, but a Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics card with 2 GB of dedicated memory comes standard. The memory inside the 15" and 17" models can be upgraded, as it sits atop a pair of DDR4 SODIMM slots.

The Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 will start at $900, the 15" model will go up from $850, and the 17" variant will begin at $950 when the machines start shipping on October 3.

Dell's Inspiron 5000 2-in-1's are available with 13.3" or 15.6" screens. Either way, the IPS panels have a resolution of 1920x1080. The convertibles are available with Intel's Core i5-8250U or Core i7-8550U processors and up to 16 GB of DDR4 memory. The webcam packs an infra-red sensor and is compatible with Microsoft's Windows Hello biometric login.

The Inspiron 5000 13 2-in-1 will start at $750 bundled with a capacitive stylus or $800 with an active pen when it goes on sale on October 3. Dell says you can check out all of the laptops we discussed at its booth at IFA in Berlin this week.

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