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

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 1920×1080 screen (and, we figure, an eighth-gen Core CPU). The runtime should be somewhat shorter with the optional 3200×1800 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 1920×1080, while the 15.6" model can be had with an optional 3840×2160 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 1920×1080-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 3840×2160 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 1920×1080 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 1920×1080. 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.

Comments closed
    • ET3D
    • 2 years ago

    I like my last gen XPS 13, and this looks like a nice upgrade, but I’m still hoping that Raven Ridge turns out well and finds a place in an XPS 13 (or equivalent).

    • watzupken
    • 2 years ago

    Looking forward to seeing reviews on the 8th gen 15W processors. I wonder if the 15W will become a bottleneck once both the CPU and GPU are under load.

    • Kretschmer
    • 2 years ago

    Is there some sort of Soviet-era warehouse full of GF940MX parts?

      • tipoo
      • 2 years ago

      I guess 28nm is still cheaper? All I can think of.

      • DrCR
      • 2 years ago

      Yeah, but asinine regulations result in them being desoldered and then bodged back together after importation.

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 2 years ago

      Nothing better than combing “8th gen” with… is it 8th gen yet on that GPU?

        • Voldenuit
        • 2 years ago

        It might be the 8th generation the 940 MX gets paired with a modern CPU.

    • Anonymous Coward
    • 2 years ago

    Ah yes, GeForce 940MX vs GeForce MX150, the choice is obvious really.

      • DPete27
      • 2 years ago

      Yet another generation of 940MXs…..good grief.

        • Anonymous Coward
        • 2 years ago

        Didn’t they make a GeForce GT 1030? This is all bewildering.

    • TEAMSWITCHER
    • 2 years ago

    “The battery life is listed at a very impressive 22 hours…”
    That is impressive… I’m not wanting to believe a word of it.

      • chuckula
      • 2 years ago

      I WANT TO BELIEVE!!!

      (but I don’t)

      • smilingcrow
      • 2 years ago

      It’s true but only if it’s sitting there idling.

      “Idle (without WLAN, min brightness) 21h 35min”
      [url<]https://www.notebookcheck.net/Dell-XPS-13-9360-FHD-i5-Notebook-Review.183736.0.html[/url<]

        • chuckula
        • 2 years ago

        With the power cord plugged in.

          • DPete27
          • 2 years ago

          And the screen off.

            • smilingcrow
            • 2 years ago

            No, with the screen on but minimum brightness which might be unreadable anyway! 🙂

      • ImSpartacus
      • 2 years ago

      I agree. A little too good to be true.

      • tipoo
      • 2 years ago

      22 is definitely bullspeak, but at the same time the XPS 13 was already phenomenal on battery

      [url<]https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Review-chart-template-final-full-width-3.013-2.png[/url<] That's 16 hours on a web browsing test at 200 nits...Impressive. I don't know how this would get efficient enough to get to 22 but it's certainly one of the best on market in this performance+weight class.

    • Air
    • 2 years ago

    Just a heads-up about the XPS 13, info by notebookcheck:
    [quote<](...) the Thunderbolt 3 port will be limited by the same 2-lane 20 Gbps bandwidth instead of the more common 4-lane 40 Gbps standard.[/quote<] Official specifications list: [quote<]Thunderboltâ„¢ 3 (2 lanes of PCI Express Gen 3)[/quote<] So, in case you need full TB 3 speed (for eGPU usage for instance), look elsewhere.

      • tipoo
      • 2 years ago

      Crapbaskets. It was verrry close to being an imagined ideal, but without the full bandwidth TB3 for a GPU it doesn’t quite hit the mark.

    • Kurotetsu
    • 2 years ago

    Have they finally enabled all 4 lanes on the Thunderbolt 3 port for the XPS 13?

      • Air
      • 2 years ago

      Nope. See my comment bellow.

    • tipoo
    • 2 years ago

    It may not be 8th gen architectures, but the “8th gen” has me excited on the mobile front for the first time in a while. A 13″ quad core like this, with Thunderbolt 3 for a docked GPU at a desk, could be a very interesting combo.

    Just curious how Intel’s marketing wizards will differentiate 8th gen quad core 15W CPUs from “8th gen” 7th gen Kaby Lake core architecture quad core 15W GPUs…I don’t get why these couldn’t have just been 7th gen U series quad. Ah well. Not my circus.

      • DavidC1
      • 2 years ago

      Tipoo:

      What is the other 8th gen 15W quad core CPU?

      By the way, the Kaby Lake Refresh that these systems are based on are not exactly the same as the regular Kaby Lake 4 core GT2 graphics dies. These KBL-R SKUs have the Image Signal Processor that’s in current dual core dies that are not present in non-U chips. KBL-R dies also have no blank space due to layout changes that are present in regular Kabylake.

      If my assumptions are correct, the other quad core 8th Gen 15W would be a -H branded part. The -U parts are much more integrated with the PCH on package, the ISP on-die, and better power management features. The higher integration will allow the -U series to go in premium 2-in-1s and Tablets.

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