Dell squeezes Kaby Lake-G into its slim XPS 15 2-in-1

Intel's G-series Core processors are making folks reconsider what kind of performance they can expect from ultrabooks. Dell is the latest company to announce a notebook powered by one of the Core-processor-plus-RX-Vega-M packages. The company updated its XPS 15 2-in-1 convertible with new Kaby Lake G-series processors and slimmed down the notebook in the process.

Folks will have their choice of two processor-and-GPU packages, both equipped with AMD's RX Vega M GL graphics and 4 GB of HBM2 RAM. The first option is the Core i5-8305, a quad-core, eight-thread chip with a base clock of 2.8 GHz and a max boost clock of 3.8 GHz. Buyers can opt for the beefier Core i7-8705G, which also packs a quad-core processor but with a larger L3 cache, a base clock of 3.1 GHz, and a max boost clock of 4.1 GHz. The XPS 15 2-in-1 can be ordered with up to 16 GB of 2400 MT/s DDR4 RAM and a PCIe SSD up to 1TB in size.

Dell fits all that hardware into a slim 15.6" notebook. The chassis is constructed of CNC-machined aluminum with a carbon fiber composite palm rest. The XPS 15 2-in-1 is just 0.6" thick (16 mm), and checks in at 4.3 lb (2 kg). The notebook's port selection includes two USB Type-C ports ready for Thunderbolt signals and recharging other devices. Dell took the opportunity of working with a new processor series and redesigned the heat pipes and fans for the XPS 15 series, and says the updated cooling system uses Gore thermal insulation to help dissipate heat.

The XPS 15 2-in-1 will have two display options. The basic display is a 15.6" panel with a resolution of 1920×1080. A higher-resolution 3200×1800 touchscreen is also avaiIable. Both displays come wrapped in Dell's InfinityEdge slim bezels, offer 400 cd/m² of peak brightness, and cover 100% of the Adobe RGB color gamut. Additional niceties include a "maglev" keyboard that Dell says "mimics the feel and travel of a standard keyboard in a thinner design," and an optional Active Pen with 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity.

Dell plans to start selling  the XPS 15 2-in-1 from its website in April. Pricing will start at $1,299.

Comments closed
    • JoeKiller
    • 2 years ago

    I’d like to try this for a Linux workstation.

    • sweatshopking
    • 2 years ago

    unless dell has drastically improved their pen in the last couple years i wouldn’t bother.

    • DavidC1
    • 2 years ago

    The XPS 15 2-in-1 supposedly uses 45W cTDPdown version of the Kabylake-G chip with Vega M GL graphics.

    • krazyredboy
    • 2 years ago

    .6 inches total height when shut, and maybe around .4 inches when opened, meaning that is not even as far as the keys can physically travel…

    I’m curious as to how you can manage 4096 levels of pressure within a probable .2 inches of travel? Or is this not measured by travel? I know there are some things that can calculate pressure by resistance, but I’m vague on the details.

      • RdVi
      • 2 years ago

      The 4096 levels of pressure are for the active pen, not the keyboard. Besides, they keyboard would need ‘analogue’ switches to have levels of pressure mean anything. PRESS HARD TO TYPE IN CAPS! Key travel and the point at which the switch engages are what I think you want to know. I’m not sure how this tech can simulate longer key travel, but am sure glad a company knows what users with a brain desire for once.

        • WhatMeWorry
        • 2 years ago

        Damn you Dell! I wanted 4097 levels.

    • Kretschmer
    • 2 years ago

    This looks really good if it could offer GTX 1050ish performance in that size class. Still, I’d rather guarantee robust cooling and excellent battery life with a bit more thickness and weight.

    Personally, I’m waiting to see what Dell does with the rest of their XPS 15 line. A little GPU bump and better battery life/cooling would make them irresistible.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 2 years ago

    Too bad all these Kaby Lake-G systems are all basically 2-3 months out. They’re super exciting.

    • mudcore
    • 2 years ago

    My benchmark for the Kaby Lake-G equipped laptops will be the Gigabyte Aero 14W and Aero 15X which pack a 7700HQ and either a GTX 1060 or a GTX 1070 Max Q with a 94Whr battery into overall weights of 4.17lbs or 4.62lbs.

    In that light I don’t think this quite the feat of engineering Dell claims in the press release, well I guess it’s got the 2-n-1 factor going for it but I’ll note they neglected to mention battery size or life expectancy.

      • Kretschmer
      • 2 years ago

      Those are more expensive and a different form factor. Apples to Oranges.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 2 years ago

        They are definitely more expensive, but the form factor isn’t that different. Similar weight and display size. Gigabyte models are a tad thicker but they don’t weigh anything extra.

        You said elsewhere that if they deliver GTX 1050-like performance that this would be really good, but I think I disagree. The most important comparisons are weight and length/width.

        • mudcore
        • 2 years ago

        You’ll easily be able to spec the XPS 15 2-n-1 to the same price levels, I don’t think you’re factoring in the XPS 15 2-n-1 starts with a lower amount of RAM and slower/less storage. I noted the 2-n-1 aspect of the laptop here, I don’t think it invalidates the usefulness of comparing similar weight/sized laptops to see what the Kaby Lake-G enables designers to do. I’ll be doing the same mental comparison to every laptop that comes with Kaby Lake-G to see if the chip enables new, legitimately “feat of engineering” level designs or if its a bunch of hype for nothing.

    • Anonymous Coward
    • 2 years ago

    Thats a pretty respectable CPU-GPU package there: 3.1ghz base clock and 4.1ghz boost, 4C-8T, strong modern Radeon. Too bad they’re putting it in these silly machines, I fear this is going the way of the cellphone. Thin before all else.

      • Chrispy_
      • 2 years ago

      Yeah, bendgate is imminent, and that’ll shortly be followed by all the batteries catching fire on planes.

      Seriously, can we please get some quiet cooling and structural rigidity in these $2000 machines so that I can use them in regular life, rather than having to treat them like fragile glass sculptures. I just want to be able to hold a laptop by one corner and not worry about cracking the motherboard (looking at you, Sony and Acer!)

        • Redocbew
        • 2 years ago

        Add a few textbooks tossed haphazardly in a backpack with one of these, and you’ve got a good way to cause trouble. That seems especially ridiculous since college students have always been one of the primary markets for laptop users. I remember that happening to a friend of mine 15 years ago before the thinness thing really started to become obnoxious. I’m almost afraid to think what it’s like now.

      • tipoo
      • 2 years ago

      The XPS 15 was pretty respectable already though. The Precision variant is even used for businesses with little issue. It’s not stupid thin like others go.

    • nico1982
    • 2 years ago

    [quote<]Additional niceties include a "maglev" keyboard[/quote<] Looking forward to try it. Too bad Dell products are basically non-existant in physical stores...

      • DPete27
      • 2 years ago

      Best Buy?

      • deniro444
      • 2 years ago

      CompUSA? Circuit City?

        • derFunkenstein
        • 2 years ago

        Montgomery Ward? Family Dollar?

        (am I doing this right?)

          • deniro444
          • 2 years ago

          Babbages?

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