Dell XPS 15 2-in-1s with Kaby Lake-G chips are ready to hit the road

Intel's "Hades Canyon" NUC  isn't the only machine coming down the pipe with Intel's Kaby Lake-G chips inside—or more specifically, "eight-gen Core processors with Radeon RX Vega M graphics." Dell is now shipping the updated version of its XPS 15 2-in-1 convertible laptop with those chips inside. We wrote about the machine when it was announced back in January, so let's see what's changed.

As a refresher, the 65-W versions of Kaby Lake-G have an AMD Radeon Vega M GL graphics chip with 1280 stream processors packed neatly into 20 compute units. Those shaders work with instructions and data stored on a 4 GB pool of on-package HBM2 memory. The graphics core could boost to around 1011 MHz when conditions allow.

The machines aren't exactly the same as described in January, however. The optional high-resolution touch display has gotten a spec boost from the originally-reported 3200×1800 resolution to 3840×2160. All XPS 15 2-in-1s have a pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports to go along with two USB 3.1 Gen 1 connectors.

Prices appear to have risen since Dell announced these laptops back in January, too. The Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 with a Kaby Lake-G chip starts at $1500 with an Intel Core i5-8305G, 8 GB of 2400 MT/s DDR4 memory, a 256 GB M.2 NVMe hard drive, and a 1920×1080 IPS touchscreen display. An extra $200 bumps the processor up to a Core i7-8705G. Another intermediate step at $1800 doubles the amount of system memory to 16 GB. The most expensive of four versions swaps out the 1920×1080 screen for a 3840×2160 touch-sensitive IPS panel, and rings up at a quite-substantial $2200. Dell says XPS 15 2-in-1s ordered today could arrive as soon as April 12 with "express delivery" or by April 19 with standard shipping.

Comments closed
    • tootercomputer
    • 2 years ago

    Bought the inspiron 13 i7 2-in-1 8th gen kaby lake with 4 actual cores, 8 threads, 16G of ram for my wife at Christmas. Just a lovely powerful little computer. Love to see how they do with the radeon.

    • Kretschmer
    • 2 years ago

    Oh gosh, this maxes out at a 256GB SSD. That’s really disappointing.

    Edit: Belay that,ou can pay an arm and a leg to upgrade to 512GB or 1TB.

    Edit 2: To quantify, bumping from 256GB to 512GB is $150.

      • DPete27
      • 2 years ago

      I’d guess it’s a socketed NVMe drive so you can buy your own and swap if cost is an issue.

      • jihadjoe
      • 2 years ago

      Does anyone actually buy those manufacturer upgrades instead of installing their own SSD?

        • Kretschmer
        • 2 years ago

        I might, if the price differential was low enough. Warranties can be valuable things.

          • Airmantharp
          • 2 years ago

          Yup; you’ll want to confirm whether exchanging the SSD will break the warranty coverage if that is the route you want to go.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 2 years ago

        depends on whether it’s really in a slot vs on the board, and whether it’s glued shut like all of Microsoft’s and Apple’s current hardware. If it’s easy to get at something, I’ll absolutely save the money. With my MBP I ponied up for a 512GB drive up front because I knew I’d want it and that storage is soldered on the board.

    • Kretschmer
    • 2 years ago

    I’m really curious about battery life for these laptops. I just picked up a 7700HQ/1050Ti laptop and would feel silly if I could have waited a month and half for 3 hours more charge.

    That said, there is something to be said for avoiding the teething issues of new platforms and form factors…

    • NTMBK
    • 2 years ago

    “2-in-1”, heh, very appropriate for that processor.

    • Chrispy_
    • 2 years ago

    If the complete laptop starts from $1500, why is the barebones NUC $999? That’s missing a screen, keyboards, battery, RAM, storage, and OS.

      • Jeff Kampman
      • 2 years ago

      – Different graphics capabilities (RX Vega M GL vs RX Vega M GH)
      – Different thermal envelopes (65 W vs 100 W package power)
      – No unlocked multipliers for CPU and graphics on mobile v. unlocked multipliers on desktop

      Intel is clearly proud of its highest-end Kaby-G product (rightfully so) and envisions it as an enthusiast-class product, so there’s a premium involved for it.

        • BurntMyBacon
        • 2 years ago

        Yeah, Intel doesn’t miss a chance to play the premium card. Though, it does seem like they might be double dipping the premium bucket. Once for the discrete level graphics on the processor and once for the gaming capable SFF system. I have to wonder if the same system wouldn’t be a bit cheaper from a different SFF maker like Zotac or Shuttle.

          • DavidC1
          • 2 years ago

          You can test out the theory by comparing their existing NUC pricing to the similar ones from Zotac/Shuttle.

      • Andrew Lauritzen
      • 2 years ago

      Worth pointing out that the BOM of those components is generally far less than $500 for an OEM though…

        • Chrispy_
        • 2 years ago

        Same rule applies to the Kaby Lake G too.

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