Dell nixes the nose-cam for the new XPS 13 ultrabook


While we all want to carry around the performance of our big towers in our backpacks, the reality is that laptops need to be svelte and long-serving, not just speedy. Dell's XPS 13 balances all of these requirements with remarkable panache. However, the last gen's low-slung webcam left us showing off our lovely septums to unfortunate video callers. That's just one of the things the company has patched up in the 2019 edition of its slimmest ultrabook, known as the XPS 13 9380.

Indeed, Dell finally moved the camera back to the top of the screen. The company says the "micro HD webcam" is its smallest webcam ever, at just 2.25mm tall. Despite that, the company also says that the quality of the camera is also improved over the last generation, owing to a four-element lens design, active alignment construction, and advanced temporal noise reduction.

Thanks to the minuscule camera, the new XPS 13 still has impressively trim bezels at just 4-mm thick. Dell says the machine has an 80.7% screen-to-body ratio. Said screen can be a 1920x1080 panel with or without touch input, or an optional 3840x2160 touch display. Dell lists the same 178° viewing angles, 100% sRGB color saturation, and 400 cd/m² peak brightness specs for all of the displays.


The three color options for the XPS 13: Silver, Rose Gold, and Frost.

Those displays will be powered by the Intel UHD Graphics 620 built into one your three Whiskey Lake CPU options: the Core i3-8145U, Core i5-8265U, and Core i7-8565U. There's also 4 GB to 16 GB of dual-channel LPDDR3 memory that is, as usual, not upgradeable. Storage options exclusively comprise PCIe SSDs ranging from 128GB to a new 2TB option.

Exterior connections are unchanged from the prior model. You still get three USB Type-C ports, two of which are Thunderbolt 3 connections, while the other is a USB 3.1 port. There's a microSD card slot, a regular old 1/8" headset jack, and that's it.  For network connections, you get Killer-powered 2x2 802.11ac Wi-Fi, plus Bluetooth 4.2. Given the ridiculously slight dimensions of the thing (only 11mm tall at the thickest point), Dell would have been hard-pressed to include anything else.


An XPS 13 on display at Dell's CES exhibition.

The new XPS 13 comes with a 52-WHr battery. Dell says the machine will last for up to 21 hours on a full charge, although that surely depends on both the configuration of your personal XPS 13 as well as what you're doing on it.  Dell also says you can buy an XPS 13 9380 today at its website starting at $900.

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