Here are key points about the Lenovo New XPS 13 Touch.
Kaby Lake-R: Kaby Lake-G is the first microarchitecture of Intel's 8th Generation Core line up, and it basically adds two more cores to most of the U-series SKUs that were previously only two cores. The i7-8550U used in the New XPS 13 offers two more cores than the XPS 13 with the i5-7500U we reviewed many months prior, the CPU also has a faster Turbo speed compared to its predecessor. It does have a lower base clock, but that's to compensate for offering double the cores in the same power and heat package. Many applications have started to use more cores while at the same time people are multitasking more than ever, so this upgrade to a quad-core with Hyper-Threading at the i5 level is great for prospective buyers.
Exceptionally Thin Yet Durable: The XPS 13 has always been the perfect size for a true notebook. It's super portable, easily fit in bags, and you can actually use it when you take a coach flight and have limited space in front of you. I am quite shocked at how something so thin can be so quick and offer so much performance.
Thunderbolt 3: With Thunderbolt 3 onboard, the XPS 13 offers the latest and greatest when it comes to type-C ports. Many devices are moving towards type-C, but many of those devices support different type-C technologies, as the connector can support everything from USB 3.0 to DisplayPort, and at the top, Thunderbolt 3. Thunderbolt 3 includes pretty much all the types of connectivity offered by the type-C port, and it also functions at up to 40Gbps, which is very fast.
All Day Battery Life: The original XPS 13 we reviewed months ago had excellent battery life, and the new one retains the excellent battery life of the original while offering more cores and processing power. You can get away with leaving your charger home if you leave for the whole day.
Camera Placement: Because Dell uses their Infinity Edge display, which provides an almost bezel-less experience, the webcam has to be placed at the bottom of the screen. In the lower left corner, the webcam is in an awkward position. Many people take selfies from above because it makes them look thinner and hides features they might not want to show off, the XPS 13 doesn't facilitate that.
The New XPS 13 Touch is beautiful, well built, and performs stunningly. In regards to things I didn't like, while the camera placement tops the list, I also didn't care for the fan spinning up so often (even during Windows Update) or for the glare from the QHD+ display. In dark viewing environments and inside a room the display is vibrant and brings media alive, but outside you might be out of look.
The keyboard is exceptionally comfortable to type on, the keys are large, and the carbon fiber palm rest doesn't irritate, but the backlighting of the keyboard is a bit lacking, you can't tell if it's on in a modestly well-lit room.
The performance of the new XPS 13 is superior to that of its predecessor while it maintains the same stellar battery life and features. Some people might feel as though such a thin notebook has to be fragile or slow, and the Dell XPS 13 proves those people wrong. The strong aluminum body and huge centered hinge make the notebook one of the sturdier ones out there, and the new Kaby Lake-R processors add double the cores while maintaining the same thermal design specifications. Dell not only doubled the core but also the price.
While the base price of the XPS 13 is $799 (with Kaby Lake 7th Gen), our model with double the cores (Kaby Lake-R 8th Gen) does cost close to double that, but it brings many upgrades to the table we find worthy of the higher price tag.
The Bottom Line: We were extremely impressed by Dell's masterpiece, and highly recommend it to anyone in the market looking for a great versatile 13" notebook.
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