The first day of CES 2022 was packed with multiple major companies like Intel, Dell, AMD, Nvidia, and others announcing new products.
Among the newly introduced gadgets, Dell unveiled the XPS 13 Plus ultrabook with a redesigned keyboard and touchpad. Dell’s XPS lineup has only had iterative updates these past few years, which is why this radical change seems a bit odd.
We’ll be discussing its specs in detail below.
The XPS 13 Plus comes with a fresh new design that conveys a rather futuristic look. Although if you compare it with last year’s XPS 13, you’ll spot radical design upgrades. This time around, Dell has replaced the function row on the keyboard with capacitive touch buttons. The keyboard now extends all the way to both the edges of the base, and there’s almost no space between the keys.
Even the touchpad is now completely seamless with the chassis, so you won’t find a cutout or even buttons for that matter. It’s like one smooth slab of aluminum, and you get haptic feedback (vibration) to simulate clicks.
When compared to its predecessors this new model doesn’t come with a dual-tone design, and the two color options available are platinum and graphite, with each model only having one prevalent color, giving it an overall smooth look.
The display is rather beautiful with noticeably thin bezels, the same as the 2021’s XPS lineup. The upper bezel also houses a Windows Hello camera for facial recognition as well as a fingerprint reader in the power button and an ambient light sensor for backlight control.
With the XPS 13 Plus, Dell has managed to improve the webcam a bit, but not quite in the way one would expect. Rather than raising the resolution to 1080p to compete with the Ultrabooks in the market right now, Dell instead implemented a split IR camera and light sensor, which improves the webcam’s low-light performance at a resolution of 720p.
Weighing only 1.24kg, the Dell XPS 13 Plus is thinner and lighter than before. While this does save one the effort of fitting the laptop into bags, it comes at the cost of cutting out a fair share of features that might’ve proved handy otherwise.
Keyboard & Touchpad
The XPS 13 Plus comes bearing a rather distinctive keyboard and touchpad area when compared to its predecessors. One glance at the keyboard and you’ll think there’s no touchpad, at all! Well, it’s still there, technically, though it follows the underlying mechanism of haptic feedback now. Like the MacBook Pro and Surface Laptop Studio, the laptop uses actuated motors to simulate the feeling of a click.