CES 2024: I fiddled with the new Dell XPS laptops — here’s why they’re polarizing

    New Dell XPS laptops have dropped ahead of CES 2024. And it’s no surprise they’re packed with some new AI goodies. After all, as we mentioned before, we’re now in the era of AI PCs.

    These laptops will come in three flavors: 13-inch, 14-inch and 16-inch screen sizes. The last two, by the way, are new to the Dell XPS lineup. They’re stunning, yes, but after attending a recent showcase of the new-gen laptops, I have thoughts.


    Yes, ‘AI laptops’ are a thing now: 5 that will boost your AI workflow

    My hands-on experience with the Dell XPS line — and why it’s so polarizing

    Dell XPS 13 Plus
    Credit: Shutterstock / Chikena

    So here’s the deal. The design Dell used for the new Dell XPS line has been adopted from a funky laptop called “Dell XPS 13 Plus.” Among tech pundits, the Dell XPS 13 Plus has a polarizing design for three reasons:

    • It doesn’t have physical keys for its function row. Instead, they’re a bunch of touchable LEDs.

    • Its touchpad is “invisible.” You can’t quite differentiate between the touchpad and the deck.

    • It doesn’t have a lip, making it the lid awkward to lift.

    Ars Technica said the Dell XPS 13 Plus had a “frustrating design.” The Verge complained about the function row, adding “there’s no haptic feedback, so I’m often not entirely sure if I’ve actually pressed the key.” PCWorld said that the touchpad was too difficult to get accustomed to.

    New Dell XPS laptop

    New Dell XPS laptop
    Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

    Despite the lukewarm response to the Dell XPS 13 Plus’ design, Dell must have said, “Screw it! We’re putting the Dell XPS 13 Plus’ across all our XPS laptops, including the new Dell XPS 14 and the Dell XPS 16.” Hence why the new Dell XPS line is controversial; I’m sure tech pundits will wonder why Dell doubled down on such a controversial design. It’s also worth noting that the Dell XPS 13 Plus is no longer: it’s just 13, 14, and 16.

    New Dell XPS laptop

    New Dell XPS laptop
    Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

    Personally, I think the design is elegant, minimalist and streamlined. It’s beautiful to look at — in a stunning tech art piece type of way. However, I’m not sure I’d want it as my productivity laptop. When I got some hands-on experience with the new laptops, I could see PCWorld’s point. I already don’t love that laptops have “unified” touchpads with no dedicated right-and-left click regions (I’m a bit old school in that regard). As such, seeing zero delineation between the touchpad and deck is intimidating. I wished there was a lip, too. I fumbled with trying to open the lid for several seconds too long.

    If you’ve never used the Dell XPS 13 Plus, these systems will have a high adjustment period for you. However, if the laptop line can meet the performance-improvement claims Dell is making, the learning curve may be worth it. Not only are the laptops visual beauties, but they’re light, sleek and thin — they’re perfect as travel companions. That being said, let’s dive into the new AI perks featured in the new Dell XPS lineup.

    3 AI features coming to the new Dell XPS laptops

    ChatGPT kickstarted an AI race with big-tech companies like Google, Meta and Twitter attempting to win over consumers, but it looks like Microsoft is leading the charge by making Copilot, yet another ChatGPT rival, more accessible on Windows 11 PCs.


    Meet Copilot, Microsoft’s AI tool for work and productivity

    1. The Dell XPS laptops have a dedicated Copilot key

    As Mashable’s Cecily Mauran reported, all Windows 11 PCs are set to have a dedicated Copilot key, allowing users to quickly access the AI chatbot with the single press of a button. The Dell XPS line is one of the first wave of laptops to feature this convenient new key. Microsoft has been making Copilot easier than ever to fire up. For example, the Redmond-based tech giant recently (and quietly) launched a dedicated Copilot mobile app for iOS and Android users over the holidays.

    New Dell XPS laptop

    Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

    2. New AI-focused processors

    The Dell XPS 13, 14 and 16 are packed with new Intel Core Ultra processors. What does that mean? Well, Intel rolled out a new generation of CPUs and what makes them extra special is that they feature an NPU, a component that is designed to run AI and machine-learning workloads.

    This means that the CPU and GPU, units we typically see in an Intel chipset, get more leeway to work on other tasks while the NPU does its thing for anything AI-related. Presumably, this means that laptops equipped with Intel Core Ultra processors should perform more efficiently. However, we won’t know for sure until we test it in the Mashable lab.

    3. AI-powered suite of tools

    The XPS 14 and XPS 16 laptops, unlike the XPS 13, are packed with dedicated GPUs. This means they are ideal for demanding creative workflows, including 3D rendering, video editing, and more. Interestingly, Dell told me that these systems are “NVIDIA Studio-validated” laptops, which means they’re handpicked by NVIDIA for their top-notch performance and features.

    As a cherry on top, Nvidia Studio laptops get access to exclusive tools for creators, including NVIDIA Broadcast, NVIDIA Canvas, and NVIDIA RTX Remix, all of which use AI tools to make creative magic happen.

    The XPS 16 comes with up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 GPU; the XPS 14 comes with just a 4050 GPU.

    The XPS line, beginning with the 13 model, starts at $1,299. As far as availability, Dell told Mashable that it will be “available soon.”

    Read the full article here

    Recent Articles

    Related Stories

    Leave A Reply

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    Stay on op - Ge the daily news in your inbox