As you’d imagine, the convertible is basically a combination of the existing XPS 13 design with a foldable hinge, which allows you either to keep it in a tent orientation, or fold the screen all the way back. And before you ask — yes, it packs in the XPS 13’s “InfinityEdge” design, which leaves a mere 5.2mm bezel around the 13.3-inch screen. It comes in 1080p and QuadHD+ (3200 by 1800 pixels) variants, includes 7th generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processors and fits up to 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD.
Dell also managed to make the XPS 13 2-in-1 completely fanless, so it should remain quiet even under heavy workloads (though it’d be interesting to see if performance falls as things heat up). At 2.7 pounds and 13.3mm tall, it’s slightly slimmer than HP’s new Spectre x360, which clocks in at 2.85 pounds and 13.8 mm thin.
The convertible also features 2 USB 3.0 ports, one of which is Thunderbolt 3.0 compatible. You’ll be able to charge the laptop, or power up to two 4K display at once, from the Thunderbolt port. And, in a nice gesture, you’ll also get a USB-A to USB-C adapter for connecting your older peripherals. Another port or two would have been nice, but don’t be surprised if plenty of ultraportables this year end up settling on just two USB-C ports. (2017 will truly be the year of the dongle.)
In my short time with it, the XPS 2-in-1 felt just as sturdy as the standard model, with a tough aluminum case and carbon fiber wristpad. The backlit keyboard feels a bit shallower — which makes sense since it also needs to double as a tablet — but still seems comfortable to use. And while its hinges aren’t as fetching as what we’ve seen from Lenovo’s hybrids, they feel like they’ll hold up to plenty of folding and unfolding.
You can snag the XPS 13 2-in-1 for $1,000 starting on January 5th. It’s a bit more expensive than the standard $800 XPS 13, but it’ll be worth it if you really want to veg and watch Netflix in bed.
Wireless charging remains an elusive concept. It pops up here and there, often for mobile devices using special cases, and yet many solutions are painfully incomplete or too cumbersome for consumers to care. The Dell Latitude 7285, a new 2-in-1 business laptop announced yesterday at CES, uses a clever method to bypass wireless charging’s pernicious roadblocks to deliver a true solution. Dell claims it’s the first fully fleshed-out version of the feature for laptops.
The trick is in the keyboard. The Latitude 7285 is a 2-in-1 hybrid. That means 100 percent of its components fit inside the tablet display, which can be attached to one of three accompanying keyboards to create a clamshell laptop. One of these keyboards communicates with Dell’s new wireless charging pad. So when you place the 7285 down on the mat with the keyboard attached, the power bypasses the keyboard and goes straight to the computer. It’s wireless charing with a caveat, but wireless charging nonetheless.
Sure, this setup is not as elegant as we might like. For one, the keyboard doesn’t contain an extra battery, so it can’t be charged up to give the 7285 some extra juice on the go. It really only exists to act as a wireless charging base, while another one of the attachable keyboard accessories Dell is selling for the device does contain a power pack with about four hours of extra battery life.
Why the two keyboard products could not be combined would seem to be an engineering challenge Dell is not eager to elaborate upon. But as it stands, this method certainly beats many of the other wireless charging options out there. The company expects to ship the device in May, but has yet to announce hard specs or pricing. Dell also plans on announcing wireless charging compatibility for other devices in its product lineup later this year.
Building on the most recent upgrade to the 13-inch XPS laptop, it looks like Dell is about to make a 2-in-1 version. First spotted by Windows Central, a convertible XPS 13 with what looks like an Infinity Edge display has appeared on Dell’s website. There are no other details yet, but if Dell builds on everything it got right with last year’s impressive model it should be a contender if it appears at CES 2017.
The XPS 13 that Dell introduced in 2015 was a great look at the future of laptops. Since then, Microsoft has given manufacturers even more reasons to build modular touch-friendly machines with its Surface Studio tech (the Surface Dial should be open to other manufacturers to use, as well as any innovations that flow from it in Windows apps). And there’s good reason to think convertible laptops are the reference for what makes a good Windows laptop in 2017 and beyond — the best Windows laptop we saw last year was a convertible from HP.