Watch out, Apple: Dell reveals mighty new XPS 13 - the first without an Intel processor and supercharged with Snapdragon to dominate in a world of AI

Two of the new Dell XPS 13 laptops in the Platinum colorway, shown back-to-back.
(Image credit: Dell)

Dell has just revealed the next step for its iconic XPS laptop line: a shiny new XPS 13, the first of a new breed using Qualcomm's powerful new Snapdragon X1 Elite chip.

This is quite a departure for Dell, which has historically only used Intel processors in its popular and long-running XPS laptop series. XPS fans have long speculated about an XPS 13 with a Ryzen CPU from AMD, but instead, we've got Qualcomm - a chipmaker that has been making waves with its impressively powerful new Snapdragon chips.

In our review of the 2022 Dell XPS 13, we labeled it as one of the best ultrabooks on the market, an accolade that still holds up today with newer models. We also praised the excellent Dell XPS 13 Plus when we reviewed it last year, as well as the touchscreen hybrid Dell XPS 13 2-in-1.

From the press materials we've been shown, it looks like the new XPS 13 is taking some design prompts from the Plus model, which isn't a bad thing: it's sleek and minimalist, with machined aluminum casing and up to a 13.4-inch OLED 3K touch display - which I can personally attest looked gorgeous on the XPS 13 Plus. It'll come in the classic Platinum and Graphite colorways.

Closeup of the Dell XPS 13 (2024) keyboard in Graphite colorway, showing the new Windows Copilot key.

The new XPS models will feature a dedicated key for the Windows Copilot AI assistant. (Image credit: Dell)

XPS: Now with more AI power

Of course, that Snapdragon X1 Elite chip (specifically the 12-core Elite X1E-80 100 processor) is the star of the show here, and it's an SoC (system-on-a-chip) that has been performing admirably in early benchmarks. Thanks to a built-in Qualcomm Hexagon neural processing unit (NPU), it also has boosted capabilities for handling machine learning workloads - in other words, it can run local AI tools better.

AI is the current hot-button topic in the world of computing, and chips like the Snapdragon X1 Elite are vital as more and more software tools begin to implement machine learning functionality. I'm not just talking about AI art generators here; everything from Windows 11 to Adobe Photoshop is getting an AI-powered boost right now. The X1 Elite chip is capable of 45 trillion AI operations per second (TOPS), beating out Apple's brand-new M4 chip by 7 TOPS.

Backing that chip up in the new Dell XPS 13 is up to 64GB of RAM, a high-speed Gen4 SSD with up to 4TB of storage, and built-in Qualcomm Adreno graphics. Add a 1080p webcam and the XPS series typically great battery life, and you've got a potential MacBook killer on your hands.

That's not all, folks

Dell wasn't content with just revealing one new product today, though: we've also got two new Inspiron laptops, the Inspiron 14 and Inspiron 14 Plus. These both come equipped with Qualcomm's Snapdragon X Plus chip (yes, I know the 'Plus' in the name of the latter laptop is confusing here), a slightly more mid-range version of the X1 Elite chip.

These are also a first for Dell, which has never dabbled in Qualcomm's previous CPU offerings in its Inspiron range. Despite being less powerful than the Elite chip, the Snapdragon X Plus brings the exact same Hexagon NPU and Adreno GPU to the fight, promising excellent performance at a lower price point. We also saw a pair of new Latitude laptops for enterprise users.

Press shot of the Dell Inspiron 14 Plus.

(Image credit: Dell)

It's not just laptops, either; Dell also bundled some new peripherals into the reveal, namely the Silent Keyboard, Silent Mouse (both wireless), and the Wired Collaboration Keyboard. These are all sleek office-friendly kit, and both keyboards come with a dedicated Copilot key for those looking to make better use of Microsoft's helpful AI assistant.

These new product reveals come as part of a concerted wave of new laptops and desktop systems from all the major players in the computer hardware market. These 'AI PCs' signify the start of a new era of computing - an era driven by machine learning. As a long-time XPS lover myself, I'm excited to get my hands on this latest model.

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Christian Guyton
Editor, Computing

Christian is TechRadar’s UK-based Computing Editor. He came to us from Maximum PC magazine, where he fell in love with computer hardware and building PCs. He was a regular fixture amongst our freelance review team before making the jump to TechRadar, and can usually be found drooling over the latest high-end graphics card or gaming laptop before looking at his bank account balance and crying.

Christian is a keen campaigner for LGBTQ+ rights and the owner of a charming rescue dog named Lucy, having adopted her after he beat cancer in 2021. She keeps him fit and healthy through a combination of face-licking and long walks, and only occasionally barks at him to demand treats when he’s trying to work from home.